Author Archives: Cindi Hayne

Checklist for Living in Montana

A Simple Guide for your Move to the Bitterroot Valley and Big Sky Country

Living in Montana

You are sick of smog, traffic, noise, stress, and more and are looking forward to living in Montana. You’ve bought your dream home in Hamilton, Montana and the Bitterroot Valley and are getting ready for your big move.

But what should you expect?

Here is a simple list to help you prepare for a new life in Big Sky Country!

Checklist for Living in Montana

  • Leave stress behind.

As soon as you arrive and get situated in your new home, you’ll want to let go of your stress and unwind as quickly as possible. Take some time to look at the beautiful views around you. You’ll see picturesque mountains, green valleys, the Bitterroot River, and more.

This can be a big change from the typical, urban living you had in your previous home. But after a few minutes, you’ll feel your body unwind with the beauty of nature all around you.

YSkwalla Montana fly fishingou can finally relax, and this brings me to the next point…

  • Take a deep breath and listen.

While you may have avoided taking a deep breath in your previous location, you’ll want to breathe in the fresh, Montana air. It will make you feel alive!

And depending on where you are and the season, you’ll hear all kinds of wildlife, the river flowing by, and other, natural sounds… void of honking horns and traffic! Sit back and take it all in. Ahhh.


  • Be friendly.

If you are not used to people saying “Hello” with a big smile, you’re in for a treat.

Local residents of Hamilton, Montana (and all over the Bitterroot Valley for that matter) are warm and friendly, especially to new residents. Their friendliness can be contagious so don’t be surprised if you start asking complete strangers how they are and telling them to have a great day!

  • Schedule some outdoor adventures!

While you may have been cooped up in a small space where you lived previously, now is your chance to go outside and have some fun in Big Sky Country!

There are so many things to do in your new, Montana location! For example, you can go hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, shopping, bird watching, horseback riding, and much more. Plus, you can visit some of our famous museums, restaurants, shows, local festivals, and rodeos. To find out more, check out this link of activities and events in Hamilton, Montana.

Darby Montana luxury homes

Darby Rodeo –

Living in Montana is a Smart Choice.

If you are ready to say goodbye to “big city living,” your new home in Hamilton, Montana or somewhere else in the Bitterroot Valley, awaits! You’ll enjoy friendly people, fresh air, relaxation, and thousands of fun things to do outside… and inside.

Are you ready to discover more about living in Montana?

Contact me directly for more information on finding your dream home:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

Luxury Real Estate and Homes for Sale in Hamilton Montana

Discover small town charm and exclusive amenities

Western Montana’s Bitterrot River in Autumn

I’ve spent many years researching luxury real estate and homes for sale in Hamilton Montana… and for good reason. I’m a resident who lives, works and plays here.

While you may hear about Bozeman, Helena and other, top tourist destinations, most people do not mention Hamilton. It’s funny, because our geographic region was beautifully depecited in the movie, “A River Runs Through It,” starring Brad Pitt.

Yes, as the biggest town in the Bitterroot Valley, here you’ll find some of the best fly-fishing the country has to offer. But, you’ll also find a unique combination of small town charm and “big city” amenities.

This is one of the reasons that my husband and I moved from California to this oasis of culture, friendly people, beautiful surroundings, and wonderful things to do, see and eat. Now, I help others find their dream home in this fantastic location.

And whether you are looking for a house in the median listing price of about $275K or luxury real estate, Hamilton has you covered. You can:

  • Enjoy the great outdoors.

This area is know for fishing, hunting, boating, cross-country skiing, hiking, and mountain biking with miles of trails and dirt roads. It’s location between the Sapphire mountain range and the Bitterroot mountain rage, bisected by the Bitterroot River, create stunning natural beauty in every direction. And this area is known as the “Banana Belt of Montana” so it has a moderate, year-round climate.

Luxury homes Hamilton

  • Eat, drink and be merry!

While it has a small town atmosphere, Hamilton offers the best in entertainment, restaurants and shopping. Try a variety of foods from hamburgers to French cuisine at Nap’s Grill, Spice of Life Café, Bouilla, Taste of Paris, and more.

For entertainment, see a show by The Hamilton Players, visit Lucky Lil’s Casino, or spend a day at the Daly Mansion, Hamilton Farmers Market Co-op, or Ravalli County Museum and Historical Society. And don’t forget some unique shopping experiences at Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply, Bitterroot Bit & Spur, Big Sky Candy, and more!

Find the Perfect Luxury Real Estate and Homes for Sale in Hamilton Montana

Whether you want to wake up to a beautiful view of the mountains or walk outside to start fishing early, Hamilton offers a wide range of possibilities. However, the popularity is growing so finding the perfect home can be competitive. That’s why I’m here to help. Let me show you around my town, introduce you to some “hidden” areas and share my insider knowledge with you. Then, you too can start enjoying your new life in relaxing and beautiful Montana!

Are you ready to find your Montana dream home?
Contact me directly for more information:
Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

Discover Homes for Sale in Western Montana

A quick quiz to see if you are ready to move to Big Sky country

Discover homes for sale in Western MontanaIf you are thinking about a new life away from the big city, it may be time for you to discover homes for sale in Western Montana. As you sit in traffic or rush to work on crowded streets, people here are spending time in the great outdoors and truly enjoying life.

With this in mind, are you ready for a change? 

Take our simple quiz below and find out…

Are You Ready to Make the Move and Discover Homes for Sale in Western Montana?

1. Do you want to breathe fresh air?

When you live in a big city, you are constantly breathing in toxins, fumes and other smelly odors that you have no control over. In Western Montana, you are surrounded by trees, cool breezes and mountain air. When was the last time you took a deep breathe of fresh, mountain air?

2. Do you like to spend time in nature?

WWestern Montana homes for saleestern Montana is known for fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and many other outdoor activities. With the beautiful Sapphire and Bitterroot mountain ranges, Glacier National Park, the Bitterroot River, and more, you can enjoy exciting sports or just site and relax with your favorite beverage nearby.


3. Are you tired of grumpy people?

For the most part, people in Western Montana are friendly and welcoming. I’m not sure if it’s because the natural, surrounding beauty has a calming effect, local residents are just happy to live in such a beautiful place, nice people just tend to end up here, or something else. But, whatever the reason, you’ll enjoy warm greetings and big smiles wherever you go!

4. Do you want to have fun?

If you like to go out at night to eat, drink and be merry, Western Montana offers fantastic bars, restaurants with all types of delicious food, and various entertainment venues with theater, sports, dancing, music, and more.

And during the day, there are plenty of museums, unique shops, and fun activities for all ages. Just because you leave a big city doesn’t mean you have to leave fun behind!

5. Do you want to live in a nice home with a view?There are homes for sale in Western Montana

Whether you dream of living in a log cabin, a luxury mansion with a scenic view or just a nice place to call home, Western Montana has you covered.

And by working with a local, experienced real estate expert, you can find the perfect house for your specific needs and budget.

6. Do you want to run a business from home?

Don’t be surprised by Western Montana and its business atmosphere. While you don’t need to deal with a lot of traffic, crowds and smog, you can still be in a “hot bed” of business activity. In fact, Missoula, Montana was just named the 9th “Most Entrepreneurial Small and Mid-Sized Metros” by the Kauffman Index for Entrepreneurship.

So How Did You Score?

Well, if you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, Montana just may be what you need to make a positive change in your life!

Over time, living in a big city can wear on you. With the crowds, traffic, pollution, stress, and more, it can zap the life right out of you.

Instead, picture yourself waking up to the birds singing and opening your windows to see a beautiful mountain vista each morning. Then, you can step outside to fish, head to your home office or just take a moment to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

Now, doesn’t that sound nice?

Would you like me to help you find homes for sale in Western Montana that meet your lifestyle and budget requirements?

Contact me directly for more information:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

Fly Fishing in Montana

It is Skwalla time!! Are you ready for fly fishing in Montana?

Skwalla Montana fly fishing

Any fly fisherman knows that the beginning of the season is very exciting.

The Skwalla hatch is about to begin signaling the official opening of fly fishing season in Western Montana.

This tradition usually starts in March and lasts through April.

The Bitterroot River Skwall Hatch is on!

Skwalla fly fishing in Montana

The Bitterroot River is famous for this annual event in that the Skwalla (Stonefly pattern) hatch occurs earlier than most Rocky Mountain rivers due to the warmer climate. The Bitterroot Valley is known as the “Banana Belt” of Montana making the winter months not as long or harsh.

The other local rivers – the Clark Fork, The Blackfoot and Rock Creek also will enjoy the Skwalla but not as early and definitely not as robust of activity.

Skwalla Fishing Montana

There are a number of wonderful day floats to experience this exciting season. My favorite is the Hannon Memorial to Wally Crawford near Darby and Stevensville Wye to Florence Bridge.

The Bitterroot River can be a bit tricky during high water with underwater snags and changing channel conditions. Seasoned fly fishing guides are available to expertly guide you, suggest the right pattern and let you catch beautiful healthy trout. If you need referrals to wonderful guides let me know and I will provide a few names for your use.

Fly fishing in Montana - Testing the water

USGS Measuring Teton River

If you are interested in keeping up on the flow rates you can click here.

Choose the Montana section then click on the link for the Bitterroot River near Darby.

As you float down the Bitterroot River, you will see beautiful, waterfront luxury properties.

There Skwalla fly fishing - Montanaare a select number of opportunities that offer river front living in a private and serene setting. A discrete offering is The Lodge on the Bitterroot which offers 49 acres, a mile of riverfront living, multiple residences and close convenience to Hamilton, Montana. Tour this exceptional offering at (www.TheLodgeOnTheBitterroot)


If you have never experienced the Skwalla Hatch – add it to your bucket list. You will not be disappointed. I will see you on the river!

Want to learn more about fly fishing opportunities and living in Montana? Please contact me at:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

What’s It Really Like to Live in Big Sky Country, Western Montana?

“Turn Me Loose – Set Me Free Somewhere in the Middle of Montana Big City Turn Me loose and set me Free…..” Merle Haggard

If you ask why we left the “Big City” in California, here is our story…

What’s It Really Like to Live in Western Montana?

Big Sky Montana, Western Montana

My husband and I decided that it was time to move due to the rapid changes that were taking place in California. We agreed that we would look west of the Mississippi with a vision of acreage for our horses, robust recreational choices, quality of life, cultural activities, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Our search took us to seven different states (Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona) in a period of five years. The only place that felt like home was Western Montana and the Bitterroot Valley.

We did a tremendous amount of due diligence regarding the weather, culture, health care, city conveniences, equine support,  real estate values, and recreation. We did not know a soul when we moved, but that changed quickly!!

Barn in Bitterroot

Western Montana is a rare find in that the people are warm, friendly, inclusive, and helpful.

In the 20 years we have lived here full-time, we have encountered the most wonderful experiences. People genuinely care, will help you out regardless of the need and you will be warmly welcomed.

The medical community offers the full range of professional specialties. The facilities are first rate and have the latest diagnostic equipment available. International Heart InstituteThe International Heart Institute is world renown for their research and cutting edge surgical procedures.

With the University of Montana in Missoula, the cultural offerings are vast, the sporting events are first class and the college community adds a level of energy to the town.University of Montana Missoula


Weather in Western Montana does offer the four seasons but in a very mild way.  We have not been inconvenienced with extreme temperature changes and find that each season offers its own charm.

People who come to Montana do so for various reasons – job transfers, retirement, second home, new start, quality of life, a focus on family, clean environment, recreation, quality of education etc. The opportunities are endless.

If you have any questions about looking in Western Montana – give me a call at 406.240.6497.

I will give you an honest response and help make your move to the Bitterroot Valley stress free and easy.  That is what “Montana friendly” is all about!

For more information about living in Montana, please see some additional blogs here.



Discover 6 Communities of Bitterroot Valley Luxury Homes

Bitterroot Valley Luxury Homes – Find which of these hidden gems in Big Sky Montana is right for you!

Bitterroot Valley Luxury Homes are availableIf you want to enjoy the best of Montana living, Bitterroot Valley luxury homes are a secret gem.

We mentioned this previously and want to share some more details about this fantastic area.

Here, you can experience fly fishing, outdoor activities, restaurants, entertainment, beautiful scenery, and all Montana has to offer… quietly and peacefully without all of the tourism. And you have a lot to choose from.

Bitterroot Valley Luxury Homes are Available in 6 Different Communities.

  • Florence Florence Montana in the Bitterroot Valley

This friendly community near the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Management area and the popular Bass Creek Trailhead offers beautiful grasslands, forests and more for mountain biking, bird-watching, hunting, and other activities. And with a population of about 798 people, you’ll have a lot of the area to yourself! Discover more here.


  • StevensvilleStevensville in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana

Known as Montana’s “first permanent settlement,” this is a walking community where you’ll find historic buildings and unique shops with friendly people. You can enjoy a sweet treat at the local ice cream fountain, a casual meal or a fine dining experience. And of course, there are lovely, scenic views everywhere. Learn more here.


  • VictorVictor Montana luxury homes

At the base of the Bitterroot Mountains with access to the Bitterroot National Forest, Victor is a historic area named after the Flathead Indian Chief, Victor.

Here, you’ll discover an old railroad department, American Indian exhibits and some of the most stunning views in the state. You’ll enjoy water activities on the nearby Bitterroot River, fine dining and entertainment. And don’t forget the Victor Heritage Museum Annual Chocolate Tasting event in December. Find out more here.

  • Corvallis 

Corvallis Montana luxury homes

ln the “heart of the valley” between the Bitterroot Mountains and the Sapphire Range, you’ll find this historic community. With a focus on farmland and conservation of the area’s habitat, there are scenic views, wildlife, historic buildings, and many outdoor activities, including their unique, American Legion Memorial Day Parade!

With a focus on volunteerism, Corvallis has friendly people, shops, entertainment, and more. Read more here.


  • Hamilton Hamilton Montana luxury homes

This home of “A River Runs Through It,” offers the best of Montana.

With a small town atmosphere, you’ll meet friendly people who also enjoy fine shopping, dining, entertainment, and of course, outdoor activities in the moderate weather. With low humidity, you can fish, hunt, boat, hike, or just enjoy the fresh air! Discover more here.

  • Darby 

Darby Montana luxury homes

Darby Rodeo –

This charming community hosts numerous sporting competitions and has something for everyone. Noted as having “some of the best recreational landscape of the whole country,” you’ll also find top resorts, dining, shopping, and entertainment.

In Darby, you’re bound to have a fantastic time indoors and out! Learn more here.

Which community of Bitterroot Valley Luxury Homes will you choose?

With each community of the Bitterroot Valley offering unique activities, entertainment, dining, and more, you have many choices. To find the best area for your new home, let me give you a personal tour.

As a local resident, I can provide insider information and insights so you can find exactly what you want fast!

Are you ready to discover the Bitterroot Valley? Luxury homes and cabins await!
Contact me directly for more information:
Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]