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Sand Springs Ranch

$8,900,000 Hagerman, ID 1,558± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Located approximately 10 miles south of Hagerman, Idaho, the 1,555± acre Sand Springs Ranch is a world-class sporting property that features unmatched waterfowl and upland hunting and spring creek trout fishing in a completely private setting. The ranch features 1.5 miles of Sand Springs Creek, which begins and ends on the property, a 2-acre spring-fed lake, 1.5 miles of frontage on the Snake River, and extensive irrigated cropland and pasture. Improvements include a 3,200 sq. ft. owner’s residence, staff quarters, and operating facilities. The ranch is easily accessible to the southern Idaho communities of Ketchum/Sun Valley, Boise, and Twin Falls. Click here to view video

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General Description

One of the last large, intact ranches along the middle reach of the Snake River, Sand Springs Ranch is a diverse, multifaceted property that feels much larger than it is. The majority of the ranch lies on a level to gently sloping plateau perched over 200 feet above the Snake River. This portion of the ranch encompasses the length of Sand Springs Creek, the main residential improvements, and all of the ranch’s pivot-irrigated cropland and pasture. Additional features found within the main portion of the ranch include a two-acre spring-fed lake adjacent to the headwaters of Sand Springs Creek as well as seasonal waterfowl ponds and other wildlife habitat areas. As one moves west on the ranch toward the Snake River, the main plateau gives way to gently and moderately sloping “benches” that stair-step their way to the river. These benchlands encompass riparian areas, dry and irrigated pastures, seasonal wildlife ponds, and basalt rock outcropping. Sheer basalt cliffs drop off to the Snake River at the far southwestern corner of the ranch where the property transitions to public lands managed by the BLM and Department of Parks and Recreation. Sand Springs Creek rises from several large springs located in the north central portion of the property. The creek flows westerly for approximately one and one-half miles to its terminus at the canyon rim at the northwest corner of the ranch, at which point the creek either spills over the canyon wall or is captured by Idaho Power for delivery to its Thousand Springs hydropower facility located one mile to the north. Sand Springs is a classic spring creek system that meanders through a lush riparian corridor lined with willow and cottonwood. A dam structure located approximately a half mile downstream from the creek’s headwaters backs up the stream creating shallow open water habitat for ducks and geese. Several diversions along the creek’s south side divert water into willow-lined irrigation ditches that flow southwest into the interior of the ranch. In addition to delivering irrigation water to various pastures on the property, these ditches and the attendant riparian vegetation provide excellent wildlife habitat. A two-acre spring-fed lake lies just north of the creek’s springheads and adds an additional open water feature to the ranch. The lake is filled with rainbows and at least one large sturgeon (a prehistoric fish native to the Snake River system that can reach lengths in excess of 10 feet!). The main residence is situated on the south bank of Sand Springs Creek approximately one mile downstream of the headwater springs. Constructed approximately 40 years ago, this single level home consists of 3,200 square feet and features a brick exterior, two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, two wood-burning fireplaces, and an attached screened-in porch overlooking the creek. A 775 square-foot garage is attached to the residence by a covered walkway. Extensive lawns with mature trees and landscaping surround the residence creating a park-like setting. The ranch consists of four additional dwellings of varying age, size and condition that have been utilized over the years as guest residences and employee housing. Other improvements on the property include various storage buildings, machine sheds, livestock shelters, and cattle handling facilities.

Broker's Comments

With a reputation as one of the West’s “crown jewel” sporting properties, Sand Springs Ranch offers the rare “trifecta” of world-class waterfowl hunting, private spring creek trout fishing, and diverse upland hunting for wild birds. A property of this scope and caliber rarely comes to market.

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Location

Sand Springs Ranch is located in the Hagerman Valley, approximately 10 miles south of Hagerman, Idaho and 30 miles northwest of Twin Falls, Idaho. The ranch is accessed year-round via paved county roads. The Snake River serves as the property’s western boundary, while lands managed by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) border the ranch to the north and south. Private agricultural lands join the property to the north and east. Twin Falls is the principal trade center for the region, with a population of approximately 30,000, and offers regular commercial air service from Salt Lake City via Delta/Skywest Airlines. Boise Airport, 95 miles northwest on Interstate 84, is the state’s largest airport and offers a full range of commercial air and FBO services. The resort community of Ketchum/Sun Valley is located 80 miles north of the property and offers commercial air and FBO services. Gooding, Idaho is located 20 miles north of the ranch with a general aviation airport capable of handling small jet aircraft.

Locale

Hagerman, population 600, is a quiet agricultural community that serves as the local service and social center for the Hagerman Valley. All general amenities can be found in Hagerman, including groceries, lodging, restaurants, fuel and sporting goods. The town is named for Stanley Hagerman, who established a post office for the area in 1892. The town grew out of a village site along Lower Salmon Falls on the Snake River, where for centuries Shoshone and Bannock Indians speared migrating salmon and steelhead. One of the defining features of the Hagerman Valley is the Thousand Springs complex, a series of dramatic springs that can be seen flowing from the basalt bluffs into the Snake River immediately north of the ranch. These springs were a landmark for emigrants on the Oregon Trail following the south side of the river from Twin Falls downstream to Fort Boise. Discharged from the Snake River Plain aquifer, the springs are the end point of one of the world’s largest groundwater systems.Two units of Thousand Springs State Park (managed by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation) border the ranch to the north and south. The 400-acre Thousand Springs Preserve lies north of the property and was acquired by the Idaho Nature Conservancy for preservation purposes in 1984 before being conveyed to the State of Idaho in 2007. Thousand Springs Preserve includes the last undeveloped set of canyon wall springs and is home to spring creeks, islands, marshlands, river frontage and towering cliff walls. The preserve is also home to the historic Minnie Miller farm, a state-of-the-art dairy when it was built in 1918. Acquired in 1998, the 345-acre Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Spring Nature Preserve joins the ranch to the south and is the site of the eleventh largest spring in North America, pouring 180,000 gallons of crystalline water per minute into the Snake River. Box Canyon Creek flows through a unique basalt canyon ecosystem and is home to a wild rainbow trout fishery. In addition to supporting significant wildlife and aesthetic values, the area’s abundant spring flows have also resulted in economic activity for the region, most notably the development of commercial fish hatcheries. With ideal water conditions, this stretch of the Snake River is home to most of the nation’s commercial production of rainbow trout. The Hagerman Valley is also home to the Hagerman National Fish Hatchery, which raises steelhead for reintroduction to Northwest rivers and streams.

Climate

The elevation of the property ranges from approximately 2,875 feet to 3,200 feet. The climate is best described as semi-arid with total annual precipitation of approximately ten inches. The average snowfall is approximately five inches. The Hagerman Valley is often referred to as Idaho’s “banana belt” because of its mild, open winters. The average daytime high from November through February (the coldest months of the year) is 45 degrees. The average winter low is 23 degrees. Summers are warm with temperatures consistently reaching the low 90s during July and August and cooling to the mid-50s at night.

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Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 1,558±

Total Acres: 1,558±

* All acreages are approximations.

Water Resources

The ranch holds six irrigation rights licensed with the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Two of these rights are surface rights from Sand Springs Creek and associated springs and support a combined diversion rate of 5.7 cubic feet per second (cfs) to irrigate 285.1 acres. The balance of the rights consist of four groundwater rights with a combined diversion rate of 10.63 cfs to irrigate 722 acres. Priority dates for the groundwater rights range from July 10, 1970 to March 11, 1974. Groundwater is pulled from two wells on the ranch at depths of 40 feet and 44 feet using 100 hp and 250 hp pumps, respectively. The pumps are in good working order, and flow meters have been installed. In addition, the ranch controls 141 shares of North Side Canal Company irrigation water used to irrigate pasture. In addition to holding five stock water rights and four domestic water rights, the ranch maintains a right from Sand Springs Creek to store 60 acre-feet of water annually for wildlife purposes in off-channel ponds.

Taxes

Annual Gooding County property taxes are approximately $12,693.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Fishery Resources

Sand Springs Creek is an outstanding private spring creek fishery where anglers have the chance to cast dry flies to rainbow trout exceeding five pounds. Fishing often involves walking the stream bank and sight casting to large fish holding in traditional lies or casting to feeding or cruising fish in slower sections of the creek using float tubes.

Wildlife Resources

Lying at the epicenter of Northwest waterfowl hunting, Sand Springs Ranch has a rich hunting tradition and maintains a reputation as one of the region’s landmark properties for holding large numbers of ducks and geese. With abundant spring water, mild climatic conditions, a strong local food base, and numerous protected wildlife areas, including the state’s Hagerman Wildlife Management Area located several miles north of the ranch, the Hagerman Valley is home to hundreds of thousands of waterfowl that utilize the area’s creeks, marshes and lakes throughout the year. It is safe to say that during the peak of the fall/winter migration Sand Springs is home to a sizeable percentage of the valley’s wintering ducks, particularly mallards, which are attracted to the shallow waters of Sand Springs Creek and the ample forage found on the property. With a hunting program that emphasizes limited human disturbance, Sand Springs Ranch has become a refuge for wintering waterfowl numbering in the tens of thousands. On top of the number of ducks found on the ranch, the mild climate and a waterfowl season lasting nearly three and a half months means that hunting can be pursued comfortably and at a leisurely pace from the opener in October though closing day in January.As a compliment to the outstanding waterfowl hunting on Sand Springs Ranch, the owner has enhanced upland bird populations by developing habitat and food plots throughout the ranch. These steps have resulted in excellent and varied upland hunting for wild pheasants, partridge, and valley quail. In addition, there is a wide variety of other game and non-game wildlife species on the property, including wintering bald eagles and large mule deer, which utilize the ranch’s sanctuary-like environment throughout the year.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

Sand Springs Ranch has been managed historically as a commercial cattle and farming operation. Under current ownership, the emphasis has been on increasing wildlife populations while raising commercial grain corn as well as pasture for seasonal livestock grazing. In addition to selling the annual corn crop to local markets, raising corn has had the residual benefit of creating abundant on-site forage opportunities for waterfowl and upland birds. Four pivot sprinklers irrigate approximately 460 acres of cropland and pasture, while an assortment of smaller pastures are irrigated using hand-line sprinklers and flood irrigation. The ranch’s most productive field is a 90-acre pivot-irrigated field bordering the north side of Sand Springs Creek. Planted annually with corn, millet and milo, this field is an absolute magnet for ducks that take advantage of the field’s proximity to sheltered spring waters.

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