Castle Rock Ranch

Property Map

Castle Rock Ranch

$2,195,000
Sun Valley, Idaho

The 80± acre Castle Rock Ranch is located approximately 30 miles northeast of the resort community of Ketchum/Sun Valley over Trail Creek Pass. The East Fork of the Big Lost River, a beautiful mid-sized freestone stream, flows through the property for over a half-mile providing outstanding trout fishing throughout its length. Starhope and Wildhorse creeks (two of the East Fork’s main tributaries) along with the North Fork of the Big Lost and main stem Big Lost are only a short distance away from the property and offer additional high-quality, easily accessible fishing opportunities. A very tasteful 2,054± sq. ft., 4-bedroom, 2-bath log fishing cabin (which is being offered furnished) is perched above the East Fork and offers enchanting views of the river and the surrounding Whiteknob and Pioneer mountains. The Salmon-Challis National Forest borders the ranch on three sides and provides miles of hiking, horseback riding, big game hunting, and other backcountry recreation. Wildlife in the East Fork Valley includes elk, mule deer, moose, antelope, and upland gamebirds. Castle Rock Ranch is also available in two smaller configurations: 60± acres with the home for $1,750,000 and 20± undeveloped acres for $449,000.  Both parcels have frontage on the East Fork of the Big Lost and border national forest lands.

Location: 

The Castle Rock Ranch is located in the upper Lost River Valley approximately 30 miles northeast of the well-known all-season resort community of Ketchum/Sun Valley and 40 miles northwest of the ranching community of Mackay. Access from Sun Valley is a 45-minute drive via Trail Creek Pass and Copper Basin Road (both gravel roads) from May through November. As mountain snowfall begins to accumulate late in the year, Trail Creek Pass and Copper Basin Road close until spring and access to the property is limited to snow machines and cross country skiing.

Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) in Hailey, 15 miles south of Ketchum/Sun Valley, is the nearest commercial airport and offers regular air service on Skywest and Horizon Airlines. Idaho Falls, approximately two hours southeast of the property, provides alternate commercial air service out of Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) on Skywest and United. Mackay is home to a 4,400’ x 60’ asphalt airstrip capable of accommodating larger twin-engine aircraft. Of interest to backcountry pilots, the property is equidistant from two state-owned airstrips -- the 4,450’ x 100’ Twin Bridges Airport and the 4,700’ x 100’ Copper Basin Airport -- each located on public lands less than 10 miles from the ranch. These turf runways feature windsocks, perimeter markings, and tie downs.

Locale: 

The Lost River Valley is considered one of Idaho’s most scenic areas and is among the state’s top regions for outdoor recreation. The massive Lost River Range flanks the east side of the valley and spans over 70 miles from Arco to Challis. The Lost Rivers claim seven of Idaho’s ten peaks over 12,000 feet, including Mt. Borah, the state’s highest peak at 12,662 feet. Two other formidable mountain ranges, the Pioneers and Whiteknobs, extend westward from the valley all the way to Ketchum/Sun Valley providing incredible vistas and miles of roadless backcountry to explore. The Big Lost River originates from high mountain tributaries and meanders east and then south through the valley, providing irrigation water for farms and ranches as well as outstanding trout fishing opportunities. Sun Valley, Ketchum and the other Wood River Valley communities of Hailey and Bellevue are an easy drive from the property and offer a multiplicity of summer and winter activities, including golf, hiking, fly fishing, mountain bike riding, and world-class downhill and Nordic skiing. One will also find there numerous gourmet restaurants, art galleries, shopping opportunities, and cultural events to enjoy.

Mackay, population 565, lies at the heart of the Lost River Valley and serves as the local service and social center. It is an agriculturally based community, although its roots go back to the mining days in the early 20th century. All general amenities can be found in Mackay, including groceries, fuel, restaurants, and ranch and hardware providers.

General Description: 

Bordered by US Forest Service lands, the Castle Rock Ranch is part of an old ranching homestead and one of only a handful of deeded properties along the East Fork of the Big Lost River. The namesake of the ranch, Castle Rock (elevation 8,600 feet), is a rugged, complex mountain rising a short distance northeast of the property and made up of numerous rock towers and sheer walls. A hike from the ranch to Castle Rock or to its cousin just beyond, Porphyry Peak (elevation 9,950 feet) is a wonderful way to spend part of the day. The willow-lined East Fork flows through the ranch for over a half-mile from east to west and provides excellent trout fishing and habitat for moose, mule deer, beavers, and songbirds. The owner’s home is perched above the East Fork in a private setting at the end of the main drive and commands outstanding views of the river and the surrounding mountains. The property is perimeter-fenced and cross-fenced making it ideal for keeping horses. A railcar bridge situated just upstream of the residence spans the river and provides access to the north half of the property and adjacent Forest Service lands. Copper Basin Road, a gravel road maintained seasonally by Custer County and the Forest Service, provides access to the ranch and parallels the south boundary of the property. 

Acreage: 

80± deeded acres, more or less.

Improvements: 

Castle Rock Ranch boasts an inviting, comfortable, and well-appointed 2,054 square-foot, two-story log residence constructed in 1997. Before entering the home, one is drawn to the porch overlooking the East Fork where one only hears the sound of the river passing by below. This is an ideal place to relax and contemplate an upcoming day of fishing or unwind after a full day of exploring the area’s highlands and backcountry. The main floor of the home comprises the master bedroom and a full bath, kitchen with granite countertops, a laundry area and mud room, and a spacious living and dining area with a large river rock fireplace. The second floor features three bedrooms and a full bath. There are exposed log walls and pine floors throughout the home which adds to its charm and authenticity. The house is served by buried power lines, a domestic well, and its own septic tank and drain field. Heating is via electric baseboard heat. There is no phone line to the property nor is there cell phone coverage in this part of the valley, although one can utilize satellite telephone service as well as satellite internet VoIP for telephone communications. The lawn and attendant landscaping is watered by an underground sprinkler system. The home is being offered furnished. 

Climate: 

The elevation of the ranch is approximately 7,165 feet. The climate is best described as semi-arid with annual precipitation from 10 to 14 inches and over 300 sunny days per year. Summer temperatures at this altitude are close to ideal with highs reaching the 80s and then cooling to the mid-40s at night. Winters are cold with snowfall varying depending on annual moisture patterns. 

Water Resources: 

The owner of Castle Rock Ranch is entitled to irrigate an estimated 45 acres of the property under water right no. 34-624 utilizing water from Deer Creek, a nearby tributary to the East Fork. 

Recreational Considerations: 


Rivaling its better known neighbor to the west, Sun Valley, the upper Lost River Valley offers stunning scenery and a variety of high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities. Trout fishing, wingshooting, big game hunting, horseback riding, mountain bike riding, backcountry skiing, hiking and wildlife viewing can all be outstanding and enjoyed either on or minutes away from Castle Rock Ranch.

Trout fishing is among the most highly pursued activities in the area. From its spring creek-like beginning in an area called “the Swamps” upstream of the ranch to its convergence with the North Fork to become the Big Lost River, the East Fork is a gem of a mid-sized freestone stream that offers a variety of fishing scenarios in a relatively short distance. Rainbows, Snake River fine-spotted cutthroats, and brook trout are the quarry and are found in abundance throughout the East Fork and upper Big Lost. Blue winged olives, green drakes, golden stones, and caddis are standard hatch fare during summer months; however, matching the hatch isn’t required to take fish, as day in and day out high floating attractor patterns are reliable producers. Castle Rock Ranch features an outstanding reach of the East Fork as riffles, deeper runs and undercut banks within this stretch all hold fish. Beyond the ranch, one finds excellent access to the East Fork across Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service lands. There is also outstanding access across public lands to the East Fork’s main tributaries, Starhope and Wildhorse creeks, as well as to the North Fork and the main stem Big Lost just a few miles west of the ranch.

For the upland hunter, chukar partridge are abundant on rocky slopes while blue grouse are common on the higher elevation Forest Service lands. All of Idaho’s big game species can be found within proximity to the ranch.

For the hiker or horseback rider, the upper Big Lost area, including nearby Copper Basin (a remote and stunningly beautiful high elevation valley rung by peaks over 11,000 feet beginning just east of the ranch), enjoys some of the state’s most spectacular high country. In addition to unlimited cross-country hiking and riding opportunities, an extensive public lands trail network provides access to the area’s vast alpine riches.

Taxes: 

Annual property taxes are approximately $7,700.

Broker Comments: 

Castle Rock Ranch is a beautiful mountain retreat in a secluded setting approximately 30 miles from Ketchum/Sun Valley offering top notch trout fishing and unlimited access to some of Idaho’s best backcountry. There are very few deeded properties situated along the East Fork of the Big Lost, and it is rare for a property of this caliber in this location to come onto the market.

Additional Services: 

MANAGEMENT SERVICES – Hall and Hall’s Management Division has a very clear mission – To represent the owner and to ensure that his or her experience is a positive one. Services are customized to suit the owner’s needs. They often begin with the recruiting and hiring of a suitable ranch manager or caretaker and are followed by the development of a management or operating plan along with appropriate budgets. Ongoing services include bill paying, ranch oversight, and consulting services as needed. Even the most sophisticated and experienced ranch owners appreciate the value of a management firm representing them and providing advice on local area practices and costs. Wes Oja and Jerome Chvilicek at (406) 656-7500 or Randy Clavel at (308) 534-9000 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT SERVICES – Increasingly the value of a ranch is measured by the quality of each and every one of its resources. Coincidentally the enhancement of a ranch’s resources also increases the pleasure that one derives from the ownership of a ranch. Our management services have included the assessment of everything from wildlife habitat to bird habitat to water resources and fisheries and the subsequent oversight of the process involved with the enhancement of these resources. Wes Oja or Jerome Chvilicek at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offers “Another Solution” to create liquidity for the owners of Investment-Quality Rural Real Estate. Our auction team has experience in marketing farmland, ranchland, timberland and recreational properties throughout the nation. Extreme attention to detail and complete transparency coupled with Hall and Hall’s “rolodex” of over 40,000 targeted owners and buyers of rural real estate help assure that there are multiple bidders at each auction. In addition the unique Hall and Hall partnership model creates a teamwork approach that helps to assure that we realize true market value on auction day. For more information on our auction services contact Scott Shuman at (800) 829-8747.

SPECIALIZED LENDING - Over the past 59 years Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to the intermountain west. In addition to traditional farm and ranch loans, we specialize in understanding the unique aspects of placing loans on ranches where value may be influenced by recreational features, location and improvements and repayment may come from outside sources. Our extensive experience and strong relationships with our lenders allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.

Competitive Pricing • Flexible Terms • Efficient Processing
In-House Appraisals • Common Sense Underwriting
Dave Roddy • (406) 656-7500
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Randy Clavel • (308) 534-9000
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882

Disclaimer: 

Idaho brokerage disclosure

The law requires all real estate licensees to perform certain basic duties when dealing with any real estate buyer or seller.  You can expect any real estate licensee you deal with to provide the following “customer-level” services:

  • To perform necessary and customary acts to assist you in the purchase or sale of real estate;
  • To perform these acts in good faith and with reasonable care;
  • To properly account for money or other property you place in his or her care; an
  • To disclose “adverse material facts” which are, or should be, within that licensee’s knowledge.  These include facts that would significantly affect the desirability or value of the property to a reasonable person, and facts that would indicate to a reasonable person that one of the parties cannot, or will not, complete his obligations under the contract.  (Note:  Idaho law exempts “psychological” impacts from this disclosure requirement.  See Section 55-2701, Idaho Code)

Unless or until you enter a written agreement with the brokerage for agency representation, you are considered a “Customer” of the brokerage, and the brokerage will not act as your agent.  As a Customer, you should not expect the brokerage or its licensees to promote your best interest, or to keep your bargaining information confidential.

Whenever you speak to a licensee who represents a party on the other side of the transaction, (e.g., you are seeking to buy the property, and the licensee represents the seller), you should assume that any information you provide will be shared with the other party.  

If offered by the real estate brokerage, you may enter a written agreement for “Agency Representation,” requiring that the brokerage and its licensees act as an “Agent” on your behalf and promote your best interests as their “Client.”  Idaho law authorizes three types of Agency Representation. 

Single Agency:

If you enter a written agreement for Agency Representation, you, as a Client, can expect the real estate brokerage to provide the following services, in addition to the basic duties and obligations required of all licensees:

  • To perform the terms of your written agreement with skill and care;
  • To promote your best interest, in good faith, honest and fair dealing;
  • If you are the seller, this includes seeking a buyer to purchase your property at a price and under terms and conditions acceptable to you, and assisting in the negotiation thereof; and, upon your written request, asking for reasonable proof of a prospective buyer’s financial ability to purchase your property;
  • If you are the buyer, this includes seeking a property to purchase at an acceptable price, terms and conditions, and assisting in the negotiation thereof; and, when appropriate, advising you to obtain professional inspections of the property, or to seek appropriate tax, legal and other professional advice or counsel.
  • To maintain the confidentiality of specific client information, including bargaining information, even after the representation has ended.

Limited Dual Agency:

At a time you enter an agreement for Agency Representation, you may be asked to give written consent allowing the brokerage to represent both you and the other party in a transaction.  This “dual agency” situation can arise when, for example, the brokerage that represents you, the seller, also represents buyers who may be interested in purchasing your property.  When this occurs, it is necessary that the brokerage’s representation duties be “limited” because a buyer and seller have built-in conflicts of interest.  Most significantly, the buyer typically wants the property at the lowest price, while the seller wants top dollar.  As a “limited dual agent,” the brokerage and its licensees cannot advocate on behalf of one client over the other, and cannot disclose confidential client information concerning price negotiations, terms or factors motivation the client/buyer to buy or the client/seller to sell.  However, the brokerage must otherwise promote the best interests of both parties, perform the terms of the written representation agreement with skill and care, and perform all other duties required by law.

Buyers and sellers alike often find it desirable to consent to limited dual agency:  buyers do not want the brokerage to be restricted in the search for suitable properties, and sellers do not want the brokerage to be restricted in the search for suitable buyers.  Thus, when all parties agree in writing, a brokerage may legally represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, but only as a “limited dual agent.”

Limited Dual Agency with Assigned Agents:

In some situations, a brokerage that has obtained consent to represent both parties as a limited dual agent may assign individual licensees (“sales associates”) to act soley on behalf of each party.  (The brokerage must have an office policy that ensures client confidences are protected.)  Where this is the case, the sales associate, or “assigned agent,” is not limited by the brokerage’s agency relationship with the other party, but instead has a duty to promote the best interest of the client that he or she is assigned to represent, including negotiating a price.  The designated broker (the licensee who supervises the sales associates in the brokerage firm) remains a limited dual agent for both clients, and ensures the assigned agents fulfill their duties to their respective clients.  

What to Look For in Any Agreement for Agency Representation:

Whatever type of representation you choose, your written Agency Representation Agreement should answer these questions:

  • How will the brokerage be paid?
  • When will this Agreement expire?
  • What happens when a transaction is completed?
  • Can I cancel the Agreement, and if so, how?
  • Can I work with other brokerages during the time of the Agreement?  And what happens if I sell or buy on my own?
  • Am I willing to allow this brokerage to represent me and the other party in the same transaction? 

Real Estate Licensees Are Not Inspectors:

Even if you have a written agreement for agency representation, you should not expect the brokerage or its licensees to conduct an independent inspection of the property, or to independently verify any statement or representation made by any party to the transaction or other reasonably reliable sources (such as a licensed appraiser, home inspector, or the county assessor’s office).  Real estate licensees are entitled to reasonably rely on the statements of their clients and other third-party sources.  If the condition of the property is important to you, you should hire an appropriate professional, such as a home inspector, surveyor, or engineer.

Idaho Real Estate Brokerage Representation Act:

The specific duties owed by the real estate brokerage and its licensees to a customer or client are defined by the “Idaho Real Estate Brokerage Representation Act,” located at Idaho Code Section 54-2052, et seq.

When you sign a real estate Purchase and Sale Agreement as a buyer or seller, you will be asked to confirm:

  1. that this disclosure was given to you and that you have read and understand its contents; and
  2. the agency relationship, if any, between you and the brokerage working with you. 

NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been provided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee. Prospective buyers should verify all information to their satisfaction. Prospective buyers should also be aware that the photographs in this brochure may have been digitally enhanced.