Featuring 293± acres and 2 miles of world famous Silver Creek, the Hidden Crown Ranch represents an extremely rare opportunity to acquire an exceptional fly fishing property in one of the West’s most tightly held valleys. The ranch is located just 20 minutes from Sun Valley’s airport outside of the small ranching community of Picabo and adjoins public lands and other ranch holdings protected by conservation easements. The property also includes a large trout pond, an extensive wetland system, irrigated cropland, and excellent views of the surrounding Picabo Hills. Secluded yet accessible and without residential improvements, the ranch is loaded with resident wildlife, including deer, waterfowl, chukar, raptors, and large brown trout.
The Hidden Crown Ranch is located at the foot of the Pioneer Mountains in the lower Wood River Valley just outside of the small ranching community of Picabo, Idaho and 40 minutes southeast of the famous mountain resort of Ketchum/Sun Valley. Access to the ranch is direct from US Highway 20/26. The town of Hailey, county seat for Blaine County and 12 miles south of Ketchum, is 20 minutes northwest of the ranch and offers a full range of services and amenities. Commercial air service and a fixed-base operation, Sun Valley Aviation, are located at Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Field. Skywest and Horizon Airlines service the airport and offer daily flights to Salt Lake City and Seattle. Sun Valley Aviation offers a suite of private aircraft services, and Friedman Field is capable of handling large private jet aircraft. Picabo offers basic goods and services, including groceries, fuel and ranch supplies. A grass airstrip suitable for small propeller aircraft is located in Picabo just east of the ranch adjacent to the general store.
With the Hidden Crown Ranch, an owner enjoys a foothold in two communities. As part of the larger Sun Valley area, an owner has easy access to one of the country’s finest year-round resorts. Top-rated golf courses and tennis facilities, fine dining and cultural opportunities, mountain-biking and hiking trails, and world-class downhill and cross-country skiing are all minutes away from the ranch. At the same time, the property is situated in the lower Wood River Valley near Picabo, one of the most sought after rural locations in Blaine County. Among other features, this area is famous for the blue ribbon trout fishing on Silver Creek, flights of ducks and geese criss-crossing the sky, its protected open spaces and working ranchlands, and a low-key, rural lifestyle. With a Silver Creek address, an owner truly enjoys the best of everything the area has to offer.
As everyone familiar with the area will agree, Silver Creek and its tributaries are the lifeblood of the lower Wood River Valley. Rising from springs south of the town of Bellevue and gaining size from feeder streams such as Loving Creek and Grove Creek, Silver Creek slowly meanders from west to east across the valley before joining the Little Wood River south of Picabo. Along the way, Silver Creek serves the dual purpose of providing irrigation water for the area’s farms and ranches as well as supporting rich habitat for a variety of wildlife, including an unmatched trout fishery.
Key to understanding and appreciating the Silver Creek area is the extensive conservation work that has been completed there. Beginning with the acquisition of the Sun Valley Ranch on upper Silver Creek in 1976, the Idaho Nature Conservancy, with the cooperation of local property owners, spearheaded efforts to protect Silver Creek and the agricultural lands that depend on it. More than 30 years later, over 10,000 acres of private land in the Silver Creek watershed have been protected from subdivision and unchecked residential development. Many agree that this work represents the finest example of open space protection and freshwater conservation in the Northwest, if not the nation. As a result of these efforts, landowners and visitors alike enjoy a rural, uncluttered setting with high-quality fish and wildlife resources only minutes away from the Wood River Valley’s more populated communities.
The Hidden Crown Ranch features almost two-and-a-quarter miles of frontage on Silver Creek. Of this total, the property offers approximately 1.5 miles of one side of Silver Creek and over a half-mile of both sides. Along its course, the stream winds its way through lush meadows and mature stands of willow and river birch. The thick riparian vegetation shields the stream corridor from neighboring properties and creates a private, park-like setting along the creek. The stream itself is comprised of gravel runs, deep holes, long flats, and undercut banks. Because of the distance to public access points as well as the challenging nature of navigating this portion of Silver Creek, the Hidden Crown enjoys a very private fishery with only the occasional angler or floater encountered in this reach.
On the northwest end of the ranch, water is diverted from Silver Creek into a stocked trout pond that is approximately an acre and a half in size and perfect for young and inexperienced anglers. Exiting the trout pond, water flows southeast through a series of shallow wetland ponds and marshy area that the owner developed and provide excellent waterfowl and wildlife habitat. Water from the wetland re-enters Silver Creek at the south end of this diverse marsh system. A second wetland complex, which also uses water diverted from Silver Creek, is located just downstream on the east side of the ranch. The ranch holds two non-consumptive water rights from Silver Creek totaling 0.3 cubic feet per second that the owner uses to fill the wetland areas.
Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) border the ranch to the north and east. Scenic ridgelines and hillsides extend onto the ranch from the BLM lands, providing direct access to miles of public lands for hunting, hiking, and horseback-riding. The remainder of the ranch is bordered by three ownerships under conservation easements with the Idaho Nature Conservancy. This unique ownership pattern has created a very private setting that is insulated from the development pressures that so many areas in the Rocky Mountains are experiencing.
In the way of improvements, the only building on the ranch is a small storage shed located near the ranch entrance that the owner uses to store tools and equipment. A series of gravel roads lead from the entrance and provide access to each part of the ranch. The Hidden Crown holds a single irrigation right for 1.12 cubic feet per second to irrigate 58.8 acres. Approximately 35 acres of the ranch are currently under sprinkler irrigation and are being leased to a neighboring farmer on an annual basis to raise alfalfa. Although the current owner does not run cattle on the property, the ranch holds a BLM grazing permit on the adjacent Bradley Hill allotment for 13 animal units from May 1 through August 31 of each year.
The elevation of the Hidden Crown Ranch is approximately 4,800 feet. The climate for the Picabo area is best described as semi-arid with an annual precipitation of 12 inches and over 300 sunny days per year. Summers are warm with the temperatures reaching into the low 90’s and cooling to the mid-40’s at night. Winters are generally cold, with an average maximum temperature from November through February of 36 degrees and an average minimum temperature during the same period of 12 degrees.
The Silver Creek area is also rich with upland birds and waterfowl. Chukar partridge are plentiful on the hillsides and rim rock of the Pioneer foothills adjacent to the ranch. Hungarian partridge inhabit sagebrush areas and grassland adjacent to agricultural fields, while sage grouse are generally found in large sagebrush stands on nearby BLM lands. Because of its constant temperature, Silver Creek rarely freezes solid during the winter, making it a haven for migrating ducks and geese. With the Hidden Crown’s extensive stream frontage and wetland network, waterfowl regularly utilize the ranch throughout the year. Opportunities for off-property waterfowl hunting are also available at nearby Silver Creek Preserve and Carey Lake Wildlife Management Area.
The valley also boasts strong populations of big game. The surrounding mountains, foothills, and high desert areas teem with elk, mule deer, and antelope. Moose, black bear, and mountain lions also reside locally. The Hidden Crown’s heavy riparian cover and direct connectivity to BLM lands make the ranch a haven for local deer.
The Hidden Crown Ranch lies at the epicenter of Idaho’s best collection of trout streams. From classic spring creek fishing on Silver Creek to the excellent freestone fisheries of the Big Wood, Little Wood and Big Lost Rivers, one is only minutes away from a remarkable fishing experience.
Fabled insect hatches, eager but selective surface-feeding rainbow and brown trout, and an unlikely high desert setting combine to make Silver Creek one of the crown jewels of western fly-fishing. Beginning with the upper stretch of water through The Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek Preserve, there are miles of spring creek habitat and outstanding fishing downstream to Silver Creek’s confluence with the Little Wood River. Although insect hatches become somewhat less consistent and numbers of fish taper off slightly, Silver Creek’s largest trout can be found in the lower reaches of the stream. The undercut banks and deep holes of the Hidden Crown provide prime habitat for these large fish.
Should one have his or her fill of spring creek fishing, the Big Wood, Little Wood, and Big Lost Rivers offer excellent freestone fisheries with plenty of public access. Only a few minutes’ drive south, the Little Wood is the closest of the three streams to the ranch and offers a unique angling experience below its confluence with Silver Creek. Looking out across the sagebrush flats south and east of US Highway 93, it is difficult to imagine any water flowing through this high desert environment. Upon closer inspection however, one will find the Little Wood River tumbling across basalt lava rock and teeming with rainbows and browns, some of which grow to 20 inches. The Big Wood River, one of the state’s best rainbow fisheries, flows south through the Wood River Valley. This medium-sized mountain stream offers dozens of access points, a catch-and-release section, and steady hatches. Flanked by Idaho’s highest peaks and a short hour’s drive away from the ranch, the Big Lost River near Mackay, Idaho has become a destination for anglers from across the region and is frequented on a daily basis by the top Sun Valley fishing guides. Among the most popular reaches is the section of the river below Mackay Dam, which is known for its large rainbows.
In addition to hunting and trout fishing, the Sun Valley area offers a variety of world-class, year-round outdoor recreation activities only minutes away from the Hidden Crown. Winter activities include downhill skiing on famous Bald Mountain and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling on the area’s extensive winter trail network. During the summer and fall, the area’s diverse topography offers unparalleled hiking, backpacking and mountain-bike riding. Blaine County is also blessed with tens of thousands of acres of BLM and national forest lands, which provide unlimited opportunities for one to experience the best of Idaho’s backcountry.
Annual Blaine County property taxes are approximately $1,327.
Approximately 280 acres of the Hidden Crown are covered by two separate conservation easements with the Idaho Nature Conservancy for the purpose of protecting the property’s significant open-space features and wildlife habitat. The first easement, granted in 1993, covers approximately 117 acres of the eastern portion of the ranch, while the second easement, granted in 2000, covers approximately 163 acres on the western side of the property. Each easement provides for a residence and outbuildings within a pre-determined building site and allows for continued agricultural and recreational uses of the parcel. A separate 14-acre parcel on the south side of Silver Creek is not under a conservation easement and provides a third building site. Copies of the conservation easements, along with a complete list of permitted and prohibited uses, are available from Hall and Hall upon request.
Although it is often possible to purchase agricultural lands or residential parcels near Silver Creek, it is extremely rare for the coveted large tract with Silver Creek frontage to come on the market. The Hidden Crown Ranch represents such a property. The ranch provides an unusual opportunity to control a significant reach of Silver Creek that is completely insulated by public lands and property under conservation easements. The potential that exists with the Hidden Crown to create a first-rate hunting, fishing and recreational retreat is unmatched in the Sun Valley area today.
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.
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:
- that this disclosure was given to you and that you have read and understand its contents; and
- 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.