Little Wood Headwaters Ranch

Property Map

Little Wood Headwaters Ranch - Recently Sold

Sun Valley, Idaho

Less than 20 miles to the airport in Hailey, this stunning 3,060-acre recreational and wildlife ranch is easily accessible to the amenities of Sun Valley, yet instills a sense of being a world away. The heart of the ranch is a secluded valley featuring three miles of a private trout stream set beneath the peaks of the Pioneer Mountains. The property’s diverse topography and numerous water features, including year-round creeks, springs and beaver ponds, provide high-quality habitat for elk, mule deer, grouse, chukar and numerous other wildlife species. The ranch adjoins the Sawtooth National Forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, providing direct access to tens of thousands of acres of the Sun Valley area’s finest mountain country for big game hunting, wing shooting, trout fishing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain bike riding. In addition, the upper Little Wood River is easily accessed on adjacent state lands and is nearly impossible for the general public to reach. A property of this size, scope, beauty, and end of the road seclusion is rarely available for purchase in the Sun Valley area.


The Little Wood Headwaters Ranch is located in the Pioneer Mountains in northeastern Blaine County approximately 20 miles east of Hailey, Idaho, the commercial hub for the famous mountain resort of Sun Valley, and 20 miles north of the farming and ranching community of Carey, Idaho. Hailey, county seat for Blaine County, offers a full range of services, including a commercial airport and fixed-based operation at Friedman Memorial Field. Delta, United and Horizon service the airport and offer daily and seasonal flights to Salt Lake City, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The ranch is accessed via the Muldoon Canyon Road, a seasonal county road originating at the town of Bellevue just south of Hailey, or alternatively by the Little Wood Reservoir Road that connects Carey with the upper Little Wood River valley. Access to the north end of the ranch is via the Quigley Canyon Road, a seasonal gravel road originating in Hailey.


Located on the southern edge of the vast central Idaho backcountry, Blaine County encompasses 2,655 square miles and supports a current population of approximately 20,000. The majority of the county’s residents live in the Big Wood River Valley communities of Hailey, Bellevue, Ketchum, and Sun Valley. Of the nearly 1.7 million acres that comprise the county, 77 percent of the landmass is state or federally owned, assuring ample open space and public lands recreational opportunities. The community of Carey, with a population of approximately 600, is the agricultural base for eastern Blaine County and home to numerous multi-generational farms and ranches.
With the Little Wood Headwaters Ranch, one is able to take advantage of the amenities and activities typically found in a first-class resort community while also enjoying the low-key lifestyle afforded by rural living. As part of the larger Sun Valley community, an owner has access to one of the nation’s most prestigious year-round resort areas. 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 available within an hour of the property. At the same time, the property is part of the Little Wood River Valley, a section of Blaine County that offers a rural, uncluttered setting with high quality fish and wildlife resources only minutes away from Sun Valley’s more populated communities. Among other features, this section of the county is famous for its unimpeded mountain vistas, abundant wildlife resources, and extensive outdoor recreation opportunities. This valley is also home to large year-round operating ranches and livestock companies whose bands of sheep and herds of cattle follow the seasons, grazing their way from the Snake River Plain in the spring to mountain grazing reserves in the summer and early fall. Save for a few roads and ranch fences, the local landscape looks much the same as it did 100 years ago. With the Little Wood Headwaters Ranch, an owner truly enjoys the best of everything the area has to offer.

General Description: 

The Little Wood Headwaters Ranch is undeveloped and comprised of a single block of land that stretches over 4 miles in length north to south and 2 miles east to west at its widest point. The ranch is bordered by public lands managed by the Sawtooth National Forest, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the State of Idaho and protected lands owned by the Wood River Land Trust. The ranch also encompasses 240 acres of BLM land and 40 acres of State lands within its boundaries that add to the overall size of the property. Elevation of the ranch runs from approximately 5,500 feet at its southern end to over 6,700 feet in the high country along the property’s north boundary. The property features diverse topography and habitat features, including meadows, wetlands, riparian areas, pockets of aspen and cottonwood, seasonal “pothole” ponds, rock formations, steep draws, and long ridgelines extending from the Pioneer Mountains.
Baugh Creek is among the principal features of the ranch. This year-round stream originates in the Pioneers and flows south through the ranch for over 2.5 miles before joining the Little Wood River about one mile downstream of the property. The ranch also includes portions of Hailey Creek and Little Baugh Creek, two year-round tributaries to Baugh Creek, and Buck Springs Creek, a year-round tributary to the Little Wood. These four water courses each feature associated riparian areas that are thick with willows and beaver ponds and provide excellent habitat for big game, upland birds, waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, and other wildlife.
Overall, the upper Little Wood region is big, beautiful, unspoiled country that few from “over the hill” in Sun Valley have ever experienced. The scenic beauty and solitude one experiences while there helped to convince BLM managers to designate almost 4,300 acres of public lands adjoining the property’s eastern boundary as a federal Wilderness Study Area (WSA). Called the Little Wood River WSA, these BLM lands offer the highest quality resource values and are managed by BLM, in part, to protect wintering big game herds as well as provide the public with low impact recreation opportunities. In addition to the WSA, the BLM has identified an even larger block of public lands encompassing the ranch as an Area of Environmental Concern largely because of the importance of these lands to the survival of local big game herds, particularly during winter months.


The ranch consists of 3,060± deeded acres, more or less. The ranch also encompasses 240 acres of BLM land and 40 acres of State land within its boundaries.



The climate for the area is best described as semi-arid with an average humidity of only 30 percent and annual precipitation of 14 inches per year. Summers are warm with the temperatures occasionally reaching into the low 90s and cooling to the mid-40s at night. Winters are generally cold, with an average maximum temperature from November through February of 35 degrees and an average minimum temperature during the same period of 13 degrees.

Recreational Considerations: 

It is often said that the Sun Valley area offers Idaho’s best combination of trout fishing, big game hunting and wing shooting, and the Little Wood Headwaters Ranch lies in the heart of it all.
From classic spring creek fishing on world renown Silver Creek west of Carey to the excellent freestone fisheries of the Little Wood, Big Wood and Big Lost Rivers to stillwater fishing on the Little Wood and Fish Creek reservoirs, an owner of Little Wood Headwaters is only a short distance away from an outstanding fishing experience. The Little Wood River is a classic freestone stream that supports a healthy population of rainbows up to 15 inches with some very large fish making the run up from Little Wood Reservoir during the spawning run. The Little Wood originates high in the Pioneers, and flows through public lands and private ranches on its way to the Little Wood Reservoir approximately five miles south of the property. A short hike across BLM lands from the northeast portion of the ranch provides access to miles of the upper river that for all practical purposes are inaccessible to the general public. This reach of the Little Wood offers complete solitude, awe inspiring mountain scenery, and the chance to encounter wildlife around every bend. A tributary to the Little Wood, Baugh Creek is a year-round mountain stream that flows long after the mountain snowpack has melted with the help of numerous springs and beaver ponds. Baugh Creek offers a completely private fishery and is home to numerous brook trout in the 10-inch range as well as a few larger rainbows closer to the its confluence with the Little Wood.
Lying just 10 minutes west of Carey, Silver Creek is among the crown jewels of western fly fishing. Beginning with the 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 below Carey. Fabled insect hatches, eager but selective surface-feeding rainbow and brown trout, and an unlikely high desert setting combine to make this historic spring creek a remarkable place to “wet a line.” Additional high quality fishing resources within an hour of the ranch include the Little Wood River below its confluence with Silver Creek, the Big Wood River flowing through Sun Valley, and the Big Lost River near Mackay, Idaho.
The area is also rich with upland birds and waterfowl. Chukar partridge are plentiful on the hillsides, ridgelines, and rock outcroppings on the ranch and across the surrounding foothills and mountains. Sage grouse and blue grouse are found on the ranch’s highlands near springs, aspen stands, and riparian areas. Ducks and geese utilize the Little Wood River and beaver ponds on Baugh Creek on a seasonal basis or until colder temperatures push birds south. Serious waterfowl hunters can find quality shooting at Carey Lake Wildlife management area, just west of Carey, and at Silver Creek Preserve.
The region also boasts strong populations of big game. The surrounding mountains, foothills, and high desert areas teem with elk, mule deer and pronghorn. Moose, black bear, and mountain lion also reside locally. Each of these species is drawn to the Little Wood Headwaters Ranch by the desirable combination of water, forage and cover. Because the property consists of at least 640 acres, the owner of Little Wood Headwaters is eligible for a landowner appreciation permit from the Idaho Fish and Game Department to hunt elk, deer and antelope on the ranch or other areas within hunt unit 49.
In addition to hunting and fishing, the Sun Valley area offers a variety of world-class, year-round outdoor recreation activities a short distance away from the ranch. 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 $511.

Broker Comments: 

Larger properties in eastern Blaine County, particularly those with high quality scenic and recreation values, have remained in strong ownership and rarely change hands.  In addition to preserving open space and agricultural resources, this land tenure situation has helped to insulate the area from growth and development pressures experienced elsewhere in the greater Sun Valley area. The Little Wood Ranch Headwaters represents a rare opportunity to buy a substantial property in this tightly held section of Blaine County and combines amazing end of the road seclusion and access to surrounding public lands with proximity to all the amenities and services of a premier resort community.


Special Conditions: 

In 2008, the current owner of the ranch donated a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) over 2,960± acres of the property’s 3,060± acres. The purpose of the easement is to protect the ranch’s significant open space features and wildlife habitat while still providing for residential, recreation, and agricultural uses of the property (including a single split of the property to create two parcels). Approximately 100 acres at the north end of the ranch are not covered by the easement. A copy of the easement, along with a complete list of permitted and prohibited uses of the property, is available from Hall and Hall upon request. Over 2,000 acres of adjacent private land are also under conservation easement with TNC.

The Facts: 
  • 3,060± acres outside of Sun Valley, Idaho 
  • Surrounded by national forest, BLM, State of Idaho, and large private ranch holdings 
  • Abundant big game, including elk, deer, and antelope, with potential for landowner tags, as well as upland gamebirds. 
  • Easy access to the upper Little Wood River and its robust fishery in an area otherwise very difficult to reach 
  • Small stream fishing on 3± miles of Baugh Creek 
  • Elevation ranges from 5,500 to 6,700 feet
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, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Berstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 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, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Bergstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offer “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 more than 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.

APPRAISALS - Staying abreast of ancillary market influences in ever-changing economic conditions requires a broad professional network to tap into. Finding an appraiser who not only understands the numbers but also the differences in value from one area to another is a critical part of making an informed decision. The appraisal team at Hall and Hall, formed entirely of Accredited Members of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), has that critical network of brokers and lending professionals. This professional network coupled with diverse experience across multiple regions and market segments allows our appraisal team to deliver a quality product in a reasonable timeframe.  For more information contact our appraisal team at (406) 656-7500.

SPECIALIZED LENDING - Since 1946 Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to landowners.  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 efficient processing allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.

Competitive Pricing  |  Flexible Terms  |  Efficient Processing
Tina Hamm or Scott Moran • (406) 656-7500 
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882
J.T. Holt • (806) 698-6884


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.