Past Auction

Swiftsure Ranch

This auction was on Nov 21 Sun Valley, ID 191± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The 191-acre Swiftsure Ranch is located 30 minutes south of the Sun Valley Resort and five miles south of Hailey, Idaho, county seat for Blaine County and home to Friedman Memorial Airport, which offers commercial air service and a private fixed-base operation. The ranch controls nearly a mile of the Big Wood River, which is rated as one of Idaho’s highest-quality trout streams, and features a combination of irrigated hay meadows, wetlands, and aspen and cottonwood stands that offer total privacy. Improvements include a ranch house, caretaker’s home, and horse facilities. The ranch joins BLM lands to the west and enjoys outstanding mountain and water views. The Swiftsure is the largest riverfront ranch currently available for purchase in the upper Wood River Valley. Click here for auction information.

General Description

The Swiftsure Ranch is situated in the Wood River Valley and is comprised primarily of river corridor, meadowland, and deciduous forest.The improvements are situated in the center of the ranch and accessed by a circular driveway that allows one to enter from either end of the main compound. The irrigated hay meadows lie to the east and north of the buildings separated by a lush grove of cottonwood and aspen trees. The area south of the buildings consist primarily of riparian forest and perennial wetlands, and has been maintained as such by the current owners in order to allow wildlife to live on the ranch undisturbed. The area north and west of the buildings is comprised of native river bottom meadows intermixed with forest and irrigated hayfields. The Big Wood River runs along the western boundary of the ranch. BLM lands lie along the west bank of the river and extend into the foothills overlooking the valley.

Broker's Comments

Very few riverfront properties of this size and quality remain along the upper Big Wood River, and none are available for purchase with the exception of the Swiftsure Ranch. This rare offering provides total seclusion in a scenic, rural setting yet is easily accessible to the amenities of one of America’s best-known resort areas.

Learn about the locale


The Swiftsure Ranch is located just south of the small community of Bellevue and 16 miles south of Ketchum and the Sun Valley Resort. Access to the ranch is via Idaho State Highway 75. Commercial air service, which is provided by Delta/SkyWest and Horizon Airlines, is available at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey less than five miles north of the ranch. The airport features a full-service, fixed-based operation, Sun Valley Aviation, which can accommodate all sizes of private aircraft. A greater variety of commercial air service is available at either Twin Falls, 50 miles south of the ranch, or Boise, 130 miles west of the property.


The Swiftsure Ranch is located in Blaine County in south-central Idaho. The county encompasses an area of 2,655 square miles and has a population of 21,000, most of which reside in the Wood River Valley communities of Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey, and Bellevue. The Sun Valley Resort was started by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1936 and is the oldest destination ski resort in the country. In addition to skiing in the winter, the temperate summer climate of the valley attracts visitors coming to enjoy fly-fishing, golf, mountain-biking, hiking, and numerous cultural activities hosted by the resort and other community groups. Services normally found in metropolitan areas are available in this small mountain community, including a state-of-the-art, 25-bed hospital and medical center associated with St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise and a public education system that is unparalleled in the state. The valley is also home to a private day-school called The Community School, with approximately 250 students enrolled from kindergarten through 12th grade.The property is in an enviable location in that it controls a mile of the Big Wood River, is within a short drive of Silver Creek (famous for its excellent fly-fishing), and is only a short distance from the ski mountain and the amenities of Sun Valley.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 191±
State Leased Acres:
Private Leased Acres:
BLM Leased Acres:
Indian Leased Acres:
Other Leased Acres:
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 191±

Additional Information

ZoningThe Swiftsure Ranch is zoned R-5 within the county zoning district providing a development density of five acres per residential unit. Portions of the property are in the 100-year flood plain.


Owner’s Residence: Built in 1979, this home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a recently updated kitchen, den area, and an attached garage. The home enjoys extensive decking and an outdoor hot tub. It would make an excellent caretaker’s residence, in the event a new owner desired to build a more expansive home.Caretaker’s Residence: Also built in 1979, this house has two bedrooms and one bath. It is situated to allow the occupants to keep a watchful eye on the horses as well as everyone entering and exiting the property.Barn/Arena: This structure houses an indoor riding arena, a viewing lounge, the ranch office, and a stable area. The stable area includes a foaling stall with an adjacent finished bedroom for monitoring broodmares, a large tack room, laundry/feed room, wash rack, half bathroom, and nine stalls with automatic watering equipment.Stabling Barn: This barn contains 18 stalls, two cross-tie areas, a feed room, and a small tack room. As part of the 18 stalls, there are two double stand stalls with outside runners and eight single-stand stalls with outside runners. The remaining stalls are inside stalls only.Outdoor Arena & Stalls: The ranch has an oversized outdoor arena that contains a regulation dressage arena. There are also two smaller round pens, the smallest of which is used for breaking horses, while the larger was originally constructed as a cutting pen. In addition, there are 10 outdoor stalls that provide more stabling.Other Improvements: The main improvement area includes a system of large paddocks, a hot walker, five loafing sheds, and an open barn used for storing wood chips and hay. There is also an open-faced equipment shed a short distance away from the primary cluster of improvements.

Water Resources

"#37-0509, Priority Date 6/1/1884 for 142.5 inches or 2.85 CFS diverted from the District Canal (Bellevue Ditch) under Water District 37. This water right is used to irrigate the pasture and hayland located on the ranch. #37-08098, Priority Date 5/13/1983 for three inches or 0.06 CFS. This water right is for a well used for domestic purposes and to water the paddocks and lawns in the main building area."

Water Rights

#37-0509, Priority Date 6/1/1884 for 200 inches or 4.00 CFS diverted from the District Canal (Bellevue Ditch) under Water District 37. This water right is used to irrigate the pasture and hayland located on the ranch.

#37-08098, Priority Date 5/13/1983


Property taxes are estimated at $3,229 annually.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Fishery Resources

In addition to the recreational opportunities afforded by Sun Valley, the ranch itself offers excellent wild rainbow trout fishing, horseback riding, and mountain-biking.

Wildlife Resources

The current owners have operated the ranch in such a manner as to leave a portion of the property undisturbed for wildlife. Deer, elk, moose, coyote, fox, raccoons, beaver, waterfowl, and all types of raptors and migratory songbirds are attracted to the ranch due to its solitude as well as the extensive habitat features found on the property, including riparian areas, wetlands, ponds, and stands of cottonwood, aspen, and willow.

Recreational Considerations

In the winter there is sufficient room on the ranch for the owner to groom his/her own cross-country ski trail system.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The ranch can irrigate approximately 64 acres using three Zimmatic center pivots, a 48-unit “big gun” automated system, and extensive landscaping and paddock sprinkler systems. Current crops are alfalfa hay and irrigated pastures. The balance of the property is comprised of native cottonwood and aspen forest with wetlands and an extensive riparian area.

Back to Overview

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