The 45 and Star Valley Ranches are located in the remote high desert country of southwestern Idaho midway between Boise, Idaho and Elko, Nevada. Boise (100 air miles north of the property) is Idaho’s capital city and features the state’s largest commercial airport with daily connections to numerous major cities on multiple airlines. Elko (110 air miles to the south) offers daily flights to Salt Lake City via Delta as well as a fixed-based operation, Mountain West Aviation. Mountain Home, Idaho is located 90 air miles north of the ranch and home to a general aviation airport capable of handling all sizes of private aircraft. The community of Owyhee, Nevada, 40 air miles southeast of the ranch and headquarters for the Duck Valley Indian Reservation and Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, offers a lighted, 4,700-foot runway at an elevation of 5,375 feet. The 45 Ranch also features its own 2,000± foot grass airstrip allowing for convenient fly-in access. By vehicle, the drive from Owyhee to the 45 is approximately 50 miles over a series of unpaved roads crossing the Duck Valley Reservation and lands managed by the BLM. Access to Star Valley, located 10 miles south of the 45, is over a gravel road that crosses BLM lands and traverses a plateau above the Little Owyhee. Although road conditions change with the weather, it is typical to be able to drive to the ranch year-round.
The Owyhees is a remote region of southwestern Idaho, northern Nevada, and southeastern Oregon that is home to an undeveloped labyrinth of high desert plateaus and juniper-covered mountains incised by spectacular, sheer-walled river canyons. Often referred to as “America’s Outback,” the Owyhees encompass an area twice the size of Yellowstone National Park and are considered to be one of the most biologically rich desert ecosystems in the country. The area is home to an array of important wildlife, including California bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, antelope, mountain lion, sage grouse, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and redband trout (a desert-tolerant strain of rainbow trout). There are few remaining places in the American West where native sagebrush and bunchgrass ecosystems have escaped development and fragmentation, and the Owyhees is one of them.
In addition to sustaining critical wildlife habitat, the complex geology of the Owyhees is unique and nationally significant. Carving through the heart of the region, the Owyhee, Bruneau, and Jarbidge Rivers and their various forks and tributaries twist northward toward the Snake River through steep and often vertical canyons typically composed of volcanic tuff and rhyolite extending from 400 to more than 1,000 feet deep. Geologists site the area as one of the largest concentration of sheer-walled, volcanic-origin canyons in the western US.
From a cultural perspective, the Owhyees hold a profound significance for Native Americans who have called the area home for thousands of years. Evidence of their existence can be found in the many pictographs, petroglyphs, and artifacts that these original inhabitants left behind. Cattle ranching has a long history in the region as well, and remnant structures from the early days of the Idaho cowboy dot the side canyons and river bottoms.
The 45 and Star Valley Ranches range in elevation from approximately 4,300 feet to 5,100 feet. The area experiences approximately 14 inches of precipitation per year with nearly 70 inches of snowfall. Snow depths can range from several inches on the canyon floor to a foot or more on the canyon rim and adjoining plateaus. Summers are warm with temperatures regularly reaching the 90s in July and August. Winters are generally cold with an average high temperature from November through March of 42 degrees Farenheit and an average low temperature during the same period of 21 degrees Farenheit.