Campbell’s Ferry Ranch (or simply the “Ferry”) is an historic 85± acre wilderness homestead located on Idaho’s “wild and scenic” Salmon River deep in the heart of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area 55 air miles from McCall, Idaho. The ranch is perched on a broad terrace above the Salmon surrounded by millions of acres of pristine backcountry. The rugged Salmon River Canyon and adjoining mountain ranges and forests are home to an impressive array of wildlife drawn to the Ferry’s ancient orchard and green meadows irrigated from nearby Trout Creek. Spring blossoms from the producing apple, pear, peach, cherry, plum, walnut, and apricot trees accent the orchard.
Access to the Ferry is a special balance. There are no roads to the property, ensuring solitude and distance from motorized crowds. A primitive road originating at Elk City, Idaho enters the Salmon River Canyon from the north and ends at the river four miles upstream of the Ferry. From the trailhead at roads-end, it is a spectacular four-mile hike or horseback ride to the ranch following the river. Convenient fly-in access to the Ferry is made possible by the property’s 800± foot private airstrip. The ranch is part of a weekly airmail route from McCall, and the same bush pilot contracts delivery of food, fuel, and supplies. Access is also via the Salmon River by float or jet boat.
The current owners use and manage the Ferry as a wilderness retreat with an emphasis on wildlife, backcountry recreation, and historic preservation. Living quarters consist of two separate cabins. The 1905 Cook Cabin (1,445± sq. ft.) has five rooms – a comfortable bedroom, a rustic kitchen, two upstairs storage rooms, and a museum room highlighting the early history of the Ferry. The more contemporary Crowe Cabin (512± sq. ft.), with modern conveniences and wonderful views of the homestead and surrounding mountains, features a bedroom, bathroom, and living/kitchen area. A large 1930s barn houses a maintenance shop and storage for equipment, tools, and supplies. A chicken coop, blacksmith shop, and log storage building are also on the property. The ranch is serviced by reliable micro-hydro and solar-powered electrical systems with a back-up generator. A satellite internet system ensures ease of communication with the outside world.
The Salmon River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River and one of the longest free-flowing, undammed rivers in the country, is a wilderness, whitewater, wildlife, and fishing enthusiast’s dream. The surrounding Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness is the largest forested wilderness area in the lower 48. The 900-mile Idaho Centennial Trail crosses the Salmon River at the Ferry via an historic suspension bridge used by hikers and pack strings of horses, mules, and occasional llamas. Management plans for the Salmon River and Frank Church Wilderness plus a conservation easement between the Ferry’s owners and the US Forest Service assure the protection of the property and its wilderness setting in perpetuity.
In 2007, the Ferry was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Summer visitors stopping at the ranch during multiday float trips on the Salmon River enjoy national park-quality interpretive signage, a small museum, and history talks by the Ferry’s caretakers. The ranch’s remarkable historical narrative is matched only by its extraordinary natural setting.
Just the Facts
- Unique 85± acre backcountry ranch surrounded by the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area
- Almost 2,000 feet of frontage on the Salmon River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River
- Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
- Located 55 air miles northeast of McCall, Idaho
- Improvements include two one-bedroom cabins with reliable off-the-grid power and communications systems plus complementary outbuildings
- 800± foot private, grass airstrip provides ease of access
- Licensed water right to irrigate up to 10 acres
- A multitude of wildlife is found on the ranch and in the surrounding mountains including elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, bighorn sheep, wolves, mountain lions, black bear, ruffed grouse, blue grouse, and chukar partridge
- The Salmon and its tributaries feature steelhead, Chinook salmon, westslope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and bull trout
- Located in Idaho hunt unit 20A and the Middle Fork elk zone
- Conservation easement covers the Ferry to preserve its unique wilderness characteristics and to provide opportunities for the public to learn about the history of the property and Salmon River Canyon
- Offered turn-key with furnishings and ranch equipment in place
- Elevation is approximately 2,400 feet
- Annual property taxes are approximately $1,900
- Visit campbellsferry.com for additional information on the Ferry