Gwin Springs Ranch

$1,950,000 Gooding, ID 560± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The strikingly beautiful and extremely private Gwin Springs Ranch is located in its own red rock canyon totally surrounded by federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The ranch consists of 560± deeded acres including 240± acres of dryland hay. Running the length of the ranch, Thorne Creek originates from springs at the head of Thorne Creek Canyon and provides water to four trout ponds on the property. There are deeded water rights from Thorne Creek, ground water wells and several developed springs. Improvements are well cared for and include a 3,820± sq. ft. owners lodge, 1,000± sq. ft. guest house, 1,700± sq. ft. barn with storage and shop area, as well as loafing sheds, corrals, and additional equipment storage. Wildlife abounds and features elk, mule deer, pronghorn, sage grouse, pheasant, and chukar partridge. The community of Gooding, Idaho, with a population 3,700, is a 15-minute drive south of the ranch on all-weather State Highway 46 and is home to most retail and commercial services. Gooding also features a new state-of-the-art hospital as well as a general aviation airport and private fixed base operation with a paved and lighted 4,745± x 75± runway. World renown Sun Valley Resort and its commercial airport are approximately an hours drive northwest of the ranch. Most furnishings and farm equipment are included with the offering.

Just the Facts

560± deeded acres surrounded by BLM
The ranch stretches for almost two miles within its own rimrock valley
Live year-round stream running length of property feeding four trout ponds
1 hour from Sun Valleys airport and 15 minutes from Gooding, Idaho
Impeccable improvements feature a 3,820 sq. ft. log home, 1,000 sq. ft. log guest house, and 1,728 sq. ft. barn and storage building
240± acres of dryland hay along with deeded surface and groundwater rights
BLM grazing permit (sole permittee) for 62 animal unit months (AUMs)
Abundant big game includes elk, mule deer, antelope, and cougar
Upland birds include pheasant, sage grouse, and chukar
Upland game bird preserve permit with the State of Idaho
Annual real estate taxes are $4,865
Ranch sits at an elevation of 4,900 feet
Most furnishings and all farm equipment included in the offering

General Description

Gwin Springs Ranch is situated at the entrance to Thorn Creek Canyon, a stunning red rock chasm rung with towering stone pillars and ancient rock formations unique to this part of Idaho.  The canyon is secluded and private with no through access to the public. The ranch is perched above the Snake River Plain at an approximate elevation of 4,900 feet where the air is crisp and clear, and spectacular sunsets turn the canyon walls a fiery red.  Surrounded by federal lands managed by the BLM, the ranch is approximately two miles in length and a half-mile in width.  Buildings are clustered within a well-maintained ranch compound situated in the center of the property and consist of an owner’s lodge, guest cabin, barn, and other outbuildings. The compound offers seclusion and solitude as well as excellent 360-degree views encompassing the canyon and extending south to the horizon. The ranch is fenced and cross-fenced (with classic western-style wooden jack fencing along the front of the property) except where natural barriers created by the canyon wall make fencing unnecessary.  The property’s hayfields and livestock pastures extend south from the ranch compound, while lands north of the buildings have been utilized primarily for upland bird habitat. Thorn Creek originates from springs at the head of the canyon and flows the length of the ranch providing water for four highly productive ponds stocked with rainbow trout and smallmouth bass.  The ponds are all located within easy walking distance of the buildings and provide a refuge for a variety of wildlife. 

Broker's Comments

Surrounded by federal lands in a unique canyon setting an hour from Sun Valley, Gwin Springs Ranch represents an excellent opportunity for the lifestyle ranch buyer who values privacy and seclusion, outdoor recreation, comfortable improvements, and year-round accessibility to a top-tier resort community.

Learn about the locale


Gwin Springs Ranch is situated on the southern flank of the rugged Mount Bennett Hills 20 minutes north of the agricultural community of Gooding, Idaho (population 3,567) on State Highway 46. All general amenities and services are found in Gooding, which is the county seat for Gooding County, including North Canyon Medical Center, a new full-service regional hospital, and Gooding Municipal Airport, a general aviation airport with a 4,745-foot lighted, asphalt runway and Jet-A fuel. The city of Twin Falls, 50 miles southeast of the ranch, is the principal trading center for the region and home to Magic Valley Regional Airport, which offers regular commercial air service on Delta/Skywest as well as a fixed-based operation, Reeder Flying Service. The ski lifts at the well-known resort community of Sun Valley are a little over an hour north of the ranch, while the Sun Valley airport, located in the town of Hailey, is 50 miles from the property and offers commercial air service as well as a full-service fixed-based operation, Sun Valley Aviation.  Delta/Skywest, United, and Horizon Airlines serve Sun Valley and offer offer daily and seasonal flights to Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles and Seattle.


Created by the Idaho legislature in 1913, Gooding County (at 7,309 square miles and a population of approximately 15,500) was named for pioneer sheep rancher Frank Gooding who platted the original townsite of Gooding and went on to become Governor and a U.S. Senator.  Relying heavily on farming and ranching as well as a growing dairy and milk products industry, Gooding County is one of the fastest growing and most prosperous counties in southern Idaho.  Currently, the county has an unemployment rate of less than 2 percent, the lowest in Idaho, and a per capita income that is among the highest.  Gooding County also benefits from its proximity to Sun Valley, one of the nation’s most prestigious year-round resort areas. Top-rated golf courses, fine restaurants and cultural opportunities, cycling and hiking trails, blue ribbon trout fishing, and world class downhill, back country, and cross-country skiing (all within an hour of the ranch) bring visitors from around the world to the area throughout the year.  


The climate for the area can best be described as semi-arid with an average humidity of only 30 percent and annual precipitation of 10 inches per year (generally occurring from November through May).  Summers are warm with temperatures reaching in the low 90s in July and August and cooling into the 50s 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 18 degrees.  The average snowfall in the area is 26 inches annually, while the average frost-free period is 110 days.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 560±
State Leased Acres:
Private Leased Acres:
BLM Leased Acres:
Indian Leased Acres:
Other Leased Acres:
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 560±


Main Residence
Incorporating a seamless blend of quality round log and board-and-batten construction, this handsome 3,830± sq. ft., two-story home, custom-designed to blend into the beauty of its surrounding, was built in 1998 and expanded in 2007.  The main floor features distressed hardwood flooring, a stone fireplace, a spacious kitchen with granite countertops, and a large, open dining and living area.  Also on the main floor are four bedrooms and four and one-half baths, including his-and-her baths associated with the master suite.  Most of the home furnishings, some of which were custom made to match the rustic interior, are included with the sale.  A door off of the living room opens onto a covered porch offering unobstructed views southward across the ponds and lower end of the ranch. The area around the home is fenced and landscaped, and adjoining lawns are equipped with underground sprinklers.

Guest Cabin  
Also built in 1998, the two story, 1,000± square foot log guest cabin forms an integral part of the well-arranged ranch compound and provides a cozy, private retreat for guests apart from the main house. The furnished cabin features one bedroom and one bath, kitchen, breakfast nook, and propane fireplace.  

Barn and Outbuildings
Completing the compound is a 1,700± sq. ft. modern barn built in 2001 with workshop and indoor parking/storage space.  With six modular horse stalls that can be configured to suit the owner’s needs, there is also ample room to park personal vehicles, horse trailers and smaller equipment such as ATV’s and snowmobiles.  Horse stall flooring is comprised of well-drained gravel but can be covered with heavy duty neoprene to provide a level floor to accommodate parking/storage.  Outside of the barn, there are horse pens, a loafing shed, and additional covered storage where two full-sized farm tractors (one equipped with a large rotary snow plow) are housed.  The tractors and associated implements are included with the sale.  Level ground surrounding the barn is well suited for an outdoor arena, round pens, or other horse training facilities.

Gwin Springs is energy independent with electricity provided by a state-of-the art solar and battery system augmented by a small wind turbine and backed by a large propane generator to insure a reliable power supply.  Primary telephone service to the ranch is provided by a sophisticated repeater system, while celluar coverage can also be obtained at the ranch compound and on portions of the property.  Standard satellite television and internet service round out the communications package.  


Annual property taxes for Gooding County are approximately $5,191.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Fishery Resources

Four year-round ponds on the property provide excellent fly fishing for rainbow trout and largemouth bass, while some of the West’s highest quality trout fishing is within an hour’s drive of the property, including Silver Creek, the world-famous spring creek with large rainbow, brown trout and abundant mayfly hatches, and the upper Big Wood River, an excellent freestone stream and rainbow fishery.  Lying east of the property is Magic Reservoir, a 14,000-acre impoundment filled by the Big Wood River and Camas Creek that stores irrigation water on behalf of the Big Wood Canal Company.  Home to rainbow and brown trout, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch, anglers pursue their quarry through a variety of means, including trolling, wading flats and shallow banks, float tubing, and ice fishing during the winter’s coldest months. “Magic” is also a popular spot for boating and waterskiing.

Wildlife Resources

The Gooding area is rich with upland birds. Chukar partridge are plentiful along the walls of Thorn Creek Canyon and on the hillsides, ridgelines, and rock outcroppings throughout the Mount Bennett Hills, while California quail, Hungarian partridge and sage grouse can be found in good numbers in adjacent sagebrush stands.  Doves are abundant during the early fall until the first hard freezes occur.  Waterfowl take advantage of the ponds on the ranch, and some of the best duck hunting in the Intermountain West can be found in southern Gooding County on the Snake River and associated spring creek systems.  Historically, pheasants were found in good numbers across Gooding County.  Although local pheasant populations have ebbed in recent years, the owner of Gwin Springs Ranch enhances the number of birds found on the property through a release program and maintaining extensive cover and forage plots. The ranch is located within hunt unit 52, and the bordering foothills and high desert areas teem with big game animals and are famous for growing large mule deer. 

Recreational Considerations

Along with hunting and fishing, the Sun Valley area offers a variety of world-class, year-round outdoor recreation activities an hour 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. 

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

Gwin Springs Ranch is utilized by the owner for private sporting opportunities, seasonal cattle grazing, and dryland hay production covering approximately 200 acres.  An upland game preserve permit from the State of Idaho comes with the ranch and enables the owner to plant upland game birds, such as pheasant and chukar partridge, for an extended hunting season.  The surrounding area is well known for trophy elk and deer.  There are four stocked ponds on the property fed by Thorne Creek which add aesthetic value to the ranch and provide excellent fishing and wildlife habitat.  

The ranch is well-suited for a horse operation as the property provides ample grazing for horses in season and offers the added advantage of hay production to augment winter feeding as required. In addition to the existing barn, adjoining corrals and loafing shed, level ground within the ranch compound can accommodate construction of an outdoor arena, round pens, or other training facilities.  The wide open nature of the surrounding area makes it ideal for trail riding without the necessity of trailering horses to remote locations.

Depending on the owner’s preference, portions of the ranch can be leased to local livestock operations for cattle grazing.  In addition to the deeded acreage, Gwin Springs Ranch holds a 44-day fall grazing permit for 110 cow/calf pairs on adjacent BLM lands.     

An experienced caretaker is well-acquainted with the ranch’s solar power generating system and provides snow plowing and general oversight for the owner. 

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