For Sale

Lava Lake Home Ranch

$8,000,000 Sun Valley, ID 4,840± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Occupying its own secluded valley 45 miles east of the airport in Hailey, the 4,840± acre Lava Lake Home Ranch has been the operating headquarters for Lava Lake Ranch for over two decades and is one of the iconic landholdings in the Sun Valley area. The namesake of the ranch is Lava Lake, a unique 50± acre natural lake that cushions the southern end of the Home Ranch along ancient lava flows and was a well-known landmark for westward-bound pioneers using Goodale’s Cutoff of the Oregon Trail. Ansel Adams photographed Lava Lake in the 1940s and included it in his historic images of Craters of the Moon.

Lava Lake Home Ranch is bordered almost entirely by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and includes over four miles of boundary with Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve jointly managed by the National Park Service and BLM. The Home Ranch also encompasses approximately 1,000 acres of BLM lands that are part of the associated Lava Lake grazing allotment. Home to herds of elk and mule deer, these BLM lands expand the property’s physical footprint and are inaccessible to the public. In addition to Lava Lake, the ranch features three spring-fed wildlife ponds, a five-acre irrigation reservoir, numerous springs, and several miles of Copper Creek flowing through a vibrant riparian corridor. Wildlife on the Home Ranch is abundant, and during the spring and fall, the Home Ranch becomes a birder’s paradise as thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, cranes, and songbirds take refuge on the property during their biannual migrations.

The owners established Lava Lake Ranch in 1999 and have managed it to sustainably produce the highest quality grass-fed lamb and beef. They are now looking toward retirement and are currently operating the ranch with minimum inputs and significantly reduced livestock numbers. The Home Ranch continues to serve as the winter unit for the owners’ remaining sheep and is being leased to two separate cattle operators for summer grazing. The Home Ranch holds multiple surface and groundwater rights to raise hay and irrigate pasture during summer months. Irrigation infrastructure includes two center pivots, wheel line sprinklers, and hand line sprinklers. In addition, the Home Ranch features a modest but practical set of building improvements that serve current ranch operations. These improvements include a ranch manager’s home, a barn, an equipment shed, a ram shed, lambing sheds, and stack yards.

The Home Ranch lies at the heart of the Pioneer Mountains-Craters of the Moon landscape, one of the jewels of natural heritage in the northern Rockies. Supporting an array of wide-ranging and migratory wildlife, this remarkable region covers roughly 2.4 million acres and encompasses diverse land types, from sagebrush steppe, grasslands, and lava flows to river, foothill, and mountain ecosystems. At the core of the area is an intricate patchwork of land ownership that includes over 150,000 acres of private lands managed primarily as operating farms and ranches. These working lands, which include Lava Lake Ranch, connect large swaths of federal and state lands to the north and south that feature extensive inventoried roadless areas, wilderness study areas, and primitive areas managed by the Sawtooth and Salmon-Challis National Forests, BLM, and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

A conservation easement held by The Nature Conservancy covers the majority of the Home Ranch and allows for a broad set of agricultural, recreational, and residential uses. A 120± acre section of the property located near the ranch entrance and encompassing the main buildings is located outside of the easement area and therefore is not subject to the terms of the agreement.

Just the Facts

  • Headquarters unit for Lava Lake Ranch
  • 4,840± deeded acres, plus 1,000± acres of BLM land fully encompassed by the ranch and inaccessible to the public
  • Occupies its own valley 60 miles from the amenities of Ketchum/Sun Valley and 45 miles from the airport in Hailey
  • Bordered by high-quality federal and state lands and private ranches covered by conservation easements
  • Excellent year-round access from US Highway 20/26
  • Highlighted by diverse water resources, including Lava Lake, over three miles of Copper Creek, year-round springs, and multiple wildlife and irrigation ponds
  • Excellent grazing resources including an associated BLM cattle allotment
  • Surface and groundwater rights to raise hay and pasture
  • Modest but practical set of building improvements
  • Elevations range from approximately 5,200 feet to 7,200 feet
  • Unlimited year-round recreation, including big game hunting, wingshooting, hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding, and cross-country skiing
  • Abundant wildlife includes elk, mule deer, antelope, moose, chukar, gray partridge, and waterfowl
  • Qualifies for a landowner appreciation permit for controlled big game hunts in unit 49
  • With the exception of 120± acres, a conservation easement covers the property
  • Annual property taxes are approximately $7,310


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