For Sale

Little Morgan Creek Ranch

$1,995,000 May, ID 361± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

This scenic and secluded 360± acre ranch is tucked away in its own canyon at the foot of central Idaho’s Lemhi Range surrounded by federal and state lands. Access is either from the air utilizing the property’s private, 1,800± foot grass airstrip or by ranch road from the Pahsimeroi Valley several miles below the property. Little Morgan Creek flows the length of the property year-round delivering water to the ranch’s irrigated pastures and seasonal wildlife ponds. A comfortable, western-style cabin with one bedroom and one bathroom is located near the upper end of the ranch and serviced by a reliable solar-powered electrical system with back-up propane generator. There are miles of hiking, riding, and hunting right from the ranch with fishing available on Little Morgan Creek and the nearby Pahsimeroi and Salmon Rivers. Wildlife in the area includes elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn, moose, bighorn sheep, grouse, and chukar. The closest services are located in Challis, Idaho, a 30-mile drive or five-minute flight from the ranch. The resort community of Sun Valley and its commercial airport are a two-hour drive or 35-minute flight.

Just the Facts

  • 360± deeded acres surrounded by federal and state lands
  • Over one mile of both sides of Little Morgan Creek
  • Stunning mountain scenery with views in all directions
  • Adjudicated water rights to irrigate up to 46.5 acres using open ditches and gated pipe
  • Irrigated and dry pasture provide seasonal grazing for horses and cattle
  • 512± sq. ft., one bedroom/one bath cabin with easy-to-operate, off-the-grid power system
  • 1,800± ft. grass runway plus 1,800± sq. ft. heated hangar suitable for storing a small airplane and other equipment
  • Miles of hiking and trail riding right from the ranch
  •  Excellent big game and upland bird hunting and fishing for trout and steelhead
  •  Located in Idaho hunt unit 37A and the Lemhi elk zone
  • Elevation approximately 6,200 ft.
  • Annual property taxes are approximately $810

General Description

Surrounded by state lands managed by the Idaho Department of Lands and federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the property represents the only deeded parcel of land in Little Morgan Creek Canyon. With the peaks of the Lemhi Range as a backdrop, the ranch is located just a mile from the Salmon-Challis National Forest near the base of 11,000-foot May Mountain. Little Morgan Creek Road provides access to the property from the main Pahsimeroi Valley and traverses the north side of the ranch before terminating just inside the national forest boundary. The main feature of the ranch is Little Morgan Creek which flows for over a mile through a lush riparian forest of aspen, willow, and river birch. The property also has several seasonal ponds filled with water from the creek that the owners originally constructed for wildlife uses and retriever field trial training. An additional pond tucked away in an aspen forest is spring-fed and has become a year-round home to wild westslope cutthroat trout. Building improvements include a one-bedroom cabin located near the east end of the ranch and a hanger/storage building in the center of the property at the east end of the ranch’s private grass runway. There are numerous building sites around the ranch with panoramic views of the canyon and surrounding peaks and foothills. The property is perimeter fenced and suitable for grazing horses and cattle.

Broker's Comments

Little Morgan Creek Ranch is a wonderful end-of-the-road property highlighted by an exceptional canyon setting and over a mile of a mountain stream that supports native trout. The ranch is well-maintained by the owner and in excellent condition. A tastefully designed one-bedroom cabin provides comfortable, off-the-grid living, while the ranch’s private runway affords quick, easy access from around the region.

Learn about the locale

Location

The ranch is located within Little Morgan Creek Canyon in central Idaho’s Pahsimeroi Valley five miles north of the old town site of May, Idaho. May represents a loose collection of year-round cattle ranches and is also home to a state-owned 4,950-foot public runway with a turf surface. The ranch features its own 1,800± foot grass airstrip allowing for convenient fly-in access by small plane. The town of Challis is situated 28 miles northwest of the ranch or a five-minute flight. All general amenities and services can be found in Challis, including groceries, fuel, hardware supplies, and sporting goods. In addition, Challis offers a paved, lighted airport that is 4,600 feet in length. A fixed-based operator, Middle Fork Aviation, serves the field, providing jet fuel and charter service. Salmon, Idaho, the county seat for Lemhi County and home to additional services, including Steele Memorial Hospital, is a 50-mile drive or 20-minute flight from the ranch. Salmon is also home to a general aviation airport that features regular commuter air service to and from Boise, Idaho through Gem Air (gemairflights.com). The resort community of Sun Valley, with world class skiing, fine dining, and excellent golf courses, is a two-hour drive or 35-minute flight. Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, 15 miles south of Sun Valley, offers regular commercial air service on Delta, United, and Alaska Airlines.

Locale

Little Morgan Creek Ranch lies within the upper Salmon River basin, an area renowned for its awe-inspiring scenery, abundant fish and wildlife, exceptional public lands, and almost endless outdoor recreation opportunities. Three of Idaho’s high country landmarks are within an easy distance of the ranch – the 2.3 million-acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (the largest federally designated wilderness in the lower 48 states), the 756,000-acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area (considered by many as the “crown jewel” of the National Recreation Area system), and the recently created 275,000-acre Boulder-White Cloud Wilderness complex. The two mountain ranges flanking the Pahsimeroi Valley and dominating the views from the ranch – the Lemhi and Lost River Ranges – are Idaho’s highest and among the state’s most visually stunning. The Pahsimeroi River is one of the upper Salmon’s principal tributaries and home to some of the region’s most important spawning grounds for wild salmon and steelhead. 

The ranch resides in Lemhi County, which is among Idaho’s largest counties covering an area of nearly 4,600 square miles. The recorded history of the county begins with the Lewis and Clark Expedition which entered Idaho at Lemhi Pass on August 12, 1805. Fur traders and pathfinders followed with the Hudson’s Bay Company establishing a base of trapping operations in the Lemhi Valley in 1822. The first gold miners ventured into Lemhi County in the early 1860s and remained active through the 1880s. The principal industry in the county is cattle ranching with livestock operations often stretching back multiple generations. The mining and timber industries have also played important roles over time. More recently, tourism and outdoor recreation have emerged as an important component to the local economy by capitalizing on the area’s natural beauty, diverse recreation resources, and low-key lifestyle. 

Climate

The elevation of the property is approximately 6,000 feet. Summer temperatures are near perfect with highs reaching the 80s and then cooling to the mid-50s at night. Winters are cold with snowfall varying depending on annual moisture patterns.  

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 361±

Total Acres: 361±

Improvements

The ranch features a comfortable and well-maintained western-style cabin with one bedroom and one bathroom. The cabin is situated near the upper end of the ranch with impressive views of May Mountain at the head of the valley. The cabin is off-grid and serviced by a reliable solar-powered electrical system with a back-up propane generator. It offers a wrap-around porch, custom cabinets, wood-burning stove, domestic well, and propane-driven appliances. Adjacent to the cabin is an 11-foot x 6-foot storage building with a shed roof on each side ideal for storing tools, equipment, and ATVs. Near the center of the ranch at the eastern end of the property’s grass runway is a 1,800± square foot airplane hangar and equipment storage building with sliding doors and concrete floor. 

Water Rights

The ranch holds three surface water rights to irrigate a combined total of 46.5 ± acres. Irrigation water is delivered by gravity and distributed through a combination of open ditches and gated pipe. A list of associated water rights is available from the Broker upon request.

Mineral Rights

All mineral and subsurface rights owned by the Seller will transfer to the new owner at closing.  

Taxes

Annual property taxes are approximately $810.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Recreational Considerations

An abundance of wildlife uses the surrounding mountains, foothills, forests, and grasslands throughout the year. Elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and antelope can be found browsing and grazing on the hillsides, while moose wander creek drainages and riparian areas. Chukar partridge are plentiful on rocky slopes, and blue grouse and sage grouse utilize the area’s springs and abundant sage steppe habitat. The Pahsimeroi Valley hosts good numbers of migrating waterfowl that take advantage of the valley’s numerous wetlands and spring creeks. A multitude of non-game birds and mammals are found in the area as well. As for trout fishing, Little Morgan Creek holds feisty cutthroat trout eager to take a fly, while expanded angling opportunities exist nearby on the Pahsimeroi and Salmon Rivers. Along with resident trout, the Salmon is well-known for its steelhead fishery that draws angler each winter and spring from around the region. In addition to stream fishing, the area offers over 100 alpine lakes, many of which are home to wild trout. Most of these mountain lakes are found at elevations between 9,000 and 11,000 feet and provide exceptional views as well as hiking and horse packing opportunities. The ranch is located in hunt unit 37A and the Lemhi elk zone.  

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The owners use and manage the ranch as a private, year-round retreat for themselves and their family and friends. During summer months, the owners lease portions of the ranch to a neighboring livestock operator who runs cattle on the property in conjunction with the surrounding BLM grazing allotment.

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