Encompassing 1,226± acres and a remarkable two and a half miles of fabled Silver Creek, Renegade Ranch is one of the premier sporting and lifestyle properties in the Sun Valley area. Nestled against the foothills of the Pioneer Mountains, the ranch is conveniently located 45 minutes from Ketchum and the Sun Valley Resort and a half-hour south of the commercial airport in Hailey. Improvements complement the ranch and are highlighted by a 2,160± square foot log home located in a secluded aspen grove on the banks of Silver Creek. Upstream of the home is an outdoor venue with a fire pit and barbeque area ideal for creekside dining and entertaining. Other improvements include a three-bedroom guest house, manager’s residence, additional employee housing, equipment storage, and a large workshop with attached dog kennels. Although trout fishing is the predominant activity at the Renegade, the ranch provides excellent wildlife habitat and is home to upland game birds as well as elk and mule deer. The ranch is located in hunt unit 52 and the Smokey-Bennett elk zone and qualifies for landowner appreciation permits for controlled hunts. In addition to its recreational attributes, the Renegade features an active farming operation that utilizes approximately 250 acres of sprinkler-irrigated cropland to raise hay and grain. The Renegade is not covered by a conservation easement at the present time. However, because of the property’s size, location, and extensive frontage on Silver Creek, it is a prime candidate for one.
Just the Facts
- Landmark Sun Valley ranch with 1,226± deeded, contiguous acres
- 2.5± miles of Silver Creek encompassing both banks of the stream with exceptional trout fishing
- Approximately 45 minutes south of Ketchum and the Sun Valley Resort and a half-hour from the airport in Hailey
- Extremely private with virtually no impacts from the public
- Excellent residential and ranch improvements with underground utilities and extensive landscaping
- 250± acres of sprinkler-irrigated cropland raising hay and grain
- Wildlife includes elk, mule deer, chukar, Hungarian partridge, and an array of non-game species
- Ranch qualifies for landowner preference permits for controlled hunts in unit 52
- No conservation easement although an excellent candidate for one
- Annual property taxes are approximately $8,100
- Elevation is 4,750± feet
- A secluded, green oasis surrounded by federal lands and private ranch holdings
Renegade Ranch encompasses two and a half miles of Silver Creek that flows from north to south through the center of the property. Along its course, the spring-fed stream winds its way through mature stands of aspen, willow, and river birch. The thick riparian vegetation shields the stream corridor from neighboring lands and creates a private, park-like setting along the creek. This section of Silver Creek is amazingly diverse and comprised of gravel runs, rocky riffles, deep holes, long flats, and undercut banks. Because of the challenging nature of navigating this portion of the stream, the ranch enjoys a very private fishery with virtually no impacts from other anglers or floaters.
Approximately three-quarters of the ranch is bordered by federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Scenic ridgelines and grasslands transition from the ranch onto adjacent BLM lands and provide direct access to miles of public lands for hunting, hiking, and horseback riding. The remainder of the ranch is bordered by private ranches. This ownership pattern creates a very private setting that is insulated from the development pressures that so many areas in the northern Rockies are experiencing.
The ranch is serviced by Priest Road that crosses the northern end of the ranch and provides access to the main entrance and Cutoff Road that runs south through the western portion of the property and offers secondary access. A 200-foot right-of-way for the historic and defunct Oregon Short Line Railroad (now held by the Idaho Transportation Department) crosses the far western edge of the ranch. An internal road and trail network offers access to all parts of the property and to numerous fishing spots, while vehicle and footbridges over Silver Creek enable convenient stream crossings.
Although it is possible to purchase smaller agricultural tracts or residential parcels near Silver Creek, it is a rarity for the coveted large tract with Silver Creek frontage to come to market. Renegade Ranch represents such a property and provides a landmark opportunity to own and control a significant reach of Silver Creek with two and a half miles of trout fishing and virtually no impacts from the public. The ranch also happens to be the largest property on Silver Creek not covered by a conservation easement. There is significant potential for a new owner to engage with one of the area’s conservation organizations and take advantage of sizeable tax benefits through the gift of an easement.
Renegade Ranch is located at the foot of the Pioneer Mountains in the lower Wood River Valley just outside of the small ranching community of Picabo, Idaho and 45 minutes southeast of the famous mountain resort of Ketchum/Sun Valley. From Picabo and US Highway 20/26, access to the ranch is via all-season county roads. The town of Hailey, county seat for Blaine County and 12 miles south of Ketchum, is 25 minutes northwest of the ranch and offers a full range of services and amenities. Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey offers commercial air service through Delta, United, and Alaska/Horizon Airlines as well as a fix-based operation, Atlantic Aviation, that services and accommodates all sizes of general aviation aircraft. Picabo offers a variety of goods and services, including groceries, fuel, hardware, ranch supplies, sporting goods, and outfitting services. A grass airstrip suitable for small propeller aircraft is located in Picabo adjacent to the general store. Estimated driving distances to major regional communities are as follows: Boise, 125 miles to the west; Idaho Falls, 130 miles to the east; Twin Falls, 60 miles to the south; Jackson Hole, 230 miles to the east; and Salt Lake City, 270 miles to the southeast.
With Renegade Ranch, an owner enjoys a foothold in two communities. As part of the larger Sun Valley area, an owner has easy access to one of the country’s finest year-round resorts. Top-rated golf courses and tennis facilities, fine dining and cultural opportunities, mountain biking and hiking trails, and world-class downhill and cross-country skiing are all minutes away from the ranch. At the same time, the property is situated on Silver Creek, one of the most sought-after locations in Blaine County. Among other features, the Silver Creek area is famous for blue-ribbon trout fishing, flights of ducks and geese cross-crossing the sky, protected open spaces, working farms and ranches, and a low-key, rural lifestyle. With a Silver Creek address, an owner truly enjoys the best of everything Sun Valley has to offer.
Silver Creek and its tributaries are the lifeblood of this unique part of Idaho. Rising from a series of springs south of the town of Bellevue and gaining size from feeder streams such as Loving Creek and Grove Creek, Silver Creek slowly meanders from west to east across the valley before joining the Little Wood River south of Renegade Ranch. Along the way, Silver Creek serves the dual purpose of providing irrigation water for the area’s farms and ranches as well as supporting rich habitat for a variety of wildlife, including an unmatched trout fishery.
Key to understanding and appreciating the Silver Creek area is the extensive conservation work that has been completed there. Beginning with the acquisition of the Sun Valley Ranch on upper Silver Creek in 1976, The Nature Conservancy, with the cooperation of local property owners and other partners, spearheaded efforts to protect Silver Creek and the agricultural lands that depend on it. More than 40 years later, over 10,000 acres of private land in the Silver Creek watershed have been protected from subdivision and unchecked residential development. Many agree that this work represents the finest example of open space protection and freshwater conservation in the Northwest, if not the nation. As a result of these efforts, landowners and visitors alike enjoy a rural, uncluttered setting with high-quality fish and wildlife resources only minutes away from Blaine County’s more populated communities.
The elevation of the ranch is approximately 4,750 feet. The climate for the Picabo area is best described as semi-arid with an annual precipitation of 12 inches and over 300 sunny days per year. Summers are warm with the temperatures reaching into the low 90s and cooling to the mid-40s 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 12 degrees.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Renegade Ranch consists of 1,226± deeded acres, more or less, per the Blaine County assessor.
Improvements complement the ranch and are highlighted by a 2,160± square foot “fishing cabin” tucked away in a secluded aspen grove on the banks of Silver Creek. Designed by acclaimed local architect Jim Ruscitto, this comfortable log home features three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, an open floor plan, a large stone fireplace, and an expansive covered deck overlooking the creek. The home is serviced by underground utilities and surrounded by mature landscaping. An outdoor venue with a fire pit and barbeque area is located just upstream of the cabin and provides an ideal setting for creekside dining and entertaining. A wooden bridge crossing Silver Creek connects the barbeque area to fishing trails on the opposite bank.
A functional and attractive ranch compound is located on the north end of the property near the main entrance and features a manager’s residence, equipment storage, and a large workshop with attached dog kennels. A three-bedroom guest house and detached garage are located near the ranch compound on the opposite side of Silver Creek and accessed through a separate entrance. Two additional dwellings are located at the south end of the ranch and provide housing for additional employees. These two small homes are accessed separately through the southwest end of the ranch.
Renegade Ranch holds three surface irrigation rights from Silver Creek and two groundwater irrigation rights. The ranch is entitled to irrigate up to 273.6 acres annually within a total place of use of 608 acres. There is also a domestic right and stock water right from Silver Creek. Each of the water rights has been adjudicated through the State of Idaho’s Snake River Basin Adjudication.
All mineral and subsurface rights owned by the Seller will transfer to the new owner at closing
Annual Blaine County property taxes are approximately $8,100.
With a reputation as one of the great spring creek trout fisheries in the world, Silver Creek is the centerpiece of the ranch, and few properties in the Silver Creek system offer as much stream frontage or privacy as the Renegade. This stretch of Silver Creek is not only lengthy but incredibly diverse featuring gravel-lined runs, undercut banks, and well-oxygenated riffles cascading over a basalt rock bottom. Angling opportunities and access to the stream corridor are greatly enhanced by an extensive road and trail network that leads to numerous prime fishing spots. Beginning in mid-summer with the emergence of grasshoppers and other large terrestrial insects, the fishing heats up and makes for memorable surface action. Some of the largest fish in the Silver Creek system are found on the ranch with browns regularly exceeding 20 inches.
In addition to wonderful onsite fishing opportunities, the Renegade lies in the center of Idaho’s best collection of trout waters. The Big Wood, Little Wood, and Big Lost Rivers are excellent local freestone fisheries with plenty of public access. Only a few minutes’ drive south, the Little Wood is the closest of the three streams to the ranch and offers a unique angling experience below its confluence with Silver Creek. The Big Wood River, one of the state’s best rainbow fisheries, flows south through the Wood River Valley just west of the ranch. This medium-sized mountain stream offers dozens of access points, a catch and release section, and steady hatches. Flanked by Idaho’s highest peaks and short hour’s drive away from the ranch, the Big Lost River near Mackay, Idaho has become a destination for anglers from across the region and is frequented on a daily basis by the top Sun Valley fishing guides. Among the most popular reaches is the section of the river below Mackay Dam, which is known for its large rainbows. Local anglers also enjoy outstanding stillwater trout fishing on nearby Magic and Little Wood Reservoirs.
The Wood River Valley boasts strong populations of big game. The surrounding mountains, foothills, and high desert areas teem with elk, mule deer, and antelope. Moose, black bear, and mountain lions also reside locally. The Renegade’s heavy riparian cover and direct connectivity to BLM lands make the ranch a haven for local deer. The ranch is located in hunt unit 52 and the Smokey-Bennett elk zone and qualifies for landowner appreciation permits for controlled hunts.
The Silver Creek area is also rich with upland birds and waterfowl. Chukar partridge are plentiful on the hillsides and rimrock of the Pioneer foothills on the north end of the ranch. Hungarian partridge reside in sagebrush areas and grasslands adjacent to agricultural fields, while sage grouse are generally found in large sagebrush stands on nearby BLM lands. Because of its constant temperature, Silver Creek rarely freezes solid during the winter, making it a haven for migrating ducks and geese. Opportunities for off-property waterfowl hunting are available at nearby at Silver Creek Preserve and Carey Lake Wildlife Management Area.
In addition to hunting and trout fishing, the Sun Valley area offers a variety of world-class, year-round outdoor recreation activities only minutes away from Renegade 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, mountain bike riding, and ATV riding. Blaine County is also blessed with tens of thousands of acres of high-quality public lands that provide unlimited opportunities to experience the best of Idaho’s natural landscapes.
The owners lease approximately 250 acres of sprinkler irrigated cropland to a longstanding local ranching family. The tenant raises hay and grain utilizing the ranch’s pressurized sprinkler irrigation system that includes two center pivots, wheel lines, and hand lines. Irrigation water is sourced from Silver Creek and two irrigation wells. The tenant has operated the irrigated portion of the ranch for many years and would be interested in continuing with the lease. In the past, the owners have worked with the tenant to graze cattle on portions of the ranch. Although there are no cattle currently utilizing the ranch, this opportunity exists should a new owner want to take advantage of the property’s grazing resources.
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