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Rock Creek Ranch

$12,500,000 Sun Valley, ID 10,404± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

This landmark Blaine County ranch consists of approximately 10,400 deeded acres in a single block and spans almost 10 miles from north to south. The community of Hailey, Idaho, which is home to a commercial airport, is located less than five miles east of the property. The resort amenities of Ketchum and Sun Valley are less than 15 minutes north of Hailey. The ranch encompasses a diverse mix of canyons, foothills, riparian areas, and rolling grasslands and is home to elk, mule deer, and a mix of upland gamebirds. Rock Creek and several tributaries course their way through the ranch and provide irrigation water for extensive meadows and summer pasture that support a seasonal grazing operation. Improvements are basic and agricultural in nature and accessible to Rock Creek Road. This is a large piece of landscape that balances a quality agricultural component with significant wildlife values located on the threshold of one of the West’s best-known mountain resorts.

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General Description

The Rock Creek Ranch is comprised of a single block of land that stretches nearly 10 miles in length north to south. With the exception of a small private tract at the southwest corner of the property, the ranch is bordered by land managed by the State of Idaho and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In addition to these adjoining public lands, the ranch encompasses 840 acres of BLM lands within its boundaries that add to overall size of the property. Elevation of the ranch runs from approximately 4,870 feet along Highway 20 to over 6,100 feet at the peak of Gilman Butte at the north end of the ranch. The property features diverse topography and habitat features, including native grasslands, sub-irrigated meadows, flood irrigated pastures, canyon rims, steep draws, ridgelines, live streams, wetlands, and stands of aspen, willow, and cottonwood. Rock Creek is among the principal features of the ranch. This year-round, spring-fed stream meanders southward for miles through the length of the ranch before joining the Big Wood River at the Big Wood’s confluence with Magic Reservoir just south of Highway 20. The ranch also includes portions of several year-round and seasonal tributaries to Rock Creek, including East Fork Rock Creek, West Fork Rock Creek, Guy Creek, Smith Creek, and Little Rock Creek. These water courses feature associated riparian areas that are thick with willows, wetlands, and beaver ponds and provide excellent habitat for big game, upland birds, waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, and other wildlife.

Broker's Comments

The Rock Creek Ranch is a rare opportunity to own, operate, and enjoy a landscape-scale property on the doorstep to a world-famous resort community. This unique ranch represents the ultimate long-term investment for patient capital.

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Location

The Rock Creek Ranch is located in the foothills of the Soldier Mountains approximately five miles west of the community of Hailey, county seat and commercial hub for Blaine County, and 20 miles southwest of the resort communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley. Hailey offers a full range of services, including a commercial airport and fixed-base operation at Friedman Memorial Field. Delta/Skywest and Horizon Airlines serve the airport and offer regular daily flights to Salt Lake City and Seattle. Rock Creek Road, a county gravel road, extends the length of the ranch and connects with Hailey to the north via the Croy Canyon Road, the community of Bellevue to the east via the Poverty Flat Road, and US Highway 20 to the south. The city of Boise, Idaho and its commercial airport are 120 miles west of the ranch via Highway 20.

Locale

Located on the southern edge of the vast central Idaho backcountry, Blaine County encompasses 2,655 square miles and supports a current population of approximately 20,000. The majority of the county’s residents live in the Big Wood River Valley communities of Hailey, Bellevue, Ketchum, and Sun Valley. Of the nearly 1.7 million acres that comprise the county, nearly 80 percent of the land base is state or federally owned, assuring ample open space and recreational opportunities. With the Rock Creek Ranch, one is able to take advantage of the amenities and activities typically found in a first-class resort community while also enjoying the low-key lifestyle afforded by rural living. As part of the larger Sun Valley community, an owner of the Rock Creek Ranch has access to one of the nation’s most prestigious year-round resort areas. 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 available within minutes of the property. At the same time, the ranch is situated in an expansive, rural setting with high quality wildlife resources and unimpeded mountain vistas only minutes away from activities of Sun Valley and its more populated communities. With the Rock Creek Ranch, an owner truly enjoys the best of everything the area has to offer.

Climate

The climate for the area is best described as semi-arid with an average humidity of only 30 percent and annual precipitation of 14 inches per year. Summers are warm with the temperatures occasionally 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 35 degrees and an average minimum temperature during the same period of 13 degrees.

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Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 10,404±

Total Acres: 10,404±

* All acreages are approximations.

Water Rights

The ranch enjoys excellent water rights from Rock Creek and two tributaries, Guy Creek and Smith Creek, to irrigate approximately 585 acres. The ranch holds the only water rights in the Rock Creek drainage, and because Rock Creek is administered separately from other water sources in the Big Wood River system, it is not subject to the demands of other users in the area. This situation could facilitate the development of new amenities such as ponds or lakes that would provide benefits for irrigation regulation, wildlife, and recreational activities.

Taxes

Blaine County property taxes are approximately $2,500 annually.

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Recreational Considerations

The Sun Valley area offers Idaho’s best collection of trout waters, and the Rock Creek Ranch lies in the heart of it all. From classic spring creek fishing on world-renown Silver Creek to the excellent freestone fisheries of the Big Wood, Little Wood and Big Lost Rivers to stillwater fishing on nearby Magic Reservoir, an owner of the ranch is only minutes away from an outstanding fishing experience. Lying just 10 miles east of the property, Silver Creek is among the crown jewels of western fly-fishing. Beginning with the stretch of water through The Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek Preserve, there are miles of spring creek habitat and outstanding fishing downstream to Silver Creek’s confluence with the Little Wood River. Should one have his or her fill of spring creek fishing, the Big Wood, Little Wood, and Big Lost Rivers offer excellent freestone fisheries with plenty of public access. The Big Wood River, an outstanding rainbow trout fishery, flows south through the Wood River Valley before entering Magic Reservoir. This medium-sized mountain stream offers dozens of access points along its length, a catch and release section, and steady hatches. Rainbow trout growing to 20 inches are the predominant sport. Good fishing on the Big Wood starts just minutes from the Rock Creek Ranch. Lying immediately south of the property is Magic Reservoir, a 14,000-acre impoundment filled by the Big Wood River and Rock Creek from the east and Camas Creek from the west. Home to large rainbow and brown trout, anglers pursue their quarry through a variety of means, including trolling, wading flats and shallow banks, and float-tubing. In addition to excellent fishing, “Magic” is a popular spot for boating and water skiing. The ranch and surrounding area is rich with upland birds and waterfowl. Chukar partridge are plentiful on the hillsides and rock outcroppings found on the property, while Hungarian partridge and sage grouse inhabit sagebrush areas adjacent to agricultural fields. Duck and geese utilize beaver ponds and wetland areas found on the ranch on a seasonal basis or until colder temperatures push birds south. Serious waterfowl hunters can find quality shooting at Silver Creek Preserve or along the Snake River an hour south of the property. The local area also boasts strong populations of big game. The mountains, foothills, and canyons on and around the ranch teem with elk, mule deer and pronghorn. Moose, black bear, and mountain lion also reside locally. Each of the species is drawn to the Rock Creek Ranch by the desirable combination of water, forage and cover. Because the property consists of over 5,000 acres, the owner of the ranch is eligible for two landowner appreciation permits from Idaho Fish and Game to hunt elk and deer on the ranch or other areas within unit 48.In addition to hunting and trout fishing, the Sun Valley area offers a variety of world-class, year-round outdoor recreation activities only a short distance 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. Blaine County is also blessed with tens of thousands of acres of BLM and national forest lands, which provide unlimited opportunities for one to experience the best of Idaho’s backcountry.

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General Operations

The current agricultural operation is based on leasing the ranch to graze cow-calf pairs and yearlings on a seasonal basis. Cattle utilize the ranch’s irrigated pastures, sub-irrigated meadows, and native rangelands as well as adjoining BLM and State lands which are under lease to the ranch. Improvements are functional and include three sets of corrals for working and shipping cattle as well as a classic wooden barn and perimeter and interior pasture fencing. Live streams, springs, and ponds provide abundant stock water throughout the property.

Leases and Permits

Copies of the BLM grazing permit, State grazing lease, and water rights are available upon request from the broker.

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