Sand Creek Ranch is tucked away in the forests of southern Oregon at the headwaters of the renowned upper Williamson River. The ranch features 751± deeded, contiguous acres and over three miles of both sides of the river. A classic, cold-water spring creek system, the upper Williamson meanders slowly through vibrant meadows and supports an exceptional wild trout fishery with rainbows that approach 30 inches and brook trout that exceed 20 inches. The Yamsi Ranch, which has been one of the Pacific Northwest’s pinnacle trout fishing destinations, lies immediately upstream of the property, reflecting the quality and uniqueness of this location. Used by the owners as a seasonal fishing retreat, the property features a practical set of residential and ranch improvements that include a three-bedroom owner’s cabin, one-bedroom guest cabin, four-bedroom ranch manager’s home, and a shop building with covered storage. Bordered on three sides by the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the ranch offers unmatched tranquility and seclusion and is ideal for relaxing and spending time with family and friends. Accessed by paved and unpaved county roads, Sand Creek is located approximately 40 miles northeast of the small community of Chiloquin, 60 miles northeast of the county seat of Klamath Falls, and 120 miles south of the popular destination city of Bend.
Just the Facts
- 751± deeded, contiguous acres at the headwaters of the upper Williamson River
- Over three miles of river frontage featuring a renowned spring creek trout fishery
- World-class trout fishing featuring large rainbows and brook trout
- 40± miles from Chiloquin, 60± miles from Klamath Falls, and 120± miles from Bend
- Idyllic retreat for relaxing and decompressing with family and friends
- Home to elk, mule deer, antelope, waterfowl, grouse, and a multitude of non-game wildlife
- Extremely private setting with gentle topography and wonderful scenery
- Water rights to irrigate up to 187.5 acres
- Borders the Fremont-Winema National Forest on three sides
- Elevation of 4,550± feet
- Improvements include a four-bedroom modular owner’s home and one-bedroom log cabin on the river, a four-bedroom modular manager’s home, and a large shop/storage building
- Ranch is off-grid with solar power and satellite communication systems
- Annual property taxes are approximately $1,700
- No conservation easement
Sand Creek Ranch encompasses a long riparian meadow flanked by pine forests and bordered on three sides by the Fremont-Winema National Forest with the Cascade Range as the backdrop. The well-known Yamsi Ranch, of which Sand Creek was once a part, lies immediately upstream of the property. The Williamson winds northward through the ranch for over three miles before leaving the property and entering the national forest. The river flows for nearly 25 miles downstream before it enters the vast Klamath Marsh and Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Featuring tens of thousands of acres of open water wetlands and wet meadows, Klamath Marsh effectively separates the spring creek-like reaches of the upper Williamson from the larger and warmer lower river. Access to the ranch from Chiloquin is over paved county roads for the first 33 miles and unpaved national forest roads for the final seven miles. The ranch typically maintains and plows the national forest roads during winter months to ensure connectivity with the main paved road. The ranch manager’s home and a shop/storage building are situated in the timbered foothills above the Williamson near the entrance to the ranch. From there, an internal ranch road quickly descends to the river and accesses the owner’s cabin and an adjacent guest cabin. Overall, the setting of the ranch is extremely private and secluded with gentle, usable topography, and gorgeous scenery representing the best of the Pacific Northwest.
Featuring over three miles of one of the region’s most heralded spring creeks with rainbows approaching 30 inches and brook trout exceeding 20 inches, Sand Creek Ranch is a preeminent trout fishing property that has few, if any, equals available on the market today. In addition, the tranquility, seclusion, and overall beauty of the property and surrounding landscape make Sand Creek an ideal getaway to relax and decompress with family and friends.
Sand Creek Ranch is located in southern Oregon approximately 40 miles northeast of the farming and ranching community of Chiloquin (population 750) and 60 miles northeast of the city of Klamath Falls (population 22,000), the county seat for Klamath County. Chiloquin provides the nearest commercial services and is home to Chiloquin State Airport with a 3,749-foot paved runway. Klamath Falls is the center of commerce for the region and home to a full array of retail, commercial, and healthcare services. Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport lies five miles south of the city and is the site of Century Aviation, a full-service, fixed-based operator serving all sizes of private aircraft. Medford (population 86,000) is 120 miles from the ranch and offers commercial air service via Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport on Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, United, and Allegiant Airlines. The well-known city of Bend (population 102,000) is 120 miles north of the property and offers diverse shopping and dining venues along with top flight destination resorts and golf courses. The commercial airport serving the Bend area, Redmond Municipal Airport, is located approximately 15 miles of Bend outside the city of Redmond. The major air carriers serving the Medford airport also serve Redmond. Driving distances from Sand Creek to other regional cities are as follows: Portland, Oregon, 265 miles to the northwest; Reno, Nevada, 300 miles to the southeast; Sacramento, California, 365 miles to the south; and Boise, Idaho, 375 miles to the east.
Lying east of the Cascade Range along the border with California, Klamath County features a diverse landscape encompassing snowcapped peaks and timbered mountain slopes to high desert valleys and sagebrush covered foothills. Klamath County covers approximately four million acres with the Fremont-Winema National Forest comprising over half of the county’s landmass. The lucrative beaver pelt market lured trappers to the area in the early 19th century, while the area’s fertile bottomlands drew settlers from the eastern United States along the Applegate Trail for over a century beginning in the 1840s. Established in 1882, the county was named for the Klamath peoples, the tribe of Native Americans living in the area when the first European explorers arrived.
One of the defining natural features of Klamath County is Upper Klamath Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state and one of the largest in the nation. Water from the lake is used toward the irrigation of 240,000 acres in southern Oregon and northeastern California as part of the federally administered Klamath Project initiated in 1905. The lake is one of the most prolific birdwatching areas in the Pacific Northwest with multitudes of waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds taking advantage of the lake’s marshy habitat during their spring and fall migrations. The Williamson River is Upper Klamath Lake’s principal tributary stream and famous for its trophy-sized redband trout (the region’s native rainbow trout with genetic links to steelhead) which migrate into the lower Williamson from the lake during summer months. Majestic Crater Lake National Park, Oregon’s only national park, is also located in Klamath County just 60 miles west of Sand Creek Ranch. Famous for its amazing water clarity and deep blue color, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the Western Hemisphere with an average depth of nearly 1,150 feet.
Timber and agriculture are traditional mainstays of the local economy. Three-fourths of Klamath County is forested and its large stands of timber support numerous wood products businesses. Farming is also an important industry with local growers taking advantage of excellent soils, an extensive irrigation network, and abundant sunshine to raise cash crops such as wheat, barley, sugar beets, and potatoes. In addition to timber and agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation have emerged as important components to the local economy by capitalizing on the area’s natural beauty and year-round recreational opportunities.
The elevation of the ranch is approximately 4,550 feet. The climate for the area is best described as semi-arid with about 300 days of sunshine a year and annual precipitation of 20 inches. Summers are warm with daytime temperatures in the mid-80s and evenings often cooling into the 50s. During winter months, when the majority of precipitation is received, average daytime highs are in the low 40s.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Sand Creek Ranch is zoned “Exclusive Farm Use” in Klamath County. The ranch is not covered by a conservation easement at the present time. However, because of the property’s open space features, fish and wildlife resources, and undeveloped frontage on the Williamson, it is an excellent candidate for one offering the potential for significant income tax benefits.
Building improvements on Sand Creek are comfortable and practical and underscore the use of the ranch as a seasonal fishing camp. Located next to a deep bend in the river are a three-bedroom modular main home and a one-bedroom log guest cabin. Each bedroom has two beds. The back deck of the main cabin and lawn area leading to the river are an ideal spot to watch rising trout and spectacular evening sunsets. Situated east of the owner’s home near the entrance to the ranch is a four-bedroom modular home used by the long-time ranch manager and “riverkeeper” along with a large shop building with two wings providing covered storage. The property is “off-grid” and serviced by a reliable solar-power system with battery storage. A satellite internet system also services the ranch and provides cellular phone coverage. The ranch is perimeter-fenced and cross-fenced. Two wooden pedestrian bridges afford access to the west side of the Williamson (there are also numerous locations where one is able to wade across the river), while a shallow, gravel-bottomed ford in the river enables heavy equipment to be driven to the opposite side.
The ranch holds two irrigation rights that cover a combined place of use of 187.5 acres. The first right is a groundwater right from an irrigation well developed by the current owners in 1997 to irrigate up to 133.9 acres, while the second right is a surface right from Sand Creek to irrigate up to 53.6 acres. The ranch holds an additional right to divert water from the Williamson for the purpose of developing riparian vegetation and enhancing wildlife habitat. This right covers 26.15 acres on the east side of the river. A single domestic well provides potable water to the buildings on the ranch.
All mineral and subsurface rights owned by the ranch will transfer to the new owner at closing.
Annual Klamath County property taxes are approximately $1,700. There is no sales tax in Oregon.
The upper Williamson River (which is the stretch of the Williamson located above Klamath Marsh) is a world-class spring creek system best known for its large, hard fighting rainbow trout which can approach 30 inches. Additionally, some of the largest stream-dwelling brook trout in the western US call the upper Williamson home and can exceed a remarkable 20 inches. Researchers have identified a portion of the upper Williamson’s rainbow population as genetically pure redband trout, which are native to the Klamath Basin and descendants of sea-going steelhead that once found their way into the upper reaches of the watershed. The river originates from a series of headwater springs located just upstream of Sand Creek on the adjoining Yamsi Ranch. The water that flows onto the ranch is cold and ideal for sustaining a robust wild trout population and healthy aquatic ecosystem. Another factor contributing to the prolific number of fish on Sand Creek is the extensive gravel-bottom areas found on the ranch. These spawning areas are considered to be the most important spawning habitat in the upper river. With an abundance of mayflies, caddis, and terrestrials, fishing is outstanding during the six-month season which runs from May through October. June and July particularly stand out as the legendary black drake and Hexagenia hatches move into full swing and anglers encounter large trout feeding aggressively on the surface. Fall is also an excellent time to be on the river as hoppers and hatches of blue winged olives and mahogany duns draw attention from active trout. A mid-sized stream, the upper Williamson lends itself perfectly to wading, and, while dry fly fishing is often the preferred method, the river offers outstanding subsurface fishing as well.
Waterfowl hunting along the river can be excellent in the fall when ducks and geese begin their southerly migration to wintering grounds in California. Elk, mule deer, and antelope are also found here, and the ranch has traditionally qualified for up to two landowner deer and elk permits. Other wildlife species include ruffed and blue grouse, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and migratory songbirds along.
Sand Creek is used by the current owners as a seasonal fly fishing retreat for themselves and their family, friends, and guests. To offset property management costs, the owners also rent the property from time to time to small groups of fly anglers for short term stays. Given the level of demand for high quality, private trout fishing, there is potential for a new owner to develop a more expanded angling program on the property. As an additional source of revenue, the owners work with a local livestock operator to pasture cattle on the ranch during the summer and early fall. The ranch also features a long-term timber resource that the owners have carefully managed over the years to preserve aesthetics and forest health.
Sand Creek operations benefit from the presence of the owner’s longtime ranch manager and riverkeeper. Together with his wife, the ranch manager has lived on the property for a number of years fulfilling various management roles and responsibilities, including overseeing stream enhancement projects, running Sand Creek’s fee fishing program, and hosting and guiding visitors to the ranch. The manager has expressed interest in continuing his tenure at Sand Creek, and his overall experience and expertise would make him a valuable asset to the next owner.
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