Nestled against the foothills of the Teton Mountain Range, the 125± acre Elk Range Ranch punches way above its weight as a truly unique, turnkey, end-of-the-road offering on what is known as the “quiet side of the Tetons”. What makes it so unique is that, even though it is only eight miles from downtown Driggs, Idaho, it is actually located in the sought after community of Alta, Wyoming. Wyoming is widely known for its favorable tax status. AND, while it is only minutes from the Grand Targhee Ski Area which boasts amongst the highest snowfall totals of any ski area in the U.S., it lies only 45 miles from Jackson Hole and all it has to offer from skiing to resort amenities. The Elk Range Ranch is one of the few remaining large, intact land holdings in Alta. It is further protected by its one mile of shared boundary with Targhee National Forest and the BLM, which makes it essentially an extension of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park systems. The wildlife that “leaks” onto the property from this reservoir of wild lands is prolific and includes elk, mule deer, moose, bear, wolves, and many other smaller native species.
The 125± acres are comprised of lush, irrigated meadows, the creek corridors of Dry Creek and Bustle Creek, rolling hillsides leading to quaking aspen groves and healthy stands of dark timber, and big views across the valley of the Big Hole Mountains and the Snake River Range.
The well-appointed improvements at the ranch headquarters include a custom-built two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath 3,871± square foot log home and a two-bedroom, one-bath 1,500± square foot log guest house. A large pond behind the main residence along with meticulously maintained lawns and gardens create an incredibly inviting setting. Two classic style barns and well-designed paddocks for working the various livestock currently on the ranch complete the main improvement compound. Down the drive from the headquarters is a large hay barn, a calving shed, and a greenhouse located along the banks of Bustle Creek. Additional improvements as you enter the ranch include a fully renovated 1978 farmhouse, a 2,500± square foot equipment barn, and a Quonset shed, both of which are used for storing large tractors, haying equipment, and winter snow removal equipment.
Under its current ownership the Elk Range Ranch offers the highly sought-after combination of a viable agricultural operation and world class recreation with direct “out the back gate” access to millions of acres and seemingly endless miles of trails in the adjacent Targhee National Forest which immediately connects to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. In summary, a rare and unique opportunity to buy a very private and beautiful ranch with a Wyoming address from which you can ski – literally minutes from your front door.
Just the Facts
- ACREAGE: Approximately 125 acres comprised of five individual deeded parcels. Property taxes are estimated at $13,603.
- LOCATION: Alta, Wyoming, eight miles east of Driggs, Idaho and 40 miles northwest of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
- PUBLIC LANDS ACCESS: One mile of shared boundary with Targhee National Forest and the BLM.
- HUNTING: Elk, mule deer, and whitetail deer hunting onsite, as well as in the adjacent national forest.
- WILDLIFE: Abundant big game species such as elk, deer, and moose reside on the ranch at various times of the year. Sandhill cranes, waterfowl, ruffed grouse, and numerous birds of prey species. Black bears, grizzly bears, and mountain lions can also be seen on the ranch at times.
- WATER RIGHTS: Senior water rights on approximately 100 irrigable acres. An eight-inch steel pipeline is used for irrigation via handlines and a pivot. There are multiple wells and hydrants on the ranch along with state-of-the-art stock waterers.
- WATER RESOURCES: Approximately half a mile of Dry Creek, a year-round stream originating in the adjacent national forest runs through the ranch. Bustle Creek, a seasonal creek also originating in the forest, flows through the ranch for approximately half a mile. A 0.45± acre spring fed pond which can hold trout is located behind the main residence.
- OWNER’S IMPROVEMENTS: The main residence is a 3,871± square foot, two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath custom log home with a two-bay garage. There is a 1,500± square foot, two-bedroom, one-bath custom log guest house built in 2002. There is a stand-alone western style garage/shop with two bays next to the guest home complete with a second floor artist studio and half bath. There is a generator room which houses a diesel generator capable of running all of the improvements located at the ranch headquarters.
- OTHER IMPROVEMENTS: A 1,550± square foot, two-bedroom, one-bath bath 1978 farmhouse which has been fully renovated and has an unfinished basement and is located at the lower end of the ranch. A large hay barn, a calving shed, and a greenhouse are located just down the hill from the owner’s compound and a large 2,500± square foot equipment barn and a Quonset shed are located next to the farmhouse.
- RECENT RANCH IMPROVEMENTS: It should be noted that over the last ten years the owners have gone the extra mile to bring the ranch to absolutely peak condition in every way. It is one of the most immaculate properties we have ever offered. The new owner will only need to move in and enjoy it.
- OPERATION: This is a highly productive small ranch with excellent facilities that will comfortably run about 30 cows on a year around basis or it can produce good hay crops and seasonal grazing should one want to lease out its components.
- AIR SERVICE: The Driggs Reed Memorial full service FBO and its 7,300’ X 100’ paved runway is just 11 miles from the ranch. Commercial air service is available in Jackson Hole or Idaho Falls.
The property lies at the end of a private road with its lush meadows laid out along the public land boundary. The meadows are gently rolling and give way to stands of timber and aspens as they rise toward the common boundary with the BLM and forest service. They are crossed by two stream drainages and by strips of timber and aspens which create enchanting individual meadows. There are five legal parcels, two of which contain the improvements. There is a lower parcel that contains the caretakers house and two storage/shop buildings which serve as the operating headquarters where the large machinery is stored. The owner’s compound occupies a very private higher site near the forest service boundary where there is a stream fed pond. It enjoys expansive views of the Teton River valley and the Snake River and Big Hole Mountain Ranges. The compound includes the owner’s home, a guest house, and two barns. Just below the compound in a protected site there is a hay shed, a calving barn, and a greenhouse.
This represents a rare opportunity to buy a significant property in the sought after Alta, Wyoming community. Elk Range Ranch, as stated earlier, punches well above its weight because, in addition to its coveted location in Alta, it also offers extreme privacy because of its location at the end of a private road and it benefits from private access into an incredible wilderness complex that includes two national parks.
Elk Range Ranch is located in the coveted Alta, Wyoming community only eight miles east of the charming mountain town of Driggs, Idaho. Jackson Hole and its commercial airport and extensive resort amenities lie about 45 miles from the ranch. The Driggs Reed Memorial full service FBO and its 7,300’ X 100’ paved runway is just 11 miles from the ranch. The Grand Targhee Ski Area, renowned for its consistent powder skiing, is about a ten-minute drive from the ranch.
The area is characterized by small ranches and larger acreage tracts. As Wyoming has become known as something of a “tax haven”, it has attracted a growing number of wealthy individuals and families who want to live in Wyoming, while having the ability to easily access world class skiing. They prefer to avoid Jackson’s sky-high land prices and the summer influx of tourists. Jackson Hole is the only alternative in Wyoming that offers this package of sought after features.
Driggs and its nearby neighbor Victor have grown into attractive small towns with exceptional golf courses, an FBO that will accommodate the largest private jets, excellent restaurants, grocery stores, and a full complement of services. There is blue-ribbon quality fishing in the Teton River and the upper Teton Valley is virtually surrounded by mountain ranges and smaller trout filled streams.
The altitude at the ranch is 6,500 feet above sea level. As one might expect from a ranch located near a ski area that has one of the highest annual snowfalls in the U.S., Elk Range Ranch is subject to significant winter snow. Fortunately, they do not get a lot of wind, so the snow is ideal for cross country skiing and snowmobiling. Precipitation is estimated in the range of 25 inches with 140 inches of snow. All of this adds up to an incredibly lush environment in the spring and summer. Summer temperatures rarely get above the 80s with cool nights. Winters are consistently cold, but not excessively so with daytime highs running around freezing.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
The ranch consists of five legal parcels that add up to 125± deeded acres. Approximately 100 are subject to irrigation.
Owner’s Home: Surrounded by beautiful gardens and overlooking the pond from broad covered porches that virtually surround the house, this is a 3,871± square foot classic log home with many thoughtful features. There is an attached two-car heated garage and one can enter through a mudroom, although there is a formal entrance as well. The mudroom entrance takes one into the kitchen/living room area on one end of the house with a half-bathroom. There is a large stone fireplace with two-story windows looking out across the Teton River valley. The kitchen with a big island, glass-faced cabinets, high-end appliances, and granite counter tops invites big family meals. On the other side of the kitchen there is a dining room and a large family room with another stone fireplace and a wet bar featuring a pool table and lots of space to gather. There is another formal entrance into this space.
Up the impressive wood staircase there is a sitting area overlooking the living room. Adjacent to this space, there is one bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The master suite is accessed down a short hallway and includes a massive walk-in closet that was once a bedroom, a large sauna, a bathroom, a sitting area, and a small porch that looks out toward the guest house. The downstairs floors are wood and the upstairs is fully carpeted.
Log Guest House: Located a short walk from the main house one approaches up a lovely stone pathway. One enters the 1,500± square foot house by crossing a broad covered porch that surrounds the house on three sides. Entering a living room/kitchen space with rustic wood floors, a short hallway leads to the two comfortable bedrooms which share a bathroom. They are fully carpeted, and each bedroom has its own access to the wrap around porch.
Barn: Up the hill from the garage/shop is a traditional horse barn that also has covered concrete pads on two sides. It has a concrete strip down the middle with two horse stalls on each side with heated waterers. They access four paddocks and there is a round pen outside. There is also a tack room, a small shop and a hay mow on the second floor. Garage/Shop: Located just up the hill from the guest house is a barn-like structure that has a full concrete floor and covered concrete pads on the outside. It functions as a two-car garage, a wood working shop, and generator room that houses a diesel generator, which will run all the buildings located at the owner’s compound. There is an artist’s studio upstairs with a half-bath.
Additional Structures: The extended owner’s compound also includes a pole hay shed, a 24’ X 36’ calving shed with water and four stalls, and a 16’ X 24’ greenhouse. The ranch also has a good set of working corrals with a rotary chute, alley ways, and a hydraulic chute.
Caretaker's House: This is a modest 1,550± square foot farmhouse built in 1978 that has been recently renovated. It has a new well and septic system and contains two bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms with an unfinished basement. Electric baseboard heat and a Rinai propane heater provide heat.
Quonset-Type Steel Shed: Located just up the road from the caretaker’s house, this is an older dirt floor structure used for equipment storage.
Barn/Shop: Located near the Quonset is a heated 2,500± square foot milled-log building with a concrete floor. It has an overhang on each side for additional covered storage with two big bay doors. One side has a maintenance pit and is used as a shop, and it now also houses a small pickle ball court.
Dry Creek is a live stream that passes from the forest service through the property and forms part of the lower boundary. Bustle Creek is a seasonal drainage that also passes through the ranch. Dry Creek is diverted from its point of diversion in the forest to maintain flows into the 0.45± acre pond, which has been stocked in the past and will hold trout. These flows could also be used to create a more year-round flow in Bustle Creek. The ranch has senior water rights for approximately 100 acres, although the area receives enough natural precipitation that irrigation is almost an afterthought. There are also three strong wells that service the various buildings.
Real estate taxes are estimated to be $13,603 based upon past years.
If one looks at a map of the ranch, it is easy to see the effect of its common boundary with the Targhee National Forest. This ties it directly into an enormous wilderness ecosystem including Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Because of this reservoir of animals, wildlife on the ranch covers a broad gamut from big game species such as elk, deer, and moose to sandhill cranes, waterfowl, ruffed grouse, and numerous birds of prey species. Black bears, grizzly bears, and mountain lions can also be seen on the ranch at times. Elk and both species of deer can be hunted on the property.
Recreation on the ranch itself includes hiking and riding in the summer, hunting in the fall, and snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter. Wildlife viewing is an ever-present opportunity as one never knows what will be in the front yard on any given morning or evening. The pond has been stocked in the past for trout fishing. The ranch’s location with immediate access to hiking and riding trails in the adjacent national forest opens a world of possibilities. Also, it is only a short drive to the Teton River offering several different stretches of blue-ribbon trout stream that one can float or wade fish. As mentioned earlier there are two other mountain ranges in the valley that offer mechanized access for four-wheeling, dirt biking, and some of the most extensive mountain biking or horseback riding trails in the region. The biggest benefit of the ranch’s location is that it is only a 15-minute drive up to Grand Targhee Ski Area which offers some of the finest powder skiing in the U.S. There are very few ranches in the west that can claim to be virtually “ski in, ski out”.
The current owners have chosen to run a commercial ranching operation on the ranch. They have run cows, goats, sheep, mules, and horses. The ranch also produces a robust hay crop. As a year-round cattle operation, they estimate that it would run about 30 cows. When one considers the long winters with heavy snowfall and the months of deep standing snow on the property, it likely makes sense to lease out the various components of the ranch on a seasonal basis to local ranchers. A caretaker would look after the irrigation, maintain the improvements, arrange for grazing and haying, look after the owner’s horses, and generally be available to help the owner enjoy the property’s many recreational amenities.
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