The Hawkeye Ranch consists of three separate but contiguous parcels that are known as the Majo Meadow (112.42 acres), Hawkeye (139.87), and Deer Creek Meadow (65.35 acres), adding up to a total of 317.64 acres. The ranch fronts on approximately two miles of the South Fork of the Shoshone River, known locally as the “South Fork.” The ranch basically lies at the end of the South Fork Road which dead ends at a trailhead just above the ranch which is utilized primarily by outfitters launching multi-day pack trips into the huge wilderness area that lies south of Yellowstone Park to which this ranch offers immediate access. This is some of the wildest and most beautiful country in the lower 48.
The central Hawkeye parcel is the site of one of the finest building complexes we have had the privilege of offering. The buildings share the classic western vernacular of the old-time dude ranches, but they have all been either built from scratch or have been upgraded to offer all the modern amenities while maintaining an authentic style. The owner has opted to build a private one-bedroom home for himself while offering extensive guest houses and cabins for his guests. These are centered around a beautiful lodge and a covered outdoor commercial kitchen. In addition, there is staff housing, barns, a riding arena, pickleball, and bocce courts, as well as a trout pond and, of course, access to fishing in the river. The ranch is encompassed on one side by the river and the other by the Shoshone National Forest which offers riding, hiking, and, in the winter, world-class ice climbing. The area, while high enough to offer temperate summers, lies in a “rain shadow” and is a haven for wildlife of every description from a resident elk herd to bighorn sheep and the occasional grizzly bear. Some consider the winter months to be arguably nicer than the summer because of the wildlife concentrations.
Certainly, the dominant feature of the ranch is its setting at the base of a 3,000-foot cliff face with views of a similar, even more dramatic cliff face across the river with upriver views of peaks that remain snow covered most of the year. It is arguably the most awe-inspiring site of any ranch in the northern Rockies.
Just the Facts
- Location: 41 mostly paved miles southwest of Cody. Accessible year-round on publicly maintained roads.
- Acreage: 317.64 deeded acres.
- Improvements: Owner’s home, multiple guest cabins, a lodge, manager’s house, staff housing, shops, equipment storage, indoor and outdoor commercial kitchens, arena, trout pond, and other buildings.
- Operation: Private corporate or family retreat.
- Wildlife: Extensive - elk, bear, bighorn sheep, raptors are all seen on the property or in the adjacent USFS.
- Water: South Fork of the Shoshone River forms the southerly boundary of the ranch plus irrigation rights from Cabin Creek and wells for domestic use.
- Fishing: Excellent trout fishing in the South Fork River.
- Summary: A dramatically beautiful mountain retreat in one of Wyoming’s most exclusive and sought-after valleys surrounding Yellowstone Park. Sold turnkey with exceptions.
As one departs Cody and drops down onto the South Fork just above the impressive expanse of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir that marks the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River, one passes through smaller ranches along the lush river bottom which are marked first by irrigated meadows and then by a verdant riparian corridor. Then one climbs out of the valley floor and proceeds through the rolling TE hills where antelope abound. Eventually, one arrives at a high point where there is an appropriately sited scenic overlook parking spot. At his point, one almost always has to stop to admire the Upper South Fork Valley spread out below. Framed by 3,000-foot mountains and cliff faces on each side with dramatic peaks at its head, the expansive river corridor spreads out below. One cannot actually see the ranch from this vantage point, but one can see where the only two major drainages - Deer Creek and Cabin Creek - feed into the river from the north. They are impressive even from this distance, and one knows that Hawkeye lies between them.
One then drops down to the valley floor, crosses the river, and passes by several well-kept ranches before crossing a narrow bridge over Deer Creek. The ranch begins almost immediately and encompasses a long sub-irrigated meadow before arriving at the building compound situated below the road. The huge cottonwoods and extensive lawns can barely be seen from the road, which continues on passing by the Majo Meadow before coming to a dead end. The ranch essentially consists of a long riparian corridor marked by big meadows on each end and the building compound in the middle.
Hawkeye is essentially an end-of-the-road ranch in one of the most spectacular private valleys surrounding Yellowstone National Park. The setting is, in a word – dramatic. More importantly it offers immediate access to an enormous wilderness complex that is considered to be the most remote in the lower 48. The building complex is complete, well-executed, and in a style that takes one back to the early days of mountain guest ranches. It is hard to imagine a more perfect family retreat.
Located at the end of the South Fork Road, approximately 41 miles from Cody, the drive parallels the South Fork and is paved most of the way. The last few miles are on a well-maintained gravel county road, so one can easily be in Cody year-round in well under an hour on a comfortable, highly scenic drive. Cody is one of Wyoming’s most attractive towns and offers a full complement of services along with commercial air service.
Cody is a very attractive town with a long history of guests and visitors who have fallen in love with the mystique and the history of Cody and settled or retired there. It is the county seat for Park County and is home to the only night rodeo in Wyoming. There are nice restaurants and galleries, but the crown jewel of the community is the internationally recognized Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which is comprised of five museums all in one big complex: the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Plains Indian Museum, the Draper Museum of Natural History, and the Cody Firearms Museum. Cody is a major access point to Yellowstone Park, both for tourists and backcountry enthusiasts. Superb hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities are enjoyed in the many mountain ranges of the area. But there is also a touch of elegance found in Cody, which is always most prevalent when the Buffalo Bill Center of the West kicks off its annual fund-raising event in late September. The Art Show and Auction and the Black-Tie Dinner Dance are not to be missed. Patrons come from all over the world to attend.
The Upper South Fork is highly regarded. Some would say an “exclusive” area that encompasses a series of small homesteads along the river corridor that are essentially surrounded by huge tracts of Shoshone National Forest designated wilderness. It is extremely tightly held by a few families who have jealously protected it from indiscriminate development. There is a zoning district and a South Fork Association that meets annually to discuss issues of importance to a community that lies at the doorstep of one of the most amazing wilderness complexes in North America.
The ranch sits at 6,400 feet above sea level and is generally flat to rolling terrain along the river corridor. This area is generally considered a bit of a protected area where wildlife comes to winter, so snow depths are not excessive allowing easy access year-round. The other seasons of the year are truly idyllic, with warm days and cool nights, and lots of sunshine.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
The improvements on Hawkeye can only be described as complete and of the highest quality. It is hard to imagine what one would add. As mentioned earlier, they share the traditional western dude ranch vernacular, and most are furnished with furniture made for the structure in the Molesworth style. They are briefly described as follows:
LODGE: This began as an historic building where Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn were alleged to have slept in what is now a private dining room. One enters a small inviting entry room with comfortable chairs and a sofa in front of an inviting stone fireplace. Passing through this room, which was part of the original building, one enters the great room, which was added by the current owner. It features a much larger fireplace on the far wall, plus a bar and a pool room annex with chairs and tables throughout a large open area. Beautifully decorated, the room is more comfortable and cozy than dominating. The building also has two bedrooms with a shared split bathroom as well as a huge commercial kitchen with appropriate coolers and freezers to accommodate a professional chef with the ability to cook for at least 30 guests.
OUTDOOR DINING COMPLEX: To supplement the lodge during the summer months the owner has built a separate commercial kitchen with full pantries, storage, freezers and refrigerators that services a covered dining area. This allows the owner and his guests to enjoy the extraordinary views and the beautiful lawns and trees. Most guests do not arise for the summer sunrises, but the evening sunsets are exceptional from this vantage point, and the light on the towering cliff face above the ranch is pretty amazing in the morning.
MASTER HOUSE: As mentioned earlier, the owner has opted to build what currently amounts to a one-bedroom house offering separate private guest cabins for friends, family, and guests. In addition to a huge master suite with fireplace and wonderful views up the valley, the house contains a pair of expansive offices, walk-in closets, a two-car garage, and one of the more impressive bathroom/dressing rooms that we have seen. The house also includes a small kitchen allowing the owner to be independent of the lodge complex for meals.
GARAGE/GALLERY: Across the parking area from the owner’s home is a three-car garage and an attached gallery/studio that houses the owner’s photography collection and a room he uses for preparing his photographs.
CORRAL CABIN: This a large one room cabin that includes a bedroom area and a separate bathroom.
BOULDER CABIN: This is a full two-bedroom, two-bathroom house with its own kitchen, dining room, living room, and wheelchair access.
BUNKHOUSE: One of the original ranch buildings, this structure has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a small sitting area.
DEER CREEK CABIN: Also one of the original ranch buildings, it has two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a spacious living room with a stone fireplace.
STUDIO CABIN: Designed originally as a chapel that offered weekly services under the previous owner, this building has a huge window that looks out at the cliff face towering above the ranch. It is now reconfigured to be a comfortable one-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin with a small living room area.
DUPLEX: As the name denotes, this building includes two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom.
LITTLE HOUSE: This was the home of the former owner and has now been converted into a two-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin with a comfortable living room.
STAFF HOUSING: This is a long building that has eight bedroom/bathroom units and a laundry room for seasonal staff use.
MANAGER’S HOUSE: This is a comfortable two-bedroom house with full kitchen, living room, bathroom, and lots of storage space, including a full basement.
GREENHOUSE: The ranch raises most of their own vegetables in raised beds outside of a fully automated greenhouse that is useful to produce vegetables at this altitude.
THEATER: This is a classic movie theater with an anteroom and rows of comfortable chairs, and a complete state-of-the-art video and sound system.
WOODSHOP: This building includes four bays with large doors and sits on a concrete pad. Part of it is heated with the balance used for storage. Much of the beautifully executed cabinetry throughout the ranch was produced in this shop.
AUTO SHOP: This is a three-bay steel building with huge overhead doors and concrete pad is fully heated.
HANGAR: Another steel building on a concrete pad that was built as a landing spot and a place to store the owner’s helicopter.
EQUIPMENT STORAGE : This is a long open-faced steel shed with a dirt floor that was built to store the ranch’s equipment.
OTHER BUILDINGS: Other buildings include a fishing room with lockers for guests, a tack building for equine equipment, a gym/work out room, and a building that houses a laundry and additional storage plus walk-in coolers and freezers.
RANCH AMENITIES: There are two underground propane tanks, three generators, one of which is 125 KV which will run the entire ranch. There are two professionally designed bocce courts, a pickleball court, a full-size riding arena, a shooting range, and a one-acre fishing pond for junior anglers.
The ranch has four good wells as well as irrigation rights out of Cabin Creek. These keep the lawns and meadows green throughout the growing season, and these meadows provide grazing for the ranch’s 14± horses and other livestock.
Seller will transfer all the mineral rights that it owns.
Annual real estate taxes are estimated at $13,806 per annum based upon past year’s taxes.
Fishing in the South Fork is excellent after the spring runoff. The ranch has access to an estimated two miles of river on the ranch. A short walk above the neighboring Majo Ranch, which is only 73 acres, takes one into the national forest where there are countless miles of the South Fork before one gets into an impassable canyon.
As one can imagine, this setting is an absolute magnet for the wildlife that are resident in the area. In addition, the cliffs and the river attract raptors of all kinds as well as a cross-section of other species. The primary larger animals are bighorn sheep which reside in the cliffs above the ranch and come down into the valley during the winter months, a well-established resident elk herd, and the occasional grizzly bear. The Upper South Fork has recently become known because wildlife cameras and extensive research have shown that it is on the migration route of thousands of elk which pass through each spring and fall on their way to and from their summer grazing range in the Yellowstone River Valley above Yellowstone Lake. This is a stunning natural spectacle with mother’s with new calves summitting a major mountain range.
Hawkeye has always been a coveted family retreat for fishing, hiking, riding, wildlife viewing, and generally enjoying the mountains. Under its current owner, it has been run as an informal guest ranch with friends and family coming in from all over to enjoy the hospitality of the current owner.
Hawkeye Ranch is being offered “turnkey” as it sits today in fully operational condition, including furnishings, horses, tack, machinery, and equipment. The exception to this is that the owner will exclude from the sale a large number of personal items, including some machinery and equipment, some art, photos, personal effects, gear, and belongings. The owner has agreed to provide a list of excluded items within two weeks of the execution of a purchase contract. The buyer shall have the right to approve this list during the due diligence period.
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