Saddle Horn Ranch

$2,840,000 Thermopolis, WY 5,207± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Located just outside of Thermopolis, WY, Saddle Horn Ranch is comprised of 34,535± acres (5,206± deeded, 12,050± BLM lease, 1,280± state lease, and 15,999± national forest lease which is for 299 AU's and the season of use is June 16-October 15). The ranch is rated at approximately 4,900 AUMs and is currently stocked with 400-500 pairs with outside hay purchased. Approximately 300± acres are irrigated consistently under two pivots. Additional irrigation is possible in high water years, with 1,895± acres of adjudicated water rights assessed by the Owl Creek Irrigation District. Ranch improvements include an excellent machine shop, apartment, garage, new corrals and new calving barn. There are approximately twelve miles of buried pipeline and several active water wells, including one well having hot water. The ranch also offers abundant big game hunting opportunities for trophy mule deer, whitetail deer and antelope.

Just the Facts

  • 34,535± total acres; comprised of 5,206± deeded acres, 12,050± acres BLM lease, 1,280± acres State lease, and 15,999± acres US Forest Service lease
  • US Forest Service lease is for 299 AU's, the season of use is June 16-October 15
  • Estimated carrying capacity of 4,900 AUMs, with 1,950 deeded AUMs and 2,958 leased AUMs
  • 300± sprinkler-irrigated acres under two Valley pivots, new in 2008
  • 1,895± acres of adjudicated water rights assessed by the Owl Creek Irrigation District
  • Currently stocked at 400-500 AU with outside hay production
  • Twelve miles of stock-water pipeline
  • Quality constructed steel shop building with apartment, garage, new calving/horse barn and new corrals
  • Approximately ten miles west of Thermopolis, WY
  • Big game hunting for trophy mule deer, whitetail deer and antelope
  • New Hot Springs County Airport opened in 2015 with 6,370-foot runway

General Description

The ranch is easily accessed off Highway 120, and lies on both sides. Connected by a good gravel road, the headquarters are about one mile west of the highway and lay below the Padlock Rim which dominates the skyline to the north. From there, towards the west, is gentle sloping terrain with two pivots irrigating approximately 300 acres. Surrounding the headquarters and the pivots are approximately 2,800 deeded acres that are broken into numerous pastures that accommodate breeding cattle and intensive grazing rotations. These pastures range from irrigated and sub-irrigated ground to drier brushed pastures. Beyond the smaller pastures surrounding the compound, to the north and east, the ranch opens up into expansive grazing allotments that include both BLM and deeded lands. This area of the ranch is dramatic in makeup, with high rock and sandstone rims, topped with cedar trees, that fall quickly into deep, brush-filled draws. Between most of the brush-filled drainages the ranch is made up of expansive Wyoming prairie. These large areas are filled with native grass and sagebrush, providing excellent grazing for livestock and wildlife. Roughly 90 miles east of the base ranch is the U.S. Forest Service lease, consisting of a beautiful alpine setting and superb summer grazing.  Saddle Horn Ranch includes a variety of terrain and habitats that make it a scenically diverse ranch as well as a magnet for a broad diversity of Wyoming wildlife. 

Broker's Comments

Saddle Horn Ranch represents one of the most affordable cattle ranches to recently enter the marketplace. Rarely does a Wyoming cattle ranch get priced under $10,000 per animal unit. The ranch is functional, practical and will work for most all operating scenarios. The ranch is easy to access and close to needed amenities. Definitely one of the best values to enter the market this year! 

Learn about the locale


Situated 10 miles northwest of Thermopolis in the Owl Creek Valley, the Saddle Horn Ranch lies in an area of serious ranches, yet is a short commute to a comfortable small town with a real sense of civic pride, history, and basic amenities. Thermopolis is home to the world’s largest natural hot springs and the Hot Springs State Park.

Commercial air service is available in Riverton (60 miles south) and Cody (80 miles north) with daily commuter service to both Denver and Salt Lake City, as well as an excellent fixed-base operation. In addition to nearby Thermopolis, social and cultural amenities as well as complete shopping, restaurants, and other services are all available in both Riverton and Cody. 


Immediate neighbors, besides large tracts of public land, are primarily cattle ranches which, like the Saddle Horn, utilize these lands for livestock grazing.

The nearby community of Thermopolis is well known for its relaxing and comfortable ambiance as well as Hot Springs State Park, Wind River Canyon and Boysen Reservoir. Thermopolis offers most basic services and amenities including lodging, dining and a variety of shopping. It is a town which has always shown an unusual amount of pride and character.


Thermopolis has typical weather patterns for a town in the Bighorn Basin. High temperatures in the hottest months of the summer, July and August, average in the low-90s (Fahrenheit) and average low temperatures in the winter will run around 10-20 degrees. However, these are the extremes. Precipitation averages around twelve inches with peaks in April, May and June when they might receive over two inches, and most months receiving less than an inch on average. Wind speeds average three-four miles per hour with March and April generally being the windiest months. Snowfall will average about five inches in December and January, tapering off after that with the possibility of a March or April bump. The area is subject to chinook winds so it is rare to have heavy accumulations of snow except right after a storm. 

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded acreage summary
  • 300± acres pivot sprinkler irrigated
  • 1,595± acres sub-irrigated/irrigated pasture
  • 3,311± acres range land
  • 5,206± Total deeded acres

Deeded Acres: 5,207±
State Leased Acres: 1,280±
BLM Leased Acres: 12,050±
Other Leased Acres: 15,999±
Total Leased Acres: 29,329±
Total Acres: 34,536±

Additional Information

WYOMING AS A TAX HAVEN Many consider Wyoming to be one of the tax friendliest states to live in. Here are a few of the reasons:No state income tax on personal or corporate income or out of state retirement incomeNo state inheritance or gift taxNo state capital gains taxDynasty trusts are permitted in WyomingNo tax on personal property held for personal useProperty taxes in general are low and based on assessed values. No taxes on the sale of real estatePlease consult a tax professional for more information and assistance in evaluating Wyoming as “tax haven”. 


Saddle Horn Ranch has a very functional and practical set of improvements. Anchoring the headquarters is the main shop/apartment building. The ranch also has an excellent calving barn with horse stalls, vet/tack room and a heated section with calving jugs and maternity pen. Attached to the calving barn is a well-built set of pipe corrals. The corrals have several large pens with water, and numerous smaller pens for sorting livestock. The corral system flows nicely into a well-designed tub and loading chute. East of the shop/apartment building is another uninsulated shop, currently used for dry storage of equipment, feed, seed, minerals, etc.

Apartment/Shop Building
4,264± total square feet and built in 2009. This building is equipped with a two-level, 1,756± sq. ft. apartment, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The lower level also has a 3,432± sq. ft. shop area that has three large 16-foot automatic garage doors – one door on the south side, one door on the west side, and one more door on the east side. This offers “pull through” capabilities for large equipment or trucks. The shop area is well lighted with heat and insulation.

Equipment/Dry Storage Shop
1,200± square feet and erected in 1999; equipped with electricity and a wood burning stove. The building is uninsulated, but works well for dry storage of equipment and ranch supplies. 

Calving Barn
3,000± square feet, built in 2015. The calving barn has three distinct sections. On the west end, utilizing approximately 25 percent of the square footage, are open stalls that can be utilized for horses, cattle, or storage. In the middle portion of the barn, using another 25 percent of the layout, is a heated vet room/tack room. This portion is also plumbed with water for easy cleanup of the room and equipment. The remaining east end of the barn is a well-designed calving facility. The barn has eight calving jugs and a large maternity pen. The large area is heated with over-head radiant propane heaters. The east end of the calving barn opens up into the well-constructed pipe corrals. The corrals are very well designed, with several large pens with water and numerous smaller pens for sorting livestock. The corral system flows nicely into a well-designed tub and loading chute for easy processing of cattle.

The Saddle Horn Ranch is not burdened with an overbuilt owner’s residence, but instead has very functional and practical improvements that will work well for all owners.

Water Resources

Water resources on the Saddle Horn Ranch come from the Owl Creek drainage and drilled water wells. There are approximately 300 irrigated acres located on the ranch. The primary source of irrigation water is Owl Creek, via the Owl Creek Irrigation District ditch system. The land is irrigated from two center pivot sprinkler systems, both consisting of 2008 Valley 8-tower units covering approximately 150 acres each. The pivots are gravity pressured with water entering the pipeline system from a settling pond that aids in filtering the sediments out of the water. The center pivot sprinkler irrigation system is well-designed, efficient, and economical to operate. These center pivot sprinkler systems are essential for maximizing the use of available irrigation water. During times of sufficient water, additional portions of the ranch benefit from sub- and gravity flow irrigation.

Domestic water is supplied via a pipeline from a well located approximately six miles northwest of the headquarters. This well also provides livestock water to both the east and west sides of Highway 120 via a newly renovated and extended pipeline. The BLM allotments contain several springs and reservoirs in addition to the pipeline servicing the heart of the allotments. There is also an independent well on the far north end of the ranch, as well as another servicing the south end of the ranch near the Owl Creek Road. 

Mineral Rights

Sellers will convey all of the mineral rights that they own. At this point they do not know what mineral rights, if any, that they might own. 


Based upon past years, the real estate taxes are approximately $8,440 annually.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Recreational Considerations

The Saddle Horn Ranch, a “textbook Wyoming property,” is loaded with a broad cross section of western plains wildlife. The ranch is home to abundant populations of pronghorn antelope and solid numbers of mule deer. The irrigated land around the headquarters also brings in many whitetail deer. This area of Wyoming is known for producing trophy mule deer, and the number of mature whitetail in the area is increasing. It goes without saying that there is no problem finding numerous trophy antelope. The rimmed ridges scattered throughout the ranch and the draws below are ideal habitat for chukkar and the ranch holds many huntable coveys.

Other recreation beyond the simple enjoyment of these wildlife assets would include horseback riding, hiking, bird watching and utilizing other motorized forms of transportation to access the ranch’s many acres.

The ranch is located in an area of prime fishing. The famous Bighorn River flows right through Thermopolis and offers some of the best fly fishing Wyoming has to offer in the Boysen Reservoir tailwater section that flows through a beautiful canyon south of Thermopolis. This is a well-known destination fishery for Wyoming anglers that does not have the notoriety of the lower reaches of the Bighorn River in Montana. South of Thermopolis, just beyond the beautiful Wind River Canyon, is Boysen Reservoir and Boysen State Park. Boysen is known widely for its plentiful populations of trout, walleye, and perch, just to name a few of the it holds.

Thermopolis is known globally for its Hot Springs State Park, which holds the world’s largest mineral hot springs. There are several water parks with water slides and mineral hot pools for the entire family to enjoy. Cody, to the north, has the famous Buffalo Bill Center of the West and is also the gateway to the East Entrance of Yellowstone Park.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

Each operator may approach a ranch like this differently. Currently, the seller has chosen to concentrate on grazing the entire ranch and if additional forage is needed, then it is purchased.

The current operator has suggested a cow/calf operation that would entail running a base herd of 375-400 mother cows, plus one would retain and run replacement heifers, appropriate bulls, and ranch horses. The lease ground, including State, BLM and US Forest Service is rated at 2,958 AUMs and the deeded property is rated at 1,950 AUMs for a total of 4,908 AUMs. As with this ranch and others, stocking rates can vary widely based on management practices, frame size of cattle, and willingness to feed additional feed supplements.

The Saddle Horn Ranch has been calving in March with the annual schedule of pasture rotation described below:
  • January 1-31st- 400 cows on the BLM Allotments of “Steer and South Coal Draw”
  • February 1- March 31st -400 cows on irrigated pasture receiving additional forage as needed
  • April 1-April 30th- 200 pair on BLM Allotment “Back of the Rim” (north of improvements) and 200 pair on the deeded, southwest of the headquarters
  • May 1-June 30th- Cattle are on the pivots and the south end of the deeded for breeding
  • July 1-October 1st- 360 pairs on the US Forest Service lease, Salt Creek and C&H Allotments (above Shell, Wyoming)
  • October 1-December 31st- Bred cows on BLM allotments “Steer and South Coal Draw”

Back to Overview


Cash at closing

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