Located near the foothills of the Caribou National Forest in Wayan, Idaho, the Grays Lake Outlet Ranch offers tranquility within close proximity to everyday necessities, resort services and incredible recreational opportunities. The delightful western town of Alpine, Wyoming, is a short thirty-minute drive and offers modern conveniences while the vacation favorite, Jackson Hole, is an hour-drive north through the scenic Snake River Canyon. The area’s recreational opportunities are abundant and include world-class trout waters and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Private air service is offered thirty minutes south of the property via Afton’s 7,200-foot airstrip, and commercial air service is available in Jackson Hole. Star Valley is unique in that throughout its fifty-mile length, at no place is the valley floor wider than six miles between the Caribou-Targhee National Forest on the west and the Bridger-Teton National Forest to the east. This narrow band of green countryside has become highly-attractive real estate with larger ranches averaging 300 acres in size.
The ranch is comprised of 480 deeded acres conveniently fenced along the perimeter to allow for cattle grazing or to protect grain crops on the approximately 350 tillable acres. Of the 350 tillable acres, 300 have been well-rested over the past ten years and were enrolled in a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which recently expired in September of 2010. The fertile and well-rested soils are suitable for grain crops or stands of grass for a cattle operation.
Outlet Creek meanders through the property for approximately 1 ½ miles, entering the property on the southeastern border and making its way through open hay meadows and large rock outcroppings in a canyon-like setting. The creek is supplemented with four springs, which maintain a tailwater quality with constant temperature and flow rate year-round providing excellent fish habitat. The Outlet Creek has been a focal point for the current owners who have worked collaboratively with local government agencies and enhancement specialists to preserve and enhance the riparian corridor that benefits the native cutthroat trout populations and wintering elk and Mule deer. Brockman Road serves as both the property’s eastern boundary and access to the ranch on a seasonal basis.
Most of the fishing opportunities within close proximity can be found in nearby Star Valley, a fifteen-minute drive from the ranch. To the angler’s delight, the Palisades Reservoir is twenty five minutes north of the ranch. This 16,000-acre high alpine reservoir is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and serves as a resting place for the Grays, Salt and Snake Rivers before exiting at the Palisades Dam in Swan Valley, which forms the South Fork of the Snake River.
The more famed and written about Snake River often overshadows the lesser-known tributaries that define Star Valley. The Salt River is one of these area trout waters that should not be overlooked by the avid angler. It meanders north through the soil-rich ranchlands of Star Valley for thirty miles, gaining momentum from the numerous spring creeks before reaching the Palisades Reservoir. Well-marked public access points throughout the valley offer accessibility for both float and wade fishing on the Salt. Cutthroat, rainbow, brook and brown trout averaging 12”-16” are commonly found in these waters with an occasional rumor of a ten-pound brown. One of the valley’s well kept secrets is the Grays River, which originates in the high mountain peaks of the Wyoming Range along the valley’s eastern border. This river flows through a narrow forested valley and offers a variety of fishing from pocket water, riffles, cutbanks and deep holes before meeting the Palisades Reservoir. Other lesser-known tributaries of note include Crow Creek, Sage Creek, Tin Cup Creek and the myriad of spring creeks running through the valley’s ranchlands.
The Grays Lake Outlet Ranch is a diverse ranch offering both recreational attributes and operational considerations. It is conveniently located within close proximity to modern conveniences and Jackson Hole’s historic and resort-laden atmosphere. Grays Lake Outlet Ranch offers the high alpine setting with magnificent 360-degree views.