Overview: The West Rim Ranch is located on the quiet side of the Teton Mountain Range on the northwestern rim of the Big Hole Mountains in both Teton County and Madison County, Idaho. The ranch is comprised of 2,553.56 deeded acres of diverse landscape that includes timbered hillsides, large open pastures, deep tree-lined canyons and a 2.5-mile shared border with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. From north to south, the ranch ascends to meet the forest border with elevated views of the nearby agricultural landscape and larger ranch holdings to the north and west. Wide-open spaces dominate the horizon, which is framed by numerous mountain ranges including the Lemhi Range, Lost River Range, Centennial Range, and the Big Hole Range. On a clear day, one can see the tree-covered hillsides of Yellowstone National Park.
Acreage: The ranch is comprised of 2,553.56 deeded acres with large rolling pastures and a modest slope rising to the National Forest boundary at 7,300 feet in elevation. The ranch’s deeded acreage spans both Teton and Madison counties with 1,774.72 acres located in Teton County and the remaining 778.84 acres in Madison County. Historically, this ranch has been used as a cattle ranch and small grain farm, however the current owners have temporarily retired the cultivated acreage. During this time, the ranch has been enrolled in a continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for the past 12 years. This program is administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and overseen by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) designed to rest and rejuvenate agricultural soils while benefiting local wildlife. The program offers the landowners an annual lease payment of $41,377 for the 1,424.5 acres that are retired. Most of the contracts were recently renewed and will expire in 2023. The pastures that are enrolled in the CRP program are well established with native perennial grass pastures, which offer the local wildlife cover and forage throughout the entire ranch. On the southern portion, one finds tree-covered hillsides and open pastures lined with aspens and conifer trees along the nearly 2.5 miles of National Forest boundary. This area offers elevated views overlooking the entire ranch and operational farm fields to the north. Long established harvest-to-market roads meander through the ranch, allowing direct and easy access to forest service roads and millions of acres of public lands.
Live Water: Many anglers consider the area to be one of the most trout-rich regions in the world. This corner of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, located in southeast Idaho, provides an abundance of trout fisheries ranging from small wading streams to large floatable rivers. The Teton River runs through Teton Valley and lies within close proximity to the ranch. Trophy cutthroat and rainbow trout as well as the occasional brook trout inhabit this famous fishery. With rolling meadows that rise up to meet the majestic mountain vistas in all directions, the Teton River is referred to as “the most scenic trout stream in North America.” The Teton River is graced with an abundance of mayfly, stonefly, caddis and midge hatches while terrestrial patterns also work well in the late summer months. Local outfitters often report catching cutthroat trout as large as 23 inches in size and rainbow trout exceeding 24 inches in the Idaho Fly Fishing Guide.
The famed Henry’s Fork, world-renowned for its rainbow and brown trout, lies fifteen miles to the northwest near Ashton. One would be hard pressed to read any publication on western fly fishing and not see the Henry’s Fork highlighted. From the famous salmonfly hatch in the Box Canyon to the sought-after green and brown drake hatches on the Railroad Ranch, the Henry’s Fork is truly an angler’s paradise with nearly year round floating and wading opportunities.
Wildlife and Hunting: As an extension of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the area offers a diverse population of wildlife, benefitting primarily from the nearby Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Big game species include elk, moose, mule deer, black bear, wolf, mountain lion, bobcat and fox. Birds of interest include the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, golden eagle, bald eagle and other raptors native to the area as well as more than 60 other bird species.
The current owners have conducted several wildlife studies verifying the importance of the habitat on the West Rim Ranch. In two separate studies, both the Idaho Fish and Game and Intermountain Aquatics, a local environmental consulting firm, identified three sharp-tailed grouse leks, or breeding grounds, on the property. Considering the sharp-tailed grouse is listed as “high priority” in the Idaho Bird Conservation Plan this property and the high density of leks found onsite only solidifies this ranch’s importance in our ecosystem. The canyons that dissect the plateaus on the property are lined with aspens and conifers, and are considered critical habitat for big game. These canyons provide movement corridors, refuge and critical winter and transitional range for these animals.
Get To Know Idaho Ranches for Sale in Idaho
Idaho ranches for sale offer a variety of opportunities for water and wildlife recreation against the backdrop of the majestic Teton Range. Breathtaking hunting properties and Idaho cattle ranches can be found throughout the state in such rising resort communities as Teton Valley, ID, while fly fishing ranches sit on the banks of the Snake River, the Warm, the Fall, and the Teton, to name a few. Only moments away from world class recreation opportunities such as powder skiing and upland bird hunting, contact Live Water Properties for more information on purchasing Idaho ranch real estate in Idaho.