Mountains are great, restful, absorbent.You can heave your spirit into a mountain, and the mountain will keep it, folded . . . . the mountains are home.
Annie Dillard (excerpt from Pilgrim at Tinkers Creek)
Located 15 miles northwest of Cambridge in the heart of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Cuddy Meadows Ranch occupies an exceptionally picturesque mountain setting between the Payette National Forest on the western flank of Cuddy Mountain and the 24,000 acre Cecil D. Andrus Wildlife Management Area at Brownlee Summit above the Snake River. The natural beauty and diversity of this 1066+ deeded acre ranch has been carefully managed and preserved under one family’s stewardship and true pride of ownership since 1975, earning the ranch its well deserved reputation for being one of the territory’s premiere mountain properties. Three year around streams flow a combined 2 ½ miles through the ranch contributing rich riparian habitat and the priceless aesthetics of live water while providing gravity water for sprinkle irrigated meadows. Several established stock water ponds attract a variety of wildlife including water fowl and upland game birds. Elk, deer, wild turkey, quail and grouse are found on the ranch and take advantage of extensive upland habitat. The ranch’s estimated 450 acres of timbered woodland operates as an American Tree Farm, a stewardship program that promotes wildlife, conservation and recreation. Ranch improvements include a 2118 sq. ft. earth-sheltered passive solar owner’s residence, a manager’s compound (2nd dwelling or guest quarters), 1440 sq. ft. earth-sheltered shop, barn, 2400’ landing strip, airplane hangar and additional attractive and serviceable outbuildings. Local and territorial views all across the ranch are exclusively magical; mountain views from the ranch capture a magnificent panorama reaching as far as the rugged Wallowa Mountain peaks in eastern Oregon.
AN AREA OVERVIEW
Cuddy Meadows Ranch is located in Washington County. Washington County has a population of 10,090 and encompasses 1,482 square miles. The county seat is Weiser, a town of approximately 5,400 that is a strong agricultural community complemented by a well established business district. Recognized for its tree lined streets, civic pride and history rich architecture, Weiser is famous for the National Old Time Fiddle Festival held each year in June.
Cambridge, a small town with a big sense of community, is the northernmost municipality in Washington County and the closest service and social center to the ranch. Cambridge is a pretty town nestled along the Weiser River and at the junction of Highways 95 and 71 thereby securing recognition as the Gateway to Hell’s Canyon. Cambridge offers a variety of shops and services that include lodging, restaurants, groceries, museum, fuel, professional and medical services, senior center and a K-12 school system. Cambridge hosts numerous civic events throughout the year including Hell’s Canyon Days in early June and the Washington County Fair and Rodeo the first week in August.
Cuddy Meadows Ranch is a short 20 minute drive to Brownlee Reservoir on the Snake River and another 45 minutes to Hell’s Canyon Dam, North America’s deepest river gorge. With more pioneer and Native American historic sites than any other river in the region and a celebrated reputation for fishing, boating, white water rafting, hiking and hunting, the Snake River Canyon is a paradise of awe inspiring natural beauty and a Mecca of recreational opportunity.
McCall on Payette Lake, one of Idaho’s most popular summer and winter resort and recreation areas, is approximately 65 miles north. Idaho’s capitol city of Boise and Boise International Airport are about a two and one half hour drive from the ranch via state and interstate highways.THE CLIMATE
Cuddy Meadows Ranch benefits from four distinct seasons. Annual precipitation ranges from 22” to 28”. The growing season permits growing a variety of vegetables and fruit; apple, pear, and plum trees grow wild on the ranch. Fall is a spectacular time of year and often extends into November; colors are brilliant and temperatures ideal for outdoor living. Winter snows are pristine and bring with them the luxury of crystal clear nights and stillness. Spring and summer temperatures are comfortable with warm days and cool nights.A GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Cuddy Meadows Ranch consists of three parcels of deeded land, two of which are separated by 640 acres of State of Idaho land under grazing permit to the ranch and one smaller 30+ acre parcel that is separated from the main portion by approximately 1/8th mile of national forest. The main deeded parcel encompasses 812+ acres while the second tract comprises 224+ acres. The entire ranch is nearly 2 miles from north to south and 2 ½ miles east to west. Elevation ranges from 4156 feet at the western edge of the property and 5000 feet in the northeastern corner against the national forest.
Historically the ranch has been managed for its timber resources, hay production and livestock grazing. Current owners have balanced historic use with solid conservation practices successfully preserving while still producing.
Museum records and water rights dating back to 1888 suggest the ranch was homesteaded about that time.THE IMPROVEMENTS
A private drive through a timbered area of the ranch opens onto a secluded meadow at the edge of which is the owner’s residence, a 2118 sq. ft. earth sheltered passive solar home with attached 300 sq. ft. greenhouse. Built in 1981, this two story, 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with office and guest quarters combines precision craftsmanship, artistic design, and engineering with the intention to live artfully and efficiently. The home is a model of passive solar design with no sacrifice of comfort and beauty. Massive log beams and uprights, wide-plank pine ceilings, hardwood flooring and carpeting, a hand crafted spiral staircase, Vermont Casting Wood Heater and custom pine kitchen cabinets with granite tile counters are complemented by Pella Casement Windows that lets natural light in throughout the home. Domestic water is spring fed via a gravity system. An outdoor patio is convenient to the dining area and kitchen and looks over an established lawn and garden area with an automatic sprinkling system. A 735 sq. ft. detached garage located conveniently to the home is also earth sheltered.2nd Dwelling
Famously referred to by its prior occupants and guests as the Raspberry House, the 2nd dwelling on the ranch is 1312 sq. ft. on two levels. The Raspberry House has been completely remodeled in recent years and stands testimony to how delightful a home can be when original patina is preserved and well chosen upgrades are contributed. The home is inviting, interesting, cozy and extremely livable. The main level includes main entry, laundry, kitchen, dining, living room and a full bath. Unique amenities include refinished fir floors and Pozzi Wood Windows that frame mountain and meadow views. The fully finished 600 sq. ft. basement with two full walls of Pella Casement Windows has been dedicated to a grand single bedroom with full bath, Vermont Casting Wood Heater and walk-out door to a small attached greenhouse. This is a private space that could easily accommodate additional beds or an office. The long established raspberry patch just inside the gate and convenient to the front door gives this home its name.Outbuildings adjacent to the Raspberry House complement the setting and are in good and serviceable condition: an above ground root cellar, wood shed, one room guest cabin, chicken coop, wood granary, two car garage and 2288 sq. ft. machine shed and a 1344 sq. ft. hay and livestock barn with corrals.
The ranch’s 30’ X 60’ (1,440 sq. ft.) earth sheltered shop is an exceptional facility divided into three bays, one each for wood, metal and equipment. The shop is wired for 110 and 220, has concrete floors and comes equipped with a phase converter, compressed air, water, automatic dust collection system, a wood fired boiler and propane heat. In proximity to the shop is a 544 sq. ft. cover designed to house a Mitey-Mite Sawmill.Landing Strip
The 75’ X 2400’ grass landing strip is at an elevation of 4500 feet. The landing strip is licensed as ID77 Cuddy Meadows Airport. (www.airnav.com)Airplane Hangar
50’ X 50’ (2500 sq. ft.) Located at the north end of the landing strip, the hangar is an enclosed steel building with concrete floor, airplane hangar door and person door.
47’ X 110’ (5,170 sq. ft.) Pole barn designed for hay and equipment storage.
450 acres +. Operated as an American Tree Farm for the past 30 years with emphasis on wildlife, conservation and recreation, the timbered portion of the ranch is beautiful and healthy. Recently cruised, the ranch’s mix of Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir was estimated at 5.5 million board feet. Under the guidance of a forest lands consultant and with the assistance of a local logger, the owner’s were recognized as Idaho Tree Farmers of the Year in 2007.
Hay and Pasture Land
127 acres +. Five separate west sloping meadows on the ranch are comprised of deep, rich and productive stony loam soils capable of producing excellent crops of grass and alfalfa hay and sustained pasture for livestock. Approximately 95 acres are under gravity sprinkled irrigation. Production aside, the meadows are unforgettably and perennially picturesque, an intangible yield that no doubt inspires the ranch’s name.
74 acres + of tillable dry land farm ground that has been seeded to pasture grass and used historically for livestock grazing.
408 acres + currently used for spring and fall grazing. Terrain is primarily west facing and gently rolling ground interrupted by brushy, tree lined draws and covered by native grasses, sage and bitterbrush.
The ranch holds a State of Idaho cattle grazing lease for 100 AUMs on 640 acres.THE WATER
Little Pine is a year around creek that winds off the mountain and through the southeast portion of the ranch for about 1 mile following a canyon well protected by a cover of timber and low growing vegetation.
Seid Creek is a year around stream that runs through the main section of the ranch for about ¾ of a mile contributing to the ranch’s rich riparian habitat.
Milk Creek flows from a year around spring source through the ranch for about ¾ of a mile. (It derives its name from the Milk Ranch, an early homestead dairy on the mountain that used the spring water to cool the milk.)
Two ponds, both seasonal and one of which is on the state leased land, have been developed for wildlife habitat and for livestock water.
Several springs have been developed on the ranch, two of which supply excellent domestic gravity water to the two residences. Additional springs have been developed for stock-water.THE WATER RIGHTS
Cuddy Meadows Ranch has 8 adjudicated water rights for domestic, irrigation and stock water filed with the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources. Irrigation water rights for 123 acres, a portion of which date back to 1888, are water-banked with the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources until 2015. A copy of all water rights information is available upon request.WILDLIFE
A wide variety of birds and mammals inhabit the ranch. The game birds include valley quail, mourning dove, wild turkeys, blue and ruffed grouse. There are also great horned owls and several varieties of hawks and songbirds. Mammals found on the ranch include: black bear, elk, mule deer, cougars, bobcats, coyotes and foxes. Little Pine Creek provides a warm water fishery through the ranch.BROKER’S COMMENT
Cuddy Meadows Ranch is a premiere mountain property in the Hell’s Canyon Rim Country of West Central Idaho. Legacy properties of this quality and caliber are few and are often passed from one generation to another. This offering of Cuddy Meadows Ranch is a rare opportunity for a prospective buyer seeking the exceptional.