The ranch occupies the broad North Platte River bottomland at approximately 7000 feet elevation, along with the adjoining uplands and rocky Haystack Mountains. A mix of natural and irrigated grasslands, sagebrush, and rocky outcrops creates a classic “Wyoming mix” of habitat that serves big game herds of pronghorn, elk, and mule deer well. Hunting for these big game species, plus upland birds and waterfowl, is excellent on Haystack River Ranch.
Trout fishermen need no introduction to the North Platte, as one of America’s great trout rivers. It is large enough on the ranch to be fished either by floating or wading, and offers resident populations of brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, and even some walleye. The presence of sprawling Seminoe Reservoir a few miles downstream means that trophy-sized fish make their way up to Haystack River Ranch on a regular basis. The chances of hiking into fish measured in pounds is very real at Haystack River Ranch! In addition, the famed Miracle Mile of the North Platte is only a short drive away, as well as outstanding stillwater fishing in Seminoe Reservoir itself.
Haystack River Ranch has proven to be a successful cattle operation due to its hay production, low overhead, and significant contiguous acreage available. Approximately 25,000 acres are deeded, and 40,960 acres are permitted BLM lands. A private lease from Anadarko of 23,527 acres and a small state lease complete the 92,447 acres controlled by the cattle operation. All told, the property supports over 9,000 AUMs. Historically, cows and calves have been turned out to pasture in the spring in the northern part of the ranch, and cows are wintered in the southern portion. Supplemental feeding is generally required from December through April. In recent years, the ranch has supported a yearling operation and is well suited for that as well.
Improvements on the ranch are geared towards an efficient cattle operation, and include two homes, a calving and vet barn, feedlot, horse barn and various outbuildings. Lying in generally open country, OHV or horse access is good throughout the property.
Haystack River Ranch can be operated successfully as an efficient cattle business with few changes or can be seen as an investment opportunity with recreation, wind power and conservation potential. The ranch is currently under a multi-year cattle lease offering very attractive annual income possibilities to a new owner. The hunting and fishing opportunities here could be marketed, and lodging constructed to support them. Wind rights, valuable in southern Wyoming, come with the property, and conservation easements or carbon credit opportunities could be an effective way to produce income as well.
Rawlins, a hub community of about 8,000 people, is located just southwest of the ranch. It is the county seat of Carbon County and has all amenities of a small city, including an abundance of retailers, restaurants, a hospital. The area is rich in history, including the original transcontinental railroad as well as being one of the haunts of outlaw Butch Cassidy and his gang. Today, the Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum is a popular attraction. Rawlins is well-connected to the rest of the world via Interstate 80, one the nation’s major transportation arteries, and its municipal airport.
Haystack River Ranch shines as a fine opportunity for investment in a proven cattle ranch, with low overhead to keep it profitable. Investment growth may well be found in capitalizing on wind, recreation, and conservation. But in the end, perhaps the greatest asset of this property is the North Platte River itself which will for generations will nourish the land, cattle, wildlife, and not the least, trout that are as legendary as the river itself.