Rock Creek Ranch

Southern Idaho


In 2016, Rock Creek Ranch became a center for science and education through a unique collaboration between the University of Idaho, The Nature Conservancy and the Wood River Land Trust.

The three groups signed an agreement to provide opportunities for effective research, learning and outreach at Rock Creek — all aimed at engaging the next generation and fostering a more sustainable Idaho.

The ranch, located near Hailey, was purchased in 2014 by the Conservancy and Wood River Land Trust from private landowner, Harry Rinker and his family. The 10,400-acre ranch encompasses the entire Rock Creek drainage southwest of Hailey and consists of high-quality sagebrush-steppe habitat, aspen forest, and river miles along Rock Creek. The protection of the area aligns with state and federal efforts to conserve sage grouse. Through a land-use agreement with The Natural Resource Conservation Service, the property is managed to conserve the area’s grasslands and to prevent future development.

Restoration and research projects have already begun on the property. The Rock Creek Restoration and Reconnection Project is intended to improve water quality, stream function and provide fish passage between Rock Creek and the lower Big Wood River. A second phase of the project, addressing the needs of the northern part of the ranch, is slated to start in 2017. As restoration and research projects evolve in the coming years, it will be the site of tours, outreach and education for landowners, ranchers, students, legislators and more.

The ranch property contains several tributaries to the Big Wood River: Rock Creek, Little Rock Creek, Big Poison Creek and Little Poison Creek, along with several unnamed streams. Future ranch management plans include restoring streams and restricting grazing in riparian areas. Improvements like willow planting along stream banks and reconstructing stream channels will benefit water quality and wildlife habitat.

Rock Creek Ranch has habitat that is valuable to sustaining sage grouse populations. Sage grouse occupy two leks on the property, and five more leks are located within one mile of the ranch. A number of leks with historic or undetermined status can be found on or near the property. Short-eared owls, eagles, many species of songbirds and waterfowl, and the yellow-billed cuckoo, a species currently listed as a “candidate,” also occur within the vicinity of the property.

To download a copy of the Rock Creek Ranch brochure click here.

Photos

View our photo gallery to take a virtual tour.

Take in the wildflowers, wildlife, and breathtaking views of the Rock Creek Ranch.

EXPLORE

The ranch is free and open to the public. This working cattle ranch provides exceptional hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and wildlife viewing opportunities. Winter offers plenty of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Motorized vehicles are limited to designated roads - Rock Creek Road*, Glendale Road, Hatty Gulch, and East Fork Rock Creek Road. Camping is strictly prohibited. Seasonal restrictions may apply to all types of access.

User rules: no camping, no fires, firearms only for hunting, follow all state hunting and fishing regulations, hunting is permitted with access by foot and on designated motorized roads. No sage grouse hunting and no trapping allowed. Pack out your trash, please park in pullouts, do not drive over dry grass.

Directions

TO ROCK CREEK BARN:

From Hailey -  from the traffic light in the center of town go west on Bullion Street. This becomes Croy Creek Road - follow this approximately 4.5 miles to Rock Creek road on the left. Follow Rock Creek Road* 6.5 miles to the Barn.

From the junction of Highway 75 and Highway 20 - go west on Highway 20 for just over 5 miles to Rock Creek Road on the right. Follow Rock Creek Road 4.5 miles to the Barn. 

TO ROCK CREEK CORRALS:

From Hailey -  from the traffic light in the center of town go west on Bullion Street. This becomes Croy Creek Road - follow this approximately 4.5 miles (from the center of town) to Rock Creek road on the left. Follow Rock Creek Road 9 miles to the Corrals near the intersection of West Glendale Road and Rock Creek Road. 

From the junction of Highway 75 and Highway 20 - go west on Highway 20 for just over 5 miles to Rock Creek Road on the right. Follow Rock Creek Road 2 miles to the Corrals near the intersection of West Glendale Road and Rock Creek Road. 

 

*Rock Creek Road is a dirt road. 

 

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

comments powered by Disqus



Read our guidelines on posting comments




GET TEXT UPDATES*

Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.