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~ SWEET SPOT RANCH ~ The Edge of Wild

80.5 acres with stylish 3+ bedroom country home built in 2004-5.
It is bordered by national park, with almost 3/4 mile of White Bird Creek on it.

Three words characterize living at Sweet Spot Ranch: View! Wildlife! Solitude!

By any measure, Sweet Spot Ranch is a unique property, extremely private and well protected. Every window offers stunning views. The land lies two miles northeast of White Bird, Idaho, 10 minutes from the Salmon River. It’s bordered on two sides by the Nez Perce Battlefield Nat’l Park (The Nez Perce camped right on our land). Terrain protects the other two sides, in effect isolating the ranch. White Bird Creek runs for about 3/4 mile on the property. A 70-gpm well produces soft healthy water, and a spring supplies four large horse corrals, an extensive drip system and several wildlife guzzlers.
This property is dividable and recently surveyed.

There are 3 barns, two garden shed/chicken houses and a garage and 2-bedroom guest facility. Much of the land can be grazed. An area of flat, fertile ground that offers crop potential is now planted in pheasant cover, to provide a protected corridor from National Park land, along a vegetated ditch to the sheltered cottonwood bottom along the creek.

White Bird itself is unique—at least in the mountain states—for its mild weather. The area is Idaho’s little banana belt, with 300 days of some sun and very little snow. In our twelve years here, the most snow we’ve seen at river level has been six inches at one time. We got about 16″ of precipitation in each of the last three years. As testament to the good weather, our orchard/garden produces peaches, apricots, cantelope, watermelon, kiwi, strawberries and all of the usual fruits and vegetables. July and August can be hot but it always cools off at night and the humidity stays low. You can count on a good night’s sleep. Health care and all of your day-to-day shopping needs are just 20 minutes from White Bird. We have the best of both worlds here: Superb wild country living with major services nearby. For us, it is the perfect combination of wildness and livability. The house is at 1,850′ elevation, the river at about 1,500′.
Other things to treasure at Sweet Spot Ranch: The creek music and, away from that, deep quiet that makes your ears ring; a night sky brilliant with stars (there really is a Milky Way); wildflowers to treat your eyes at every step; and an unbelievable array of wildlife. The rugged beauty of this canyon rangeland takes over your senses and keeps you in a state of wonder. In addition to that—and to our wonderful 80 acres—there are, bordering us on two sides, about 1,500 acres of public land that you can hike or ride your horse on. It’s the Nez Perce National Historic Park.

White Bird Creek, literally in our back yard, provides spawning grounds for steelhead and chinook salmon. Almost 3/4 mile of the creek lies altogether on Sweet Spot Ranch, not just as a border. We can sleep on our screened porch, lulled by the sound of water. The abundant insect life in White Bird Creek reveals the stream to be in excellent health. The Cottonwood bottom along the creek provides superior habitat for local wildlife. The breathtaking views have a big impact on us. You’ll see and hear a lot about them on these pages. There are the mountains and canyons, of course, but our views often contain interesting life, too; for example, from our living room windows you can see elk up the canyon almost any winter day, and I have seen wolves and bear up there. The open slopes across the creek reveal deer, elk, coyotes, cowboys working cattle and more.

Our front yard (and porch!), pictured at right just below, actually hosted a pair of half-grown cougars one spring morning. Read and see more about their visit in the Wildlife section. It was a little adventure we’ll remember for a long time.

The house: looking northeast, up the Creek.

View south from house, toward White Bird.

View from the dining room and kitchen. Creek’s up.

View north from house, up canyon.
Everything else is unique here, why not the mailbox?

We named our driveway Two Moon Trail. Everyone had to name their driveway if their house was off the road a certain distance (ours is 0.4 mile). Something about Homeland Security. The name we picked seems appropriate since, during the Nez Perce war of 1877, a prominent warrier led his men against the attacking whites—right from where our driveway is now. Of course, the warrier’s name was Two Moon.
The cut across the road shows evidence of the lake that used to cover the whole valley. During some past geologic era, 150 feet of water covered White Bird. The layers on the face of the cut are annual deposits of silt, which contain many leaf fossils. The hill formed by those deposits is Lower Cemetery Knoll. The Nez Perce tended to bury their dead at prominent places.

Just minutes from our house, the Salmon is a wild river, undammed its entire length. From White Bird it flows some 50 miles in a northwesterly loop to join the Snake. There are long steelhead and chinook salmon seasons, and there’s fabulous hunting and other outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, kayaking, skiing, hiking, photography. Maybe just soaking up the tranquility.
There are three ski areas within an hour of White Bird. In addition, Tamarack Resort , at Donnelly, is less than two hours away. It is an easy drive to three golf courses. And it’s only 17 miles by road to the Snake River and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. We are just minutes from millions of acres of national forest, wilderness areas and other public lands.

No place can suit everyone, but Salmon River country has done just fine by us. Why don’t you come and see how it strikes you? Follow the links above and below to learn a lot more about this home we’re selling, the land it’s on and what it’s like to live at Sweet Spot Ranch and around White Bird, Idaho. We’ve lived in a lot of areas and this has been the best for us.
You will find our place on Google Earth at N 45° 46′ 52.5″, W 116° 16′ 16″ (just copy these coordinates and paste them in the “Fly to” box). Google recently updated the satelite images, so the house now shows as a grayish form at the end of the driveway. To see the barn area follow the driveway back (left) toward the road.