Legacy Ranches and Fine Sporting Properties

Rio Virgin Ranch

Virgin, Utah (Washington County)
$6,700,000Sold
79 +/- Deeded Acres

The property is an ecological paradise with rare riparian habitat, irrigated fields and is situated between protected lands offering direct access to thousands of acres of public land.

A Peaceful Southern Utah Riverfront Retreat Near Zion National Park
Featuring
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  • A peaceful 79-acre retreat includes over ¾’s of a mile of the cottonwood-lined Virgin river and provides stunning views of southern Utah’s iconic red rock landscape.
  • Located in Virgin Utah, the ranch borders thousands of acres of public, but very private land with access to miles of backcountry hiking, biking and horseback riding.
  • The ranch is a mile and ½ horseback ride up the river from historic town of Grafton where Paul Newman took Katharine Ross for a morning bike ride in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  
  • The property includes a tastefully designed 4,700 square foot territorial style home featuring 18-inch thick adobe style walls, heavy cherry wood doors, and hand-hewn mesquite cabinetry.
  • Rio Virgin Ranch features a small pond at entry to the home in addition to irrigated and fenced pastures.
  • Conveniently situated 40 minutes from the St. George airport, seven minutes to the town of Springdale, and 12 minutes to the entrance of the world-renown Zion National Park.
  • Indoor and outdoor living spaces offer views of the Smithsonian Butte, Gooseberry Mesa, and the Kolob Terrace.
  • Spanish/Southwest style equestrian complex includes 6 horse stalls, a tack room, plus a bunkhouse for staff or guests and serves as a wonderful facility for hosting events or family gatherings.
  • A separate 1,700 square foot guest house was built in “Santa Fe” style and blends in beautifully with its natural surroundings.
Introduction
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Situated along three-quarters of a mile of the cottonwood lined Virgin River near the gateway to Zion National Park, lies the Rio Virgin Ranch. With limited availability of private properties of this size and scale along the Virgin River, the 79-acre retreat is set within the stunning red rock landscapes of Southern Utah. The main home, guest house, and equestrian barn/bunkhouse are impeccably designed and offer architectural finishes complementary to their natural surroundings. The property is an ecological paradise with rare riparian habitat, irrigated fields, and is situated between protected lands offering direct access to thousands of acres of public land.

Lay of the Land
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About The Virgin River

Rio Virgin Ranch features over ¾’s of a mile of the Virgin River which is a tributary of the Colorado River. The river originates in Southwestern Utah’s Dixie National Forest, north of Zion National Park, and is formed by the confluence of the East Fork Virgin and the North Fork Virgin River which both flow through or near Zion National Park. The Virgin flows in a southwesterly direction, passing south of the old historic townsite of St. George where the Santa Clara River joins the Virgin at a place the Paiutes called Tonaquint. During the centennial celebration of Zion National Park in 2009, the Virgin was designated Utah’s first “wild and scenic” river.

The Old Spanish Trail followed the Virgin River for part of its length from St. George to the point it ascended the Mormon Plateau to cross to the Muddy River in present-day Nevada. Despite flowing through the arid Southwestern US, the Virgin River is home to an incredible and diverse array of plants and animals. The exceptional landscapes and habitats of this region harbor unique plant and animal communities. The Virgin River supports hundreds of wildlife species including Virgin River chub, Virgin spinedace, desert sucker, and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Many of these species are endangered or are considered sensitive species within the State of Utah. The Virgin River Program was established to preserve this unique river ecosystem. In recent years, The Nature Conservancy has purchased property adjacent to, and downstream from, the Rio Virgin Ranch.

About Zion National Park

Rio Virgin is located just 12 minutes from the entrance to the iconic Zion National Park. The 229-square-mile park feature’s Zion Canyon, a 15 miles long canyon adorned with reddish and tan-colored canyon walls. The park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Visitors to Zion will enjoy the visual beauty of the park’s mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.

Zion is located on the Markagunt and Kolob plateaus, at the intersection of three North American geographic provinces: the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert. The northern part of the park is known as the Kolob Canyons section.

The 8,726-foot summit of Horse Ranch Mountain is the highest point in the park; the lowest point is the 3,666-foot elevation of Coal Pits Wash, creating a relief of about 5,100 feet.

The road into Zion Canyon is 6 miles long, ending at the Temple of Sinawava, which is named for the coyote god of the Paiute Indians. The canyon becomes more narrow near the Temple and a hiking trail continues to the mouth of The Narrows, a gorge only 20 feet wide and up to 2,000 feet tall.

The Kolob Terrace area, northwest of Zion Canyon, features a slot canyon called The Subway, and a panoramic view of the entire area from Lava Point. The Kolob Canyons section, further to the northwest near Cedar City, features Tucupit Point and one of the world’s longest natural arches, Kolob Arch.

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  • While the main operations of the ranch are located along the creek at a comfortable, four-season elevation of 5,400 feet, The Reserve is home to many elevation changes and orientations, and thus possesses a diversity of scenic resources and ecological communities, from foothills grassland, to mountain mahogany shrublands, to ponderosa pine woodlands, and desert cacti. Larimer County and Fort Collins’ Open Space programs found the property’s attributes to be compelling enough to work with the current owner to preserve those values – details on its conservation easement (CE) are below, or contact the listing agent;
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