White River Ranch

Uintah Basin, Utah (Uintah County)
$30,000,000
17,000 +/- Deeded Acres

The White River Ranch offers an incredible combination of recreation and hunting.

A vast 17,000-acre sanctuary in eastern Utah includes spectacular river frontage, endless opportunities for recreation and hunting in addition to significant natural resources.
Featuring
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A vast 17,000-acre sanctuary in eastern Utah includes spectacular riverfrontage, endless opportunities for recreation and hunting in addition to significant natural resources.

  • Surrounded by over one million acres of public land, the ranch contains miles of roads and trails, including well-maintained county roads, 2-tracks, and game trails.
  • The north end of the ranch boasts 3 ½ miles of White River frontage with ideal locations for primitive cabin or camp sites.
  • The larger, southern, 13,429-acre Evacuation Creek section of the ranch is home to historic mining and railway communities and provides endless opportunities for recreation including mountain biking, ATV riding, hiking, and camping.
  • The accessibility and topography of the ranch provide a blank slate on which to develop a recreation and trail master plan for multiple uses.
  • The property hosts a variety of unique wildlife including bison and wild mustangs plus the ranch provides critical winter habitat for migrating elk and deer. 
  • The White River Ranch is a strong candidate for Utah’s Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) program which provides guaranteed big game hunting permits to private property owners.
  • The property contains one of the largest privately owned oil shale reserves in the United States with significant resource potential.  Ownership of such an asset may provide considerable economic return to the next owner.
Introduction
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The White River Ranch offers an incredible combination of recreation and hunting. Combined with the possibility of economic returns from natural resource development, ownership of the ranch provides long-term security for a qualified investor looking for appreciation in land as well as income potential.

Lay of the Land
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Overview

Situated in northeastern Utah, not far from the Colorado border, the White River Ranch includes 3 1/2 miles of White River frontage which winds through 4,500 acres at the northern two sections of the ranch.   This portion of the ranch contains numerous draws and drainages, dramatic river gorges plus multiple settings along the river for camping.  The 13,429-acre Evacuation Creek section at the southern end of the ranch extends into the East Tavaputs Plateau. This large contiguous block, with a 25-mile perimeter, provides a sanctuary for recreationalists, hunters, and explorers.  Numerous towering cliffs, benches, creeks, and drainages are home to a variety of plant life, including junipers, pinyons, cottonwoods, desert shrubs, cacti, and White River Penstemon.  A variety of bird species and raptors, wild turkey as well as wintering mule deer &, elk, wild mustangs, and bison can be found on the ranch throughout the year.   Remnants of the historic town of Watson, a railway and mining camp, can be found on the broad floor of a canyon at the south end of Evacuation Creek.  Watson was home to the narrow-gauge Uintah Railway which supported Gilsonite mining in the region since the early 1900’s. Gilsonite, an unusual Utah resource found in dozens of long, vertical, northwest-trending veins, is still actively mined in the Uinta Basin. The railway serviced other company towns, now abandoned and located not far from the ranch, including Rainbow and Dragon.

The White River Ranch is located 45 minutes southeast of Vernal, Utah which is just under 3 hours from downtown Salt Lake City.  Uintah County manages a local airport with two 7,000-foot runways that accommodate private jet aircraft.  Dinosaur national Monument, a 200,000 acre park where evidence of dinosaurs has been preserved for millions of years, is located just 45 minutes north of the ranch in Vernal, Utah. “Dinosaurland”, has been a hub for energy companies for decades and is fast becoming a recreation destination in Utah based on nearby Green River and Yampa River rafting excursions, a boom in mountain biking plus access to a variety of dinosaur museums and excursions.

Topography & Climate

Within a vast landscape which to roam, visitors to the ranch will encounter dramatic rock formations with numerous cliffs, benches, draws canyons and flats. Ephemeral washes, including the larger Evacuation Creek, can be found throughout the property. Lower elevations on White River Ranch range at around 5,000 feet and bluffs along canyon walls by the White River reach approximately 6,500 +/- feet in elevation. Steep, narrow and dramatic drainages can be found on both sides of the White River.   A variety of sedimentary rock types including colorful shale can be found throughout the region.  The White River Ranch enjoys the typical high desert, semi-arid climate found in this area of eastern Utah.   Abundant sunshine and low humidity are typical here. Average annual moisture from rain and snow melt is around 10 inches, with average summertime highs in the 80s and wintertime lows in the teens. Annual snowfall is around 16 inches.  At nighttime, one of the darkest night skies in North America offers incredible stargazing with glances of occasional shooting stars.

Recreation

There are ideal settings throughout the ranch in which to site basecamps or hunting lodges, all accessible to miles of trails for motorized and non-motorized biking, hiking, and trail running.   A road system on the ranch provides easy access to most parts of the property via 4-wheel drive or off-highway vehicles.    Access to BLM and county roads expands the ability to explore roads less traveled through hundreds of thousands of adjoining acres of public land. The landscape for travel by horseback is ideal- plenty of open range to roam and miles of trail riding with no-one in sight.  As the popularity of recreation from in-state as well as out-of-state travelers continues to soar, this less explored part of the state provides numerous opportunities for those seeking sanctuary from other more popular Utah destinations.

White River

The 185 mile-long White River, with its headwaters in western Colorado, flows into the Green River just south of Ouray, Utah.  The river, one of the least explored in the western states, is a floater’s and paddler’s paradise and offers great canoeing and rafting with single day or multi day river trips that could last between 24 and 80 miles. Abundant birdlife and mammals can be found by the river including colorful mountain bluebirds, wild turkey, waterfowl, mule deer and smaller mammals.  History tells that in 1871, three men from John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River Expedition hiked cross-country from the Green River to map the area just west of White River Ranch where they discovered an area of pinnacles and spires known as Goblin City.  The river is accessible from both sides of the ranch’s private holdings. The ranch includes approximately 150 acres of flat, river frontage which could accommodate multiple camp or cabin sites. 

 

Sporting Features
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Hunting

The White River Ranch is part of the Book Cliffs/Bitter Creek Hunting units.   The property owner qualifies for General Season and Limited Entry Landowner permits for both deer & elk.  Migrating elk and deer visit sections of the ranch in mid-October and large trophy bucks have been spotted moving up from neighboring canyons to the east as have elk from resident herds further south.   Portions of the ranch provide critical winter habitat for both species and there is tremendous opportunity to improve big game habitat by adding watering resources and improvements to forage.  Additionally, there are opportunities to introduce bison to the ranch.  The White River Ranch is an excellent candidate for guaranteed hunting rights through the Division of Wildlife Resources’ Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) program.  Membership in a CWMU guarantees permits for elk, deer, turkey, and, based on the location of White River Ranch, possibly bison.

Ranch Attributes
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Oil Shale

Oil and gas production in the Uintah basin has played a significant part of the nation’s energy history and will continue to do so for years to come.  Known for its vast oil shale reserves, the Green River formations of Eastern Utah and Western Colorado contain some of the highest-yielding oil shale in the world. Significant and proven oil shale reserves on the Evacuation Creek portion of the ranch are supported by years of research and development undertaken by the current property owner. Testing from 168 core samples, assays, and geotechnical studies can be provided to qualified buyers upon inquiry to the listing brokers.

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