Thorn Creek Ranch

Medical Springs, Oregon

4,072 Deeded Acres – 80 Acres Landlocked BLM

An attractive western-ranch-style setting, complete with a 2014 finished custom home and matching outbuildings.

Thorn Creek Ranch, Medical Springs Oregon

Thorn Creek Ranch headquarters offer an attractive western ranch style setting complete with a 2014 finished custom home and matching outbuildings. Extreme privacy is offered behind a locked gate and three quarter mile driveway. One will be hard pressed to find a property with the combined mixture of livestock, wildlife, hunting, fishing and other below listed outdoor activities so readily accessible within such a compact area.

Price & Terms: $3,600,000 - Cash at Closing

Real Estate Taxes: Approx $7,000



Thorn Creek Ranch is located approximately 26 miles north of Baker City, 30 miles south east of La Grande; 300 miles east of Portland and 150 miles west of Boise, Idaho. The ranch is tucked in the western foothills of the Eagle Cap Mountains about 11 miles from the 9,500' peaked Eagle Cap Wilderness. It also views the 9,100' peaked Elkhorn Mountains, approximately 17 miles to the west. Ranch headquarters sit at approximately 3,450'above sea level.




Stock Operation

Thorn Creek Ranch is a lifestyle property that can be appreciated seasonally or as a year around residence. Current management utilizes the property as a seasonal 300 head +/- stocker operation and/or 200+/- mature cows beginning in late April through mid- October. For the 2017 season the ranch will be carrying 168 cow/calf pairs from about May 1st into early November

Outside pasture cattle will be brought in for 2017 with an estimated gross rental income of approximately $35,000. With average moisture conditions rental income can be expected to remain approximate to the above. Figures could increase should a new Buyer personally own the livestock. Prior ownership reportedly ran about 150 head of mother cows on a year around basis. To do this they purchased an extra 150 tons of outside hay over what the ranch produced. The 80 acre BLM permit calls for 7 AUM's, code 3, term 07/2013 – 02/2019.

Area Profile

As indicated above the property consists of approximately 4,070 deeded acres. It is in one solid block bordering against neighboring deeded properties and about 1 ½ mile of the Wallowa – Whitman National Forest.

Improvements are tucked at the mouth of Thorn Creek Canyon approximately three quarters of a mile off a yearlong county access graveled road. The driveway is gated and can be locked at any time. Headquarters are situated on an old Native American camp ground. Artifacts, dating back for centuries are still easily discovered when there is surface disturbance near the spring and/or creek. The first white settler (about 1860) in the immediate area was a gentleman by the name of Beagle, who established a trading post and inn, about one mile east: for supplying goods and whiskey to the Sparta mining district. Initial freighting was all via pack string. Dunham and Misha Wright established the areas first homestead in 1868 which included three hot springs valued by the Indians for their medicinal use, thus the name Medical Springs.

An old Moon shiners cabin is still in one piece tucked under a rock ledge on Thorn Creek; one of the old homestead sites holds a burial site of two boys passing of diphtheria in 1883.


Rocky mountain elk, mule deer, antelope, bear, cougar, bobcat, occasional wolves, coyote, turkey, sage-grouse, ruffled grouse, Hungarian partridge, quail, dove, ducks, geese, swan, bald and golden eagles have all been seen on the ranch. The ranch currently qualifies for four landowner preference hunting tags for elk and deer.

In addition, rocky mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goats and moose can be found in the Eagle Cap and other surrounding mountains.

The deeded land is in the Catherine Creek hunting unit of Union County.



The Snake River winds through Hells Canyon Recreation Area, approximately 70 miles to the east. Hells Canyon is North America's deepest river gorge of approximately 1,000'. The river offers both private and commercial jet boating, rafting, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, trout, bass and other warm water species. Hells Canyon Wilderness and the Eagle Cap Wilderness offer packing, camping, four designated wild rivers and several high mountain lakes. The Elkhorn mountains are home to Anthony Lakes ski resort – triple chair, 900' vertical , 300" average annual snowfall, 21 runs ( beginner to expert) – about 45 minutes from ranch headquarters. Snowmobiling and trail biking; on the ranch or out the gate. Two 18 hole and one 9 hole golf course are approximately 30 to 45 minutes from the ranch. Four great steak houses are within 40 minutes of headquarters. The Pendleton Roundup is within an easy two hour drive and if you are really cowboy driven you won't want to miss the annual Baker City Bronc Riding.

Baker City Airport – 3,375' Elevation – 5,085'x100' Runway – Asphalt – 100 LL& Jet A  La Grande Airport – 2,717' Elevation – 6,260'x100' Runway – Asphalt – 100 LL& Jet A Annual Average Precipitation –approximately 14 inches Average Mean Temperature – 46 degrees


All headquarter improvements were newly completed in the spring of 2014 with matching cedar siding and metal roofing. Thorn Creek separates the home from the other outbuildings. The fruit trees generally host a pet deer or two for summer enjoyment. Elk are frequently spotted in the meadows and surrounding side hills and mountain.

Approximate 2,200 sq. ft. custom home, 3br, 2 ½ ba, granite, tile, custom cabinets, stone fireplace and matching entry, central vac, AC, wraparound porch, covered patio, double car attached garage, metal roof, cedar siding, professionally landscaped with automatic sprinkler.

Thorn Creek Ranch offers a great kick-back seasonal livestock operation combined with wildlife and fishery amenities both on the ranch and the surrounding area. Other outdoor recreation activities such as golf, skiing, white water rafting, snowmobiling and motocross are within a short to modest distance. Major medical facilities and personnel can be found in both Baker City and La Grande with Life Flight to Boise based at the hospitals in both communities. Management and/or caretaking are available if needed and would not require employee housing on the premises.



The approximate 55 surface acre reservoir (licensed for 280 acre feet) is located about one mile above the headquarters. The reservoir was completely drained in 2012 for irrigation of the meadows and elimination of unwanted perch.

The reservoir has been stocked with rainbow & steelhead trout. Thief Valley Reservoir is also located about 4 miles west of Headquarters & managed as a fishery by Oregon Dept. of fish & Wildlife. Thief Valley was restocked in 2016 and is currently providing great action.

Barn / Timber

Horse barn, 3 stalls, 2 runs, covered manger/saddling area, tack room, storage room, metal roof, cedar siding.  Shop, 48x36 work area with concrete floor, additional 12' overhang containing 24x12 finished office & 24x12 finished gym, metal roof and Cedar siding.

Hay barn, 24X36, metal roof. 3 loafing sheds, corrals, riding arena, round pen, 10 newer spring developments with tire troughs, over 3 miles of newer fencing. Continuous upgrading is still being done. Older apple, apricot, plum, pear and peach trees can be found at three of the old homesteads on the ranch.

A combination of approximately 450 acres of Ponderosa Pine and Douglass Fir run along the Northern portion of the ranch for about three miles. The aesthetic value far outweighs any commercial interests. It is estimated the ranch was logged in the 1980's. The forested acreage is a definite asset for area wildlife.


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