Pleasant Valley Ranch
Location: Alpine County, California
List Price: $11 Million – SOLD
Pleasant Valley Ranch is a very private 755-acre Sierra retreat with lush meadows, a beautiful trout creek, and alpine forest. The magnificent towering granite peaks above the valley provide a Yosemite-like landscape that will take your breath away.
The ranch is a few minutes from the little town of Markleeville, California. Nearby Lake Tahoe is an easy 45-minute drive and San Francisco is just over three hours away.
It has been in the current owners’ family since 1870 and has most recently served as a vacation retreat. A modern cabin with two bedrooms and one bath was built in 2003 as a base for enjoying trout fishing, hiking, hunting, cross country skiing, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. Pleasant Valley Creek winds in and out of the ranch for three and half miles. Along with attracting a wide variety of wildlife, the creek offers great “catch and release” trout fishing. The owners have worked to improve the creek and contracted with a local fishing guide to control and monitor this extremely valuable property feature.
The new owner may choose to expand the accommodations, lease the meadows for cattle grazing, and/or explore a conservation easement that may be used to offset the purchase price while helping to preserve this wonderful natural environment.
The ranch is located in Alpine County where most of the land is held by the Federal Government (estimated at 95%). The remaining privately held large tracts of land have been typically used for grazing, but this has been transitioning to recreational use for some time.
The nearby town of Markleeville has a couple of restaurants, a convenience store, and a few other small enterprises. The nearest shopping center and jet-capable airport is about 30 miles away in Minden, Nevada with many large chains, including Costco, a bit further away in Carson City, Nevada. Additional air travel options are between 30 and 60 miles away and include Reno-Tahoe International, South Lake Tahoe and Truckee-Tahoe airports.
Kirkwood and Heavenly Valley ski resorts, which offer some of the Sierra’s best ski condictions, are just under 30 miles away. Grover Hot Springs State Park, where you can enjoy a therapeutic soak, is just four miles from the ranch.
The ranch includes approximately 755 acres that featuremild slopes, undulating meadows, and beautiful stands of aspen and Jefferey pine trees.
The floor of the valley is at an elevation of 6,000 +/- feet with surrounding mountains approaching 9,000 feet.
While there are grades leading up to the mountains, no more than 160 acres are categorized as steep terrain.
Pleasant Valley Creek begins off the southwest end of the ranch and flows northeast through the property for some three and a half miles. It ranges in width from about 10 to 20 feet and is deep enough for swimming in some pools.
The creek is known as a quality trout fishery and is one of the main tributaries to the East Fork of the Carson River. The creek along with the mix of meadows and timber provide a truly beautiful Sierra landscape. With abruptly rising mountains and cliffs that frame the valley, the overall appeal and aesthetic value of the ranch are hard to beat. The lands surrounding the ranch are all federally owned, which affords excellent privacy.
The road from Markleeville is paved until the forest service boundary on Pleasant Valley Road. A locked gate provides access to the ranch on a dirt road that is suitable for standard automobiles.
Wildlife and Recreation
The ranch is a rich habitat for wildlife and offers truly outstanding opportunities for recreation. The valley is visited by eagles, hawks and other birds along with deer, bear, mountain lion, and other common Sierra species. Perhaps the crown jewel of the ranch is the trout creek, which is home to Golden, Rainbow and Brown trout.
Typical oxbow and ripple sections of Pleasant Valley Creek provide an excellent fishing experience as it meanders through the ranch.
Along with fly fishing, the ranch is ideal for hiking, horseback riding, swimming, hunting, mountain biking, wildlife watching, and rock climbing. The Pacific Crest Trail is 4-5 miles away and can be accessed from the ranch for extended pack trips.
Between the ranch lands, public forests, nearby hot springs, and Lake Tahoe resorts, there are a near endless supply of opportunities for fun.
A modern cabin was built in 2003 on a previous homesite. This 960-square-foot headquarters for the ranch has two bedrooms and one bath. An approximately 380-square-foot deck surrounds the home and provides great outdoor space for relaxing and entertaining guests.
The cabin is heated with propane gas and fresh, potable water is procured from a spring. The cabin has a septic tank and leech field and electricity is provided with a generator.
The ranch land was homesteaded by Cyrus Coleman, who went on to become a California State Assemblyman. It was purchased in 1870 by ancestors of the current owners. A portion of the ranch was developed by diverting water for irrigation and to create the upper meadow that exists today. The ranch was home to a dairy that supplied milk and butter to Markleeville, Silver City and the surrounding areas.
A trail was developed on the upper end of Pleasant Valley for the purpose of driving cattle higher into the mountains to expand grazing. The trail was used until 1987 and remnants of it still exist. As the ranch was passed on to family members, diary and cattle operations continued. In 1929, California Fish and Game leased a portion of the valley for $1 a year. The organization built a fish hatchery to raise Lahontan Cutthroat Trout alongside Pleasant Valley Creek.
The hatchery operated until 1949 when the project was abandoned.
There are several native American archeological sites on the ranch that are likely from the Washoe Tribe, which lived in the region.
The ranch has water rights for irrigation. The rights, which are identified in the Carson River Decree, disclose that there are 274.9 acres of water rights appurtenant to the property.
The property has been used for grazing, where cattle are trucked to the property in May and gathered in mid to late October. The Forest Service grazing permit specifies 150 head of livestock, but the permit is structured to take into account calves as well as cows.
The current owners lease the grazing rights to a local cattle rancher.
The ownership has also accommodated the occasional timber harvest in the past and most recently income has been generated from an agreement with a local fishing guide.
Pleasant Valley Ranch is without question one of the most remarkable ranches in the Lake Tahoe area to come on the public market in years.
The classic boxed canyon with its lush valley floor and meandering trout stream is truly beautiful. With the jaw-dropping mountain peaks that loom above the valley, you may be reminded of the Rocky Mountains or a mini Yosemite.
This ranch could easily be the last chance to own a property this scenic and private anywhere in the Sierra, and quite possibly in the West.
NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change orwithdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications,potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have beenprovided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee.