In a year of real-estate activity that included the historic sale of Texas’ Waggoner Ranch and the arrival of 33,800-acre Sandow Lakes Ranch on the market, 2016 saw a total of some ten million acres of ranches, farms, hunting land and other recreational acreage listed for sale on Lands of America. From Abbeville, South Carolina, to Zwolle, Louisiana, these 60,000 properties represented a combined market value of $1.2 billion.
Throughout the year, we’ve profiled everything from a turnkey vineyard in southern California’s Paso Robles region to the auctioning of Joe Cocker’s Colorado ranch to the sale of John and Jackie Kennedy’s former Virginia farm.
Below is a roundup of the five biggest and five most expensive ranches and land listed for sale on Lands of America in 2016 that are currently on the market as we close out the year.
Top 5 Largest Land & Ranches for Sale in 2016
#1 La Cienega Ranch
MOHAVE COUNTY | ARIZONA | $1,690,000 | 169,657 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3508461
Situated in the high-desert region of western Arizona where the Sonoran and Mojave deserts converge, La Cienega Ranch is an income-producing cattle ranch that supports 490 head of cattle yearlong and ten head of horses. Remote and rugged, the vast acreage includes 122.83+/- deeded acres, 13,843+/- acres of state lease land, 69,390+/- acres of BLM grazing allotment and approximately 86,302+/- acres of private, unfenced grazing land. Located 25 minutes from Kingman, Arizona, in the foothills of the Hualapai Mountains, elevations here range from just below 2,000 to just over 7,000 feet, with the majority of the ranch between 3,500 to 4,500 feet. A 1,500-foot airstrip provides access. The ranch hit the market on September 14, 2016.
#2 Continental Divide Ranch
CARBON COUNTY | WYOMING | $10,250,000 | 96,447 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3010527
While the sale of the massive Waggoner Ranch in Texas grabbed headlines in February 2016, the 96,447-acre Continental Divide Ranch was the largest new land listing added to Lands of America that month. Covering a single contiguous block of land in the Haystack Mountain Range of south-central Wyoming, the ranch is primed for cattle operations. The acreage includes five miles of North Platte River frontage, which is a source for irrigation and blue-ribbon fishing, an established cow/calf operation, and opportunities to hunt deer, elk and antelope.
#3 Marton Ranch
NATRONA COUNTY | WYOMING | $28,000,000 | 69,550 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3267923
Marton Ranch is a resource-rich working livestock ranch that includes eight miles of North Platte River frontage, as well as numerous creeks, wells, springs and reservoirs spread throughout the well-watered property. The North Platte’s tailwater section below Grey Reef Reservoir is considered one of the best wild-trout fisheries in Wyoming, and is home to a healthy number of trophy rainbow and brown trout. Rising from an elevation of 5,300 feet along the Platte River to 7,500 feet near Bear Mountain, the habitat here is ideal for livestock grazing as well as robust populations of pronghorn antelopes, mule deer, elk, upland game birds, not to mention incredible waterfowl hunting along the river’s grassy shores. Marton Ranch was listed for sale on June 3, 2016.
#4 Pass Creek Ranch
CARBON COUNTY | WYOMING | $12,700,000 | 60,004 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3439884
Wyoming’s Pass Creek Ranch hit the market on August 9, 2016, and offers abundant hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities, not to mention excellent income-producing potential through a lease to an existing high-quality tenant. The 60,004-acre property sits north of the mountainous ranges of Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest, placing it easily among the top 10 biggest ranches currently for sale in America. Pass Creek is a trout stream that runs for about four miles through the property, providing not only water rights for 1,364± acres of irrigated hay fields on the property but also excellent fishing for brook and brown trout.
#5 Battle Mountain Acreage (Deeded Acres Within 26 Ranch)
HUMBOLDT COUNTY | NEVADA | $9,100,000 | 60,000 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3250247
Listed on May 25, 2016, this land listing includes 60,000 deeded acres located inside the perimeter of northern Nevada’s massive 26 Ranch, one of the state’s oldest and largest ranching operations. The acreage is currently being leased by the historic ranch and spans three counties. It would make for ideal grazing land.
Top 5 Most Expensive Land & Ranches for Sale in 2016
#1 Sandow Lakes Ranch
MILAM COUNTY | TEXAS | $250,000,000 | 33,800 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3156418
Industrial manufacturing giant Alcoa Inc. listed its Texas land holdings for sale in mid-April, including what could be the state’s largest water rights deal. Sandow Lakes Ranch covers 33,800 acres and is for sale at $250 million. The property includes 14 lakes comprising 1,960 surface acres and almost 50,000 acre-feet of water; an additional 44,000 acre-feet of water per year are permitted from the local Simsboro aquifer, plus another 18,000 acre-feet from the Little River governed through a 1950s diversionary rights agreement. All water rights transfer with sale of the property, along with some oil and gas mineral rights on certain acreage throughout the property.
#2 7 La Quinta Channel
SAN PATRICIO COUNTY | TEXAS | $125,000,000 | 231 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3198508
Listed for $125 million, this 225-acre island off the port city of Ingleside, Texas, occupies a prime position in the deepwater channel of Corpus Christi Bay, a Gulf Coast waterway and key shipping route. The island is able to accommodate the development of multiple shipping docks and is connected to mainland power and water utilities. The island arrived on the market on May 4, 2016.
#3 Rancho Agua Grande
KINNEY COUNTY | TEXAS | $100,000,000 | 17,132 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3307452
Listed on June 21, Rancho Agua Grande is an exceptional live-water ranch in southwest Texas, boasting an incredible diversity of terrain across its 17,132 acres. Split by seven miles of the year-round Live Oak Creek, which is fed by more than 30 springs, the ranch supports abundant wildlife, from local game to non-native wildlife species including kangaroos, camels, zebras, gemsbok and water buffalo. Along with its impressive bonafides as a commercial hunting venue, the ranch features eight antique cabins plus an expansive 6,000-square-foot lodge for hosting private events or corporate retreats.
#4 Old Fort
McDOWELL COUNTY | NORTH CAROLINA | $83,000,000 | 8,300 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3634366
The most recent property on this list, this Blue Ridge Mountains acreage hit the market on December 1, 2016, is the largest and last remaining private land holding in the southwestern mountains of North Carolina. The 8,300-acre tract is notable for the sweeping views from a series of towering cliffs that look out over Pisgah National Forest and toward Mount Mitchell, the state’s highest peak. The thickly forested property is laced with creeks and trails and offers potential for future recreational development as well as timberland use. Another advantage of this unique acreage is its proximity to the four-season town of Asheville, a popular tourist destination that offers many attractions and amenities.
#5 University Heights
MERCED COUNTY | CALIFORNIA | $58,180,000 | 291 ACRES | PROPERTY ID: 3127323
Unlike some of the other legacy properties on this list, this one will require a little more imagination for its future property potential. This 291-acre parcel sits directly across from the campus of UC Merced, with a student body that is predicted to increase from 6,600 students to over 10,000 in 2020. With that in mind, the undeveloped acreage represents an incredible opportunity as an investment property for residential development. The land was listed for sale on April 4, 2016.