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    Rriver ranch vanderhoof 01 44 photos

    The River Ranch - Vanderhoof, BC

    Bulkley Nechako Listing No. 23021

    The River Ranch is 3,933 acres, 39 titles, 17 km frontage on Nechako River, 2 houses, office, accommodation buildings, conference hall, 44 rm unfinished hotel, off-grid with solar & generators, airstrip. barn, corrals, 1,200± acres of hay & grassland, Range license, water rights.


    3933 acres ~ 39 titles

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    The River Ranch is comprised of 3,933 deeded acres in 39 titles in a stunning setting on the Nechako River, on Kenny Dam Road, about 60 km southwest of Vanderhoof, the geographic center of British Columbia. The ranch land is on both sides of the Nechako River for almost the entire 17 kilometres of frontage.

    Extensive ranch improvements include 2 houses, office building, guest accommodation buildings, main conference hall, dining hall, workshop, equipment shed, generator and power shed, horse barn with corrals and cattle handling equipment, and unfinished 44-room hotel. Brief descriptions of each building are below.

    Currently leased to a neighbouring rancher for grazing cattle, we do not have firm acreage numbers for production land, pasture, or timbered grazing. We believe there is about 1,200 acres of hay and grassland that could be brought back into hay production that will need to be determined upon inspection. The fields need to be worked to bring them back into full production and a new owner will need to determine the extent of the work needed. Because the ranch is leased out for grazing Range Permit RAN077998 is currently in the name of the ranchers that are running the cattle.

    There are 3 water licences, 2 for irrigation and stock watering, and one for commercial enterprise.

    The many layers of value of River Ranch include ranching, tourism development, conservancy, wildlife and waterfowl habitat, extensive improvements, and possible sale of some of the individual or groups of titles. The area has outstanding recreational opportunities with numerous lakes and provincial recreational sites nearby.

    As a testimony to its great location and beauty, the ranch was operating as a spiritual retreat offering yoga, meditation, tai chi, martial arts, and enjoyment of the wonderful outdoor recreation the area has to offer. The accommodation buildings and conference centre were built for this purpose.

    The previous owner was developing the ranch for tourism with a 44-room hotel intended for operation as a Coast Hotel. That project failed and the current owners put a new roof on the building to protect it until a decision is made for its future. The new owner may be a visionary who can develop it for tourism, group accommodation, another practical use or perhaps remove it for salvage.

    The ranch is home to a wide array of wildlife including moose, deer, bears, waterfowl, thousands of geese, sandhill cranes with the Nechako River coming alive in the fall salmon run. The river has excellent fishing for rainbow trout.

    For the last 16 years the ranch has been looked after by caretaker Junho Bae who has graciously provided us with his exceptional photography to help tell the story and paint the year-round picture of this very special place.

    The ranch is off-grid, the solar system installed a few years ago dramatically reduced the cost of fuel for the generator making it very affordable to live there year-round.

    The 4,200 ft grass airstrip that provides access for a good range of aircraft may need some maintenance before being used.

    The drive through the ranch is 13 km and imagine putting your boat in the water at one end of your ranch and travelling 17 km down a beautiful river, before you leave your property.

    Hunting and fishing on this ranch is outstanding being in the Pacific Waterfowl Flyway, renowned for the thousands of geese and other birds migrating through.


    68241 Kenney Dam Road - Vanderhoof, BC


    From Vanderhoof turn south on Nechako Road which quickly turns into Kenny Dam Road stay on the road at about 55.3 km you will pass the Greer Creek Recreational site and at 59.4 km you cross through ranch property for a short distance, at about 66.6 km the driveway to the barn and corrals is on the right, at about 68 km the entry to the main ranch is on the right and the ranch property ends at 73.5 km just before the Cutoff Creek Recreational site.

    We are happy to provide a Google Earth map file of the road and the ranch for use with GPS so you know exactly where you are.

    Area Data

    Vanderhoof is an historic ranching and farming community at the geographic centre of British Columbia junction of Highway 16 and Highway 27 and on the CN Railway to Prince Rupert.

    Due to nearby rural communities without services Vanderhoof supports nearly 10,000 people. Forestry is the number one industry, followed by ranching and farming. Vanderhoof is in a rich, fertile valley known for its cattle ranches, hay, and dairy farms. It is the second largest forage crop production area in the province with agriculture as the second largest industry in the region. Hay farms exporting hay on containers via CN Rail through the Port of Prince Rupert have been in operation in for several years.

    Vanderhoof’s strategic location on Highway 16 and the northern main line of the CN railway makes it an important transportation, supply and service centre with several government offices, schools, hospital, medical clinic, shopping centre, 17 restaurants, 7 hotels/motels, theatre, bowling alley and a golf course. The area is served by rail and air (land and float planes).

    The Vanderhoof Airport has a 100 ft wide 5,018 ft asphalt runway that can accommodate most planes.

    Vanderhoof is the “Heart of it All” offering affordable housing, reasonable tax rates, great education, superior health services, government services and a strong retail and service sector. Vanderhoof is rich in culture, history, natural resources, and recreational opportunities abound.


    Hayland, grassland, forested grazing, timber is predominantly aspen and lodgepole pine.


    This area is popular with residents and tourists alike, due to the rare combination of natural, unspoiled beauty and the many and varied year-round recreational activities available. Fishing and hunting attract sportsmen from all over North America. Within a 60-mile radius of Vanderhoof, there are numerous lakes and rivers and many of these lakes offer rainbow trout fishing where you can catch your limit in less than an hour by fly fishing or casting. Moose deer and elk are prevalent throughout this area. Activities vary from hiking, camping, boating, canoeing, golfing, horseback riding and water-skiing in the summer to cross-country skiing, curling, skating and snowmobiling in the winter.

    The town of Vanderhoof is known for hosting major year-round events, such as Wild West Week, Rich Hobson Frontier Cattle Drive, Slow-Pitch Tournaments, Central Interior Rodeo and Horse Show. Hockey, curling, figure skating, and ringette competitions and tournaments are held all winter. Community badminton, volleyball, basketball and indoor soccer take place throughout the winter season. Murray Ridge Ski Hill is located 60 km away and Vanderhoof residents can enjoy downhill skiing throughout the winter.


    Many lakes and rivers too numerous to mention make it one of the best trout fishing areas in BC for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden including the Nechako River itself. Being 60 km southwest of Vanderhoof, the ranch is close to Cheslatta Lake, Knewstubb Lake, the lake systems created by the Kenny Dam, and numerous smaller lakes and rivers with excellent fishing.


    Ranch History

    “Rich” in history this is the River Ranch that Rich Hobson wrote about in his book The Rancher Takes a Wife. It became a CBC TV show that ran for 2 years called Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy. There are so many fascinating stories involving the Frontier Cattle Company and these great characters that doing research on the ranch it is easy to get caught up reading about their amazing lives. We recommend reading all Rich Hobson’s books.

    Area History

    Early settlers came in from the south, over the western end of the Telegraph Trail. They traveled up the west coast to Prince Rupert where they boarded river steamers to take them to Hazelton; then they trekked along the Trail to Fort Fraser. Those bound for Fort St. James branched off and followed the pack trail between the two Hudson’s Bay Forts; other continued along the focal point of the Nechako Valley. The telegraph line was erected in the early days with the object of forming an overland connection between America and Europe. The Telegraph Trail followed the line from one end of British Columbia to the other and since it was the only trail into the country, it was also the main artery of travel. Many of the men who had been employed on the telegraph line remained in the north, trading, trapping, and prospecting for gold.

    In 1906, the Village of Vanderhoof was only a survey line in the wilderness to mark the location of the planned railway. When the last spike was driven on April 7, 1914, it started a race for the land. The Grand Trunk Pacific Development Company offered cheap land and had one of their employees, Mr. Herbert Vanderhoof, lay out the town site. Vanderhoof is Dutch for "of the farm" which was very appropriate, since it was the first agricultural settlement in the province. The town grew and in 1926 the Village of Vanderhoof was born. With the arrival of World War II, many young men left and Vanderhoof came to a standstill. With the rise of lumber prices and the arrival of new people in the late 1940s, it started to grow again. The next boost to the population and the economy came with the construction of Kenny Dam in the early 1950s. At the peak of construction, it employed 1,500 men, and a number of them stayed in the area after the dam was built. The next expansion period came with a large influx of American immigrants in the 1960s, and since that time Vanderhoof has enjoyed steady growth.


    Please see mapping section (all boundaries are approximate).

    Map Reference

    53°43'10.43"N and 124°45'15.40"W

    Investment Features

    Ranching, tourism, retreat.


    Off-grid with solar power system and generators. Nine septic systems.



    All information has been taken from information previously gathered, building details must be confirmed upon inspection.

    Owner’s house, 1,916 ft2 bungalow circa 1976, kitchen, dining area, and living room, facing the river, four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, porch, and pantry.

    Managers House currently occupied by the caretaker.

    Dining Building, renovated former barn converted into staff accommodation with dining hall, ten bedrooms and kitchen.

    Equipment shed, workshop, generator, and power shed.

    Small meeting room, versatile uses.

    Guest cabin.

    Smile House, guest accommodation building, with 8 rooms and each room has bathroom.

    Guest accommodation building with 8 rooms and each with a bathroom.

    Main conference hall.

    Small meeting building. Sometimes used as sauna (wood fireplace inside).

    Barn, corrals, and cattle handling systems. One room apartment with shower and sink.

    Tax Details

    $26,891.37 (2022)


    These properties have no zoning designation, are outside of the building inspection area, no building permits required, not in the ALR, and not archaeology sites.
    (Provided by Regional District)


    Lengthy legals. Please contact REALTOR® for legal descriptions.

    Maps & Plans

    Map01 +8 maps

    Maps & Plans

    Our property descriptions and geographical information are taken from the BC Assessment Authority, Land Titles Office, government maps and other sources. While LandQuest® does not guarantee the information, we believe it to be accurate, but should not be relied upon without verification. This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement.