This working Canadian ranch, situated in the beautiful Chilcotin River Valley, is among the country’s largest covering about 260,000 acres (approximately 250,000 acres exclusive grazing rights, and 10,000 deeded acres). Dozens of lakes, numerous rivers and streams, woodlands, plains and meadows sprinkle the 300 square miles of ranch land. The farthest grazing pastures lie 125 miles by road from the main ranch in the Coast Range foothills. Hundreds of miles of road and two airstrips cover the ranch. The ranch’s miles of lake, river and stream frontage, mountain, plateau, forest and river valley scenery of stunning beauty make the ranch unique among the world’s large ranches.
Ranch headquarters are situated at Alexis Creek which is small town located on Highway 20, 75 miles west of Williams Lake. Alexis Creek is the service center for large part of the vast Chilcotin country. The ranch and the town are blended together and have co-existed in a neighborly manner since the ranch was founded some 100 years ago. Branch offices of the B.C. Forest Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment, Red Cross Field Hospital, Post Office, an elementary school that goes up to grade nine, a hotel and a general store are services located in Alexis Creek.
The Alexis Creek Ranch is a world-class cattle ranch, complete with all services. The hay lands are situated in the river valley for the most part where the growing season allows two crops of alfalfa. Excellent grain crops have been grown in the past. The major portion of the irrigation water comes from the Chilcotin River flowing with snow and glacial melt from the Coast Range Mountains to the west. An ideal irrigation situation, the hotter the weather and the need for water, the more water flows.
The equipment is top quality and is far above average for any cattle ranch. Extensive irrigation systems have been installed at considerable expense. There are ten new down drop style circle pivots, believed to be the largest ranch pivot facility in Canada, all situated on the river benchlands across from ranch headquarters. The pivots irrigate some 1800 acres; the balance of irrigation is by open ditch flooding.
City: Alexis Creek
Square Feet: +/- 10,000 deeded acres | +/- 250,000 Acres grazing rights
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Included will be 1,000 head of stock cows, Hereford, Black Angus, and 50 purebred Black Angus bulls. The ranch has operated with a herd twice this size in the past.
Farm Buildings and Facilities
The main shop is at the airport hangar facility. A second shop, a metal building of 3200 square feet is used for equipment storage. A combination barn and calving shed is mostly open to the southwest and contains a tack room, horse stalls, a vet supply room and well laid out stock working area. The calving area contains several pens off an alley and a well lit observation corral. An extensive feed lot with about 1⁄2 mile of isle ways with pens on each side will handle about 2000 head of cattle. A metal corral, cattle handling, and branding facility with shipping scales is part of this facility. Numerous other corrals, sheds and buildings are located at outlining areas of the ranch.
The ranch has a large compliment of farm equipment, mainly John Deere, including numerous high quality and well maintained tractors. The ranch converted to large round bale hay production and feeding in 2006 and purchased about $400,000 in new equipment for this change. Five new pickup trucks were also purchased in 2006. With hundreds of miles of fences and an extensive ranch road system a complete compliment of construction equipment is owned by the ranch. A highway truck, hay and grain trailers and a number of other trailers are likewise owned by the ranch.
Included at ranch headquarters is a four year old 5,000-foot (DOT) Class II airport. This puts the ranch about 30 minutes from Vancouver, B.C. and one hour from Seattle. When the strip was constructed an extra 1000 feet was graded for future paving if additional runway length is required. A 100 x 200 foot hangar facility, fully insulated, with heated floors handles the owner’s Cessna CJ2 aircraft and a cattle spotting plane. The facility includes a 40 by 100 foot well equipped maintenance shop with a 40 foot overhead crane running the length, probably the finest ranch airport facility anywhere in the world. A separate 80 x 100 foot section of the building is used for storage of farm and construction equipment. The hangar has passenger rest rooms and two furnished pilots’ quarters. A second grass airstrip is located in the Coast Range foothills 60 miles to the west.
The Deeded land base consists of about 10,000 acres of which about 1,800 acres are in crop production irrigated by the pivot irrigators, several hundred additional acres are flood irrigated. Two crops of mainly alfalfa hay and /or silage are grown under the pivots and one crop is taken from the balance of the hay lands. The remainder of the Deeded Lands is mostly timbered and is used for seasonal grazing, mostly in the spring and fall, however some cattle are summered on the Deeded Lands and Lease Lands. Approximately 3,885 acres are held by Provincial Land Leases. These lands are also used for seasonal grazing. Grazing Licenses are held on four Government range areas totaling about 250,000 acres. All of these ranges are for the private use of the Ranch. The licenses allow for 2,300 head of cattle to be grazed from late May until the end of October, and additional cattle can be ranged on the deeded property. The A-1, Fletcher, Alexis Lake and The Wilson Meadow Units are used for cows and calves, which go out the back gate onto the range and return in the same easy manner. The ranch owns a picturesque log cabin on the shore off Choelquoit Lake in the Coast Range foothills about 125 miles by road from ranch headquarters along with holding pens and landing strip. The ranch grazed yearlings on this range until recently.
A luxurious 7 bedroom, 8 bath Owners residence overlooks the exquisitely beautiful Chilcotin River with a stunning view of ranch property as far as the eye can see. This residence is completely furnished with striking accessories and artwork. A high quality 5 bedroom 3 bath second residence with two 2 bedroom apartments is available for guests. Four additional employee-housing units are at ranch headquarters and two pilots’ quarters at the hangar. All owner furnishings go with the ranch.
From the security standpoint the ranch is excellent. The Chilcotin country lying West of the Fraser River Canyon was relatively isolated from the normal spread of people until bridges were built in recent years. You fly onto your own property. Take trail rides into wilderness of unbelievable beauty on hundreds of square miles of your own ranch with little contact with other people.
The ranch owns 331 acres of housing subdivision land and about 10 acres of commercial business development land in the center of Alexis Creek.
The timber on the property is extensive; however, the value is substantial but unknown.
The new owner of this ranch will have the advantage of taking over a ranch that has not suffered from lack of upkeep and improvements. The excellent line of equipment and good improvements are part of the ranch package, hundreds of thousands in spare parts, tools and miscellaneous, hay inventory and household goods are included. The unusual ability to expand water rights is significant in today’s world. The ranch’s extensive forests are growing, adding value year by year. Development property in the town and the potential sale of river and lake recreational property in the future will allow added value to the ranch in the years to come.
The present owner purchased the ranch in 1993 from German Prince Richard Wittgenstein, now married to a member of the Danish Royal Family. The ranch was owned by the Wittgenstein family for 37 years undergoing constant enlargement and improvement. The present owner, founder of an electronics company, likewise, has spent about one million dollars each year in enlarging and improving the ranch to the point that this property is one of the largest and finest ranch properties in the world today.