Aspen Valley Ranch

A 3,748 acre private ranch near Post, Oregon.
  • Private property; not open to the public.
  • No facilities.
  • Rolling hills with native grasslands, wildlife habitat.
  • Mule deer, elk, antelope, outstanding scenery.


Aspen Valley Ranch is a working cattle ranch near Post, OR (see map below). The Land Trust worked with the owners of Aspen Valley Ranch to permanently protect 3,748 acres of the larger 18,000-acre ranch in 2020. The ranch is home to a wide variety of wildlife species including elk, mule deer, pronghorn, hawks, songbirds, and more. Take our virtual tour or read below to learn more about the property.

  • What to See

    Aspen Valley Ranch is private property and is not publicly accessible. Property highlights include:

    • Pronghorn antelope. Photo: Alan St. John.
      Pronghorn antelope. Photo: Alan St. John.
      Outstanding wildlife habitat: Aspen Valley Ranch provides habitat for Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope, especially in winter. Jackrabbits and bobcats roam the hillsides as do a wide variety of birds including Brewer’s sparrows, horned larks, sage thrashers, pinyon jays, and Swainson’s hawks. The greater sage-grouse has been active on nearby properties.

    • Agricultural heritage: The greater Post-Paulina Valley is made up of large ranches similar to Aspen Valley Ranch all along the upper Crooked River. These ranches protect and maintain a rural cultural and economic character and many of the ranches have been in the families for generations. The Wood family has been sustainably grazing Aspen Valley Ranch and protecting wildlife habitat since 1967.

    • Climate strength: Aspen Valley Ranch is a stronghold for a warming planet. The property’s connection to surrounding undeveloped lands combined with rolling hills, a section of Pine Stub creek, and other diverse natural features, makes it a critical refuge wildlife and plants in the face of a changing climate. Scientists call this strength “resilience” and we will need more and more resilient lands as our climate warms. Learn more about resilience.

  • Conservation Values


    Lupine bloom at Aspen Valley Ranch. Photo: Land Trust.
    Lupine bloom at Aspen Valley Ranch. Photo: Land Trust.
    Aspen Valley Ranch protects an important wildlife corridor for pronghorn antelope and Rocky Mountain elk. The ranch also includes critical winter range (food and cover) for Rocky Mountain elk and mule deer. Native sagebrush grasslands and hillsides also provide habitat for a variety of birds including the greater sage-grouse which gather nearby.

    The healthy native plant communities at Aspen Valley Ranch are dominated by native grasses, shrubs, and wildflowers. These healthy, undeveloped lands provide rich and uncommon habitats that are key to conserving local species. Additionally, Pine Stub Creek runs through the southeast corner of the conservation parcel, providing water for myriad of plants and animals until early June.

    Finally, Aspen Valley Ranch is a stronghold for a warming planet. The property’s connection to surrounding undeveloped lands—combined with rolling hills, a section of Pine Stub creek, and other diverse natural features—makes it a critical refuge for wildlife and plants in the face of a changing climate. Scientists call this strength “resilience” and we will need more and more resilient lands as our climate warms. Learn more about resilience.

     

  • Maps

    Aspen Valley Ranch is private property and is not publicly accessible. The map below shows the general location of Aspen Valley Ranch.

     

     

  • Cultural History


    Aspen Valley Ranch is located on lands that were traditionally used by the Northern Paiute. The Northern Paiute historically lived a nomadic lifestyle following animal migration patterns and seasonal food sources. They were well adapted to the challenging desert environment in which they lived. Today the Northern Paiute are represented in Oregon by the Burns Paiute Tribe in Burns, Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Warm Springs, Oregon.

    Jim Wood shares the history of his ranch. Photo: Land Trust.
    Jim Wood shares the history of his ranch. Photo: Land Trust.
    The first recorded Euro-Americans began settling in the Post-Paulina Valley in the 1870s. This was around the same time that the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Wagon Road Company received its first patent to build a wagon road that would connect the Willamette Valley, across the mid-Cascades and through Eastern Oregon, to the Idaho border. This road would eventually become the Santiam Wagon Road, and it ran, in part, along the Crooked River past what is now Aspen Valley Ranch. Since the homesteading era of the late 19th century, the communities of Post and Paulina have predominantly revolved around farming and raising livestock.

    The Wood family began ranching at Aspen Valley Ranch in 1967. Since then they have continued to sustainably graze cattle, protect wildlife habitat, and promote connectivity with adjacent lands. The Deschutes Land Trust worked with the Wood family to permanently protect 3,748 acres of the larger 18,000-acre ranch in 2020. The Land Trust will continue to work with the family to conserve the remainder of the ranch.

  • Special Thanks

    Many thanks to the Wood family, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Craft3, and Millican Solar for their generous help in conserving Aspen Valley Ranch forever.