Since 1977, the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands has stewarded the iconic open space
It’s hard to imagine a gift of land that might be more meaningful and significant in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. The iconic Reinheimer Ranch, with more than 110 acres of open space and pasture lands, greets visitors as they approach Ketchum on both sides of state Highway 75. The pastures are often occupied by draft horses and wildlife—foxes, coyotes and elk in particular.
The late Eleanor Reinheimer gifted the property to the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands in 1977. Eleanor and her husband, Howard, who hailed from New York, began visiting the Wood River Valley in the late 1930s, when Union Pacific Railroad and its Chairman Averell Harriman were just beginning to promote the area to Hollywood celebrities and New Yorkers.
The Reinheimers purchased the ranch in 1941; they often spent the entire summers in the quiet haven, especially after World War II, says Doug Bradshaw, the trustee designated by the Reinheimer Family to oversee the original 6-acre ranch house and barn property.
“They loved the Western culture,” Bradshaw says. “It became a unique and wonderful experience for them.” When Eleanor Reinheimer donated the property to the Foundation following her death in 1976, she specified in her will that she wanted the 110-acre property to be maintained in the same “natural state” that her family had enjoyed. The Foundation made sure that her wishes were fulfilled.
The scenic, pastoral property lies adjacent to the Big Wood River and the Wood River Trail, a paved bike path. The open space area owned by the Sun Valley Company on the River Run side of Bald Mountain adds to the natural setting as people drive into town.