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About Horseshoe Bend Ranch:
A rainbow hits a loan pine after a storm. Horseshoe Bend Ranch is a working cattle, wheat, alfalfa and timber operation that covers over 3300 acres of land on the breaks of the Little Klickitat River in Klickitat County, Washington. The Ranch is still a wild place with few roads or trails, and lots of open space, wildlife and awesome views. Elevations range from about 800' in the bottom of the Little Klickitat River Canyon, to almost 1800' at the ridge top.

The main ranch house at was buit in 1903 and refurbished in 1993.

One of our pastures along the woods. We are a working ranch with several hundred acres of hay, along with wheat, timber and cattle. Our operations is all dryland which means we don't have irrigation. We usually get just one crop of hay per year, and our dryland winter wheat gives a crop every other year.

The dry goods store at the town of Horseshoe Bend. This area was homesteaded beginning in the 1860's when the first hearty pioneer families moved to our area. By the turn of the century a visionary had subdivided a section into small lots for a town - Wahkiacus Orchard Heights. But with limited water and the rail line a couple miles away at the bottom of the canyon the town never became more than a store or two. It became known as the town of Horseshoe Bend, with features spread over a large area. The original townsite, town cistern and school site are on the Ranch today. But today it is a ghost town with no buildings remaining except some foundations and a pioneer barn built by a fellow named Wilson.

The old windmill homestead.  In the 1930's the husband here was found dead in the pigpen, seemingly trompled by the pigs.  A couple months later the hired hand ran off with his widow.  The odd part was the next tenant was moving a pile of rocks and under it he found a pistol... Some pioneer homesteads failed, and the successful homesteaders bought them out. Most of today's Ranch was put together by the Kamholz family in the early 1900's. The Kamholz family was successful because they were willing to innovate with equipment - they always purchased the newest and best farm machinery, and in those days when farm machinery was quickly evolving that made all the difference.

This old building at Ranch Headquarters was literally the Mother-in-law apartment 60 years ago.  Behind it is the old blacksmith shop with its brick kiln. The main ranch passed out of the Kamholz family by the 1950's and through a couple other sets of hands before the Chiles family purchased it in 1993. The Kamholz family continued to own part of the ranch until around 2004 when they chose to sell to the Chiles family and put the ranch further back together.

The Kamholz Draw, a major watershed through the ranch, which drains into the Little Klickitat River. The Chiles family continues to manage the ranch today. We strive to improve the ranch every year through better fences, roads, water systems and conservation measures. We are implimenting no-till and conservation planting measures. Our hay quality and pasture quality improves annually. We are working to impliment a forest management plan that will sustainably harvest our forest into the future while maintaining optimum habitat for wildlife. Our goal is for the ranch to remain profitable into the future, and become a healthier and better balanced environment for domestic livestock and wildlife.

A spring rainbow in the meadows of the ranch. We are branching out from traditional ranch activities to create a place that can be enjoyed by more people. We are host to a Hunting Reserve where released game birds can be hunted year round. We are permitted for events and host things such as war reenactments. We hope you are able to attend an event out here and see this fantastic place for yourself! Please feel free to contact us for more information about the ranch.

Cliffs along the Little Klickitat Canyon The barn from the old Wilson homestead.

The big old Oak Tree in the front yard of the ranch house. Winters can have long, cold and foggy periods.  But when that breaks the frosty trees are beautiful!.

The old pump for the town of Horseshoe Bend.  Water was pumped from a seasonal creek up to a cistern on top of the hill a half mile away. A waterfall on the Little Klickitat River.

Badger Creek is the season stream the flows from Lee Key pond at the west end of the ranch. Looking down into the Little Klickitat River canyon.

The Little Klickitat River through the ranch.

Last Updated January 28, 2013 - mattchiles@horseshoebendranch.net
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