NSP Project:

Heart K Ranch

Conserving a Historic Ranch and Nature’s Services

Heart K Ranch

The Heart K Ranch boasts scenic mountain beauty and a rich diversity of natural and cultural values. The property encompasses 884 acres of oak woodlands, old growth conifer forests, riparian woodlands, and montane meadow habitats, as well as 80-acre Taylor Lake. More than two miles of Indian Creek flow through the middle of the ranch supporting extensive stands willow and majestic cottonwood groves.

This variety of habitats supports a diverse animal population that includes river otters, black bears, beavers, mountain lions, golden eagles, and the endangered willow flycatcher, among other special status species. While many animals make a permanent home on the ranch, the property also serves as an important migratory corridor, particularly for the Sloat mule deer herd that winters and breeds here.

The area is of great importance to the local Mountain Maidu. Taylor Lake is one of three lakes sacred to these native people and the property remains a valuable gathering site for Maidu families today. From the Mountain Maidu to the settlers that followed, the productive bottomlands and forests provided essential resources, establishing a long history of people’s connection to this land. Heart K Ranch also provides important services to all Californians, like clean drinking water, carbon sequestration, and diverse recreational activities.

Conservation of Heart K Ranch

To prevent this historic property from being sold into private ownership that would have limited opportunities for restoration and public access, the Feather River Land Trust purchased Heart K Ranch in 2006 with generous funding from the Northern Sierra Partnership, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and hundreds of individual supporters.


The Feather River Land Trust is now managing the property with the goals of decreasing the risk of wildfire, protecting crucial habitat for native fish and wildlife, increasing watershed restoration, improving grazing practices, enhancing public recreation access, and encouraging greater use of the historic ranch house. Feather River Land Trust is also conducting environmental education with local students, working with the local Maidu community to protect and enhance existing cultural resources, and using the Heart K Ranch for water quality and carbon sequestration projects that demonstrate the importance of these natural services.

Heart K Ranch Fast Facts


NSP’s region extends from south of Lake Tahoe to Lassen Volcanic Park; the Heart K Ranch is located 30 miles northeast of the town of Quincy in the northern Sierra


884 acres

What you will see:

A historic ranch house and barn located in a mountain valley, large black oak and conifer forests, and Indian Creek meandering through meadows and riparian woodlands

What you can do:

Hiking, swimming, fishing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, bird watching, canoeing, biking

Heart K Ranch Heart K Ranch
Heart K Ranch Map

Directions from Truckee

Heart K Ranch is about 2.5 hours from Truckee.

  • From I-80 take the CA-89N exit toward Sierraville/Loyalton.
  • Take CA-89N approximately 46 miles.
  • Turn left onto CA-70-89W and follow for 23 miles until you reach Quincy.
  • From Quincy continue on CA-70-89W for ten miles until you reach CA-89.
  • Turn right onto CA-89 (towards Greenville and Lake Almanor) and follow for 6 miles.
  • Turn right onto Arlington Road/A22 towards Taylorsville.
  • Heart K Ranch is approximately 15 miles from the intersection of CA-89 and A22 (aka the Taylorsville “T”)
  • Follow A22 through Taylorsville, approximately 5 miles.
  • Bear right onto Genesee Road and follow for 9 miles.
  • Heart K Ranch will be on the left (look for the big red barn.)