top of page

About Sulphur Creek Ranch

Sulphur Creek Ranch is a now private destination venue! Come experience the rich history evident among the many historic private cabins and unique main lodge!
The 3 acre lake added in the 70's simply augments the beautiful backdrop of scenery! This is a throw back to the 1950's where meals were shared, games were played, laughter abounded, and friendships forged lasted for decades.
This is your chance to go back into time where things are authentic and simple, yet invigorating and refreshing for your soul. No one wants to leave...

The History

In 1946, Dr. Ben Morgan booked a guided pack trip through the Sawtooth Mountain Range in the Stanley Basin of Idaho. The guided trip was led by Pearl Hornback. Legend has it she was quite the hand and great with mules. Odd, to say the least, that a woman would be leading a pack trip in the 40's anywhere, much less the rugged terrain of the Sawtooth Mountain Range.

During their trip, Pearl visited with Dr. Morgan about his childhood as a cowboy in the Oregon Dalles and how much he missed that lifestyle. Pearl Hornback immediately thought of a homestead that had recently come up for sale. It was then called the "Parker Ranch" and it was an isolated oasis parallel to the winding Sulphur Creek. They had plenty of star-lit nights around the campfire to discuss and ponder dreams about the potential this "one of a kind" homestead could foster. 

Collectively, Pearl and Dr. Ben Morgan, decided that they would fly over the ranch on their way out from the pack trip. And so it started... they flew over the Parker Ranch and Dr. Morgan bought it without even landing! He intended to market the new Sulphur Creek Ranch as a "destination resort" for the Hollywood elite. Actors in Hollywood had never been exposed to the wild west or anything close to the abundance of wildlife. From the salmon in the creek to the moose in the woods, this was the place to experience the west like no other.  Hunting and fishing trips were sold at a premium.

Ironically, Hollywood folks would fly into the ranch to enjoy horseback riding, breaking colts, and all the wild hoopla they had only seen in the movies.

Dr. Morgan loved the idea of getting back to the west after a successful career as a surgeon in Chicago. His purchase of the Parker Ranch also included an old Zenith bi-plane seen in many of the old photos. 

More to The Story

Dr. Morgan hired Pearl's husband, Marv Hornback, to construct 9 cabins.


Construction of the lodge started after the majority of the cabins were completed. Dr. Morgan laid out the footprint of the main lodge, stepping it off and marking the corners. Rumor has it he marked all of the outlet box positions with a 22 pistol.  

Pearl Hornback subsequently died in an automobile accident on her way to visit her brother in Dry Creek, Boise, Idaho.

Marv then married Barbara and the two of them served as the "face jocks" for the sportsman's paradise in remote Idaho. Together they attended hunting expos and outdoor shows touting Sulphur Creek Ranch as the premier fly-in destination. Marv and Barbara were the entertainment...dressed for the part! Potential guests were enamored with the idea! And so it began...Sulphur Creek Ranch became that destination Dr. Morgan had hoped for.

The Uniqueness of the Lodge

The lodge was built of vertical logs rather than horizontal. Dr. Morgan designed it that way simply based on what he had available in the forest around him. The lodge pole pines were small and tapered quickly so they wouldn't have worked in the traditional horizontal fashion. 

The still present Hydroelectric system was constructed on Blue Moon Creek about 3500' up from the power plant near the lodge. It's elevation is 300' yielding a 150 psi for the lodge and cabins. The penstock (water delivery system) is connected to the diversion dam in the creek and piped down the mountain through an old iron pipe to the pumphouse where the Pelton Wheel was installed to collect that water in cups that resembled 2 side by side Ferris Wheels, which turned to run the generator. The Hydroelectric system provides all of the power for the facility. This was an attraction in, and of, itself. Still is today!

Dr. Ben Morgan and his wife Freda knew that they had to provide amenities like running water and electricity to attract the demographics they were targeting. The new cabins were advertised as having electricity, hot water, and great water pressure for showers. In turn, the lodge was supplied with walk-in refrigerators, freezers, electric stoves, and lights which was quite the luxury in those early times.

What Happened Next?

Dr. Ben had another opportunity to buy a homestead. This time is was the Fuller Ranch which included another 160 acres directly on Sulphur Creek and a stone's throw from the confluence of Sulphur Creek and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The setting was not to be beat with Soldier Mountain dominating the Eastern view from the ranch.

Being avid administrators of health, both Dr. Morgan and his wife enjoyed keeping active by building a tennis court and a geothermal lap pool. Another oddity in the back country of Idaho at that time. 

Both ranches were supplied materials through Bill Woods of Johnson's Flying Service out of McCall. The materials needed for the now "Lower Sulphur Creek" were loaded up and packed downriver 4.4 miles with a wagon team. Both ranches were referred to as Upper and Lower Sulphur Creek. Now the lower Sulphur Creek is called the Morgan Ranch.