About Sunny M Ranch

Together we can protect important habitat and corridors for wildlife, provide for continued agricultural uses, and ensure that we maintain recreational opportunities that connect our communities and contribute to our local economy. I invite you to join us as stewards of this community asset.
~Julie Muyllaert

The iconic Sunny M Ranch was once 4000 acres of land along Wolf Creek and Twin Lakes roads, extending to Barnsley and Big and Little Twin lakes, and stretching up the flanks of Patterson Mountain to Patterson Lake.

Homesteaded by Clint Shulenburger, who ran the first herd of Jersey cows in the valley and helped build the Wolf Creek irrigation ditch, Sunny M Ranch was run as a working cattle ranch and a dude ranch throughout the 1920s-1940s. The current ranch house was the main lodge; there was another house that later burned, a bunkhouse, and a swimming pool.

Jack Barron bought the Sunny M Ranch in the early 1950s, trading several west side parcels of land for it.

Archie Eiffert worked as a ranch hand at Sunny M in the 1950s. “We were young, dashing cowboys,” said Archie. “With Swede Miller, Les Taylor, and Paul Berganholz, we’d take people on overnight and two-night trips into the Wolf Creek area and Gardner Meadows, or ride around the Sun Mountain area. City girls from Seattle thought we were terrific. We’d work all day and play all night.”

Every Sunday the Sunny M held a rodeo. “Wild” cattle were supplied by any animals that got lost and wandered out of their own range onto Sunny M land. Under the pretext of bringing them to the Sunny M Ranch to alert the owners, the boys would just borrow the heifers for rodeo riding. “After all,” said Archie, “we wouldn’t want to burn calories off our own cows!”

When Helga and Erivan Haub bought the Sunny M Ranch from Jack Barron in the late 1980s, they completed a massive upgrade, replanting the fields, restoring the irrigation systems, and installing a pivot. They wanted Methow Valley residents to take pride in the ranch and its role in the community. The Haubs’ vision for the Sunny M Ranch was a clear mandate: “preservation of the Methow environment.”

Excerpted from “The Smiling Country: A History of the Methow Valley” by Sally Portman, commissioned by Helga Haub, 2001.


We’re excited to launch Imagine the Methow: A Campaign for Sunny M Ranch. We have until June 15, 2023 to preserve these possibilities for our community. To join us and to learn more about the Campaign for Sunny M Ranch, visit methowconservancy.org/sunnym. To make a multi-year pledge, contact Executive Director Sarah Brooks to schedule a meeting: sarah@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870. Or click here to access a pledge form.

Help the Methow Conservancy purchase 1200 acres of the Sunny M Ranch for the community (human and wild) by June 15th!

Learn more and donate to the Campaign for Sunny M Ranch Now