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Inside a $37.5 Million California Ranch With 14,000 Acres and Its Own Airstrip

Mike Markkula’s sprawling property includes barns, cattle, horse stables and its own lake.

california Rana Creek Ranch Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

Planning for a future with some social distancing in it? Apple cofounder Mike Markkula might just have the perfect place for you. His sprawling 14,000-acre ranch close to tony Carmel, Calif., comes with a 7,000-square-foot main house with—wait for it—just one bedroom and one bathroom.

The secluded Rana Creek Ranch measures roughly eight miles long by four miles wide, making it the largest landholding in Carmel Valley.

Avoiding airports is also easy here: The ranch comes with its own private 2,900-foot paved airstrip and adjoining helipad.

Surprising then that Markkula, 78, who was Apple’s very first investor and its CEO from 1981 to 1983, has been struggling to offload the property since originally listing it back in 2013.

Of course, price may have had something to do with it. First listed for $59.95 million, the home had no takers, so the price dropped to $45 million in mid-2016. With still little interest, it came off the market in February 2018.

Now it’s been re-listed for $37.5 million through Bill McDavid, of Montana-based big ranch specialists Hall and Hall. That buys the entire 14,138-acre spread, though Markkula is willing to split the property, selling the main 12,440-acre Rana Creek Ranch North slice for $27.5 million.

The tech visionary and his wife Linda bought the original 8,000-acre ranch in 1982 for just over $8 million. After searching for two years, they reportedly took a helicopter ride over the ranch before it even came on the market, loved it and bought it on the spot.

Rana Creek Ranch

Rana Creek Ranch  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

“It’s a wonderful place to go. It has all kinds of wildlife, including bobcats, mountain lions, deer. You name it, and it is down there,” Markkula recently told the Wall Street Journal. “We wanted some place where there would be enough land around us that it would be private and quiet.”

Over the years, the couple acquired a number of adjoining properties to expand the ranch, redesigned the main house, added guest and staff quarters, and built the runway.

Rana Creek Ranch

The home’s private airstrip.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

Located at the eastern end of Carmel Valley Road, the spread is a 15-minute drive from shopping at Carmel Valley Village, 25 minutes from downtown Carmel-By-The-Sea, and 30 minutes to the legendary Pebble Beach golf course.

Today it’s still very much a working cattle ranch with grazing pastures and several barns. For equestrians, there’s a large riding area, stables and corrals. Key features include numerous creeks feeding deep wells and a large lake.

Rana Creek Ranch

The rustic entrance.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

The unassuming, decidedly rustic-looking main house comes with plenty of big, open spaces for relaxing. There’s a large open-plan kitchen and family room, separate dining room and, maybe the highlight of the home, a cozy wood-paneled “cowboy” bar. Next to it is the games room with its solid oak pool table.

Rana Creek Ranch

The kitchen.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

The home’s huge master suite features a bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows with jaw-dropping views of rolling hills, a cavernous dressing room and large bathroom with freestanding tub and stained-glass windows.

Rana Creek Ranch

The sitting room.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

A covered walkway connects to a two-bedroom guest wing with its own swimming pool, while close by is a stand-alone, two-story wooden building that could be used as an office or conference center, or developed into extra accommodations.

Rana Creek Ranch

The master suite with its walls of windows.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

Markkula, who was introduced to Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1977, is credited with giving the startup its first crucial injection of cash, along with key managerial support. After his stint as president and CEO, he served as chairman from 1985 to 1997. Actor Dermot Mulroney portrayed him in the 2013 film Jobs.

Rana Creek Ranch

The wide-open office.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

Rana Creek Ranch

The master bath.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

Rana Creek Ranch

The “cowboy” bar.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

Rana Creek Ranch

The pool.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

Rana Creek Ranch

14,000 acres is a lot of space.  Photo: Courtesy of Hall and Hall'

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