Kipu Ranch is a scenic 3,000-acre property extending from the Huleia River to the top of Mt. Hāʻupu. The ranch has seen many changes through the years, from a cattle and horse ranch in 1907, to a sugar plantation, and back to the working cattle ranch it is today. Kipu Ranch has been privately owned and operated by the Rice Family for four generations. In 1872, Willian Hyde Rice, a businessman and governor of Kaua‘i, purchased 6,000 acres from his neighbor Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani, a member of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi’s founding Kamehameha family. The princess sold him the land and additional acreage for $3,000 with the understanding that it would always remain in his family and never be developed.
Though not legally binding, the agreement has been honored by generations of the Rice family who now run about 1,500 head of cattle on the land, allow ATV tours, and accommodate filmmakers.