This view of the ranch from the east slope of Mt. Patterson shows the acres of natural hay and pasture grass that made the area noteworthy. Located between Smith Valley, Nevada, and Bridgeport, California, the Sweetwater Ranch lays in the 6,000- to 7,500-foot zone. Heavy winters can leave more than six feet of snow on the ground, and the growing season is hasty. Cattle and hay remain mainstays for the ranch.