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The 1,017-acre Colorado River Ranch is one of the finest recreational ranches in the country offering everything - fishing, horseback riding, hunting, traditional cattle ranching - all with easy air access and proximity to major ski and summer resorts. It provides two miles of superb fishing on a private stretch of the Colorado River with additional private ponds. The ranch is adjacent to virtually unlimited public lands at the base of the Flattops Mountains and the White River National Forest and Flattops Wilderness and is only 56 miles from Vail and 70 miles from Aspen. Colorado River Ranch is an organic cattle and hay production property with several hundred acres of irrigated hay meadows, water rights, full mineral rights, ponds, a ranch house, excellent equipment sheds, an older barn and new tack shed.
• Large Colorado River frontage (both sides), acreage (1,017 acres), which is very large for Eagle County, individual (not shared) ranch in a scenic Rocky Mountain setting
• Premier Fishing, floating, hunting, equestrian
• World-class skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen, all within one (1) hour of the ranch
• Two miles of both sides of the Colorado River flow through the ranch
• Access to nearby (within 1 hour) Colorado lifestyle amenities such as skiing, golf, endless National forest lands, hunting, fishing, etc.
• Easy air access to the ranch via the Eagle County airport that can handle any size personal jet, and major airline direct flights from select cities, and offers commercial connections to the world via Denver International Airport
• Easy vehicle access via Interstate 70 and only 10 miles of paved county road right to the front gate
• Attractive elevation, year-round use, access and activities
• Central Colorado location — 29 miles from Glenwood Springs and 20 miles to Eagle
• 45 Minutes from Vail/Beaver Creek
• Gypsum, Colorado is only 18 miles away for shopping, labor and services
• Substantial water rights with existing enhancements
Colorado River Ranch is located equal distance from Vail, Aspen and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, (1 hour to either resort) in the foothills at the base of the Flattops Mountains adjacent to the White River National Forest and the Flattops Wilderness Area. The 2,000,000-acre White River National Forest, encompassing the Flat Tops Mountains and Flat Tops Wilderness Area, is located just one mile west of the ranch. The ranch has direct recreational access to the Flat Tops and National Forest as well as to the BLM lands which surround the ranch. Horseback, hiking and biking trails originating on the ranch extend into a vast network of millions of acres of wilderness, National Forest and BLM lands.
The ranch has four access roads from the Colorado River Road. Spectacular 180-degree views from a high point near the southwest corner of the property look southeast toward Vail, the Gore Range and New York Mountain. Willow Creek and Horse Creek Canyons provide amazing rock formations with an array of colored sandstones and gypsum. The 1,017 acres (just over 1 and 1/2 square mile sections) are comprised of 400 acres of irrigated hay meadow, 300 acres of open grasslands and 300 acres of canyons, cliffs and the river. The Colorado River Ranch is certified organic by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and is one of the largest organic ranches in the State. Alfalfa hay production and a 75 head cow/calf herd are part of ranch operations. Scott Jones, a life-long Eagle County resident is the ranch manager on site.
Area and Climate:
Colorado River Ranch is 11 miles north of 1-70 from the town of Dotsero on the Colorado River Road. The area is devoted to a combination of traditional cattle ranching and recreation with an authentic western and ranch culture not affected by the ski resort influence. One particularly desirable aspect of this ranch is that many of the ranches around it are large, typically thousands of acres, providing a vast open landscape that is becoming rare in the mountain areas with high scenic and recreational values. Several of the larger ranches in the area are already protected from development by conservation easements as is this ranch. The ranch is enhanced by its private access to the White River National Forest and BLM lands. The ranch is just two miles north of the Paul Newman Round-up River Ranch for children with special medical needs.
The property's location on the west slope of the continental divide contributes to more moisture and verdant vegetation than that experienced at similar elevation on the east side of the divide, providing better grazing for wildlife and stock alike. Total precipitation is 16 inches per annum. With an elevation around 6,350 feet, the Colorado River Ranch exhibits the attractive characteristics of the Colorado mountain climate — warm sunny days with low humidity and cool nights. Average summer temperatures are in the upper 70's, with lows in the 40's. Due to the elevation, there is very little insect nuisance. Winter is typical significantly warmer than the conditions at the base of some of the Colorado ski resorts with pleasant days (temperatures ranging from the teens at night to 40's during the day) and intermittent snow cover from December through March. Accordingly, the Colorado River Ranch can be enjoyed year round.
The ranch includes an older 1,800 square foot ranch house, three large steel equipment sheds, an older barn, a new tack shed, picnic shelter, private internal ranch roads and fences that surround the property as well as divide the pastures. There are many excellent building sites throughout the property, ranging from higher locations with panoramic views to very private, secluded sites.
Two historical, original homestead structures remain on the south end of the ranch including the one-room Colorado River Ranch log schoolhouse, built in 1916.
Water and Mineral Rights:
The Colorado River Ranch has extensive water rights allowing the ranch to use 45 cfs from the Colorado River and its tributaries providing ample water for irrigation and agricultural activities.
Additional Water Resources: There are two approximately 1-acre ponds on the property and one 3-acre pond. These reservoirs provide year-round water for wildlife. The ranch water rights provide for the construction of six additional large ponds with reservoirs. Additional domestic water wells may be developed. Typically, private wells are established on each 35 acre parcel to provide water for domestic use and limited livestock consumption.
All of the Colorado River Ranches mineral rights are owned, controlled and attached to the land, unlike most land in the area where at least a portion of the mineral rights have been severed from the land and are owned by third parties.
Wildlife and Fishery Resources:
The ranch is inhabited by elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, black bears, porcupines, big horn sheep, red foxes, bobcats, pine martins, and beavers, as well as numerous small mammals such as snowshoe hares, marmots, long-tailed weasels, ermine, muskrats and chipmunks. In addition, ducks, geese, blue grouse, magpies, great blue heron, hawks, owls, bald and golden eagles and falcons frequent the property. Moose are migrating towards the property over the last couple years. Elk are abundant on the ranch in the spring, summer and fall. Elk in the area are part of the White River Elk Herd, which is the largest in Colorado and the largest in the United States. The Colorado Department of Wildlife estimates 37,930 elk in the Data Analysis Unit of which this land lies. The bull:cow ratio is 27:100. Rifle hunter success averages around 21% in the area but within the ranch it is typically 95%. Mule deer are also abundant on the ranch and utilize it as spring, summer, and fall range. The CDOW estimates that over 7,000 deer make up the herd in this DAU with a buck:doe ratio of 17:100. Rifle hunter success ranges from 25 to 40%. The herd size and buck to doe ratio has been increasing over the last decade.
The Colorado River contains rainbow trout, brook trout, creek chubs and fathead minnows. Great fly-fishing is also available on several gold-medal streams and rivers that are within striking distance for a quick trip including the Colorado River, Eagle River, Frying Pan River, Roaring Fork River, North Platte River, White River and numerous North Park streams. Lake fishing is available nearby at the Stagecoach Reservoir, Steamboat Lake, Pearl Lake, Delaney Butte Lake and a multitude of other high mountain lakes.
This property is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains with reasonable proximity to many world-class ski areas: Vail & Beaver Creek, Steamboat and the four ski areas surrounding Aspen. All of the ski resorts also offer numerous golf courses and other summer recreational opportunities. The Colorado River offers fishing, kayaking, and rafting. Hiking, climbing and mountaineering opportunities abound. Road cycling is a popular summer activity with an ever- expanding network of dedicated cycling paths and great mountain biking. Off-road motorcycling and ATV trails exist on the ranch and in the nearby mountains and hills. The scenic vistas and the wildlife populations are spectacular and the terrain is such that all of the ranch can be actively utilized. The property is large enough that one does not need to leave it for recreation in the White River National Forest but there are millions of acres of public land nearby if one chooses to venture beyond the ranch borders. Since the BLM land abutting the property is not conveniently accessible to the public at large, there have not been any issues with trespassers. While just under a thousand acres, the quasi-private adjacent BLM land gives the Colorado River Ranch thousands of additional acres that are virtually private. Unlike most other western states (Montana for example), Colorado does not give the public access rights along the banks of rivers so the Colorado River Ranch is functionally much more private than would be similar ranches in other states.
The ranch has been operated as a big game hunting preserve, a horseback recreation area, a winter recreation area for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in conjunction with cattle and organic hay production. All land is owned in fee, there are no public land grazing permits associated with the ranch at this time.
Long Term Vision: A very convenient ranch that offers every form of western sporting recreation with an emphasis on float fishing in the river, fly fishing in ponds and a "spring creek" to be created, arena riding (cutting, roping, team penning etc.) along with cattle work and trail rides on the adjacent BLM land, and waterfowl, planted upland bird, and trap, skeet and sporting clay shooting as well as some big game (deer, elk, bear and cougar) hunting.
The Colorado River Ranch can provide an active retreat for busy, high profile individuals that want to be able to get away from everything else and spend private time with their families, friends and business associates.
Protected land holdings of the quality and magnitude of the Colorado River Ranch, with their unique attributes of convenience and privacy, are rare anywhere and especially uncommon in the State of Colorado. The scarcity and commensurate high appreciation potential for the very limited amount of Colorado River frontage near international resorts is substantial. The Colorado River Ranch is beachfront — just like very valuable coastal land.
River frontage, particularly with full ownership of both sides of the river, is a rare and valuable asset in Colorado. Proximity to major ski resorts, like Vail and Aspen, also adds significant value. There are very few parcels approaching 1,000 acres anywhere near Vail or Aspen. Combining these factors, river, resort and size makes the Colorado River Ranch very valuable. Many of the most significant ranch purchases in Eagle County have been made by individuals with a strong connection to the ski resorts who want more land to recreate on. They can't fish, ride horses, hunt and shoot, ride snowmobiles and ATV's etc. in their ski in/ ski out resort mansions. The Colorado River Ranch will be an incredible backyard for recreational buyers whose front yard may be a ski in/ski out lodge at Vail or Beaver Creek.