Elktrout Lodge

Colorado fishing ranch

A one-of-a-kind dry-fly fishing paradise on the Colorado River, Elktrout Lodge was built on the vision of a dedicated Angler who dreamed of owning his very own trout stream. Miles of deep cut river banks hold countless numbers of large brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout which thrive in nutrient rich water and feed well on the mayflies. The trout stream was the foundation for later creating this first-class destination lodge on the Colorado River with comfortable rooms, private cabins, excellent staff, five-star dining and full-service facilities and accommodations and for fly-fishing enthusiasts. For the first time ever, Elktrout Lodge is available for purchase and includes 272 acres and over two miles of the Colorado River – just two hours northwest of Denver.

Elktrout Lodge is a relaxing destination retreat for anglers and outdoors enthusiasts located in Kremmling, Colorado where the hustle and bustle of city life is nonexistent and where one can be completely immersed in the tranquility of nature, wildlife and gold-water fishing. Located on a bench one mile south of Kremmling, Elktrout Lodge overlooks the spectacular Colorado River. Kremmling has small-town mountain charm with a population of approximately 2,000 people. The town lies at the confluence of Muddy Creek and the Blue and Colorado Rivers in Grand County, just 45 minutes from the west entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Kremmling is the perfect location for Elktrout Lodge. Kremmling is known as the perfect starting point for some of the most outstanding year-round outdoor adventures in Colorado. The town is close to the best downhill skiing in the state has to offer in Steamboat Springs, Vail & Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Winter Park. For those who prefer Nordic skiing, Grand County offers over 300 miles of well-groomed cross-country trails and provides many other outdoor opportunities such as snow-mobiling, horseback riding, llama trekking, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, boating, hot springs and spas, cafes and coffee shops, gift stores, art galleries, 18-hole golf courses, and much more. Located just 2 hours northwest of Denver, Elktrout Lodge is far enough away from the city yet close enough to commute to and from Denver International Airport for weekend get-aways and/or corporate conferences/retreats. The town of Kremmling also has a public jet-accessible airport.

Property Description:
Elktrout Lodge is situated two miles east of Kremmling on the Colorado River and consists of 272 acres. The improvements are located on a bench overlooking the Colorado River and several hay fields. The part of Elktrout Lodge often referred to as Shepard’s Bend rests at the east end of the property and was formerly a ranch headquarters and boasts some of the best dry-fly fishing on the Colorado River. At an average elevation of 7,400 feet with surrounding peaks of 9,000 feet, most of the improvements of Elktrout Lodge are located on the bluff. Approximately 150 acres of the 272 total acres are in tall grass hay meadow with the remaining acreage in the improvement sites and well over two miles of the Colorado River surrounded by several stands of mature trees and willow.

Lodge and Improvements:

The main lodge of Elktrout Lodge rests on 3.5 acres of a well-groomed lawn with bermed green space areas, numerous flower beds and mature cottonwood and deciduous trees. The lodge area also has four additional cabins, a barn with an extra large angler’s outfitting/mud room, storage area, office, single-car garage, a multi-purpose bonus room, and several outbuildings located near Shepard’s Bend. Elktrout Lodge can host up to 26 guests at one time and has a full commercial kitchen and commercial laundry room, dining hall, wet bar, year-round sunroom, and a unique timber frame entertainment/dining tent for large parties, additional dining, or conferences.

Main Lodge:
The main lodge at Elktrout Lodge is immaculate and comfortable and can accommodate up to sixteen guests in eight bedrooms with private in-room full baths. Built of milled, log timber in 1984 with additions in 1992 and 2007, the main lodge has a total of 6,528 square feet of living space and is two levels with a large moss-rock wood burning fireplace, dining area and wet bar, commercial kitchen and commercial laundry room, a large timber frame canvas entertainment tent. The commercial kitchen is complete with two stainless steel walk-in refrigerators, stainless steel walk-in freezer, stainless steel food-prep tables, commercial dish washer, convection oven, electric or gas range and much more. A staircase from the kitchen leads down to an 800 sq. ft. storage area with a cement floor, electricity and overhead lighting ideal for wine and food storage and a staircase from the kitchen leads upstairs to a large laundry facility with a bank of commercial grade washers and dryers, folding tables and a mangle rolling iron. On one side of the kitchen, there is access to a large, walk-in butler’s pantry which is currently used to store dishes, serving ware, pots and pans, and other kitchen utensils.

The main entrance of the lodge opens into the large living room with custom polished and stained concrete flooring with inlaid timber and elegant and inviting area rugs. At the far side of this great room, along the east side of the lodge, interior sliding doors open into an all-weather sunroom with wainscoating and picture windows and can accommodate 20 guests with seating and tables. When not being used for sit-down dining events, the sunroom can be re-arranged with couches and chairs for additional cozy conversation areas. The sunroom has a low-maintenance polished and stained concrete floor, is equipped with wall heaters and opens to an outdoor 20′ x 30′ concrete patio overlooking the Colorado River. In addition, the lodge has a unique, timber framed canvas entertainment tent accessed by a French door off bar/conversation area. The tent is a well-built, permanent structure overlooking the Colorado River with an approximate 10′ pitched roof, exposed beams, durable all-weather zipper picture windows with full-glass window inserts for cooler-climate entertaining and rustic wood plank floors. The tent provides a unique ambience for gatherings and is perfect for casual meetings, parties, or a special place to dine.

Manager’s Residence and Office:
Built in 1981 with hand-hewn log construction with two levels, three bedrooms, two full baths, kitchen, dining and living areas. There is a walk-in office area that completes this 2,306 square foot structure.

Owner’s Cabin:
Built in 1984 and similar to the log construction on the manager’s house, the Owner’s Cabin consists of 1,136 square feet with one level. There are two bedrooms, two full baths, living and dining areas, kitchen, fireplace and a 15′ x 19′ screened-in porch which overlooks the Colorado River.

Rainbow Cabin:
This is a small 544 sq. ft. log cabin with two stories built in 1992 with two levels. There is a living area, one bedroom, and one full bath.

Elkhorn Cabin:
Built in 1997 with hand-hewn log construction, this 1,324 sq. ft. cabin can accommodate four guests and is one and a half stories. The first floor consists of the living/dining area, breakfast bar with sink, bedroom, full bath and a screened-in porch and the second floor has an additional bedroom, full bath and a small sitting area.

Angler’s Outfitting Barn & Ultra Mud Room:
A well-thought-out improvement consisting of 3,102 ft. built in 1984 with two levels is the location the Angler’s Outfitting/Mud Room, single-car garage, additional storage room and an additional multi-purpose room which is currently used as a retail store. The ground-level of the barn is the location of an extra large Angler’s outfitting room/mud room and is the ideal set-up for changing in and out of waders and hippers, storing fly poles and equipment, and socializing while preparing for a day of fishing. This outfitting/mud room has a concrete floor, large picnic tables and benches in the middle of the room for preping equipment or eating and drinking and is comfortable enough to be used for casual meetings or informal gatherings. A staircase located in the single-car garage leads to an upstairs office and storage area approximately 800 sq. ft.

Shepard’s Bend House:
Originally constructed in 1923 and considered the oldest house in Grand County, the Shepard’s Bend House consists of 3,040 sq. ft. and was relocated to its existing site by a team of horses and has undergone several remodels over the years. The house consists of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living and dining rooms and kitchen.

A 30′ x 45′ metal building with a concrete floor and foundation and two additional log-constructed barns, wood-frame utility sheds, loafing sheds, and wood corrals.

The Colorado River:

Recognized by the Colorado Wildlife Commission as one of the select few “Gold Medal” fishing waters in the state, the Colorado River is one the most magnificent fishing rivers available and is one of Colorado’s most outstanding freestone fisheries harboring large numbers of various trout species. Rainbows reach impressive sizes in the Colorado River and average 13-15″ with many reaching 16-20+. Elktrout Lodge’s private stretch of water along the Colorado River provides a variety of technical challenges and is a favorite location for anglers with any level of experience or those who are just learning the art of fly-fishing. The stretch of Colorado River at Elktrout Lodge contains broad sweeping riffles and deep pools providing some of the largest fish found anywhere in this watershed. The wading is easy, footing is good and rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout are the primary targets at Elktrout.

Fishing season begins with caddis and stoneflies in late May. Stonefly nymphs provide the nutrition the trout need to grow large by May. By June, Pale Morning Duns, Blue Wing Olives, Rusty Spinners, Green Drakes and more hatch.

The Colorado River has an abundance of hatches. Mayflies, caddis and stoneflies can all be found in excellent numbers and provide the diet and nutrition trout need to grow large, healthy and in great numbers. Multiple hatches often results in dry-fly action throughout the day. From late June to early July, adult salmon flies will emerge on the upper Colorado River. By August, terrestrials make for the kind of top-water action that many Anglers live for. Ants, beetles and hoppers easily find their way into the waters of the Colorado River. Tricos provide a challenge for those who like to catch big fish on tiny flies and provides a great deal of fun and excitement for experienced Anglers. In some years, the tricos hatch well into October providing excellent fishing well in the fall.

The Colorado River is fabulous to fish and explore and puts a smile on almost every angler’s face that challenges it. Its diversity, size, scenery, access and large trout all contribute to making Elktrout Lodge a spectacular place to call home or visit.

Shepard’s Bend:
This exclusive spot on Elktrout Lodge’s private water is so appealing it bares the owner’s name. Andy Shepard spent many afternoons sight casting with dry flies to large bows lurking below undercut banks on his bend. Grasshopper patterns and droppers are a recipe for success. Streamer fishing for beautiful browns remains magnificent between hatches.

Grady’s Hole:
Andy Shepard originally purchased the land Elktrout Lodge sits upon from a local rancher named Grady. The water widens at this original piece of land owned by Grady and is a point where the Colorado River’s rocky bottom gives way to gravel and trouble-free wading. Technical dry fly fishing and sight casting to browns and bows bring success at this location.

VW Hole:
The picturesque water is named from the aged car bodies that were placed long ago to stabilize the river’s banks. Clouds of pale morning duns, blue-winged olives, and tricos fill the air creating ample opportunities for dry fly fishing. Increasing numbers of big browns lurk in this water and await the patient angler.

Gold Leaf Hole:

Perfectly named, Gold Leaf Hole is a romantic bend in the river where golden fall cottonwood and aspen tree leaves are reflected in the water below casting a shimmering reflection of golden light off the water. In late summer and early fall, the river water is its lowest and water moves more slowly providing anglers with the best opportunity for success for trophy browns and bows. Lucky anglers spend delightful afternoons stalking the big fish at Gold Leaf Hole and enjoying the excitement and beauty if offers.

Operational Considerations:

Elktrout Lodge operated for 27 years up through 2008 and is, for the first time ever, available for sale. Throughout it operation, Elktrout Lodge was endorsed by Orvis Outfitters and was named “Orvis Lodge of the Year” in 1999. It operated from May through September every year and employed 30 individuals.

An Orvis endorsed fly-fishing lodge represents the best fishing experience in the world. Only a select group of lodges will meet the high standards of an Orvis endorsement. Patrons of Elktrout Lodge have shared the same experience of excellent service, world-class fishing, and the pristine accommodations and location of the facility for many years.

Utilities and Real Estate Taxes:

Electric is provided by Mountain Parks Electric, phone service is provide by Qwest, natural gas is provided by Excel Energy, water is by well and has a commercial filtering system, and the sewer is septic with a leach field. Real estate taxes for the entire property for 2008 were $15,572.

Brokers Comment:

Rarely do you find a property with this a long history of operating success and a great story that began with its founder Andrew Shepard who loved the outdoors. Fly fishing was his passion and he set out to build one of the premier fishing lodges in the world. Many of the former fishing leases may still be available for a buyer would want to run Elktrout Lodge as a commercial operation. Many of the former employees would love the opportunity to return to Elktrout. As a fishing lodge, its past is well known but there are many other possibilities for Elktrout Lodge such as a private family vacation property, corporate retreat, special events venue and so much more. The possibilities for this one-of-a-kind offering are endless.

Elktrout Lodge is available inclusive of all real estate, improvements, water rights, mineral rights, registered name, client list and business opportunity. Interior furnishings, artwork and some select fixtures are available for sale via private treaty with the owner.