Stunning Colorado Legacy Property with Privacy, Year-Round Access and Large Private Lake
Bordered by the White River National Forest and the Flattops Wilderness Area, Sweetwater Lake Ranch is 488 acres of stunning scenery in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Its 77-acre natural lake is tucked between tall limestone cliffs and holds brook, brown and rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. Historic pictographs are tucked in a cave on the west side of the ranch. Located near the end of the year-round maintained county road, the ranch is convenient to the I-70 corridor and a short drive to several Colorado ski resorts.
Sweetwater Lake Ranch is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Denver and its 2 hours from Grand Junction. The Eagle County Regional Airport is 26 miles south of the ranch. Bordered by the White River National Forest, the ranch is located at the end of the year-round county road. Access to the ranch is easy and access in to the adjoining public land is convenient. With more than half of Colorado’s western slope consisting of public land in the semi-arid west, private lakes of this size are a rarity.
Most of the improvements on the ranch are situated near the lake’s edge. Three historic cabins with a storied past, several mid-century cabins and restaurant, employee houses and a barn are clustered on the southern end of the ranch. Several outstanding building sites on the higher reaches of the ranch overlook the lake and have long views to the snow-covered Continental Divide.
Sweetwater Lake Ranch at 7,700 feet in elevation, enjoys relatively mild temperatures. Annual precipitation is over 10 inches, much of which comes in the form of snow.
The ranch has been leased to a local outfitter who operates summer resort activities and fall hunting trips. The operator oversees the grazing lease and the irrigation of the pastures. The lease can terminate upon the sale of the ranch. Previous owners of the ranch have done extensive land planning; plans for a golf course, housing development, resort and a natural water bottling enterprise have been considered.
Over 18 c.f.s. of absolute water rights provide irrigation and domestic water to the ranch. An additional 40 c.f.s. plus 274 AF of conditional rights for domestic, irrigation, augmentation, piscatorial and municipal are decreed. Extensive legal and engineering work has been completed for the water rights.
Sweetwater Lake Ranch is located near the end of a county road that terminates at the White River National Forest. This particular forest encompasses 2.3 million acres and is home to the largest elk herd in North America. Big game hunting attracts sportsmen from all over the world to this rugged area of Colorado and there is convenient access from the ranch deep in to the adjoining public land via several USFS trails.
A variety of fishing opportunities are available on Sweetwater Lake and the half-mile of private Sweetwater Creek frontage. The lake is stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout and kokanee salmon and several high mountain lakes and streams are in the surrounding public lands offering unlimited angling both on and off of the ranch.
Co-listed with Dave Banzhaf, Beacon Mountain Farm & Ranch