Wolf Springs Ranch

An Exclusive Colorado Legacy Ranch

Co-listed with M4 Ranch Group

View the blog post of Westcliffe Going Dark for the Milky Way


Video Tour of JM Ranch

Main Home – Virtual Tour
Guest Cabin #1 – Virtual Tour
Guest Cabin #2 – Virtual Tour
Guest Cabin #3 – Virtual Tour
Guest Cabin #4 – Virtual Tour
Homestead Cabin – Virtual Tour
Eagle’s Nest Cabin – Virtual Tour
Main Complex (Partial) – Virtual Tour
Processing Barn – Virtual Tour

Wolf Springs Ranch is a treasure that took the Seller years to assemble through small purchases and public land trades which blocked up this marvelous land holding. The 55,486-deeded-acre ranch is a sportsman’s paradise outfitted with plenty of natural resources, production capabilities, and magnificent scenery along the eastern face of the continental divide. Abundant water from several streams, reservoirs and springs support a resident elk herd with 350 plus bulls, plentiful mule deer and pronghorn antelope. The ranch has first-class improvements and includes an established American Bison herd, Angus cow herd and equipment, with over 3,370 acres of irrigable water rights. The ranch is in an excellent location, just 10 miles to the Silver West jet-accessible airport and under a two-hour drive to Colorado Springs. At a time when larger ranches are disappearing, this true legacy ranch is offered whole or in three parts.

Wolf Springs Ranch is set along the eastern front of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in south-central Colorado, sixteen miles south of Westcliffe and 40 miles northwest of Walsenburg. State Highway 69 runs through the northeast portion of the ranch providing good year around paved road access. Denver is a three-hour drive and Colorado Springs is a two-hour drive from the ranch. The jet-accessible Silver West Airport is located 15 miles north of the ranch and features a 7,000’ x 55’ paved runway at 8,300’ elevation and offers private jet charter transportation. The ranch borders two different national forests on opposite sides including the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness area.

The majority of the ranch lies in Huerfano County. Its county seat, Walsenburg, is located on Interstate 25, the main central north/south route through Colorado. The principle trade area for the ranch is Westcliffe, the county seat of Custer County, a rural community of 4,000 residents that has a charming small town feel with a thriving art scene, several historical attractions and numerous shops and restaurants. Custer County, created in 1877, was named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer who died the previous year, and was the site of a major silver rush during the 1870s.

Situated on the east side of the Continental Divide at the south end of the Wet Mountain Valley, the ranch enjoys a four-season climate with good moisture on an average year. The climate is ideal; cool and clear with average winter low temperatures of 10 degrees and average winter highs of 43 degrees. The area has 300+ days of sunshine per year with low summer average temperatures of 40 degrees and average highs of 78 degrees. Fall is the most beautiful season with golden aspen groves intermixed in the lush pine forests against the backdrop of snow that crowns the mountains surrounding Wolf Springs Ranch.

Property Description:
Situated at the southern end of the Wet Mountain Valley along the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Wolf Springs Ranch consists of 55,486 deeded acres together with a BLM lease on 575 acres covering over 93 square miles. The ranch averages 6-7 miles in width and is 15 miles north to south. Along its northeastern boundary, the ranch borders the San Isabel National forest (location of 19 of the state’s 54 14,000’ peaks) for six miles. Along the western boundary, the ranch borders the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness and Rio Grande National Forest for over ten miles, where you clearly see Blueberry Peak, Blizzardine Peak and Huckleberry Mountain that rise to 10,960’ and Mt. Herald at 13,350’. The ranch drains to the east and south from Muddy Creek and also has Bruff Creek (both middle and south) and Pantleon Creek along the southern end of the ranch. Wolf Springs Ranch has twelve reservoirs including Wolf, Roach, Murray, Mosca McKinley, Creager, JM and Montez 1 through 5, five springs and several stock water wells. Elevations range from 6,800’ along the southeastern portion of the ranch where most of the cultivated hay fields are located, to over 9,500’ where the ranch becomes alpine with ponderosa pine, aspen groves and mixed conifer forests.

Wolf Springs Ranch with its variety of topography has a relatively sandy loam soil producing a variety of grasses including grama, buffalo grass, bluestem, winter fat and smooth brome. The ranch has more than nine pastures ranging in size from 5,000 to 10,000 acres along with numerous smaller turnout pastures and traps near the headquarters and livestock barns. Each pasture has livestock water supply by water well, stream, reservoir or spring.

Wolf Springs Ranch has planned improvements ideal for living, entertaining and operating the high caliber of ranch that it is. The ranch has a 4,116 sq. ft. main owner’s home with 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms in a private setting with views across the southern end of the ranch along with three family cabins/houses, all in excess of 2,000 sq. ft., located west of the headquarters near Muddy Creek. The ranch has a manager’s home along with a guest house and three apartments; two in the separate horse barns and one behind the shop. Strategically located around the ranch are seven ranch hand houses and equipment and livestock buildings.

Ranch Support Facilities: At the headquarters, an impressive 425’ long main building includes an 840 sq. ft. office/reception area that adjoins a large 70’ x 115’ equipment storage area with concrete floor and oversized doors with an adjacent 40’ x 70’ shop at the rear, along with a game processing area with walk in cooler for up to 12 animals. Behind the office area are 19 box stalls with alleyway, tack room, saddling area, wash rack, mare motel, breeding and vet facilities. To the other side is a 70’ x 146’ indoor arena and a 35’ x 7’ tall round pen with electric horse walker next to it. Lastly there are an additional 60 box stalls in a 73’ x 232’ area that includes a tack room, wash racks, vet rooms along with a front conference/lunch room of 2,000 sq. ft. that includes complete kitchen facilities. On the side of the additional stalls is a 107’ x 292’ steel outdoor arena and across from the office is a 170’ x 270’ welded steel pipe arena with rodeo bucking chutes, roping box and viewing area. To the side of the arena is a 80’ x 140’ barn with additional stalls, equipment storage and two apartments totaling 2,160 sq. ft. Next to the barn is a 36’ x 24’ kennel and next to that is a 50’ x 150’ hay barn. South of the headquarters, a 145’ x 195’ buffalo barn facility is complete with interior processing area, tub, chute and hydraulic squeeze chute along with several sets of outdoor steel pipe sorting corrals. The ranch has excellent fencing with the turnouts and traps in steel pipe and miles of buffalo fence. Additional facilities include four more barns, shop and equipment storage, nine 30’ x 100’ all steel hay sheds and nineteen open faced sheds. Ask listing broker for a detailed list of improvements.

Water Resources:
Wolf Springs Ranch has extensive decreed and un-decreed water rights (which date back to 1881 in their order of priority) from five creeks producing over 58.64 cfs, twelve reservoirs containing over 800 acre feet of storage and twenty-five springs that includes return flow collection points for two trans-mountain diversions that are owned and operated by the ranch. The ranch distributes water from over twenty-four ditches with the rights to irrigate up to 3,370 acres, producing on an average year 2,200-2,300 tons of alfalfa/grass mix hay. There are four center pivot sprinklers, Lockwood and T & L all gravity flow with the remaining acres flood irrigated along with over twenty wells, two windmills and several miles of underground pipeline.

Operational Considerations:
Wolf Springs Ranch is operated as a bison, cattle and horse breeding ranch, which fits naturally in this four season climate, and is rated at 1,100 animal units year around. The ranch currently has 330 bison cows calving from mid-March till the first of May, 60 two-year-old heifers and 70 yearling heifer replacements with 25 bulls.
For over ten years, one customer has purchased as many of the weaned bison calves as were available claiming that Wolf Springs Ranch bison calves are some of the very best. There are 220 bred Angus based cattle with 60 replacement heifers and 11 bulls. The ranch formerly raised quite a remuda of horses but is now at 30-40 with the facilities to handle four times that amount.

Haying season begins the first part of July and may continue for 2-3 months depending on weather. The ranch puts up 3x4x8 large square bales and some small square bales for horse hay.

The ranch currently operates with a manager, eight ranch hands and office help. Additional help is obtained locally if needed during haying season.

Wildlife and Recreation:
Wolf Springs Ranch is located in Colorado’s Game Management Units 84, 86 and 861 and participates in the Colorado Ranching for Wildlife with success rates of 80% to 100%. Wildlife on Wolf Springs Ranch includes trophy elk with average sized elk scoring from 300 to 340, and includes a resident herd of 600, with additional game including mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bear and mountain lion. Fishing for Rainbow, Brook and Brown Trout is abundant on Wolf Springs Ranch in the stocked fishing reservoirs which produce large fish weighing 2 to 5 pounds.

Comments and Conclusions:
Wolf Springs Ranch is a rare find with its size, topography, resources, wildlife and scenic beauty. An operating ranch with production qualities, Wolf Springs Ranch produces an incredible herd of American bison, quality cattle and horses. The ranch is ideal for the sportsman and conservationist with a perfect opportunity for a Buyer to place this stewardship ranch in a conservation easement protecting it for generations with an attractive charitable tax deduction. The ranch has an easement with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on 1,600 acres at the southwest corner of the ranch. Whether for a family legacy ranch or sound land investment, Wolf Springs Ranch is one of those special ranches that rarely becomes available.