Y Cross Ranch

Legendary Wyoming Ranch

A legendary ranch in one continuous block consisting of over 60,000 acres (95 square miles), Y Cross Ranch is located in northwest Laramie and west central Albany counties, north of I-80 between the cities of Laramie and Cheyenne. The ranch has Territorial Water Rights from ten creeks, four major ditches with irrigation rights for over 2,000 acres with a rated carrying capacity of 1,050 animal units. Elevations range from 6,400 ft. at the east end and feature rolling grasslands which gradually rise to the Horse Creek Hogback at 8,613 ft of rugged and forested terrain where the ranch borders the Medicine Bow National Forest. This is a low overhead grass ranch with two sets of improvements that include four residences, numerous barns, sheds, shops, several outbuildings, corrals and livestock handling facilities. The ranch has significant wildlife populations including elk, mule deer, antelope, black bear and the occasional moose and mountain lion.

Location and Area:
The Y Cross Ranch is situated in the cowboy state of Wyoming in both Albany and Laramie Counties with its headquarters located northwest of the City of Cheyenne; 26 miles on Horse Creek Road from exit 16 on Interstate 25. The ranch is equally as close to the City of Laramie via Rogers Canyon Road. Goods, services, shopping, restaurants, hospitals and commercial air service are available in both cities. Wyoming has some of the most favorable tax and asset protection laws in the nation and with no individual state income tax, business income tax or inheritance tax, assets are insulated in ways so that wealth can grow at a much faster rate. Wyoming’s population statewide is 563,626 which ranks it 50th as one of the least populated states in America. Cheyenne, with a population 57,478, the state capital, is located at the crossroads of I-25 and I-80 and is host city of Cheyenne Frontier Days, the largest outdoor rodeo in the United States, and Warren Air Force Base, the oldest continuously operating US AFB. The City of Laramie, with a population of 30,816, is one of the highest elevated cities in the United States at 7,165 ft. and home to the University of Wyoming.

Property Description:
The Y Cross Ranch consists of 50,333 deeded acres, 3,949 State of Wyoming leased acres, and 6,500 US Forest Service leased acres for a total of 60,782 acres. The ranch is 17 miles long and averages 6 miles wide. From the creek bottoms and irrigated meadows at an elevation of 6,400 feet, and with irrigation rights for 2,124 acres, the ranch currently irrigates 800 acres producing over 1,000 tons of grass hay. There is a variety of terrain across the ranch which supports a healthy ecosystem for both livestock and wild game. Y Cross Ranch for its large size has surprisingly very little sage, most of its surface is covered in native grasses. The Horse Creek Hogback forms a natural divide above which the winter winds blow cold, and below which makes a natural winter range condition rarely found on one contiguous ranch. Above the Hogback is a vast expanse of pasture, interspersed by spring-fed creeks and seasonal tributaries. Along the west and southwest parts of the ranch, which climb to an elevation of 8,613 feet, the ranch becomes alpine where it borders the Medicine Bow National Forest for eight miles. The land use of the Y Cross Ranch falls into summer pasture, winter range and irrigated hay meadow, an ideal combination for a year around cow/calf operation with seasonal yearlings.

Improvements at the Y Cross Ranch are in two locations; the Y Cross Ranch headquarters is located at the northeast part of the ranch on Horse Creek and the LT headquarters is located at the southeast part of the ranch on Lodgepole Creek.

Y Cross Headquarters:
The main residence consists of a 3,156 sq.ft. two-story home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. A second residence is a single-level consisting of 1,456 sq.ft. and the third home is 1,792 sq.ft. In addition, there are two cabins, a 5,408 sq.ft. Quonset, 2,944 sq.ft. machine shop and garage, 2,160 sq.ft. horse barn, 6,800 sq .ft. calving barn and over 6,000 linear feet of corrals.

LT Headquarters:
A one-story home consisting of 1,534 sq.ft. with an attached garage, 1,680 sq.ft. shop, 1,440 sq. ft. barn and 2,940 sq.ft. open-faced loafing shed.

Y Cross Ranch supports a significant population of big game, including mule deer, elk, antelope, black bear and occasional moose and mountain lion. Elk herds of several hundred animals are frequent on the ranch which has yearly hunting revenues of $40,000 – $60,000.

Operational Considerations:
The Y Cross Ranch is a model cattle operation representative of an efficient, profitable, working ranch using sustainable natural resources and animal management systems. The Y Cross Ranch is operated as a cow/calf ranch (currently this year 750 cows, 320 yearling steers, 325 yearling heifers plus 650 outside yearling cattle through September. The local NRCS office rates the ranch at 1,050 animal units. These numbers can vary from year to year depending on weather and moisture conditions, severity of winter requiring supplemental feeding and overall annual hay production. Y Cross Ranch is one of those unique ranches that has all season country and through proper pasture rotation, produces exceptional gains on cattle.

The Y Cross Ranch was assembled in 1941 by Courtenay C. Davis as a purebred cattle operation. Following his death in 1995, the ranch was donated in 1997 by the Courtenay C. Davis Foundation to the Colorado State University Research Foundation and the University of Wyoming Foundation as joint beneficiaries. Since that time, the ranch has provided a working laboratory for observation and study of plant and animal systems in a natural environment along with scholarship and/or internship support for Colorado State University and University of Wyoming students majoring in agriculture and natural resources. The sale of the Y Cross Ranch will further the education and scholarships in the College of Agricultural Sciences of each university.

Protective Land Covenants:
On August 26, 1997, the Y Cross Ranch was placed under an agricultural conservation easement for the purpose of preserving and protecting the significant and relatively natural habitat and natural ecosystems, thereby allowing the continuation of ranching, agricultural, and educational uses which are consistent with the conservation purpose.

Climate-Weather Conditions:
Because of its elevation, Wyoming has a relatively cool climate throughout the state despite it being arid. Average temperatures between June and August range between 45 – 90 degrees. Summer nights are almost invariably cool, even though daytime readings may be quite high on occasion with the southern portion of the state being the warmest, year round. July and August are the warmest months around the ranch with highs between 85 and 90 degrees. Daytime average winter low temperatures on and near the ranch at the coolest part of the day range between 10 and 20 degrees. The high temperatures at the warmest part of the day during the winter months range between 35 and 45 degrees.

The area around the ranch receives approximately 60% sunshine throughout the winter months and approximately 75% sunshine throughout the summer. Average annual precipitation is 12 inches per year with the greatest amount (1.5 – 2 inches per month) occurring between April and July. The greatest amount of snowfall occurs in March and April averaging between 10 – 13 inches with snowfall between October and February averaging anywhere from 4 – 11 inches.

Water Rights:
Y Cross Ranch is situated in the Horse Creek drainage of the North Platte River with water rights that date back to the Territorial period. From the foothills of the Laramie Mountains the ranch descends gradually eastward along the watercourses of Horse Creek, Lodgepole Creek and Crow Creek, eventually forming an alluvial plain which supports hay production. The ranch has fourteen permitted water wells, both domestic and stock, which date back from 1890 to 1978 with average well depths of 120 feet, producing an average of 14 gallons per minute. The following represents the surface water rights on the Y Cross Ranch:

DitchPriority DateCFSAcresHorse Creek No. 110/31/18837.30295Horse Creek No. 25/1/18835.6150Horse Creek No. 35/1/18837.20100Horse Creek No. 412/31/18752.8980Horse Creek No. 55/31/18751.95100Horse Creek No. 65/31/18771.8940Horse Creek No. 75/31/18783.40100Horse Creek No. 85/31/1876.7444.08Horse Creek No. 95/31/18742.0100South Horse Creek No. 112/31/18794.20200South Horse Creek5/6/188612.65885.50Nettie Ditch6/1/18869.8080Elizabeth Ditch11/10/19060.7150  TOTAL2,124.58

Priority/Permit Ditch Priority Date CFS Acres
43 Horse Creek No. 1 10/31/1883 7.30 295
39 Horse Creek No. 2 5/1/1883 5.61 50
40 Horse Creek No. 3 5/1/1883 7.20 100
7 Horse Creek No. 4 12/31/1875 2.89 80
4 Horse Creek No. 5 5/31/1875 1.95 100
12 Horse Creek No. 6 5/31/1877 1.89 40
16 Horse Creek No. 7 5/31/1878 3.40 100
11 Horse Creek No. 8 5/31/1876 .74 44.08
2 Horse Creek No. 9 5/31/1874 2.0 100
20 South Horse Creek No. 1 12/31/1879 4.20 200
67 South Horse Creek 5/6/1886 12.65 885.50
69 Nettie Ditch 6/1/1886 9.80 80
7518 Elizabeth Ditch 11/10/1906 0.71 50
TOTAL 2,124.58

Y Cross Ranch is a remarkable, large working low overhead ranch with a rich history in an ideal location. The ranch has easy access to the the Front Range, diverse terrain, natural resources, abundant wildlife, scenic attributes, agricultural production and year-round recreation. In an area that is well suited to cattle ranching for generations, the Y Cross Ranch is a rare opportunity to own a classic western ranch.

Further Information:
The Y Cross Ranch is being offered for sale in its entirety and includes all real estate, improvements, water rights and mineral rights. Livestock and equipment are available for sale through a separate transaction with Seller. Broker cooperation invited.