Owl Canyon Ranch

Fort Collins , Colorado | Larimer County | 1862 Acres

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Located a few minutes northwest of Fort Collins, lies the 1,862 contiguous acres (+/-) of the Owl Canyon Ranch. Historically a working cattle ranch, the peaceful valleys, majestic rock ridges and formations along with lush native pastures, makes this a premium offering as a transition property suited for future clustered development. With the family ownership dating back to the late 1960’s, this is the first time in over 50 years a large block of this property has come on the market. The owners have been constant good stewards of their land, and the preservation of the rich history and artifacts. The ranch will be enhanced with overviews on the northeast end of the new Glade Reservoir and recreation area. Prime for developing into smaller parcels with a unique open space area, or continue on as a private ranch with an outstanding possibility for conservation easement protection. The views and serenity will take your breath away.

Rarely does a significant holding with prime location, size, recreational, wildlife, historical and development considerations come to market along the greater Front Range of Colorado.  This is a significant opportunity for a prime investment for a discerning buyer(s). 
Close Details
Owl Canyon Ranch is located off U S Highway 287 just south of Owl Canyon is within 15 minutes north of the edge of Fort Collins, with great access from east and west side locations. Fort Collins is the home of the prestigious Colorado State University, has a population of approximately 170,000 and offers every amenity to serve the growing community.  History, great dining, shopping, Old Town, entertainment venues, and a varied but stable economy makes the area rated as one of the best places to live in Colorado and the front range area.  An added plus is the proximity to the foothills, golf courses, ski resorts, mountains and many lakes and rivers.  Besides Fort Collins, the ranch is conveniently located between the communities of Wellington, LaPorte and Livermore.

A major development enhancing Owl Canyon Ranch and local communities is a planned large scale water development project.  The Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is a multifaceted water supply and storage project proposed for Northern Colorado that is currently nearing the end of a complex 16 year permitting process.  NISP includes two reservoirs and a series of pipelines and other infrastructure.  The primary reservoir called “Glade” is to be located northwest of Fort Collins near the base of the Poudre Canyon will adjoin the ranch along U S Highway 287.

The 1,862 acres (+/-) are diverse in terrain. The ranch consists of 6 large contiguous parcels of varying acreages.  Elevations range from 5,400’ to 6,000’.  There are expansive areas of rolling to flat grasslands, valleys, upper parks, saddles and rock ridges along with scenic rock canyons. The 360-degree views include Fort Collins, back ranges of the Rockies and rural farm and ranch areas out towards the eastern plains.  There are no buildings on the ranch, other than the remnants of a WW II era brick homestead.  However, there are countless areas that offer spectacular building sites for varying sized ranches or cluster homesite development.The owner has practiced good grassland range management throughout the history of the ranch and has strived to preserve the Indian settlement artifacts and settlers’ relics.  The owner is currently running 700 to 750 AUM’s or animal unit months.

The land is rich in history.  The Overland Trail Stage line meandered through the land and settlers were drawn to the area. A small homesteaders cabin from WWII still exists.  The inventive settler actually used surplus WWII iron bed frame posts for their fencing, and the fence still stands. The main three tribes in the area were the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho.  Indian artifacts abound, including teepee rings, arrow heads, pigmented stones and food preparation implements.  In one small canyon, within the rock walls and small caves, it is evident that this was used for shelters and actual smoke stains still exist from using the caverns for fires.  An archeological dream.  All sites have remained unchanged.

The Weaver family settled in Larimer County in 1886 and ranched between Virginia Dale, Colorado and Tie Siding, Wyoming.  To expand their operation and provide winter pasture, the Weavers bought the Ripple Ranch at Owl Canyon in 1969.  Since then, the property has primarily been used to winter cow/calf pairs and yearlings, using the Virginia Dale and Tie Siding properties for summer pasture.

After the patriarch of the Weaver family passed in 2010, the Owl Canyon property was split between Weaver Cattle Co., Inc. and Weaver Ranch, Inc. Weaver Cattle Co., Inc. is now offering this property to the public. This is the first time in over 50 years a large block of this property has come on the market.

Within the sanctuary of the ranch, wildlife abounds. This includes large elk herds, deer, antelope, coyote, and birds of prey. They thrive with the grasslands, plentiful watering holes and quiet setting, as there are currently no improved automobile roads running through the property.

The new Glade Reservoir will be 5 miles long, 280’ deep at its deepest, and have the capacity to store 170,000 acre feet of water. It will be located just south and west of the ranch. The surface area of Glade Reservoir will be about 1,600 acres when full.  The water storage project is slated to begin in late 2024 and ready for water by 2028.  Once completely filled around 2032, it will complement recreation in the area and be of benefit to fish and game, along with public recreation.

Owl Canyon Ranch is well positioned as a transition property for future development due to its proximity to the growing metropolitan area of Fort Collins.  The adjoining access from U S Highway 287 to the western portion of the ranch and the proximity to North County Road 19 (northern extension of Taft Hill Road) to the eastern portion of the property makes the ranch prime for development or conservation considerations.  It appears that clustered access combined with Open Space would be an ideal scenario.  Being a transition property, the ranch is a great investment as its future value will only increase due to its location and development considerations.

In the meantime, recreational, wildlife and archaeological considerations allow for private enjoyment and preservation of important historical archaeological sites.

There is currently processes ongoing with the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) to account for the impacts of building Glade Reservoir.  Those factors impacting   Owl Canyon Ranch such as the Highway 287 realignment, revised access, livestock water locations, etc have been identified with determined resolution being completed.  Please contact the Listing Agents for more information.

Rarely does a significant holding with prime location, size, recreational, wildlife, historical and development considerations come to market along the greater Front Range of Colorado.  This is a significant opportunity for a prime investment for a discerning buyer(s).  The seller is willing to consider the possibility of a sale of either the eastern or western portions of Owl Canyon Ranch.

*The number of acres subject to change slightly (+/-), pending final sale with NISP and recording of deeds, for the Highway 287 realignment.