The Bear Wallow Ranch is situated in the mountains of Western Colorado. It is comprised of 2,600 +/- deeded acres with forest service and BLM grazing leases. Positioned in a private valley west of Glenwood Springs, Bear Wallow Ranch is a rare opportunity to own one of the premier blocked-up and contiguous ranches on the Continental Divide. The ranch is ideally located in one of western Colorado’s most desirable and appealing areas. This 2,600 +/- recreation/cattle ranch boasts quality improvements, end-of-the-road seclusion, a five-bedroom three and one-half bath home, guest house, lodge, equipment barn, hay sheds, cattle handling facilities, senior water rights, numerous ponds, direct-private access to public land, abundant wildlife, and excellent hunting; all within an easy 15-minute drive to the very reliable Rifle/Garfield County Airport. Bear Wallow Ranch offers a unique opportunity to experience ownership of western Colorado’s great treasures, along with an opportunity for personal, family and corporate recreation and enjoyment.
Not only is the ranch 20 minutes from Garfield County Airport (with the added convenience of paved access), the ranch is situated literally at the end of the road, which means PRIVACY. The second feature is that the sizeable 2,500 +/- acres is bordered on three sides by BLM and National Forest. This extensively broadens the hunting and recreational opportunities...all out your backdoor.
Broker(s): Rue Balcomb
AREA AND CLIMATE
Bear Wallow Ranch is located seven and one-half miles west of Glenwood Springs and two and one-half miles north of Interstate 70, exit 109. At the confluence of the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River, Glenwood Springs (pop 9,600) is known for its rafting, kayaking and gold-medal fly fishing and is home to the world’s largest natural Hot Springs Pool, the natural underground Vapor Caves at Yampah Spa, and the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Historic Fairy Caves.
One hour from Aspen and a little more to Vail, Bear Wallow is located in a surprisingly secluded valley off of Canyon Creek and backs up to the White River National Forest. The ranch sits between 6,400 and 8,700 feet above sea level.
The annual precipitation is approximately 21 inches of rain and 51 inches of snowfall. On average, there are 239 sunny days per year, with the growing season at the ranch beginning mid-May and ending mid-September. The average maximum Fahrenheit temperatures in July/August range from 85-88 degrees, and the average maximum temperatures for December/January range from 32-38 degrees.
The Bear Wallow Ranch is a unique historic property, rich in local lore. The ranch was owned at the turn-of-the-century by the Baxter Brothers, guiders and outfitters for Teddy Roosevelt’s many hunting and fishing trips.
In 1906, Dall DeWeese, former owner and water engineer, tunneled two 100 yard tunnels in the mountains to bring water to the ranch for irrigation. This was considered an engineering marvel for that era. The ranch was named, Bear Wallow on April 9, 1913 by J.C. Jessup, a former owner of the ranch and also the first man in Garfield County to own a car. In 1954, Buster Brown of Houston, Texas purchased the ranch where he raised Hereford cattle until he sold to CR Rittenberry in 1978. Rittenberry invested nearly $5.2 million dollars into the ranch facilities for personal recreation and a commercial cattle operation. The current owner purchased the ranch in 1989, as a private corporate retreat as well as to continue the ranching tradition.
The Bear Wallow Ranch consists of approximately 2600 +/- acres of deeded land. The lower portion of the ranch consists of beautiful productive hay meadows spreading out from the headquarters. Irrigated acres are estimated at 260 acres, subject to management practices the irrigated land can produce up to 400 tons of grass/alfalfa mix hay.
The hay meadows rise out of the valley floor into the upper native grass pastures locally known as the “Arbor Heath”, while sage and oak brush cover the hillsides. The land grades upward in elevation to the north and northwest, transitioning into aspen and pine forests where the ranch borders the public land. Numerous springs are scattered throughout the ranch, providing water for livestock and wildlife.
This diversity is a blessing for both livestock and wildlife. The varying terrain supplies an abundance of year round habitat and cover for the wildlife; a highly desirable aspect for big game such as elk, mule deer, bear and turkey.
Well-maintained interior roads allow access to most of the ranch, perfect for ATV, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and general ranch use. Roads also provide easy access onto The Flatops, part of the White River National Forest, a recreation melting pot with great hiking, hunting, camping, fishing, horseback riding, etc.
A unique feature is the 40-acre in-holding that lies north of the main ranch. Accessed by a private road through BLM lands, the historic cabin has been moved from the public lands and refurbished.
With roughly 235,000 acres, the Flat Tops is the second largest wilderness in Colorado. The Flat Tops takes after its namesake, with the occasional peak rising 1,000 feet above the high plateau. Encompassing parts of the Routt and White River National Forests of GMU’s 12, 24, 25, 26, 33 and 34, the Flat Tops is home to the White River elk herd, Colorado’s largest herd. The latest count shows nearly 45,000 elk roaming the hills, with a bull/cow ratio of 28/100. This is above the CDOW population objectives of 32,000 to 39,000. Elk hunters should be prepared to see elk in good numbers this season.
Even though elk abound on public land, hunting pressure often drives them to the surrounding private holdings, where pressure is regulated and likely restricted. Bear Wallow being an excellent example of this.
5 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, an early 1900’s ranch house that has been fully renovated
3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, built in the early 1970’s
Historical late 1800’s barn was transformed into the lodge, six bedrooms, six baths, custom bar, commercial kitchen, walk-in refrigerator and freezer, dining area, spacious great room with large fireplace surrounded by wrap around deck, exercise room, office area and tack storage
4-bays, one with winch and meat racks for game processing
3-employee homes, gazebo, 9-hole Boulders at Bear Wallow golf course, hay barn, bull barn, livestock handling corrals, certified scales, riding arena, cowboy camp, fuel station, fenced and cross-fenced, irrigation pipelines, pump house, 3-fishing ponds
WATER RIGHTS & RESOURCES
Three ponds are located on the lower portion of the ranch, south of the main house. A unique feature of the ranch is a warm water spring that drains into each of the three ponds. While the current owner has not completed any measurements or studies on the spring, during the last 24 years of the current ownership, the spring has proven to be very reliable.
The ranch owns solid irrigation water rights with very good priority dates. All water rights appurtenant to and for the benefit of the ranch will be conveyed to the buyer at closing of a sale. A complete list of water rights is attached.
The seller will convey with the ranch all of whatever mineral, oil, gas, geo-thermal rights which they actually own, subject to reservations by previous owners. They make no representation as to the quantity or quality of any mineral or other subsurface rights appurtenant to the ranch.
The Bear Wallow Ranch grazes cattle on Federal land within the White River National Forest and the Bureau Of Land Management. A complete list of Grazing leases are attached.
Electricity - Xcel Energy
Phone - Century Link
Cellular - AT&T service on the ranch
Propane - Amerigas leased tanks
Fuel Tanks - 2,000 gallon red dye diesel tank at pump house, 2,000 gallon gasoline tank and a 2,000 gallon diesel tank
TAXES $8,005 for 2012
The Bear Wallow Ranch is a distinctive property, exceptionally maintained as a corporate mountain retreat, and at the same time the ranch is a well-run and viable working cattle ranch. A few features set this ranch above the rest. The first of the key features is the location. Not only is the ranch 20 minutes from Garfield County Airport (with the added convenience of paved access), the ranch is situated literally at the end of the road, which means PRIVACY. The second feature is that the sizeable 2,500 +/- acres is bordered on three sides by BLM and National Forest. This extensively broadens the hunting and recreational opportunities--all out your backdoor. Third, this mountain ranch and the 360 degree views are fantastic! However, the variations in elevation on the ranch are not extreme enough to cause un-acclimated visitors distress.