Few ranches on the open market capture within their bounds everything a buyer could ask for: good access, big views, amenities, wildlife, and privacy. Canyon View Ranch has them all. This "A" class property lies with 25 minutes of Montrose, Colorado, has year-round access along two miles of highway frontage, breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains, and boasts a model ecosystem across the ranch's 2,200 plus acres. By encompassing the headwaters of two streams, the ranch provides an abundant and diverse habitat. Dominant flora transitions from riparian wetlands into mature groves of aspen, spruce, and pine, all interspersed with alpine meadows and brushlands. Beneath these healthy boughs, the ranch rises and rolls through irrigated meadows, Gambel oak benches and pockets of mature trees. Ultimately, this productive landscape will easily support 70 head of mature cattle for a 6-month grazing season without compromising resiliency or diminishing the ranches value to the wildlife. With a hospitable environment and ample surface water, the ranch harbors some of Colorado's most elusive game species, Big Horn Sheep in the adjacent canyons surrounding Morrow Point, and Shiras Moose, alongside more common deer, bear, turkey, and elk. Concerning the latter, hundreds of elk calve on the ranch every spring, and the property is within sight of the over-the-counter Game Unit 56. Additionally, the ranch borders trophy Game Unit 66, so crossover bulls can be expected. Meanwhile, the ranch is located in the OTC unit of 64.
Not only does the ranch's topography provide natural benefits (such as a favorably wet weather pattern), it also creates a high degree of privacy. Roughly 1,400 plus acres of the ranch are shielded by the property's rocky southern rim. Along the northern boundary lies the world famous Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and vast swaths of federal land, all but inaccessible to the general public. Because the ranch is located between Montrose and Gunnison, near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Blue Mesa Reservoir (Colorado's largest reservoir, known for trophy lake trout and the best ice fishing in the state), recreational opportunities abound in every direction. Groceries, fine dining, regional air service, medical service, and a vibrant shopping community are all a short commute away in Montrose. Western Colorado University drives a booming college scene in Gunnison, a small town known for its artisan dining and recreation industry.
Canyon View Ranch is a fantastic representation of the American Mountain West, a place where tales of cattlemen's wars are still remembered. This ranch, with its covetable features, will stand the test of time, holding and growing in value as land and water become rarer commodities across the mountain west. The ranch is surveyed, fully fenced, and complete with cabins and utilities. This large holding has long-term development potential, or, with its critical habitat, may be a prime candidate for conservation opportunities. Whether you are looking for an investment or a generational family holding, come create your legacy and build a piece of Colorado history with Canyon View Ranch!
Canyon View Ranch is located off US Hwy 50 in Gunnison County between Montrose and Gunnison, approximately 28 miles east of Montrose and 35 miles west of Gunnison. The ranch provides easy access off the highway, while the south-facing ridge maintains privacy for the majority of the ranch that sits above it. Location is critical when choosing a ranch. Located in the throughfare between Montrose and Gunnison with over 2 miles of highway frontage, the ranch offers not only year-round access but development potential with power across the face of the ranch and at the top. The ranch offers a valuable conservation easement potential with its location in the wintering and calving grounds for large herds of elk. There is something nice about not having to drive for miles upon miles of dirt roads to access your alpine ranch within 30 minutes of the airport and all the amenities of town.
A steep ridge at the face of the ranch provides for privacy from Hwy 50 that runs the south border. Atop the ridge at over 9,000 feet the ranch gradually rolls to the north down to the Black Canyon across open meadows surrounded by mature groves of aspen and dark timber. The ranch's geography provides multiple microhabitats from aspen flats, open parks, to steep north-facing drainages cut by flowing creeks. From the back of the ranch jaw-dropping views of the Black Canyon from an exclusive perspective are breathtaking. The ranch is abundant in habitat diversity. Starting at the face of the ranch around 8,400 ft the topography climbs to 9,200 at the rim and then rolls across between 8,800 and 9,000 ft before climbing to just over 9,200 ft before descending into the Canyon.
Located in GMU 64(OTC), more than two-thirds of this unit is private land or is part of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, which is closed to hunting. However, hunting access to public land into the bordering Curecanti National Recreation Area is allowed and this ranch offers exclusive access from the public. A resident elk herd roams the ranch along with mature mule deer bucks. The occasional moose has also been spotted on the ranch. Access to private land is important for hunters who seek mature elk and mule deer. Trophy quality of bucks is not uncommon and as many as 20 bulls have been seen on the ranch in early spring bachelor groups, grazing their way across the ranch into their summer sanctuary on the north end of the ranch. The ranch's diverse habitat and layout captures an elk's full year of migration, from summer grounds to wintering. In the spring large calving herds give birth to new stalk of elk in the hidden basins along the front of the ranch, giving the name of Fawn Basin to one of these basins known by the owner. Over 100 momma cow elk will gather on the ranch in the basin before working their way up the drainages once their newborns have the strength to make it to the summer habitat on the upper end of the ranch. Resident herds of mule deer can be found across the entire ranch and groups of bucks in velvet start to appear across the ranch. Sanctuary is an aspect of managing mature and healthy wildlife on any ranch. It is critical to provide areas on the property for wildlife to have the ability to hide and live without pressure. The deep drainages in the back of the ranch offer this for the herds. The largest bulls and bucks have been captured on game cameras and seen by the cattlemen migrating in and out of these sanctuaries. There is no part of the ranch in which elk cannot be found. The ranch is huntable in all seasons, from archery into the late 4th rifle season. This is due to the ranch's abundance of water, mature aspen groves, north-facing dark timber, and south-facing oak brush feeding areas. While the ranch also offers opportunity for other game including grouse, turkey, bears, bobcat, and mountain lions, some of the more impressive wildlife on the ranch has been a pool of mature mule deer buck genetics due to careful management by current ownership that allows the younger bucks and bulls to gain maturity. So much so, that during the opening weekend of archery season in 2022 the owner passed on six bulls! It has been the desire of ownership and stewardship to carefully maintain and grow a healthy, sustainable wildlife population on the ranch.
Fishing opportunities are at their finest with the Gunnison River within Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, designated as Gold Medal Water & Wild Trout Water. Streams and rivers in Colorado are designated as Gold Medal Waters by the state wildlife commission because they provide outstanding angling opportunities for large trout. The Gold Medal Waters begin 200 yards downstream of Crystal Dam and continue to the North Fork of the Gunnison River. Within the ranch boundaries two large ponds have been installed to depths deep enough to sustain fish if stocked. Other areas on the ranch where large springs could feed more ponds provide on-property opportunities for fishing. There are currently 18 spring-fed ponds on the ranch and over 22 springs have been counted. Most famously at the headwaters of Stumpy Creek is a cluster of five springs known by the owner as the Wishing Well, frequently used by multiple species of wildlife that call this ranch home. From Silver Jack Reservoir to the Cimarron and the famous Gunnison River, the area is surrounded by world-class fishing opportunities.
The ranch is currently under a year-to-year seasonal grazing lease. Under the current ownership, several acres of meadows were cleared of sage to reseed a mixture of cattle- and wildlife-friendly grasses. To allow for these grasses to reseed, the grazing management was carefully planned and adjusted to encourage a symbiotic relationship between livestock and wildlife. The ranch is cross-fenced to allow for spring stalk to be unloaded on the ranch and then moved from the middle to the back and then across the ranch to the lower end again before the season ends. Typically in mid-May, around 75 head (depending on the snowpack and spring moisture) will be unloaded on the south end of the ranch. The cattle are moved back to this lower ground before hunting season, taking the top feed across the meadows, allowing for new growth that the elk and deer love right when it's time to knock an arrow. In early to mid-November, depending on snowfall, the livestock will be trailered off the ranch and into their winter pastures in the lower valley of Montrose or Olathe. Having the cowboys on the ranch to maintain the ditches and fences is an added bonus, along with ranch security and cheap property taxes provided by the agricultural status.
While the ranch is nearing the top of the range in elevation, Blue Creek Ditch diverts water across the southwest end, from where this ranch pulls its water rights. The 2B (out of 60.5 total) shares of the ditch are owned by the ranch. The ditch is carefully monitored and managed by the ditch company, which is actively doing due diligence to improve the ditch and the delivery of water rights. Via open ditch, the ranch irrigates around 72 acres which could potentially increase to 100 acres. This provides additional grazing in the later months of the year and winter feed for elk and deer when it is the most critical. (BIG BLUE DITCH (6200528) Adjudication Date: 5/8/1913). The water rights are a nice added feature to the ranch and the additional grazing it provides. The ditch company is currently working to improve the ditch and mitigate unnecessary loss. The Cimarron Water Shed for the area is under exceptional management and has an impressive snowpack record. This ranch continues to check multiple boxes for the prudent ranch buyer.
Prior to marketing the property, a preliminary title commitment was provided by a title company. This has been used to discover and eliminate any possible issues for the next buyer. Upon acquisition of the ranch from the historic owners, all legal issues were eradicated along with a facility and grounds cleanup costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. A new entry gate was installed along with new roads and ponds. Old roads were cleared along with multiple acres of hydro-axing. An expensive Alta Survey was performed on the ranch to provide extensive details including utility easements, fencing, infrastructure and more for a visual representation of title. Also, upon acquisition a full Phase 1 environmental report was completed and is available for review. The ranch is currently undergoing the process of adding a new BLM grazing permit to be transferred to the new buyer of the ranch.
BUILDING NUMBER #1 (known as the two-story)
EFFECTIVE YEAR BUILT: 2011
ROOF: Seamed Metal - Painted
EXTERIOR: Wood Boards
ABOVE-GRADE LIVING AREA: 625 sqft
GARAGE: 625 sqft
*New upper-level patio has been installed*
BUILDING NUMBER #2 (known as the bunkhouse)
EFFECTIVE YEAR BUILT: 2006
ROOF: Seamed Metal - Painted
EXTERIOR: Wood Boards
ABOVE-GRADE LIVING AREA: 525 sqft
*Great for long stays on the ranch*
BUILDING NUMBER #3 (known as the Big Park Cabin)
EFFECTIVE YEAR BUILT: unknown
EXTERIOR: Wood Boards
ABOVE-GRADE LIVING AREA: not measured
*Old cabin on the ranch in a great location. Unoccupied*
There is a lot of history in the area that can be found on the ranch. Reminiscent of old ranch houses of a bygone era. Historic line cabins down in the bottom along Stumpy Creek and Coral Creek. Places where cattleman lived through the summer to watch and move with their herds. Built of hand-hewn timbers found on the ranch.
WATER SUPPLIER: Well (800' in depth with 400' of storage water, 12 gpm) SEWER SUPPLIER: Septic (2 systems)
GAS SUPPLIER: JC Propane (4 owned tanks)
ELECTRIC SUPPLIER: Delta-Montrose Electric Association (2 meters) IRRIGATION/WATER DISTRICT: Blue Creek Ditch (2 deeded shared)
2021 $1,976 (agricultural status) 2020 $1,894 (agricultural status) 2019 $1,844 (agricultural status)
Cimarron, Colorado: History
"Wild and untamed"- Cimarron is given its true definition by explorers to this landscape. From Indians, Spanish conquistadors, sheep wars, cowboys, stagecoaches, railroads, tails of murder, grit, and ruggedness of the Wild West, all resided here in the Cimarron valley.
By the early 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad was on its way west across Colorado. While at one time considered impossible, a railroad was constructed through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The original purpose of this railroad was to provide a link for shipment of ore from the mines in the San Juan mountains. A tent camp was set up at the end of the line, and as some reminisced about the hills around Cimarron, New Mexico, the camp was named "Cimarron". By the end of 1882, getting trains over the steep Cerro Summit grade would require helper engines. Cimarron developed into a real railroad town, complete with a roundhouse and station facilities. It grew to have stores and became a refueling station for steam trains. Later, scenic excursions ran through the quaint town that became known for its hospitality. The Black Canyon Hotel and Eating House was famous for its fresh trout dinners. Stagecoaches rolled in and out of Cimarron along their Western Colorado routes. As the mining boom declined, ranching took on greater significance in Cimarron. Both sheep and cattle were run in the open lands of the Cimarron Valley and surrounding hills. Cimarron became a major livestock shipping center in the spring and fall. As time and technology progressed, highways and large trucks gradually replaced the railroad. In 1949, the last passenger train ran from Gunnison to Cimarron. Thereafter, the rails, ties, and corrals were removed. Today, the National Park Service maintains a visitor center, campground, and picnic area where the railroad town of Cimarron once existed. Exhibits allow visitors to see and touch some of the important history of Cimarron's railroad and ranching community. The Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Trestle stands as the last remaining railroad bridge along the Black Canyon of the Gunnison route and has the honor of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the most recognized feature to those traveling the highway through the Cimarron Valley is Newberry's General Store and gas station, purchased by the current owner's parents in 1939, and definitely worth a stop in for a trip down memory lane.
History of the Owner
The current owner began his passion for the Great American West as a young boy fascinated by tales of heroic characters in books of exploration and wild western movies. So many of us can relate to such a wanderlust for the rugged snowcapped peaks, dry pines, and windblown plains that make up this majestic landscape. With his grass roots beginnings, the owner took his opportunities in education seriously knowing this was his pathway to change the financial trajectory of his family. Starting off in his home state of Arkansas graduating with a BA in Communications from the University of Arkansas, he then attended both Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His drive and analytical thinking skills, combined with his strong ability to effectively communicate, made him very successful in sales and very valuable to successful organizations. This enabled him to turn his focus to legacy and a boyhood passion that had never left his mind. He set about to create something that could help him share this passion with his family. This was the beginning of his dream ranch search in the Great American West, the landscape and opportunities as vast as the Rocky Mountains themselves. Stretching out across multiple states navigating these landscapes to find or hope to find a dream ranch can be a monumental task and, at times, overwhelming. He knew he need to work with specialists in this world of Western ranches. Spending hours upon hours searching the market and looking at hundreds of ranches online, he became more and more discouraged about this process. Coupled with some bad experiences with some of these specialized land agents, he nearly gave up on this journey of being a part of this great Western legacy and creating his own - until one day he heard a familiar voice on the other end of the phone. Located in Western Colorado was a ranch broker who also had his roots in the owner's home state of Arkansas. This common ground helped to reignite his desire to find his dream ranch and the hunt was back on! After his previous experiences left him feeling like an outsider in this land game, his new partnership gave him the inside track to a very special ranch in Western Colorado. This ranch offered him exactly what he was after - a ranch that is a perfect manifestation of his Western ranch dreams. Big mountain views, mature groves of aspens, expansive open meadows, bubbling creeks, and sounds endemic of the Mountain West - the iconic bugle of the Rocky Mountain elk - a dream come true and a legacy created in the relationship between a man and the land. This is the success story of the Canyon View Ranch of Cimarron, Colorado.
There are a lot of nice ranches out there across the West. It is very difficult to replace a ranch of this magnitude that is so easily accessible. Year-round access, utilities, minimal vertical improvements, no conservation easement, water rights, views, live water, timber, over-the-counter elk tags, landowner buck tags, wildlife, grazing, history, and legacy. Located in what is, in my biased opinion, the best part of the state between the last two great mountain towns in Colorado. Turn left from the ranch gate and head to Gunnison and ski in Crested Butte. Turn right and head into Montrose, Ridgway, Ouray, and ski in Telluride. Located right in the heart of history and ranching legacy. The Cimarron valley coupled with the majestic Black Canyon at the doorstep of the San Juan Mountains, not many places like this on this side of heaven.