Situated in a flat-bottomed valley in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, 2,121-acre Big Elk Ranch is a well-rounded mountain ranch that combines abundant recreational opportunities with income-producing options from existing livestock and hunting-lease operations. The ranch was listed for sale for $6.3 million by Zack Wiese of Hayden Outdoors on January 15, 2017.
Among Big Elk Ranch’s many attractive attributes, its proximity to the metro areas and amenities of Colorado’s Front Range, not to mention year-round access, surely rank near the top. Estes Park, the eastern gateway to 415-square-mile Rocky Mountain National Park, is only 20 minutes from the ranch. As the crow flies, the ranch lies only three miles from the national park’s eastern boundary, plus abuts the protected expanse of Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests.
Such prime access combines with the ranch’s own exemplary wildlife-management program, which provides cover, feed and water for large herds of elk and mule deer as well turkeys, moose and countless other smaller wildlife species. It is not uncommon for elk scoring over 325 to be taken from the ranch, while bull elk from the national-park’s large herd will often arrive to intermingle with the ranch’s resident herd. Big Elk Ranch is located in Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Game Management Unit 20, which provides generous tags for the landowner as well as guest hunters. The property is under a well-written conservation easement to preserve the land for future generations.
Set at elevations of between 7,900 to 8,600 feet, the ranch’s landscape of wide mountain meadows and creek bottoms provides ample habitat for livestock operations. The property is fenced and cross-fenced into five total pastures, allowing the current owners to lease the land for cattle grazing from June to November and take in some horses in the wintertime. There is over 400 acres of hay pasture which produce some of the highest quality grass hay in the state. Sub-irrigation and water rights aid to yield roughly 4,000 small bales annually and will transfer with the sale. Most of the equipment associated with the ranch will also transfer. The improvements in place include a ranch house, several old homesteads and a large historic barn, dating back to the early 1900s.
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