The massive 224,050-acre Colorado retreat is comprised of two distinct ecosystems: the alpine landscapes of the Upper Ranch and high desert of the Lower Ranch and includes valuable components such as water rights, agricultural operations, recreational offerings, and conservation resources.
Spanning across four counties and rising above 2,500 feet in elevation in the Northwest corner of the Centennial state lies a majestic legacy ranch bigger than New York City. Steeped in rich history, legend and lore, Cross Mountain Ranch is the epitome of the great American West and one of the largest and most ecologically diverse recreational and operating ranches on the market today.
Meticulously planned and expertly constructed over a period of 25 years by a spirited environmentalist whose commitment to conservation still flows through the property today, this distinctive ranch plays a vital role in the state’s conservation efforts as a wildlife preserve and home to a 16,000-acre sage grouse habitat as well as North America’s largest elk herd. Now, on the market for the first time in nearly three decades, interested buyers have the chance to acquire the property as a whole for $100 million or portions of the ranch can be purchased separately: Osterhouse Ranch, Egry Mesa Ranch and Pyramid Ranch.
While the origin of Cross Mountain Ranch dates back to 1882 when the Northwest territories of Colorado were opened to homesteaders, the property has far since exceeded its humble beginnings thanks to the vision and commitment of owners, Ronald and Kitty Boeddeker. What started as a chance visit to the Safari Club International’s annual hunting convention in Reno, Nevada would lead to the creation of one of the most significant properties in the West. It was at the convention that Kitty wandered into a small real estate booth when her eye caught something of interest. There amongst hundreds of pristine properties on display, Kitty saw a diamond in the rough: a small cluster of ranches for sale near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
The Boeddekers were no strangers to real estate. The late Mr. Boeddeker was a property developer and founder of Transcontinental Corp., best known for his work with Lake Las Vegas and Waikoloa Beach Resort. At first glance, the property seemed too good to be true, but fit all the criteria for the Boeddeker’s dream vacation retreat: proximity to the West coast, near a ski town and had plenty of water. After an initial visit and an inspection from an expert team of surveyors, Ronald and Kitty purchased the property and the legacy of Cross Mountain Ranch began.
Stewards of the land…
From the Ute Indians, to Kit Carson, Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid and his gang “The Wild Bunch,” some of the most well-known figures in the West experienced and appreciated the beauty of Cross Mountain Ranch. Having been raised on a ranch himself, Boeddeker had a deep-rooted respect for the land and a love of Western heritage, which fueled a lifelong commitment to conservation. He envisioned Cross Mountain Ranch to be an escape back to nature and a place where he and his family could reconnect with the lands and his roots. He often reminded his friends and family that he was “simply a steward of the land and its legacy” and wanted to improve and preserve the diversity and majesty of Cross Mountain Ranch.
It is with this vison that Boeddeker and his family set out on a mission to construct a masterpiece, which is now one of the last remaining pieces of the great American West.
Piece by piece…
It took the better part of two decades for the Boeddeker family to strategically piece together what is now Cross Mountain Ranch. With the first purchase in 1992, more land was acquired in 1994 and 2005. The completion of the ranch occurred in 2007 when Cross Mountain Ranch participated in a federal land exchange with the Department of Interior, acquiring 2,543 acres.
The Boeddekers constructed an 11,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom and nine-and-a-half-bathroom log mansion and enhanced the property with paved roads, plumbing and electricity. The mansion was completed in December of 1993 and sits on top of a bluff in the middle of open green pastures with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains in the Upper Ranch.
With the property finally complete, the Boeddekers set their sights on conservation, and in 2014, set a precedent for other large, privately-owned ranches by protecting 16,000 acres of vital sage grouse habitat through a conservation easement with The Colorado Cattleman’s Agricultural Land Trust. In addition, the family has had the ranch enrolled in Colorado’s innovative Ranching for Wildlife program for years. The program gives hunters the luxury to hunt on privately owned land, while also playing a role in wildlife management. As one of 27 ranches participating in the program, Cross Mountain Ranch is awarded 100+ elk tags and 25 mule deer tags in the Upper Ranch annually.
Lay of the land…
Because of the Boeddeker’s expert foresight and conservation efforts, today Cross Mountain Ranch stands at 56,050 acres with 168,000 acres leased for grazing from the Routt National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado State Land Board and Dinosaur National Monument. The confluence of history, nature, recreation and agriculture, the property is a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity. As a working cattle and sheep ranch, it has a carrying capacity of 2,000 cows and 10,000 sheep, grazing on hundreds of acres of pastures and lush meadows fed by 20 miles of private river frontage along the Yampa, Williams Fork and Little Snake rivers. The abundance of flowing water throughout the property is accompanied by historic water rights, that are some of the oldest in the Yampa River Basin.
The Upper Ranch located in Routt and Garfield counties is just 45 minutes from Steamboat Springs, Colorado and adjoins to the Routt National Forest as well as the north slopes of Flat Top Wilderness Area. Known for its stunning Alpine landscapes and rich game, the area includes 2.5 miles of beautiful river frontage along the winding Williams Fork River. The clear waters of the Williams Fork are known as one of the best brown trout fisheries in Colorado and are fishable year-round.
A web of Bureau of Land Management land stiches together the Upper and Lower ranches, connecting various individual parcels of land into larger blocks of working landscape. While the beauty of the Upper Ranch is renowned, the Lower Ranch is home to the property’s namesake: the nine mile-long, 8,000-foot-high Cross Mountain.
Located in Moffat County near the cowboy town of Craig, Colorado, the Lower Ranch, with its high desert terrain, lush meadows and moderate temperatures, serves as the winter headquarters for agriculture operations. The Yampa River winds through the property for 11.8 miles as does the Little Snake for 5.8 miles. In addition, the Lower Ranch is known for its critical range for big game and hunters can enjoy trophy hunting on the property.
Linked together as they are at Cross Mountain Ranch, valuable components such as water rights, recreational offerings and agricultural operations offer invaluable potential. But what makes this incredible property valued at $100 million is Ronald Boeddeker’s vision and dedication to constructing an incredible legacy ranch, piece by piece, for more than two decades. Every addition and renovation was done with a purpose in the spirit of preservation, recreation and reconnection, and while Boeddeker passed away in 2010, his legacy lives on in the ranch today. It is the hope of the Boeddeker family that the new owners will uphold Cross Mountain Ranch’s legacy, which was so thoughtfully planned and executed by a man who considered himself simply a steward of the land.
Cross Mountain Ranch is listed with Mirr Ranch Group • (877) 623-4545
For more information about the property, visit www.MirrRanchGroup.com.