$17,000,000 • 1,008.88 acres
The fabulous Pick Bar Ranch, just east of Durango, Colorado, contains a healthy portion of everything a classic Western Ranch ought to have: well-watered meadowlands, a forest of tall pines, endless mountain views, abundant wildlife and a with a record of producing monster trout. Add in the solid infrastructure of a proven cattle operation, and the Pick Bar Ranch carries its weight as one of the finest recreation and working ranch properties in southern Colorado.
The Pick Bar Ranch occupies 1008.9± acres in the scenic Pine River valley, a few miles north of Bayfield, on the main road to Vallecito Reservoir. Located at approximately 7000 feet, the ranch has a Ponderosa forest section and a meadow section. The eastern section is dominated by extensive forests of mature ponderosa pine, with abundant draws to shelter mule deer, elk, and black bear and private access to national forest. The western meadow section contains the ranch headquarters, irrigated meadowlands and the riparian corridor of the Pine River and Bear Creek, vegetated with a lovely mix of pines and native cottonwoods.
Water makes or breaks ranches in southern Colorado, and the Pick Bar Ranch is blessed with over a mile of the coveted Pine River, and a mile of its tributary, Bear Creek. Senior water rights of a healthy 3.278 c.f.s. ensures that nearly 200 acres of hay is well-watered, including a 1/4-mile radius pivot. As a result, the ranch has been a solid cattle producer since 1883 and currently supports up to 70 AUs year-round, with winter pasture and summer grazing all available on-property.
The Pine River is a closely guarded fishery among those who are fortunate enough to control access to it. Rich in insect life, and partially controlled by the outflow from Vallecito Reservoir, the Pine can produce some of the largest brown and rainbow trout in Colorado. Not far upstream from the Pick Bar Ranch, a 40-inch rainbow was recently caught, and trophy browns and rainbows in the multi-pound category live throughout the river, including on the mile of river on the Pick Bar Ranch. Careful riparian habitat management and engineered habitat improvements ensure that the Pine on the Pick Bar will continue to grow and retain trout of bragging proportions.
The mountain portion of the ranch adjoins public land in the 2.5-million-acre San Juan National Forest, which makes for hunting opportunities for both mule deer and elk. Both species can often be seen on the ranch, especially when early snow pushes them to lower elevations. Other wildlife includes coyotes, foxes, bobcats, mountain lion, black bear and a great variety of birds attracted to the riparian area. There are currently two deer tags with the property, one is a property owners tag and one is an open unit tag.
Improvements on the ranch equip it to be an ideal equestrian site, including a classic red barn, 75×175 indoor riding arena and a full-size outdoor arena. Wonderful riding opportunities are abundant in both the meadow and mountain sections of the ranch, and the climate is mild enough to keep horses year-round. Other recreational amenities on the ranch include dog kennel, private shooting range, and a small bass pond.
An impressive gated entry leads to the Pick Bar Ranch headquarters, with its historic three-story home and wraparound porch. A second, newer home nearby allows ample room for ranch help or can serve as a guest house. And the underground sprinkler system keeps the lovely grounds well-watered.
Pick Bar Ranch is uniquely situated between Colorado’s largest wilderness area, the Weminuche, just a few miles to the north, and the bustling small city of Durango, only 30 minutes to the west. Thus, multi-day horseback or hiking excursions to the wilderness are close at hand, but so are the amenities of the city. Durango offers a commercial airport, upscale restaurants, quality entertainment, Fort Lewis College, and the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Downhill skiing is available at Purgatory Ski Resort, just north of Durango, Wolf Creek Ski area less than 90 minutes east, and world-famous Mesa Verde National Park is about 90 minutes to the west.
Here at M4 Ranch Group, we think that the combination of ideal ranch features at Pick Bar Ranch make it an extremely attractive find. As a property with potential for cattle, horses, fishing and hunting, and close access to a rich variety of recreational opportunities it stands alone. The Pick Bar Ranch deserves consideration of anyone looking for the soul of the old West, yet just a few miles away from the best of the new West. The western property from CR 501 to the Pine River (Approximately 254.5± acres which includes the pastures, and all ranching and residential improvements) may be sold separately for $13,000,000.