The Adams Ranch is a historic productive hay and cattle ranch with unlimited recreational attributes in North Park near the town of Walden, Colorado. The ranch consists of a total of 8,640 acres: 1,920 acres deeded, 640 acres BLM lease and 6,080 acres state lease.* This traditional cow/calf operation offers lush hay meadows and mountain sage pasture.
With private access to the Colorado State Forest, BLM, as well as access to the Roosevelt National Forest and Rawah Wilderness, there are seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor activities.
The ranch contains a modest set of improvements. The main home was built around 1924 and is 1,492 square feet with 3 bedrooms. There is a 14×60 mobile home that has been used for hunters. There is a log bunk house that is also used for hunters. The ranch working improvements consist of a 2,400 sq. ft. quonset shop, 2,800 sq. ft. machine shed, a new 1,500 sq. ft. machine shed with concrete floor, a log storage shed, 2 car garage, two log barns, a 868 sq. ft. calving shed, a 1,120 sq. ft. metal shed, pole and wood corrals, and a 20,000 lb. cattle scale.
Located northeast of the mountain town of Walden, the ranch lies in the area commonly referred to as “North Park.” Jackson County is an inter-mountain basin that lies in the northernmost tier of Colorado counties. In geographic terms, the “park” is an open area that borders Wyoming and is surrounded by mountains. North Park is one of the four major “parks” in Colorado and these major inter-mountain regions comprise some of the highest elevated, large areas of year-round agricultural settlement in North America. North Park encompasses approximately 1,600 square miles; more than one million acres, and the elevation ranges from 7,800 feet in the valley floor to nearly 13,000 feet on the surrounding peaks. The basin is rimmed on the west by the Continental Divide and Park Range, on the south by the Continental Divide and the Rabbit Ears Range, on the east by Rocky Mountain National Park and the Medicine Bow Range, and to the north where it more leisurely opens into Wyoming’s North Platte River Valley and the Snowy Range. As a result of the once abundant buffalo and the ring of mountains surrounding the bottom grasslands, the Native Americans who once hunted the area referred to North Park as “The Bull Pen.” Today, abundant elk, antelope, moose, deer, and cattle vie for the same area.
The economy of Jackson County is based chiefly on ranching and agriculture, but also rests on mineral production, logging operations, and recreation. Leading mineral products have changed since the period since Silver was discovered in North Park in 1879. Coal production dominated in the 1890s and early 1900s, Fluorspar from the 1920s into the 1950s, and petroleum and gas in the 1960’s. The economic base has been fairly stable throughout the history of the county.
Recreation has fast become a big economic boost to the area with its many streams and lakes for fishing and camping. Its mountains and forests are apt for hunting and other sports including: hiking, backpacking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, etc.
The population of Jackson County has remained fairly stable throughout its history with some fluctuations as a result of the mining booms. In 1970, the population was 1,811 and currently stands at 1,900, of which 960 live in Walden.
The Adams Ranch was historically named The Horse Ranch and is rich in North Park history. The property is still marked as The Horse Ranch on various maps. The Horse Ranch was homesteaded in 1880 and was originally used as the headquarters for the Knox Percheron Horse Company of Boston. It is told that 2,500 head of horses were brought to North Park by the company for a breeding operation. When the colts were old enough, they would send them back to Boston to pull street cars. In 1957, Fred and Mary Adams bought the ranch and it has been operated by the same family ever since. The ranch has been referred to as the Adams Ranch and has remained in the same family since the 1950s.
Walden is the county seat of Jackson County. Historically a favorite Ute hunting ground, the area, just 20 miles from the Wyoming border, has also begun to draw outdoor enthusiasts with hunting, hiking, camping, fishing in its Gold Medal waters, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as snowmobiling in the remote Mt. Zirkel Wilderness and National Forest.
Walden’s new Main Street Welcome Center can point you to all the outdoor activities surrounding you year-round, including ghost-town exploration, wildlife refuges, rodeos and the OHV trails in North Sand Hills’ sand dunes. The area is home to several ghost mining towns including Tellar City, Pearl and Coalmont, and is also known as the Moose Capital of Colorado. The town of Walden offers several restaurants and inns. The North Park Pioneer Museum, located in an 1882 ranch house, keeps track of the region’s history back to its founding in 1890. The North Park Never Summer Rodeo held each June is rich in Western and cowboy heritage, July is highlighted by North Park Day festivities. and August is focused on the Sky’s the Limit Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Steamboat Springs is an hour west of Walden and provides for world-class skiing, hotels, shopping and fine dining!
Walden gets an average of 11 inches of rain per year. The average snowfall is 57 inches. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 85. On average, there are 242 sunny days per year in Walden, Colorado. The average July high is around 78 degrees. The January low is around 4 degrees.
Adams Ranch is located in Colorado Game Management Unit 6. Traditionally an Outfitter has used the ranch as their main base and hunted in the extensive bordering State land and National Forest. Tremendous elk, deer, moose, and antelope hunting is right out your back door. Game Management Unit 6 makes up the upper and eastern boundary of North Park. The Medicine Bow Mountains are the border and quickly fall into the flat country just east of the town of Walden. Archery (either sex), Second, and Third Rifle Seasons offer Over-the-Counter Bull Licenses.
Deer hunting opportunities are also plentiful. If you are patient, you could have success hunting trophy bucks. North Park has an early rifle, deer-only season that begins as soon as possible after archery closes. This season provides additional hunter opportunities as many of the deer in North Park migrate early. Few deer are found in North Park during January. The best hunting opportunities lie in the transition areas between the mountainside and Walden valley floor. It’s worth the effort to hike into the Medicine Bow Range and hunt across the mountain range above the valley floor.
In addition, waterfowl hunting is abundant. Large flocks of migrating waterfowl frequent North Park. The 23,464-acre Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge which lies just south of Walden serves as the second-largest producer of waterfowl in Colorado and the second-largest waterfowl migratory bird area in the nation. Fall migration peaks there in late September and early October, when up to 8,000 waterfowl may be on the refuge, offering incentive to hunters who recognize the short window of opportunity.
World-class fishing is prevalent in the Walden area. Both Lake John and Delaney Buttes are just two examples of nearby lakes that offer tremendous fishing opportunities for any angler. North Delaney Buttes Lake is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Delaney Buttes trio, trout grow 5-7 inches per year on average. It is one of just three gold medal lakes in Colorado and a wild brown trout egg source for the entire state. The area also boasts several other lakes and reservoirs with public access.
In addition to plentiful hunting and fishing opportunities in the area, the ranch and North Park offer plentiful opportunities for snowmobiling, horseback riding, hiking, camping and sightseeing.
The Adams Ranch has historically been a standalone cattle operation but could be combined with other ranch holdings for additional hay production and grazing capacity. The owner rates the carrying capacity between 150-200 pair year-round. The adjoining leases are fully utilized during the summer grazing months. The leases are currently permitted for 785 AUMS for May 16 – October 31.
The ranch has good water rights that allow it to irrigate the 571 acres of hay ground. Water delivery can vary depending on snowfall. Typically irrigation runs into July on the ranch which allows for one cutting with the remaining growth utilized for grazing. The following water rights will transfer with the ranch:
Ditch Name & CFS
- Hamilton Ditch – 22 cfs
- Sherman Ditch – 11.7 cfs
- Chase Ditch – 10 cfs
- Yocum Ditch #1 – 1.5 cfs
- Yocum Ditch #2 – 2 cfs
All of the Seller’s mineral rights will transfer with the sale.
The ranch is unencumbered and could be a candidate for a conservation easement.