The Continental Divide Ranch is an outstanding large working ranch located in south-central Wyoming, near the town of Rawlins, Wyoming, and situated along the North Platte River and Haystack Mountain Range. The ranch totals approximately 98,424 total acres and offers diversity, from irrigated hay meadows along the North Platte River, to pockets of pine and aspen draws in the Haystack Mountains. There is approximately 5 miles of river frontage along the famed North Platte River, providing excellent fishing and riparian habitat for wildlife, along with a significant irrigation source for productive hay ground. The ranch provides habitat for many species of wildlife, including trophy mule deer, pronghorn, and elk, along with many upland bird and game species. The ranch consists of approximately 28,907 deeded acres, 42,837 BLM acres, 3,120 Wyoming State lands, and 23,560 private lease, providing a solid contiguous ranch that is very manageable and has good improvements. The ranch is currently under a termed grazing lease, providing significant annual revenue for the investment minded buyer.
The Continental Divide Ranch totals approximately 98,424 acres, and is comprised of a mix of deeded, private, lease, federal lease (BLM), and Wyoming State lease. The ranch is located east of the Continental Divide and ranges in elevation from 6,400 to 7,800 ft. The ranch is comprised of mainly high shrub-steppe species, including sagebrush and productive cool season grasses and forbs. The higher elevations of the ranch in the Haystack Mountain Range are also very productive rangelands and have occasional pockets of aspen and pine draws. The ranch sports approximately 5-miles of exclusive deeded access to the North Platte River, a tremendous fishery and source of irrigation water for the ranches irrigated hay ground. The North Platte riparian corridor is diverse, with mature cottonwood forest and willows lining either side of the river, providing wildlife habitat and livestock cover.
The approximate acreage breakdown is as follows:
- Deeded: 28,907 +- Acres
- BLM: 42,837 +- Acres
- WY State: 3,120 +- Acres
- Private Lease: 23,560 +- Acres
- Total: 98,424 +- Acres
The ranch improvements include three homes, including a newer 3-bedroom and two-bath managers home, along with two additional employee homes. Ranch headquarters also includes a horse barn, vet/calving barn, machinery shed and other outbuildings. There is also a good set of working corrals, feedlot and shipping pens.
The Continental Divide Ranch lies northeast of Rawlins, Wyoming, east of U.S. Highway 287 and north of Interstate 80. Ranch headquarters is just minutes from the town of Rawlins, a modest community of approximately 9,100 people. Rawlins has modern shopping, restaurants, public schools, medical facilities, and a municipal airport which can accommodate most jet aircraft with its 7,000 ft. asphalt runway. The general area economics is a mix of agriculture, energy, tourism, governments services, and transportation services. Commercial air service is located approximately 100 miles away in Laramie, Wyoming or approximately 115 miles in Casper, Wyoming. The Haystack Mountain Range flanks the ranch on the northeast and the North Platte River on the southeast of the ranch. The ranch is situated in very close proximity to many other mountain ranges, including the Sierra Madre and Shirley Mountain Ranges. Seminoe Reservoir is also nearby, just northeast of the ranch.
Continental Divide Ranch is diverse in habitat and the wildlife species that inhabit the ranch. Trophy pronghorn antelope, mule deer, and elk all inhabit the ranch year-round, with most elk use in the fall and winter. The ranch includes hunt unit 87 for deer, unit 62 for antelope, and unit 111 for elk, all limited quota units managed for trophy quality. South-central Wyoming is well known for producing many Boone and Crockett pronghorn antelope, and Continental Divide Ranch is in the heart of trophy hunting. Although it is believed that current owners qualify for big-game landowner licenses, any prospective buyer should inquire with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department about eligibility for landowner licenses. The ranch also includes a variety of upland game birds and mammals as well as predators and waterfowl along the North Platte River corridor.
The North Platte River provides tremendous opportunity for anglers seeking wild trout, particularly brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. Other sport fish, including walleye are also found in this riverine system.
The ranch is owner rated at 825 AUs year-round, based on BLM and State allotted AUMs and private deeded capacity. Historically, the ranch has been run as a cow-calf operation, with good range calving cover and summer/fall capacity. The ranch currently is capable of producing up to 600 tons of hay on approximately 300 irrigated acres and associated river ground. Supplemental feeding requirements will vary annually, from 1-2 ton per head.
The BLM permit allows for 4,320 AUMs of grazing on approximately 42,837 acres of BLM lands within the ranch boundary. Annual fees for the BLM permit is estimated to cost approximately $6,100 for 2018, at $1.41/AUM. The Wyoming State grazing lease is comprised of approximately 3,120 acres, and costs approximately $3,000/year. Additionally, the ranch includes a private annual grazing lease with Anadarko Land Corporation on approximately 23,560 acres, and has cost $10,620 annually. Because of the BLM/deeded checkerboard ownership of the ranch, the permit holder for the BLM permit also manages the Anadarko grazing lease, which has run with the Continental Divide Ranch for many years.
Livestock water is provided by a combination of electric and solar wells, springs, earthen tanks, and the North Platte River. In addition, quality water for the headquarters and feedlot is provided by the Sinclair refinery nearby for a nominal fee.
The ranch is currently at the beginning of the fourth year of a five-year grazing lease with a solid tenant. For the investment minded buyer, the grazing lease income alone will show a significant ROI based on the current asking price. There is also a new 10-year gravel lease, limited by location, with a reputable construction/materials company, which is expected to produce considerable annual revenue as well.
Oil, gas and coal mineral rights are believed to be reserved by prior ownership. The ranch has recently entered into a gravel lease on a small reserved location, with annual tonnage royalties to be transferred and paid to the new owner. Wind development has great potential in the immediate area, with all wind rights to be transferred to the buyer at closing.
Property taxes for 2017 were $4,559.