Flying A Ranch

Silt, Colorado (Garfield County)
93 +/- Deeded Acres

1.2 miles of Colorado River frontage and adjacent to the Wheeler Wildlife Area.

A Colorado River Recreational Escape
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  • 1.2 miles of Colorado River frontage, an excellent fishery for large browns and rainbows
  • Adjacent to the Wheeler Wildlife Area (Colorado Parks and Wildlife) with abundant waterfowl habitat and seasonal bald eagle and great blue heron nesting rookeries
  • Exclusive river access and unique development opportunity for private boat ramp and hospitality improvements
  • Spectacular views of Colorado’s Roan Plateau and Grand Mesa
  • Water Rights include Lower Cactus Valley Ditch Shares
  • Numerous possible building sites
  • Simple 2,000 sq/ft headquarters residence with additional 1,250 sq/ft garage mechanic shop, and 1,800 sq/ft wood-frame barn, loafing shed, and corrals
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The 93-acre Flying A Ranch is located on the north bank of the Colorado River between the busy burgeoning towns of Rifle and Silt, Colorado. With more than a mile of riverfrontage and breathtaking views of the Roan Plateau, Grand Mesa, and the Colorado River Valley, the property is an attractive western slope development prospect. Made up of accessible pasture land perched on the bluffs above the riparian grounds, and the green tranquil cottonwood gallery bottom lands fronting the river, the combination affords numerous and excellent building sites, as well as shared agricultural and recreational amenity potential. The ranch has water rights in both the river as well as shares in the nearby Lower Cactus Valley Ditch. With an unprecedented variety of potential future development scenarios, this property is an excellent investment opportunity for the recreation-minded buyer.

Lay of the Land
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Flying A Ranch is only 5 minutes from Silt and 10 minutes from Rifle on the north bank of the Colorado River. The impressive Roan Plateau and Grand Mesa serve as spectacular scenic backdrops to the property. Both towns offer all services, including a hospital, grocery, Walmart (Rifle), hotels, and restaurants. The closest two commercial airports are less than an hour away; Grand Junction Airport to the west; and Eagle County Regional Airport in Eagle to the east (servicing Vail and Beaver Creek). Private jet service is 10 minutes away at the Garfield County Airport in Rifle, Colorado. Several world-class ski resorts are within an easy drive. Aspen/Ajax Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass are all located in and around Aspen, one hour away, and Beaver Creek and Vail Resorts are less than ninety minutes away.


There is a simple 2,000 sq ft two-story residence with a finished basement and finished converted garage on the ranch; a 1,250 sq/ft garage mechanic shop, and a 1,800 sq/ft wood-frame barn, loafing shed, and corrals. Electric utility service is provided by Xcel Energy and a 3-phase transformer service to the workshop. All the improvements on the ranch are dated but in usable condition.


Summertime temperatures are generally in the upper 70s to lower 90s. Fall temps range in the 60s and 70s during the day, with evening temperatures dropping into the 40s and 50s. Wintertime temperatures range from highs in the 30s to 40s during the day and drop into the teens and 20s at night. Average annual precipitation is approximately 16.5 inches. At 5,400 feet elevation, this part of the Colorado River Valley is much lower elevation than the well-known resort towns in the region, so it is known for its milder, manageable winters.

Sporting Features
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Western Colorado is renowned for downhill skiing, so skiers will appreciate all the options one has within 75 minutes of the property at Aspen/Snowmass and Vail. In addition, Glenwood Spring’s Sunlight Ski Area is only 30 minutes away, and Powderhorn Mountian Resort is also only 30 minutes down the road near DeBeque, Colorado. Snowmobiling and snow-shoeing can be enjoyed on the property and endless tracts of USFS and BLM lands in the greater area, while in the summer months, other recreation in the area includes hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and numerous boating opportunities.


The Flying A Ranch is uniquely situated for the development of a private boat ramp and exclusive river access. The property includes more than a mile of frontage on the Colorado River, one of the great fisheries in the state. Much of the yearside channels and stretches on the property’s river frontage can also be waded. But the Colorado here is a big river and typically floated, and this, the final leg of the Colorado’s famous “triple-threat” (Glenwood/New Castle, New Castle/Silt, Silt/Rifle) float fishing run has some of the largest fish of the three stretches including 20-30 inch brown and rainbow trout.


While it hasn’t been hunted in recent years, the Flying A Ranch offers excellent opportunities for waterfowl enthusiasts. Adjacent to the Wheeler Wildlife Area, the area is known locally for consistent early and midseason duck and goose hunting. The numerous ponds and wetlands on the property provide excellent habitat for waterfowl and the duck hunting can be quite good. Other than the occasional whitetail or mule deer, there is minimal opportunity for big game hunting on the ranch given its limited size.

Ranch Attributes
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Ranch Operations

While the ranch has not been operated as an agricultural property for nearly ten years, under previous owners it was planted in hay and alfalfa on ~ 22 acres with pipe irrigation infrastructure served by water in the Lower Cactus Valley Ditch. The property is currently home to a dog-breeding kennel with facilities for as many as twenty dogs incorporated into the existing improvements.  The ranch is currently grazed by a small herd of domestic horses. There are four main paddocks, two meadow pastures, and three dryland pastures on the upper portions of the property for a total of five pastures. In addition to the residences described above, the main ranch headquarters include a garage/mechanic shop and tool shed, a six-bay canine kennel and breeding facility, a wood-frame barn, a loafing shed, and corrals. The ranch is perimeter and interior fenced with four-wire barbed wire / sheep wire fence and is serviced by typical two-track ranch roads.

Water Rights

While the seller’s understanding is that they own surface rights in the Colorado River and two shares of the Lower Cactus Valley Ditch Co., buyers will need to do their own due diligence where these rights are concerned. Seller intends to convey any and all water rights they have on the property.

Mineral Rights

The seller intends to convey any/all the mineral rights they own on the property. While the seller’s understanding is that they own the oil and gas rights on the property, as well as the significant gravel deposits, buyers will need to do their own due diligence where these rights are concerned.

Conservation Value

The property is immediately adjacent (downstream) to Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Wheeler Wildlife Area which serves as important migratory waterfowl nesting habitat and seasonal hunting lands. The State has shown interest in securing an administrative (non-public) access easement across the property and would be additionally supportive of a broader conservation effort to protect the riverfront portions of the property.

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