The current owners invested millions to transform the historic property into an all-inclusive luxury guest ranch that Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report named a Top 100 Hideaway. The Hodgson family had each of the ranch’s buildings—most built between the 1920s and 1950s—disassembled, then numbered each log to ensure the structures would be restored to their original forms. Their reimagined interiors honor the ranch’s history and rustic character while incorporating lots of luxurious touches, from cozy fireplaces to down comforters and fine linens.
The 250-acre ranch encompasses one main residence, two guest residences, three cabins, manager and employee housing, and dining and kitchen areas known as Elk Lodge and Dinner Bell Cook House, and an open entertaining space known as Elk Lodge Pavilion, and multiple outbuildings with staff quarters. Comfortable and rustically elegant, the interior design of the cabins and houses reveal the owner’s appreciation for the great traditions of the American West. Most of the ranch is furnished and includes equipment, tack, mountain bikes, and fishing gear.
Gunnison Fly-Fishing Ranch is set up as a private family retreat that can comfortably accommodate 30-35 people in its 4 houses and 3 cabins; plus housing for a full staff. A 250-foot equestrian arena, along with barns, corrals, pastures, and trails make the ranch complete for horses and horseback riding. The also ranch boasts an archery range, sporting clay center, wine cellar, and a spa.
First homesteaded in the 1800s, when Colorado was still a territory, Gunnison Fly-Fishing Ranch became an actual ranch in 1928 when newlyweds Mamie and Grant Ferrier combined two pieces of property. Now owned by Marley Hodgson, the retired founder and designer of the Ghurka leather-goods company, and his wife, Linda, Smith Fork Ranch has most recently been operated as one of the country’s most lovingly restored guest ranches.
The Gunnison Fly-Fishing Ranch is located on the upper portion of Smith Fork of the Gunnison River in the spectacular North Fork Valley of Western Colorado between Aspen and Telluride. The ranch sits at 7,100 feet in elevation at the foot of the West Elk Mountains. Surrounded by the Gunnison National Forest on three sides, the ranch lies within approximately one mile of the pristine 176,000-acre West Elk Wilderness, and 14 miles from the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness. Located only five miles to the east of the quaint ranching town of Crawford, the ranch is accessible year-round by a county maintained road.
Despite its isolation—the ranch is surrounded by the Gunnison National Forest—the property’s location is surprisingly convenient: just 2 hours from Aspen, 1 hour and 10 minutes from the Montrose airport, and a short drive away from the North Fork Valley’s orchards, vineyards, and wineries.
The lush North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River is incredibly scenic and is graced with a number of towns including the agricultural communities of Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford.
The agricultural hub of the west slope of Colorado, this area includes award-winning wineries and a mixture of orchards, vineyards, and sustainable and organic farms and livestock operations, as well as historic ranches. A series of scenic irrigated mesas rise out from the river valley floor providing a unique patchwork of farm to table operations. All set in a picturesque setting at the base of the West Elk Mountains and the Grand Mesa.
The area is rich in history as it was originally settled in the 1880s for cattle and sheep grazing, and fruit growing. The area is well known for its remarkable fruit, with local orchards growing a wide variety of apples, peaches, cherries, and wine grapes, to name a few. The North Fork Valley has been referred to by many as the “Napa Valley” of Colorado, due to its high-quality vineyards and wineries that are surrounded by incredible natural beauty. The area is an artisans paradise and home to art studios, home workshops, fine artists, culinary artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers, inspired by the beautiful land that surrounds them. Paonia is also a state Certified Creative District boasting galleries, studios, boutiques, and restaurants.
The area is known for its mild climate, plentiful water, and fertile soils that create the perfect ecosystem for agriculture, wildlife, and “The Good Life.”
- Rainfall (in.): 14.4
- Snowfall (in): 47.4
- Avg Annual Precip.: 15.7 inches (rain equivalent)
- Sunny Days: 295
- Avg. July High: 87°
- Avg. Jan High: 42°