The 370-acre Kaess Ranch is a well-sited property just outside the friendly mountain town of Salida, Colorado. With a diverse land base and amenities that bely it’s size (offering includes 13,500 acre federal grazing lease), this year-round operation affords a unique opportunity to live on the edge of town on a ranch. The property is graced with a lovely, well-appointed, 6,800 sq. ft. home (6 bedrooms, 3½ bath) with 3-car garage, as well as a number of well-equipped barns, work-sheds, and out-buildings that assure this property will sell.
With senior rights on both the Kennedy and Harrington ditches, the ranch has 170 acres of productive irrigated hay ground, the balance in upland pasture (ideal winter cover), three ponds, a perennial stream, and riding arena. The property is situated between the Mt. Shavano and Mt. Ouray Fish Hatcheries (two of the more important in the state) and controls water rights important to the two facilities. The State has previously proposed acquisition of a conservation easement on the property to assure the continuation of those important flows, making the Kaess Ranch a unique conservation investment opportunity.
The Kaess Ranch is well improved for a property of its size. The main headquarters are graced with a handsome stone 6,800 sq. ft. main house, with six bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms, contemporary kitchen, 3-car garage, and expansive lawns and garden. The extended working improvements are in excellent condition and include a barn, work-shop/equipment shed, hay shed, working pens and an outdoor roping arena. With room for expansion, there are a number of ideal building sites on the property and zoning in this part of Chaffee County allows for a one dwelling unit per 5-acres. The ranch is perimeter and interior fenced and generally serviced by full service and two-track ranch roads.
In the heart of the Arkansas River Valley, the scenic Kaess Ranch sits right on the western edge of the town of Salida, Colorado. Graced with the breathtaking backdrop of the spectacular Sawatch Range, including the famous Collegiate Peaks, the ranch is sandwiched in between the Mt. Shavano and Ouray State Fish Hatcheries, and just below the rim of the Harriet Alexander Airfield.
Surrounded by mountains with the Arkansas River running right through town, Salida, Colo. is a lively and attractive community with a vibrant arts scene and a full menu of outdoor recreation opportunities. Chaffee County has more mountain peaks over 14,000 feet than any other county in Colorado and the Arkansas River Headwaters runs much of the length of the valley drawing thousands of visitors and fishing and boating enthusiasts year-round. Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting and kayaking, fishing, hunting and horseback riding are just some of the reasons people are so attracted to the area. Located quite literally in the heart of Colorado, Salida has a population of ~6,000 and serves as a vital hub for the central part of the state. With a busy historic downtown which boasts a number of great restaurants, pubs, numerous art galleries, shops, vendors and seasonal markets, Salida has much to offer in addition to the traditional mix of grocery, hardware, motels, movie theaters, bowling alley, and most other major services. With the full-service Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center right in town, the healing waters of Princeton Hot Springs not 30 minutes away and plenty of affordable and accessible housing options, U.S. News and World Report named Salida “one of the top ten most affordable retirement communities in the country.”
- Rainfall (in.): 12
- Snowfall (in): 50
- Precipitation Days: 35
- Sunny Days: 330
- Avg July High: 77°
- Avg. Jan High: 49°
The Kaess Ranch offers a variety of habitat types including riparian corridors, pinon juniper uplands, shortgrass prairie, and verdant bottom lands. It is subsequently home to a variety of wildlife species including mule deer, elk, coyotes, prairie dogs, hawks, eagles, ducks, geese and a variety of upland birds. Given its close proximity to the town of Salida, big game hunting is limited to the protected draws in the back of the property.
The three ponds on the property are part of the irrigation delivery network system. Previously well stocked with both trout and bass, the property affords a unique opportunity to revitalize these wonderful resources.
Though just over 370 deeded acres, the Kaess is a real working ranch supporting a year-round cow/calf operation and seasonal hay production. A significant component of the ranch is the ~13,500 acre grazing lease on nearby federal lands (10,000 acres on the San Isabel National Forest and the remaining balance on BLM lands). The two federal leases are adjacent to each other and the agencies cooperatively oversee the lease affording a rare opportunity to rotate pastures and effectively extending two otherwise short seasons, a model of inter-agency cooperation not common in the west.
The main ranch sits below a long mesa at the base of Harrington Gulch where a number of non-tributary seep or spring waters fill the Harrington Ditch before returning to the river. Combined with the waters of the Kennedy Ditch, the ranch has impressive network of canals, lateral ditches and holding ponds which deliver water to 175 acres of irrigated hay ground, including 145 acres serviced by center-pivot sprinkler.
In addition to the impressive main house (see Improvements) the ranch has an extended series of like-new working improvements which are in excellent condition and include a barn, work-shop/equipment shed, hay shed, working pens and an outdoor roping arena. The ranch is perimeter and interior fenced and generally serviced by full service and two-track ranch roads.
The Kaess Ranch is a well watered property and controls senior rights in both the Kennedy and Harrington Gulch ditches. The ranch owns deeded rights in the Kennedy Ditch (5.5 cfs, 1888 priority, 145 acres decreed) which is the water used for the center pivot. The ranch also leases water from Colorado Parks and Wildlife out of the Harrington Ditch (2.75 cfs, 1880 priority), which District 2 court decree calls for the specific use allowed only on the Kaess property. This water irrigates the balance of the remaining hay ground.
The water on the Kaess Ranch is intricately tied to the Mt. Shavano and Ouray Fish Hatcheries. The return flows across the property from the Harrington Ditch as well as the Kennedy Ditch are instrumental to the management of the two facilities. The hatcheries are reliant that the water only be used on the on the Kaess Ranch to assure proper function of their fisheries.