The 214-acre ranch is located in the heart of the Little Cimarron River Valley, a picturesque Colorado landscape with lush meadows, a meandering river, and dramatic surrounding peaks. 190 acres of the ranch are irrigated using 5.8125 CFS of water rights owned by the Colorado Water Trust as part of a cutting-edge conservation partnership that allows conditional use of the water. The ranch is unencumbered by a conservation easement, and there are several ideal building envelopes throughout the property.
Little Cimarron Valley Ranch is located just south of Highway 50, only 24 miles east of the thriving town of Montrose. Montrose (population approximately 19,000) boasts a variety of small-town amenities, including dining, shopping, community events, and festivals. The Montrose Regional Airport has direct flights from Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Newark, and Atlanta.
Thanks to its location on the northern edge of the famed San Juan Mountain Range, the ranch is surrounded by some of the West’s most spectacular recreational amenities. Telluride Ski Resort is less than a two-hour drive from the ranch, and Blue Mesa Reservoir is only 15 minutes to the east. The quaint mountain towns of Ridgway and Ouray are within driving distance, not to mention the vast Uncompahgre National Forest just south of the ranch, which offers world-class hunting, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and numerous other outdoor adventures.
The ranch includes various barns and agricultural outbuildings that have been historically used for hay production and cattle grazing. The perimeter of the ranch is fenced, with selective cross-fencing for grazing purposes.
- Average winter high: 36° F
- Average summer high: 82° F
- Days of sunshine: 245+
- Annual snowfall: 75+/- inches
- Annual rainfall: 14+/- inches
The ranch’s lush irrigated meadows and location just above the Little Cimarron River make it excellent habit for a variety of game. Colorado Parks and Wildlife classifies the ranch as range for elk, mule deer, moose, bear, and turkey, and it is located in CMU 66, a well-regarded hunting area with large swaths of public lands. Due to the ranch’s size, the owner may participate in the landowner preference program, which qualifies the ranch for landowner vouchers for deer. Archery elk and second and third season rifle elk tags are available over the counter.
While there is no private fishing water on the ranch, there is excellent public access to the Little Cimarron River just south of the ranch in Uncompahgre National Forest. For bigger water, the famed Gunnison River is also nearby, offering a variety of public trout fishing options.
Given the productive hay meadows and pastures, the functional agricultural outbuildings, and the perimeter fence, the property is well suited for horses. With such close proximity to public land, owners of the ranch can enjoy unlimited options on nearby trails.
Owners of the ranch have conditional use of 5.8125 CFS of water for irrigation of the 190+/- acres of hay meadows and pastures. The water, which is diverted from the Little Cimarron River, is owned by the Colorado Water Trust, a non-profit conservation organization that allows the landowners to irrigate the ranch for a good portion of the growing season.
In wet years, landowners can expect to irrigate for a full season. In average precipitation years, the landowner can expect to irrigate through the end of June or July. During unusually dry years, all water must remain in the river, although only three of the past 25 years have been dry enough to warrant a full dry-up.
Follow this link to download a summary of the water rights. More detailed information can be provided upon request.
Little Cimarron Valley Ranch is a classic Colorado ranch property. With its irrigated meadows, agricultural operations, location in a bucolic valley surrounded by jagged peaks, and variety of Rocky Mountain wildlife, the ranch checks all the boxes of a idyllic ranch retreat. Although close enough to Montrose to have access to small-town amenities, the ranch still has a rural aesthetic that gives it a private and secluded feel.
Little Cimarron Valley Ranch offers a unique opportunity to participate in a cutting-edge conservation partnership that simultaneously benefits both agricultural operations and the health of a well-known river system. The ranch’s agreements with Colorado Water Trust ensures that water will remain in the river when needed, directly benefiting the entire riparian ecosystem. When water is plentiful, particularly early in the season, water can be used for agricultural purposes, an important part of the heritage and history of this valley.
Rarely is there an opportunity to irrigate ranchland without either owning or leasing the water rights. Even more rare is the ability of a landowner to positively influence both agriculture and the local ecosystem. Yet this unique partnership with the Colorado Water Trust enables all of these benefits, a true win-win for a conservation-minded buyer.
Despite the conservation-focused water partnership, the property is not encumbered by conservation easements. Should a buyer decided to conserve part or all of the property, significant state and federal tax benefits may be available.