Moonshine Ranch is nestled among several dramatic peaks in the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Local landmarks Mount Maestas, Rough Mountain, and Silver Mountain (named by local miners mining silver and gold in the 1800s) flank the southern boundary of the property; Sheep and Little Sheep Mountains lie along the northern boundary, and the western boundary is more-or-less the top of La Veta Pass.
The lower elevations of the ranch are comprised of irrigated and non-irrigated meadows traversed by cottonwood-lined creeks and rolling Gambel Oak/Ponderosa ridges and mesas. The higher portions of the ranch are dominated by a classic high-country ecosystem, with stands of mature aspen, fir, and spruce, and pastoral mountain meadows. The entire property is blessed with an abundance of water, including 3 seasonal creeks traversing miles across the ranch, and countless high mountain ponds, seeps, springs, and bogs.
The 2018 Spring Fire burned 60-70% of the property. None of the buildings/improvements were affected whatsoever. Almost immediately after the fire, the owner engaged a team of experts in wildlife biology, rangeland, and forestry management who created a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate the property in an effort to maximize hunting, rangeland, forestry, and aesthetic values. No expense was spared. Crews have aggressively salvaged burned timber where topographically practical, mulched and masticated understory and brush to facilitate quick regeneration, and reseeded over 4000 acres. Roads were rebuilt and hillsides terraced where practical with erosion control in mind. Ponds were drained, dredged, refilled, and restocked. The result today, after almost 3 years of work and over $1MM in expenditures, is remarkable. Aspen stands are regenerating quickly, the grass, oak brush, and general understory and range conditions are healthier than they’ve been in many decades, and the quantity and quality of the game is higher than it was pre-burn. The embedded “burn discount” (the property was arguably worth almost double in today’s market pre-burn) presents a truly extraordinary acquisition opportunity for the buyer who is not averse to the changed aesthetic and who understands the long-term wildlife, forestry, and rangeland benefits of a burn.
Moonshine Ranch lies in the southern Sangre De Cristo Mountain range in southern Colorado, 2.5 hours south of the Denver metro area. 20 miles southeast of the ranch is the quaint mountain town of La Veta, CO (pop. 800), with art galleries, restaurants, a museum, theater, lodging, and shopping. 25 miles east of the ranch is Walsenburg, Colorado (pop. 3000), with restaurants, groceries, a hospital, and lodging. There is a commercial air service in Pueblo, Colorado, which is an hour’s drive from the ranch.
- Average annual precipitation: 50.0 inches
- Average January temperatures: High 45°, Low 10°
- Average July temperatures: High 85°, Low 52°
- Days of sunshine per year: 300+
The main lodge, built in 2015, features 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (comfortably sleeps up to 8), a chef’s kitchen with stainless appliances and granite countertops, a dining room, and a huge great room with a fireplace, bar, and vaulted ceilings and windows overlooking the property and surrounding mountains. The lodge is positioned high up on a hill with stunning views of the ranch and surrounding peaks. It is tastefully appointed in rustic elegant style with natural wood material and finishes. There is a lower level walkout garage/storage area, and the home is equipped with a state-of-the-art security system with cameras; high-speed satellite internet, tv, and wifi; high fuel capacity backup generator, water filtration, and sprinkler system.
- Manager’s Home – The manager’s home, located at the ranch headquarters, is a 2013 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom triple-wide modular with an attached Trex deck.
- Guest Cabin – The guest cabin features two bedrooms, including a bunk room which can sleep 8, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, laundry room, breakfast room, and den.
- Working Facilities – At the ranch, there is a 70×120 insulated, heated, monolithic cement floored shop with a walk-in cooler and two 12×14 electric overhead doors. Also at the headquarters are the cattle handling facilities, including working pens and a newer (2015) 27×60 calving shed.
- Fencing – Moonshine Ranch is entirely perimeter and pasture fenced with new 5 strand barbed wire/t post fencing. The fences are in excellent condition.
- Interior Roads – There is an impressive system of highly improved interior ranch roads allowing for easy travel to practically every spot on the property by 4-wheel drive vehicle.