Mountain Spirit on the Navajo River is truly a magical place where art and nature coexist. Owner Gary Morris says that he has had the opportunity to stay in some of the greatest hunting and fishing lodges in the world and that Mountain Spirit has a piece of all of them. Some of the best Gold Medal fly-fishing in the lower 48 for Brown and Rainbow trout is part of the magic. It is much more than a lodge; it is a majestic retreat for a corporation, family or a tremendous destination guest ranch.
Although predominantly known for its world class fly-fishing, Mountain Spirit is home to many activities inside and out across the seasons. Mountain Spirit is an exclusive cozy setting which emanates a feeling of warmth and intimacy. If you dream of hiking, hunting, fly fishing or relaxing, Mountain Spirit is the sportsman’s paradise for you!
The property is a nice blend of open meadows, timbered hill side and bottom land along the Navajo River which traverses the site. The ranch is suitable for livestock grazing during the summer months. The balance of the ranch is bordered by other, privately owned ranches. Views from the ranch of surrounding mountains are breathtakingly beautiful and include Banded and Navajo Peaks. The continental divide is readily visible as are a number of other mountain peaks and valleys.
Mountain Spirit has 154 total acres and abundant recreational opportunities. The main lodge, owner’s residence and river house all sit on Navajo River frontage. There is a nice sized pasture for horses as well as outbuildings including a barn, tack room and shop. The 77 acres that sit across the road also has Navajo River frontage and overlook the main lodge as well as the entire valley. This parcel has tremendous potential for additional homes or cabins.
Mountain Spirit is located within the Navajo River Valley within the southeastern portion of Archuleta County, Colorado. The area economy mostly consists of tourism and recreation, with ranching, timber, and construction providing support. Some of Colorado’s best snowmobiling and skiing are prevalent in the area. Neighborhood shopping, restaurants, and conveniences as well as medical services are located in nearby Pagosa Springs approximately 30 miles to the northwest. The nearby community of Chromo derives its name from the Greek for “color.” One tradition says the community was named for rocks in the area, while another says it was named for Chromo Mountain in New Mexico.
The Navajo Valley has supported very high-end property values due to its tremendous views, fishing and hunting access. Elevations in this area range from a low at Navajo Lake of approximately 5,500 feet to a high on the Continental Divide of 14,000-plus feet. he area is delineated by: The Continental Divide on the North and East; The Colorado and New Mexico boundary on the South; The Los Pinos River on the West. The geographic area encompasses all of Archuleta County and portions of Hinsdale, Mineral, LaPlata, and Conejos Counties.
The area is well noted for its change and definition of seasons. Spring, summer, fall, and winter are all spectacularly marked by changes in weather, moisture, and natural color. In the winter season, most of the area is covered with snow. Fall is marked by the many brilliant colors that are constantly changing. Spring is showered with an abundance of colorful wild flowers, and summer is marked by a steady flow of tourists seeking the notable fresh mountain air, green grass and trees as well as excellent fishing and hiking opportunities.
The Main Lodge:
The main lodge is a one of a kind 7,500 square foot masterpiece. The lodge has 4,908 square feet of living area on two and a half stories with a finished 2,709 square foot basement area. It features a 35 foot stone fireplace as the centerpiece in the great room and is built out of 100 year old hand hewn logs that were shipped in from the south. The rustic elegance of each bedroom is uniquely its own with antique double sized bathtubs and wood burning stoves to complement the best bed you have ever slept on. The dining room seats 14 people at its 17 foot black walnut dining room table. The building was constructed within the past 10 years and is in excellent condition.
The lodge has a total of six bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. The basement has one bathroom for two bedrooms. A 37 foot limestone fireplace is the focal point of the living room below vaulted ceilings. Breathtaking views of mountain ranges are afforded from the dining room windows. All doors and window frames are custom made from black walnut. The kitchen appliances include a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Vulcan commercial-type range/oven, dishwasher and disposal plus a dumbwaiter from the basement level kitchen.
The second story houses three bedrooms, two with wood burning stoves and three baths. Each bathroom has freestanding oversized tubs. This level opens to the living room below and has walkways with wrought iron railings obtained from “Opryland.” The basement area is not finished to the quality of the upper levels but is the functional part of the lodge having a second kitchen area with a walk-in refrigerated room as well as an office for staff, a laundry area, the heating mechanical room and several storage rooms. The basement centers on a game room area and a television room area with two bedrooms and a bathroom. The building has an in-floor radiant heating system fueled by propane. The exterior of the lodge has an open deck area which leads to a tank-type hot tub and outdoor fireplace.
The Owner’s Residence:
The Owner’s Residence is a ranch style 2,824 square foot handcrafted log home. Located along the Navajo River with a stocked fishing pond out the front door, the house offers privacy and seclusion. The interior of the home features a beautiful great room with vaulted ceilings and a stone fireplace. Just off the great room is a private dining room and full size wet bar. Large windows are located throughout the house and provide great views of the surrounding mountains and river below.
The River House:
The River House, which is located a short walk from the lodge, rests inches from the Navajo River. It has been renovated into a soothing sanctuary featuring four bedrooms, each with a private bath. It has three fireplaces, a hot tub and a complete kitchen. The River House is the perfect private guest house or retreat! It was originally built in the early 1900s by the writer C.W. Will Price and was featured in many of his published stories. The house has been updated over the years but remnants of the original homestead can still be appreciated. The 2,715 square foot home features 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a wraparound deck that sits just above the Navajo River. The house also features a western themed bar, the original fireplace and dining room.
The Navajo River features gold medal trout fishing for Browns, Rainbows, Cutthroats and Brookies! Owner Gary Morris hosted the top rated outdoor show North American Sportsman in the 1990s and is an avid fly-fisherman. He truly believes, “Fly-Fishing at Mountain Spirit is quite honestly some of the finest fishing in the lower 48. These fish are strong and extremely aerial.” There is an abundance of aquatic life in the river as well as the two ponds on the property. The caddis & yellow stone-fly hatches are legendary, a dry fly-fisherman’s paradise. The early season nymph fishing has always yielded some giant browns.
Summer water temperatures vary from 47°-52° Fahrenheit. The Navajo is a wading river with a gravel bottom river. A 4 wt rod for the experienced angler or 5 wt for the novice seems to be the best fit. The best fishing begins in early June and runs through mid November.
Water flow in the area is generally from the north to the south. Headwaters of several rivers are in this area, including but not limited to: San Juan River, Pine River, Piedra River and Navajo River. As a result of these water sources, the area has several lakes including, Vallecito Reservoir, Emerald Lake, Navajo Lake, Williams Creek Reservoir, and Echo Canyon Reservoir.
Hunting & Wildlife
Here you can live among the deer, elk, turkeys, black bear, bobcats, mountain lions, eagles, and other wildlife. The San Juan National Forest has everything a big game hunter is looking for: the challenge of wilderness hunting to easy access forest roads. Nearby Banded Peaks Ranch boasts a large herd of more than 3,000 big game animals. Access to National Forest and great hunting is just minutes from the ranch. The property is located in Game Unit 78 which allows over the counter Elk hunting licenses for archery, 2nd and 3rd season rifle tags.
Wolf Creek Ski Area, located just 22 miles north of Pagosa Springs, is constantly improving facilities such as a day lodge and new ski runs and parking areas. Wolf Creek is known for the most accumulation of snow and the best virgin powder of any ski area in Colorado. It is serviced by three triple chairs, three poma lifts, a beginner chairlift as well as a new quad high-speed detachable lift. The lifts carry skiers from the base at 10,350 feet to the Continental Divide at 11,775 feet.
The area is served by Stevens Airfield, a county airport used for private transportation and currently has a commercial flight to Durango, Colorado.
Three miles west of Pagosa Springs is the growing community of Pagosa Lakes. The 18,000 acre retirement community offers a 27-hole championship golf course (a cross country ski touring center during the winter), 7 tennis courts, 6 lakes, a recreation center and several shops, churches, restaurants, and businesses.
Mountain Spirit has been operated as a private vacation club, corporate retreat, private event host, and wedding venue. The ranch also has all of the makings of an equestrian lover’s property or the home base for a luxurious hunting camp. During the summer months, you can irrigate the hay meadow and graze horses and livestock.
The ranch includes historic water rights sufficient to irrigate the hay meadows in summer months.