The 1,139± acre Riverbend Ranch sits just upstream of the town of New Castle in the heart of Garfield County’s Colorado River/I-70 corridor. The ranch possesses a versatile mix of recreational, development/investment-grade, and agricultural characteristics. The property’s northern boundary is 2.75 miles of the mainstem Colorado River, one of the great fisheries in the state; the southern half of the ranch is largely rugged wildlife habitat for big game, and the balance in between is nearly three hundred acres of irrigated pasture served by significant water rights. From the property, panoramic views up and down the river with the Grand Hogback and Flattops in the backdrop predominate, with a stand-alone, Hogback “notch” standing sentinel over the ranch’s lengthy stretch of the Colorado separating one riverside pasture from the other. Access to the property is via County Road 335 (Colorado River Road), which is adjacent to the I-70 interchange at the town of New Castle, mere minutes from the ranch, opening up both convenient travel across the region and investment/development possibilities on Riverbend Ranch. The ranch, one of the largest acreage private holdings in the I-70 corridor between Denver and Grand Junction, is unencumbered by a conservation easement.
Riverbend Ranch sits along the southern bank of the Colorado River in the valley between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction in western Colorado’s I-70 corridor. The property is just outside the town limits of New Castle, so as one drives along the river, its entry area feels suburban in nature, while the ranch’s backdrop is rugged wildlife habitat (a private “in-holding” subdivision comprised of dozens of homes built in the 1970s sits in the north-central portion of Riverbend Ranch along County Road 335 just south of the river, essentially dividing the ranch into two sections along the Colorado River). While a grocery store and some restaurants are in New Castle, Glenwood Springs is just 10 minutes away and world-renowned for its hot springs, and spas, numerous hotels, Adventure Park, restaurants, shops, schools, hospitals, banks and a smaller plane private jet airport. Glenwood Springs lies just off I-70 at the confluence of the Colorado and the Roaring Fork River, with other character-filled destination mountain towns such as Carbondale, Basalt, and Aspen located upstream on the Roaring Fork on CO Hwy 82. Downstream, in the other direction from Riverbend Ranch (westbound on I-70), are lower elevation towns like Rifle and Grand Junction, so choices abound at all times of the year for different weather and recreational opportunities. You can enjoy everything from world famous downhill skiing, to golf (New Castle is home to Lakota Golf Club, a fine, newer layout), fly-fishing, and wineries and orchards.
Riverbend is conveniently located between two commercial airports with both the Grand Junction Airport to the west and the Eagle County Regional Airport in Eagle to the east (servicing Vail and Beaver Creek) being less than an hour away. Commercial service is also available 2.5 hours away at DIA and private jet service is 10 miles down the road at the Garfield County Airport in Rifle, Colorado, and also in Aspen.
Several world-class ski resorts are within an easy drive. Aspen/Ajax Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass are all located in and around Aspen, one hour away, and Beaver Creek and Vail Resorts are less than 90 minutes away.
A humble ranch house is on-property and currently leased by the ranch caretaker.
Summertime temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Fall temps range in the 60s and 70s during the day, with evening temperatures dropping into the 40s and 50s. Wintertime temperatures range from highs in the 30s to 40s during the day and dropping into the teens and 20s at night. Average annual precipitation is approximately 16.5 inches. At 5,500 feet elevation, this part of the Colorado River Valley is much lower elevation than the well-known resort towns in the region, so it is known for its milder, manageable winters.
Riverbend Ranch is located in GMU 42, where over the counter hunting tags are generally available for elk, mule deer, and bear.
Of course this area is renowned for downhill skiing, so skiers will appreciate all the options one has within 75 minutes of the ranch at Aspen/Snowmass and Vail. In addition, Glenwood Spring’s Sunlight Ski Area is only 30 minutes away. Snowmobiling and snow-shoeing can be enjoyed on the property, while in the summer other recreation includes hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting in nearby Glenwood Canyon, and boating (Ruedi and Rifle Gap Reservoirs are less than 45 minutes away).
Riverbend Ranch possesses a couple miles of frontage on the Colorado, one of the great fisheries in the state. Large, 20-30 inch trout are not uncommon on the ranch’s stretch. The Colorado here is a big river and typically floated, but much of the year side channels and backwater stretches on the ranch’s portion can be waded. The ranch is also surrounded by other gold medal fishing resources, with the Roaring Fork just 15 minutes away, and the Fryingpan just 30 minutes away.
The property is well-suited to be developed for horses, with ample pasture and irrigated fields for growing hay, and nearby dirt roads and jeep trails to serve as terrific riding trails, on-property and off.
Riverbend Ranch has traditionally been operated as a hay-growing and cattle grazing lease operation. The same arrangement may be possible for a new owner who wants to have an experienced hand care for the agricultural elements of the ranch. However, all the resources one needs are present for whatever sort of property one envisions, a cattle ranch, recreational getaway for fishing and hunting, or a legacy investment to enjoy or develop.
Investment & Development
Due to the lack of a conservation easement, the property’s water resources, and the ranch’s proximity to the town of New Castle – it’s less than a mile to the Town of New Castle boundary – the possibility exists for low density rural development at Riverbend according to Garfield County Planning & Zoning regulations (perhaps 5-10 acre lots, something denser than the standard 35-acre ranchette tracts). Please contact Garfield County to research this development potential.
This offering does not include available mineral rights within the asking price. Subsurface rights for minerals are held by the owner/seller and potentially available, if a buyer is interested.
List of Water Rights for Riverbend Ranch:
|Structure||Amount Owned||Use||Application Date|
|Vulcan Ditch||5.04 cfs||Industrial/Historical||04/01/1907|
|Vulcan Ditch||3.36 cfs||Industrial/Historical||10/08/1942|
|Riverbend Wells||0.56 cfs||Municipal & Multiple Use||06/01/1973|
|Riverbend Augmentation Plan||293 acre-feet||Municipal & Multiple Use||12/03/1973|
|Coal Ridge Pump & Pipeline||2.00 cfs||Municipal & Multiple Use||09/14/1983|
|Coal Ridge Reservoir||2000 acre-feet||Municipal & Multiple Use||09/14/1983|
The Vulcan ditch carries two water rights out of Canyon Creek, an original senior irrigation right for 5.04 cfs decreed in 1907 and a supplemental junior right for 3.36 cfs decreed in 1942. The original declaration was for the irrigation of approximately 300 acres in Section 34 and 35, Township 5 South, Range 90 West, 6 P.M. Also, the main water siphon that crossed the Colorado River to deliver these agricultural water rights to the property’s pastures fell into the river years ago. Call listing agent for estimates to repair and re-establish the siphon.