The Rocking Bar MB Ranch is a rustic luxury retreat tucked deep inside the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Nestled on a small bench adjoining National Forest lies a ranch compound of exquisitely designed homes, barns and cabins, clad in weathered rough hewn timbers, stacked atop indigenous rock that belie the luxurious living afforded within. Designed by Pearson Design Group, the buildings provide an authentic vintage aesthetic comprised of modestly scaled natural regional materials that make the buildings seem they have been part of the landscape forever.
Eighty percent of the ranch is irrigated by historic water rights and includes three large stocked fishing ponds. Situated in the exclusive Upper Piedra River Basin, the property adjoins the 3 million acre San Juan National Forest and is steps away from the largest wilderness area in Colorado. While remote, the property has year round access and is only 18 miles from Pagosa Springs, 75 miles from Durango and its commercial airport, and 45 miles from Wolf Springs Ski Area. The ranch affords spectacular views of the Continental Divide and the Weminuche Wilderness Area with world class fishing and hunting, and some of the most beautiful hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and cross country skiing right out your back door.
Rocking Bar MB Ranch adjoins the 3 million-acre San Juan National Forest, and trails from the property lead to the Weminuche Wilderness Area. More than a half million acres in size, the Weminuche WA is Colorado’s largest wilderness area and twice the size of Colorado’s second largest, the Flat Tops. This pristine area contains the headwaters of major rivers and streams and encompasses broad and diverse environments including: immense glacial valleys, the Continental Divide; alpine lakes and tundra, montane forests, and incredible habitat for elk, deer, and big horn sheep.
Rocking Mar MB Ranch is located in rural Hinsdale County, Colorado. Hinsdale County is one of the least populated counties in the state, with under 1,000 permanent residents. The county is approximately 1,100 square miles in size, 96% of which is National Forest, Wilderness Area, and State and BLM land. The county is covered by mountains, including multiple fourteeners, and is one of the most roadless areas in the country. The continental divide crosses the county twice. The main economical drivers of this region are agriculture and recreation.
Wolf Creek Ski Area, which is under an hour’s drive from the ranch, is known for receiving more average snow fall than any other ski resort in Colorado – about 480 inches per year. This local’s resort has a top elevation of 11,900 feet, is serviced by seven lifts and offers over 1,600 skiable acres of varied terrain.
Two airports are conveniently located in close proximity to Rocking Bar MB Ranch. Durango LaPlata County airport is an easy 1.5 hour drive from the property and has regular airline service. Multiple direct flights into Durango from Denver, Dallas, and Phoenix are available from United and American Airlines. The 9,200-foot runway supports virtually all aircraft, and full FBO services are also available on site.
Pagosa Springs’ Stevens Field Airport is just 18 miles from the ranch and has an 8,100-foot runway suitable for private airplanes and business class jets. Stevens Field also has a modern FBO with full fuel and hangar services.
All of the improvements within the complex (with the exception of the 1910 homestead cabin) were designed by the noted architectural firm of Pearson Design Group and constructed by the premier luxury homebuilder, Shaw Construction. The complex was finished in 2011 and includes the main ranch house with adjoining carriage house, ranch managers home, fire tower, bathhouse, equestrian barn, equipment barn, and bunkhouse.
These superbly crafted and hand built structures blend into the surrounding environment and provide spectacular views of the Continental Divide and surrounding forest. The richness and character of the historic materials is evident with the use of recycled timbers, rough-cut wooden planks, logs and other organic materials, and hand-forged hardware. The cold rolled steel roofs, designed for heavy snow loads, have surfaces that rust quickly with a natural patina giving an illusion these are historical structures. Extensive interior and exterior rockwork by talented stonemasons include stone chimneys topped with jagged standing soldier courses and dry stacked fireplaces.
The ranch also includes its own Fire Tower influenced by the historic fire towers of the National Park Service and Forest Service from the 1920s and 30s. All of the utilities to the structures are buried underground and three large stocked trout ponds were constructed near the ranch house. The property has historic and abundant water rights in two ditches that irrigate the lush organic hay meadows.
The centerpiece of the property is the Ranch House with adjoining Carriage House and nearby Fire Tower and bathhouse. Exquisite craftsmanship in the Ranch House include: rough sawn wood, waxed, oiled and sanded smooth to the touch, as well as interior plaster walls textured and glazed, raw weathered organic timbers and recycled barn beams, rock work and large fireplace, scissor beams, soapstone countertops, custom cabinets crafted from recycled barn boards, reclaimed hardwood floors, cast iron wash basins, and hand forged hardware.
Recreational pursuits on and surrounding Rocking Bar MB Ranch are vast. The ranch is located in one of the best fishing and hunting areas in Colorado.
The headwaters for both the Upper Forks of the Piedra River are found within the Weminuche Wilderness northeast of the ranch. The East Fork of the Piedra is directly accessible in the bordering National Forest and offers over 5 miles of untouched fly-fishing for brook trout and cutthroats in an intimate wilderness stream setting.
The East and the Middle Forks come together just a few miles from the ranch and create the main stem of the Piedra River. The river flows through the rolling grasslands of the valley before entering a narrow gorge. The river flows at the foot of Devil Mountain through sedimentary rocks turned nearly on end. Walking through the valley is easy most of the way, as is access to the stream. The Piedra is known for hosting a large population of stoneflies, which helps to grow big and feisty rainbow and brown trout and makes for great dry-fly fishing in the summer. Fishing with large attractor patterns often brings eager strikes from fish darting out of undercuts and from behind big boulders.
The region is also home to other legendary rivers like the Animas, San Juan, and Rio Grande. The diversity of this area’s fisheries and the lack of fishing pressure relative to other parts of the state offer a prime and infinite playground for the fly-fisherman.
There are tremendous hunting opportunities surrounding the Rocking Bar MB Ranch. The property is located in GMU 77. This area is known for holding large populations of elk and mule deer and producing good size bulls and bucks. The ranch is also located within the S16 Bighorn Sheep Unit, which has consistently produced trophy quality rams.
Other recreation around the ranch includes horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and backpacking on an immense network of trails throughout the National Forest and Wilderness Area. Multiple renowned golf courses are in close range of the property and Mesa Verde National Park is a major attraction. Rocking Bar MB Ranch offers year round recreation with close-by alpine skiing at the Wolf Creek and Silverton ski areas as well as the Purgatory Resort (formerly Durango Mountain Resort). Other winter activities include cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and snow-shoeing. The ranch also hosts dog sledding tours in the snow season.
The ranch produces organic hay and rotates from gazing the meadows for pasture or cutting and baling hay. They currently lease the meadows to a local rancher.
All mineral rights owned by the Seller will be conveyed with the property. This includes 100% of the minerals on 118 acres and 50% on the remainder of the ranch.
The ranch owns historic water rights from two ditches dating back to the late 1890’s. The owner has shares in two ditch companies that maintain the ditches with the water irrigating close to 80% of the meadows, and also fills the trout ponds.