Nestled against the stunning backdrop of Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Silver Mountain Ranch offers extraordinary recreation, production, and development opportunity only 2.5 hours from Denver. This is simply one of the finest hunting properties in the American West, boasting record-book quality elk, mule deer, antelope, and the iconic Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. With an ideal diversity of terrain including prairie grasslands, live water creeks, pinon/cedar breaks, and high mountain timber and meadows, the ranch easily accommodates 600 cow/calf pairs year-round. The property is well improved with an owner’s home, a manager’s home, two 6,000 square foot custom log homes, a 38,000 square foot indoor arena with 14 stalls, and several barns, shops and other outbuildings.
Silver Mountain Ranch is surrounded by spectacular views of the Spanish Peaks, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Goemmer Butte, Greenhorn Mountain, Mount Maestas, Rough Mountain and Silver Mountain (named by local miners mining silver and gold in the 1800s). The eastern half of the ranch consists of classic high plains grasslands at an elevation of 6,800 to 7,300 feet. The entire property is bisected west-to-east by North Abeyta Creek. The western half of the ranch is classic Colorado mountain country with beautiful canyons, gambel oak, dark timber and aspens, and extends all the way to the top of Silver Mountain (10,522’). The property also contains large granite walls extending like spokes from a wheel down Silver Mountain. These walls are unique to the area and renowned by geologists worldwide.
Silver Mountain Ranch improvements include:
- 38,000 square foot indoor riding arena with 14 stalls.
- Owner’s residence – a nearly 100-year-old completely remodeled home including a master suite, two kids’ bedrooms each with bath, and a mother-in-law suite with living room and bedroom, garage with walk-in cooler, tack room/storage building, small barn with stalls and an open air riding arena.
- Manager’s home – stone 2 bedroom home that has been recently renovated and updated.
- Lot # 28 home: 5,800 square foot $1.5MM full round log construction home with 5 bedrooms and 5 baths.
- Lot # 13 home: 6,300 square foot $1.8MM Swedish cope log home with 5 bedrooms and 5 baths.
- Completely approved and platted 31-lot subdivision (35 acre lots) with roads built to county specs, underground utilities and water.
- Maintenance shop – 40′ X 120′ steel workshop/maintenance building lighted with a concrete floor and 20′ overhead door. Also includes a 20′ shed roof on one side of building for additional storage. Finished office with bathroom located in front portion of building. Also features a very comfortable apartment with full bath in loft area.
Silver Mountain Ranch is situated in western Huerfano County, and is a short 2.5-hour drive straight south of Denver and DIA. Ten miles east of the ranch on I-25 is the Huerfano County seat, Walsenburg (pop. 3,000), with restaurants, lodging, grocery stores, and a hospital. Also, the property is only 45 minutes from Pueblo and 20 minutes from Spanish Peaks Airfield in Walsenburg.
Five miles south of the ranch is the quaint mountain town of La Veta, CO (pop. 800), with art galleries, restaurants, a museum, theater, lodging and shopping.
• Average annual precipitation: 36.0 inches
• Average January temperatures: High 45°, Low 10°
• Average July temperatures: High 85°, Low 52°
• Days of sunshine per year: 300+
The Silver Mountain Preserve is a sanctuary for several species of big and small game animals including Colorado’s State animal, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. Over the past 25 years, hunting has been carefully managed and regulated to insure the highest trophy quality available on a ranch of this size.
- Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep – Silver Mountain (Colorado sheep hunting unit S-50) is prime habitat for bighorn sheep, and is widely considered Colorado’s best trophy unit for big rams. Sheep frequent the rocky slopes and dike walls of Silver Mountain on the ranch, and it’s adjacent lands. Recent censuses have sheep numbers in this area at 125-150 animals.
- Elk – On any given day, it is not uncommon to see 500 + head of elk. In winter months, upwards of 1,000 animals may be on the ranch. Only a few bulls have been harvested on the ranch over the past several years, and 350”+ bulls are very common. The ranch lies in Colorado Big Game unit 85. Archery, Muzzleloader and rifle elk licenses are readily available. Additionally, due to extremely high numbers of elk wintering on the ranch – 50-100 antlerless elk licenses with liberal season dates have been available to the ranch should the owner decide to harvest excess animals.
- Mule deer – There are not large numbers of deer on the ranch. However, due to careful management, trophy quality is very good. Bucks in excess of 180″+ are common. Licenses are available either by Colorado Parks and Wildlife regular license draw or through C.P.W.’s landowner preference program.
- Pronghorn – While Colorado is not known for big pronghorn bucks, this ranch has both extraordinary numbers of animals and excellent trophy quality. There are Boone and Crockett bucks on this ranch. As is the case with mule deer, licenses are available either through the regular draw, or landowner preference program.
In addition to these species, there are healthy populations of black bears, mountain lion, coyotes, bobcats, turkey, as well as many non-game animals, raptors and song birds.
Lake fishing is available on Citadel Lake and Wright and Brinks Reservoir, the irrigation water storage reservoir.
Silver Mountain is an ideal ranch for the horse enthusiast. The 38,000 sf heated indoor riding arena contains 14 indoor/outdoor stalls. The building is plumbed and framed for an apartment/office. There is also an outdoor arena with several stalls, tack room, and barn at the owner’s residence.
This is a well balanced, gently managed ranch that is easily and consistently capable of running 600 pair along with bulls and replacement heifers on a year round basis. The Cedar / Pinyon covered areas on the lower eastern portion of the ranch provides ample forage and cover through the winter months and calving season. On an average year, the 300 acres of irrigated hayfields produce enough feed for all ranch operations. The western portion of the ranch provides summer / fall grazing. All the range has strong stands of native grasses. There is a beautiful set of working corrals and certified scale in the middle of the ranch along County Road 520 for easy shipping access.
300 acres are flood-irrigated through ditches with senior water rights. In the past, this ground has been pivot irrigated. Water is sourced from the creek and adjudicated Wright and Brinks reservoir on the upper west end of the ranch. Stock water is abundant throughout the property from Abeyta Creek, two reservoirs, dirt tanks, solar wells, windmills and pipeline-serviced tanks. The owner recently secured approval for an extensive water augmentation plan allowing for construction of two additional reservoirs along North Abeyta Creek for water storage/fishing.
The ranch is very well fenced around the perimeter and through the pastures. There is a 600-acre bison pasture with 6-strand high-tensile smooth wire, 3 hot and 3 cold.
The property comes with a 2,720-acre State grazing and recreation lease.
Conservation / Development Value
Silver Mountain Ranch is wholly unencumbered by conservation easements. On the east side of the ranch, there are 31 approved homesites with county specified roads, underground utilities and wells to service these sites. Water is currently piped to the two log homes that have already been built. Silver Mountain is by far the largest contiguous tract of land in the Cuchara Valley. The ranch is virtually surrounded by ranchette developments. With the development infrastructure already in place, and proven development demand evidenced by the surrounding subdivisions, this is a ready-made property for either developers or conservation buyers seeking to protect this extraordinary landscape. More information on the development and conservation potential is available to qualified buyers.