In Colorado, there’s a place hidden away in the heart of endless canyons, red rock formations and vast open space that captures the heart like no place on Earth. Embrace the sweeping stretches of short grass prairie that vanish from the horizon plunging deep into secluded river canyons. Stunning geologic features, towering rock walls and dramatic mesas molded over thousands of years by the Purgatoire River create this 70 square mile private wilderness. A premier legacy ranch is defined by these landscapes. Let’s take a look at why this land, JE Canyon Ranch, is the most distinguished legacy ranch available in the American West today.
1. Size & Unique Landscape
Located in southeastern Colorado just north of the New Mexico border, the extraordinary diverse terrain of the property lies in sharp contrast to the surrounding plains. There are over 50 miles of canyons, including 9 miles of the Purgatoire River and 5 miles of Chacuaco Canyon that carve their way creating canyons within canyons. In addition, numerous supporting drainages sculpt deep canyon walls creating an unparalleled ecological wilderness. The diverse beauty of the ranch is self-evident with its variety of interconnected landscapes rivaling the national parks of southern Utah. At nearly 50,000 contiguous deeded acres, JE Canyon Ranches is one of the largest private ranches and wildlife preserves on the market.
2. Ecologically Diverse with Unique Hunting Opportunities
This unique terrain holds some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the state, and in just a 24 hour biological survey, over 865 species were identified representing approximately 25% of Colorado’s known species. Beyond this diversity, the property holds trophy big game highlighted by a large herd of Big Horn Sheep that can be found at nearly every corner of the ranch. This is one of a handful of private ranches in the US that affords an owner the opportunity to hunt this coveted creature. The pristine habitat is also home to trophy mule deer, plains elk, pronghorn antelope, black bear, mountain lion, turkey and quail. Many of the ranch’s hunting opportunities are made possible through its participation in Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Ranching for Wildlife program, a unique hunting program in Colorado that entitles large ranches (minimum 12,000 deeded acres) with certain privileges and tags.
3. Cultural and Historical Significance
Significant cultural and historical features define the incredible heritage of the ranch as evidenced by the enormous array of archeological sites located throughout the property. Over the years, countless studies have been conducted on the ranch by leading institutions in the US, yielding the discovery of dinosaur tracks, prehistoric rock art left by nomadic hunter-gatherers, artifacts from Native American tribes, abandoned Hispanic settlements and numerous pioneer homesteads.
4. Conservation Values
“JE Canyon is like having your own private wilderness,” said Renee Rondeau, Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP). In addition to the diverse flora and fauna, the ranch has such rich agricultural productivity, open space character, and scenic qualities that in order to preserve these qualities, the present owners placed a conservation easement on 24,642 acres of the eastern portion of the ranch with Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. The easement limits the number of additional homesites to five, but retains recreational, hunting and agricultural operations on this portion of the ranch. The remaining acres are free from any conservation easement. The ranch is so significant, it was featured in John Fielder’s “Ranches of Colorado” and in “Colorado: Lost Places and Forgotten Words.”
5. Sustainable Cattle Operation & Improvements
This prominent legacy ranch offers all of the amenities of a sustainable and profitable working cattle ranch. Cows summer on the upper mesa and winter in the lower river canyons with strong native grasses. There is plentiful water provided by the myriad of rivers, streams, and creeks in addition to numerous tanks fed by wells and a 70,000 gallon water storage system with a network of underground pipes that reach over 50 miles supplying both domestic and livestock water.
The improvements reflect a southwest vernacular architecture and add to the functionality of the ranch operation. Situated near the entrance lies an owner’s complex complete with a main home, adjoining guesthouse, and entertainment/conference center. Additional improvements are sited elsewhere along the main upper mesa including a manager’s home and employee housing, a modern livestock barn complete with piped corrals, scale, feed bunks and shop. With a private airstrip and airplane hangar, access to the ranch has never been so easy and convenient.
Historical heritage, diverse flora and fauna, unprecedented privacy, solitude and unmatched landscape; this is your chance to walk in the same footsteps our ancestors did thousands of years ago. Take a look at JE Canyon Ranch.