While many properties are available in the Rockies, it is difficult to find that place that has that “right” mix of topography, accessibility, views, proximity to offsite recreational opportunities, water, wildlife and price.
The Gold Pan Ranch in the central Colorado Mountains is a unique and seldom encountered opportunity for full-time ranch residence and agricultural operation, or a combination of both.
The ranch is located on the southwest side of Pikes Peak, a mere hour and a half from Interstate 25 and the Colorado Springs airport. It’s only two and half hours from Denver International Airport and the social and business opportunities Denver offers.
Yet, the area around the ranch is very rural. The all-weather, paved road that leads to the gate of the ranch has traffic measured in the dozens of vehicles per week, not hundreds per hour. The temperate-climate grasses that cover the land are high in nutritional value for domestic animals, as well as for the large number of wildlife species that inhabit the area.
Grazing on the ranch has been well managed for decades now; there is no evidence of overgrazing and little intrusion by noxious plant species. That’s a major reason why the place is home to mule deer, antelope, turkeys, blue grouse, cottontails, and most of all elk, which can be seen on the property in groups of over a hundred, especially during the fall mating season.
The ranch includes an entire mountain, McIntyre Mountain, and the top of another, Castle Mountain. Except for the areas leading up to the mountain peaks, topography is slight to moderately sloping. Primary tree species is ponderosa pine, with some aspen and spruce.
There are several small erosion control ponds on the property, full at intermittent time, and several live springs that produce a lot of water for livestock and wildlife.
The ranch does have that feature everyone desires, running water in Four Mile Creek, which cuts through the meadow between the ranch headquarters and the public road. Water rights are included that permit irrigation of the meadow using the stream water (in compliance with water right regulations).
The meadow portion of the ranch is about 150 acres, and is level enough that a former ranch owner had a landing strip for a private plane near the ranch house.
The ranch itself comprises 1877 acres more or less, all fenced with some cross fencing. You can drive all the way through the ranch in a pickup or SUV without using four wheel drive unless its muddy or snowy.
From the ranch, it is half an hour to casino gambling and restaurants in Cripple Creek, one and a half hours to world-class skiing at Breckenridge, one hour to whitewater rafting and fishing in the Arkansas River, and about 45 minutes to the excellent fishing of Eleven Mile Reservoir.
The improvements to Gold Pan Ranch are functional. There are plenty of places on the ranch to build that mountain mansion, but for now the 1930s vintage ranch house with three bedrooms, two baths, and a couple “bunk rooms” with beds but no closets are comfortable and useable.
There is a great, glass-enclosed sitting room on the deck to sip beverages and watch the stars or the elk. The original log homestead cabin is still intact, along with a modern two-car garage and a one-bedroom, separate living quarters. In all, there are eight outbuildings, a good solid corral, and an old silo.
This ranch is priced to sell quickly. Other properties of about the same size may be priced about at the same level, but it will be hard to find one with all the features of this ranch, and free of adverse features such as public or private inholdings, or easements through the land for access to other properties.
President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth Cultural District, Fort Worth-Mira Vista, Uptown, Lakewood, Southlake, The North, Ranch and Land, Ranch and Land West, and The Ballpark.