The JW Ranch spreads across 4,810± deeded acres of profoundly beautiful land in the Cuchara Valley of south-central Colorado. Both a working cattle ranch and a recreational retreat, the property has spectacular views of the Spanish Peaks and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its boundaries encompass meadows, pastures, canyons, creeks, rock outcroppings and pine forests as the elevation rises almost 2,000 feet. The property’s 320± acres of irrigated meadows produce ample hay for the current herd. Two creeks flow through the ranch, which also has more than 30 man-made and natural ponds, including the dramatic Rock Lake. The abundance of water supports a healthy ecosystem and plenty of big game, including a large resident elk herd, deer, bears, mountain lions, and bobcats.
The current owner runs 220 cow/calf pairs plus bulls. Ranching facilities include corrals, pens, barns, and staff housing. High in elk country on the site of a 19th century homestead, there is an exquisite hunter’s cabin built with materials salvaged from other buildings on the ranch.
The JW Ranch is extremely private and just one-and-one-half miles west of the charming town of La Veta in Huerfano County. Rarely does a ranch of this size become available in the Cuchara Valley, and almost never one as beautiful and well located as this.
The entrance to the JW Ranch is located on County Road 430 about one-and-one-half miles west of La Veta (pop. 800), a historic 19th century railroad town with quaint shops, galleries and restaurants. Walsenburg (pop. 3,068), the Huerfano County seat, is about 18 miles east of the ranch via Highway 160/12. U.S. Interstate 25 intersects Highway 160 at Walsenburg and provides easy access to Pueblo and Colorado Springs, 67 and 108 miles from the ranch, respectively. The San Isabel National Forest is about a mile from the southern boundary of the ranch.
The public, general aviation Spanish Peaks Airfield Airport, five miles north of Walsenburg, is about a half hour from the ranch.
The Pueblo Memorial Airport, while used primarily for general aviation, also has daily commercial flights to Denver International Airport on United Express. Colorado Springs Airport offers nonstop commercial flights to Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and other major hubs.
Surrounded by the vast 1.1 million-acre San Isabel National Forest, the Cuchara Valley is one of Colorado’s special places -- beautiful, pristine and untamed. The distinctive Spanish Peaks -- “Breasts of the Earth” to the Ute Indians -- stand like sentinels to the south. To the west, the Sangre de Cristo mountains define the horizon. The Cucharas River begins southwest of the Spanish Peaks and flows for 75 miles northward through the valley, through La Veta and Walsenburg, to join the Huerfano River.
Violent geological upheaval and igneous intrusions shaped the Spanish Peaks about 25 million years ago and left a raw and wild landscape, punctuated by volcanic dikes, plugs and cones. Huerfano, Goemmer, and Garner Buttes, Badito Cone, and the Black Hills rise from the broken plateau as it tilts upward toward the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos, so named by the Spanish for their sunset-reddened peaks. Colorado State Highway 12, the famed “Highway of Legends” and one of the most scenic high roads in America, runs from La Veta through the mountains to Trinidad.
Within the San Isabel National Forest are 19 of Colorado’s 53 “fourteeners,” peaks over 14,000 feet above sea level, including Mt. Elbert, the tallest mountain in the state. Beauty and abundance --water, game and later minerals -- have drawn people to this valley for more than a thousand years, though few left lasting marks. Early Native Americans believed the Spanish Peaks were the source of life on earth. The Spaniards found tantalizing mineral veins, but not the gold and silver they sought and few souls to convert. Even the coal boom of the early 20th century is largely a historic footnote. Today, about 6,500 people live within Huerfano County’s 1,593 square miles with more than half of them in Walsenburg and La Veta.
This is a land ringed by mountains and massive outcroppings birthed during the late-life geological upheavals of the Oligocene Epoch, long after the dinosaurs were gone. The JW Ranch is a true 21st century descendent of these titan forces -- dynamic and still wild.
The ranch seems much larger than its 4,810± deeded acres would suggest because of the diversity of the landscape. Within its boundaries are virtually every topographical feature and type of vegetation found in south-central Colorado. The vistas are nothing short of magnificent with the Sangre de Cristos on the west and the Spanish Peaks visible from almost every vantage point on the ranch.
The vast majority of the deeded acreage is contiguous with six timbered 40-acre tracts located just beyond the southwest boundaries in the high country where the hunting is prime.
The winter pastures lie at lower elevations in the eastern sections of the ranch near the hay meadows and the headquarters. During the summer, the cattle graze in pastures at the higher elevations on the west side of the ranch.
The ranch currently supports about 220 Black Angus cow/calf pairs, plus bulls.
Three hundred twenty acres of irrigated hay meadows produce about 200 tons a season, enough to support the cattle through the winter. The ranch has sufficient water rights on Middle Creek to irrigate the meadows through the high-altitude growing season, which allows for one cutting in June.
The ranch rises in elevation from 7,200 feet above sea level at the headquarters and the hay meadows along Meadow Creek to a high of about 9,100 feet in the pine forests on the western portion of the ranch.
The varying topography and different altitudes support diverse ecosystems. Cottonwood trees and scrub oak grow in the bottoms along Middle Creek, which divides the hay meadows. At 8,200 feet, the tall grasses and bushes grows thick and lush in the well-watered earth around Oak Creek and a natural spring. At the northern end of the ranch, gentle canyons and draws run through the meadows and pastures of native grass. The higher elevations on southwestern part of the ranch are forested with tall lodgepole pines. Bromes, Timothy-grass, wheatgrass and grama grasses grow in the pastures.
4,810± deeded acres
The tiny 1800s homestead cabin was falling in on itself when John Moore bought the ranch, but he saw the potential. For one, there was the location -- high on the ranch, nestled in a cluster of trees near a spring and a pond where elk came to drink. And then there was the romance of the place. Where else could someone actually live as they did more than 100 years ago?
Moore tasked one of the ranch hands, who was a skilled carpenter, to rebuild the cabin with barn wood salvaged from other structures on the ranch. Moore outfitted the cabin with a massive cast-iron cooking stove from one abandoned homestead, and a baker’s cabinet and kitchen table from another. The cabin got a new corrugated tin roof with insulation.
“It’s built from very old barn wood salvaged from the ranch and outfitted with furniture from the other homesteads. Everybody that sees it falls in love with it and wants to live there.”
-- John Moore, Owner
The two-room cabin has a kitchen with a dining area and a sleeping room. There’s an outhouse, and water for washing comes from the spring. There is also no electricity, by design. “It’s completely off the grid. We did it that way on purpose,” says Moore.
The cabin took two years to build, but it was worth the effort. The finished product is exquisite and as tight as a drum. “When you’re up here,” says Moore, “it is so remote and completely private. You really do get away from it all.”
The ranch manager’s house is a nicely appointed, factory-built 2,500± square-foot home nestled among the cottonwoods near Middle Creek. New in 2008, the house has three bedrooms, two baths, a living room, family room, large kitchen and an office that could be used as a fourth bedroom. A combination shop and garage is adjacent to the house. A double-wide mobile home in move-in condition has three bedrooms.
There are also three currently unoccupied houses on the property, including two that could be restored as residences. A solidly built 1,200± square-foot stone house is currently used for storage. The original homestead built by the founders of the ranch, a two-bedroom stone and stucco house on Oak Creek, is well built but in need of renovation.
Well-maintained facilities for working cattle are strategically located throughout the ranch.
The ranch has two sets of new welded-pipe corrals. Working corrals for cutting, branding, vaccinating and separating the cattle for market are located in the middle flat of the ranch.
Corrals with shelters used primarily for calving are located near the headquarters and the hay meadows. This set of corrals also includes a calving barn and pens for heavy cows.
The new calving barn has a veterinarian’s room with hot-and-cold running water and a refrigerator, an office, and a tack room.
The shop has four bays, heat, and a concrete floor.
The ranch is well equipped for butchering and storing game and beef with a meat-cutting room, a walk-in cooler for hanging quarters, and a walk-in freezer for packaged meats.
Built of steel pipe, the horse paddocks have five enclosures with an automatic watering system.
The new, metal-sided barn has capacity for 200 tons of hay and covered equipment storage.
At 7,000 feet above sea level and higher, Huerfano County enjoys a true four-season climate with an average of 274 sunny days a year. Summers are pleasantly warm with July highs averaging 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Snowfall ranges from an average of 225 to 250 inches in parts of the Cuchara Valley, to 85 to 100 inches of snow a year in La Veta. Even so, south-central Colorado is known as the “banana belt” of the state for its relatively mild winters. January low temperatures average 16.6 degrees Fahrenheit while daytime highs reach into the mid-40s. The county receives an average of 17 inches of rain annually, with July and August the rainiest months.
Middle Creek flows year round out of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains across the northern and eastern sections of the ranch. Oak Creek, a seasonal flow from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, crosses the entire ranch and is fed by a spring on the property. Two holding ponds accommodate overflow from Oak Creek and the spring, while a pipeline carries water to ten watering tanks along a diagonal from the southwest to northeast corners of the ranch. In all, there are more than thirty ponds on the ranch, including two natural ponds.
|Barnard-Alexander Ditch No. 19, Priority No. 93||An undivided ½ interest in 1.8 cfs||Middle Creek|
|Bear Canon Ditch||1 cfs||Bear Canon Creek|
|Faulkner Ditch||1 cfs||Bear Canon Creek|
|Zember Spring Ditch||1.3 cfs||Oak Creek|
|Zember Reservoir with an appropriation||4.178 acre feet||Oak Creek|
|Fielden Ditch||An undivided ½ interest in 0.5 cfs||Indian Creek|
|Willow Creek Ditch||1.0 cfs||Willow Creek|
|Willow Creek Reservoir with an appropriation||34.533 acre feet||Willow Creek|
|Water Right||Amount||Water Case||Use|
|Klikus Brothers Well #1||3 gpm||Case W3614||Domestic, Livestock|
|Klikus Brothers Well #2||3 gpm||Case W3614||Domestic, Livestock|
|Klikus Springs #1||2 gpm||Case W3613||Domestic, Livestock|
|Klikus Springs #2||3 gpm||Case W3613||Domestic, Livestock|
Additionally, there are four wells which are permitted but not adjudicated.
- Permit #21092-MH
- Permit #154913
- Permit #154913-A
- Permit #284702
“Last year, you’d hear the elk bugling from September to Christmas. It was like a symphony every night.”
– John Moore, Owner
A resident elk herd of up to 300 cows lives on the ranch while approximately 70 to 80 bulls migrate through during the mating season.
Moore has worked hard to rebuild the population of mule deer on the ranch after decades of over-hunting by a previous owner - and the numbers are increasing.
The ranch also is home to black bear, mountain lions and bobcats.
Huerfano County is located in Colorado GMU 861, which is known for deer, elk, and pronghorn sheep.
The current owner owns 65 percent of the mineral rights, with the balance held by former owners.
There are four abandoned coal mines on the property, including three that have been sealed and one that has open shaft but is not in use. A gas well is capped and no longer producing.
Grandote Peaks Golf Club - La Veta, CO
Grandote Peaks Golf Club in La Veta, designed by Weiskopf and Morrish, has been recognized by Golf Digest as a “Four-Star Award Winner.” The course, which has 4 sets of tees and more than 7,000 yards of playable greens, is open from April 1 to October 31.
Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is the highest and longest standard-gauge rail route in America. From La Veta, the railroad travels through spectacular scenery to Alamosa. Note: The railroad enters JW Ranch in northwest corner of section 15, for a very short distance, then renters the property in the northwest corner of section 22. From the second entry point, the railroad traverses west through the center of section 21 for approximately one mile and then exits the property to the north.
Taos Ski Valley - Taos, NM
Taos Ski Valley outside Taos, New Mexico, features snow-skiing trails for every experience level. The resort’s Kachina lift, built in 2014, takes skiers to 12,481 feet, the highest point reached by any triple-chair lift on the North American continent. The town of Taos, with its galleries and restaurants, attracts artists and musicians all year.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Mosca, CO
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in the San Luis Valley is home to the largest sand dunes in North America. The dunes, which rise to 750 feet, were formed when sand and soil deposited 440,000 years ago by the Rio Grande and its tributaries were blown up against the Sangre de Cristo mountains after the glaciers melted.
Facts at a Glance
- 4,810± deeded acres
- Located on CR 430 one-and-one-half miles west of La Veta, Colorado
- 67 miles south of Pueblo
- 160 miles south of Denver
- Elevation 7,200 ft. to 9,000 ft. above sea level
- Situated in Huerfano County
- The Cabin, a two-room rustic hunting retreat
- Ranch manager’s home, 2,500± sq. ft., three bed/two bath
- Ranch hand’s home, three-bedroom, double-wide mobile home
- Equipment shop with four bays
- Two sets of pipe corrals
- Hay barn
- Calving barn
- Horse paddocks with enclosures and automatic watering system
- Year-round and seasonal creeks and springs
- 32 ponds, including 2 natural ponds
- Current owner owns 65 percent of the minerals, with the remainder held by former owners
- Spanish Peaks Airfield Airport, five miles north of Walsenburg: public general aviation airport
- Pueblo Memorial Airport: general aviation and limited commercial flights to Denver International Airport
- Colorado Springs Airport: commercial flights to major U.S. hubs
Located in the tightly held and incredibly scenic Cuchara Valley, JW Ranch presents an opportunity to acquire a diverse and hybrid property. Only 1.5 miles from La Veta, the ranch is both a working livestock operation and high-end recreational property. Large in size for the area, the land is very well watered, heavily timbered, offers diverse topography, features dramatic rock-outcroppings, and is a healthy ecosystem for resident wildlife. The improvements are not overdone, well appointed and functional. Surrounding views of the mighty Spanish Peaks, Sangre De Cristo Mountains and ancient lava dikes are the centerpiece to this truly magnificent property.
- 4,810± deeded acres
- Located on CR 430 one-and-one-half miles west of La Veta, Colorado
- 160 miles south of Denver
- 2,500± sq. ft. manager home, three-bedroom ranch hand’s home and a rustic hunting cabin
- Equipment shop, hay barn and calving barn
- Two sets of corrals and horse paddocks with enclosures
- Year-round and seasonal creeks and springs, 32 ponds, including 2 natural ponds
- Current owner owns 65 percent of the minerals. All are included in offering
MANAGEMENT SERVICES – Hall and Hall’s Management Division has a very clear mission–to represent the owner and to ensure that his or her experience is a positive one. Services are customized to suit the owner’s needs. They often begin with the recruiting and hiring of a suitable ranch manager or caretaker and are followed by the development of a management or operating plan along with appropriate budgets. Ongoing services include bill paying, ranch oversight, and consulting services as needed. Even the most sophisticated and experienced ranch owners appreciate the value of a management firm representing them and providing advice on local area practices and costs. Wes Oja and Jerome Chvilicek at (406) 656-7500 or Justin Bryan at (325) 260-5883 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.
RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT SERVICES – Increasingly the value of a ranch is measured by the quality of each and every one of its resources. Coincidentally, the enhancement of a ranch’s resources also increases the pleasure that one derives from the ownership of a ranch. Our management services have included the assessment of everything from wildlife habitat to bird habitat to water resources and fisheries and the subsequent oversight of the process involved with the enhancement of these resources.Wes Oja, Jerome Chvilicek or Dan Bergstrom at (406) 656-7500 or Justin Bryan in our Abilene office at (325) 260-5883 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.
AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offer “Another Solution” to create liquidity for the owners of Investment-Quality Rural Real Estate. Our auction team has experience in marketing farmland, ranchland, timberland and recreational properties throughout the nation. Extreme attention to detail and complete transparency coupled with Hall and Hall’s “Rolodex” of more than 40,000 targeted owners and buyers of rural real estate help assure that there are multiple bidders at each auction. In addition, the unique Hall and Hall partnership model creates a teamwork approach that helps to assure that we realize true market value on auction day. For more information on our auction services contact Scott Shuman at (800) 829-8747.
APPRAISALS - Staying abreast of ancillary market influences in ever-changing economic conditions requires a broad professional network to tap into. Finding an appraiser who not only understands the numbers but also the differences in value from one area to another is a critical part of making an informed decision. The appraisal team at Hall and Hall, formed entirely of Accredited Members of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), has that critical network of brokers and lending professionals. This professional network coupled with diverse experience across multiple regions and market segments allows our appraisal team to deliver a quality product in a reasonable timeframe. For more information contact our appraisal team at (406) 656-7500.
SPECIALIZED LENDING - Since 1946 Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to landowners. In addition to traditional farm and ranch loans, we specialize in understanding the unique aspects of placing loans on ranches where value may be influenced by recreational features, location and improvements and repayment may come from outside sources. Our extensive experience and efficient processing allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.
Competitive Pricing | Flexible Terms | Efficient Processing
Dave Roddy • (406) 656-7500
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882
J.T. Holt • (806) 698-6884
In Colorado, Buyers should be aware that different real estate brokerage relationships are available which include seller agency, buyer agency or transaction-brokerage.
BROKERAGE DISCLOSURE TO BUYER
Definitions of Working Relationships:
A seller’s agent (or listing agent) works solely on behalf of the seller to promote the interests of the seller with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the seller. The seller’s agent must disclose to potential buyers all adverse material facts actually known by the seller’s agent about the property. A separate written listing agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the broker and the seller.
A buyer’s agent works solely on behalf of the buyer to promote the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the buyer. The buyer’s agent must disclose to potential sellers all adverse material facts actually known by the buyer’s agent including the buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of the transaction and if a residential property, whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. A separate written buyer agency agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the broker and the buyer.
A transaction-broker assists the buyer or seller or both throughout a real estate transaction by performing terms of any written or oral agreement, fully informing the parties, presenting all offers and assisting the parties with any contracts, including the closing of the transaction without being an agent or advocate for any of the parties. A transaction-broker must use reasonable skill and care in the performance of any oral or written agreement, and must make the same disclosures as agents about all adverse material facts actually known by the transaction-broker concerning a property or a buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of a transaction and if a residential property, whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. No written agreement is required.
A customer is a party to a real estate transaction with whom the broker has no brokerage relationship because such party has not engaged or employed the broker, either as the party’s agent or as the party’s transaction-broker.
Please contact one of the Hall and Hall brokers for a complete discussion of potential working relationships for this property. A written relationship disclosure will be provided to a prospective buyer prior to engaging in brokerage activities as defined by the Colorado Real Estate Commission.
NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been provided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee. Prospective buyers should verify all information to their satisfaction. Prospective buyers should also be aware that the photographs in this brochure may have been digitally enhanced.