Beckwith Ranch offers 2,085± acres of rare extensive wetland in the Wet Mountain Valley of southern Colorado. The ranch is a true agricultural property in its lush valley location set against colorful wildflowers and foliage, rolling meadows, and sweeping views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.
The property is ready for high-functioning operations, boasting senior water rights, some hay production, and quality grazing lands. Artesian wells and a network of waterways and ponds enrich the land and support a diversity of wildlife from fish and ducks to migrating herds of elk and deer. The land plays an important role in Wet Mountain Valley’s long ranching history and conservation legacy. The southern half of the property is protected by a conservation easement that outlines its use as an agricultural operation and allows for two additional building sites.
Located conveniently along State Highway 69 just minutes from the neighboring town of Westcliffe and within an hour and half drive to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, the property is both accessible and rustic. Beckwith presents an opportunity to build a home within the tradition of the community’s grand ranching legacy and carry on its fine agricultural operations in the picturesque fertile valley for years to come.
Just the Facts
- 2,085± deeded acres
- Minutes from Westcliffe off Highway 69
- Located in the historic Wet Mountain Valley
- Commercial air service at Colorado Springs
- Panoramic views of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains
- Predominately flat grazing land with irrigated pasture
- Water rights
- 914± acres are protected by a conservation easement
- 1,171± acres are unencumbered
- No buildings – build to suit
- Extensive designated waterways and wetlands home to abundant waterfowl
- Migratory corridor for a variety of big game animals
Beckwith Ranch benefits from its well-watered valley locale between the Sangre de Cristo and the Wet Valley mountain ranges with stunning scenery and rich meadows that includes both dryland and irrigated pastures. Located minutes away from the charming town of Westcliffe just off of State Highway 69 adjacent to the San de Cristo Wilderness, the location is as convenient as it is rustic.
Beckwith presents a rare sense of containment, sitting between two mountain ranges while maintaining expansive rolling valley views of the meadows and tree line. The property is situated on Swift Creek and has both surface and sub-surface flows, including a network of streams and channels. These deliver water throughout the ranch and allow for seasonal irrigation for grazing used in conjunction with its ranching neighbors, though Beckwith holds senior water rights. An impressive ring of man-made ponds and artesian wells also mark the property, supporting it as an important wetland habitat for fish and waterfowl and connecting corridors for resident and migrating herds of elk, deer, and pronghorn.
Beckwith Ranch is a proud member of the Wet Mountain Valley Ranchland Preservation Program, along with six contiguous ranches just west of the property, committed to keeping more than 12,000 acres of contiguous open space forever in agricultural production. While the ranch’s two existing 500-acre easements protect the historic rural setting and spectacular viewshed for generations to come, the deeded 1,000± acres hold unique potential for completing the existing conservation project.
Beckwith Ranch is recognized as a largely agricultural-use property and is priced to reflect the conservation easement, remaining unencumbered land, water rights, and current augmentation plan. Ideally located within a few minutes of Westcliffe in the historic Wet Mountain Valley, the ranch is easily accessible with immediate highway access. The views of the Sangre de Cristo Range are tremendous, and there is ample opportunity to build to suit to take full advantage of an area of Colorado, recognized for its incredible viewshed. This is a large acreage holding for the area and rare that a ranch of this size, combined with its location, is presented to the market. The water features on the property attract a variety of wildlife and add a strong visual aesthetic. It is equally rare to find so much deeded acreage, spanning over numerous ranches in excess of 12,000± acres protected by conservation easements. Beckwith presents an opportunity to continue an agricultural operation in an area of vast amounts of protected land. Westcliffe is a welcoming, friendly, and agriculturally oriented community.
Beckwith Ranch is ideally situated within the Wet Mountain Valley, surrounded by hundreds of miles of San Isabel National Forest and BLM lands and the friendly rural communities of Custer County off State Highway 69. The charming ranching town of Westcliffe, Colorado, population 500+, is just a five-minute drive away for goods, groceries, and local shops. The larger nearby cities of Canyon City and Pueblo both have hospitals and larger retailers, hotels, and restaurants within an hour’s drive from the ranch. The Colorado Springs Municipal Airport is an hour and a half drive and offers nonstop service to more than 11 major US cities. Salida, known for its old-west character, is an easy hour-long trip northwest for quality dining and shopping.
The majestic Sangre de Cristo mountain range and its legendary 14,000+ foot peaks rise up just a mile from the ranch’s western border. The property sits adjacent to the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, and the famed Great Sand Dunes National Preserve is just south of the ranch on the western side of Sangre de Cristos.
The Wet Mountain Valley is nestled between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west and the Wet Mountain range to the east. This makes the area a destination not only for its preservation of a stunning valley viewshed, but also for its freedom from light-pollution, highlighting its exemplary stargazing as the home of Colorado’s first designated International Dark-Sky Community. Having been a ranching territory since the late 1800s, the community celebrates its agricultural heritage with popular events, rodeos, and parades. The area is also known for the San Isabel National Forest, the Crestone Needle peak, the Royal Gorge and surrounding federally protected lands for its unforgettable scenery, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and more.
San Isabel National Forest
Several access points into the San Isabel National Forest neighbor the ranch for convenient hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking through its vast trails across 3 million acres. The Rainbow Trail winds 100 miles from Westcliffe to Salida along the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range featuring mountain lakes and fishing streams along the way.
The Crestone Needle
The iconic Crestone Needle located in the San de Cristo’s mountain range is known as one of the most challenging fourteen-thousand-foot peaks, “14ers,” to the summit in Colorado, but also one of the most rewarding. It sits among three other “14ers,” known as the Crestones, which are highly sought after by experienced mountaineers for their stunning views.
The Royal Gorge and Arkansas River
This incredible “Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River,” the Royal Gorge, is half an hour away for breathtaking canyon views from the bridge and park. The Royal Gorge is an icon of southern Colorado and its history. It features tours, ziplining, rock climbing, stunning scenery, and more.
The Arkansas River cuts through the gorge for unique views of the surrounding peaks as well as whitewater rafting adventures and outstanding fishing, including a strong brown trout presence, popular with fly-fishers.
Monarch Mountain is about an hour’s drive from the ranch for a relaxed day of skiing in the winter. Monarch is known for its abundant snowfall and convenient access for slope-goers looking to skip the crowds of larger resorts. A trip along Monarch Pass is also one of the most scenic winter drives in the state.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park is just over the west side of the Sangre de Cristo range from the ranch, an hour and a half’s drive away. The tallest dunes in North America, are popular with visitors for the rare experience of sand-sledding and sandboarding while offering plenty of exploration among its surrounding miles of mountain trails, alpine lakes, creeks, and impressive, diverse scenery.
Beckwith Ranch enjoys distinct Colorado seasons with around 300 days of sunshine a year. Even with its water-rich climate, the area maintains low humidity, drawing moisture instead from the mountain runoff into its valley. Each season is pleasant and temperate; in the summer, highs warm the fertile region with 85 degree-weather over the rolling green grassland just before haying season. The fall is especially spectacular as the surrounding aspen trees turn bright yellow. In the winter, lows are only around 42 degrees. The area sees about 50 inches of snowfall a year and around 14 inches of rainfall. Elevation is around 8,000 feet throughout the ranch.
Beckwith Ranch was established by brothers, Elton and Edwin Beckwith circa 1869. Like many of its neighbors, it represents a deep agricultural and ranching heritage. Though not included in this offering, the historic Waverly House that sits along the eastern property line has been carefully restored and maintained by a community nonprofit, Friends of Beckwith Ranch. The whitewashed, red-roofed, original Beckwith headquarters is considered the most historically significant landmark in Custer County, and a testament to its ranching legacy. Waverly Place now serves as a site for local tourism, education and events that benefit the local economy.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Beckwith Ranch offers 2,085± acres of rare extensive wetland in the Wet Mountain Valley of southern Colorado.
Current ownership purchased the ranch in the late 1990s. Preserving the stunning viewshed and the open land was a priority for the owners. The Wet Mountain Valley Ranchland Preservation program was created together with the San Isabel Land Protection Trust, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, and five adjacent ranches. Today over 12,000± contiguous acres are open forever and in agricultural production. Two 500-acre conservation easements, each containing full building envelopes, maintain the historic agricultural use of the land on the southern portion of the ranch. The next owner has the unique opportunity to complete this project by placing the remaining 1,000± acres under easement.
Beckwith Ranch represents an opportunity for new landowners to usher the property into its next season of growth. Ranching operations are already successful, and wide-open space holds potential for increased conservation efforts with desirable building envelopes on this remarkably fertile land.
Quality fencing encloses the perimeter and runs within the interior, and the property is serviced by two-track ranch roads. Much of the water is used seasonally to irrigate the pastures, and the current owners constructed a series of wetland ponds with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to serve as augmentation flows to control irrigation.
Each conservation easement consists of 500± acres that both contain building envelopes carefully positioned among the stunning mountain scenery and colorful meadows for the best home site possibilities. The remaining 1,000± deeded acres also hold an abundance of prospects to create a fully outfitted family residence suited for a working ranch.
Beckwith Ranch is fortunate in holding senior water rights among a well-maintained network of ditches that flow through the property and deliver water to irrigate hayfields and pastures. Swift Creek and a series of wetland ponds provide the ranch surface and subsurface flows, making it remarkably well-watered and productive with a complex hydrology system.
Any and all seller-owned water rights appurtenant to the property are included in the sale.
Any and all seller-owned mineral rights appurtenant to the property are included in the sale.
Beckwith is an important wetland and wildlife habitat, its water-rich meadows serving as a corridor for resident and migrating herds of elk, deer, and pronghorn. Plenty of antelope and a variety of upland birds also grace the property. Artesian wells are scattered throughout the property, and numerous ponds teem with trout and smallmouth bass, providing a home for waterfowl such as ducks and geese.
The ranch is in a migratory corridor and offers access to antelope, mule deer, elk and a variety of upland birds that inhabit the property. A series of man-made ponds run through the heart of the ranch and allow for excellent duck hunting. The waterways also offer a rich year-round habitat for terrestrial and aviary wildlife such as ducks and geese.
A series of ponds teem with trout and smallmouth bass for abundant fishing. These stepped ponds run along the historic valley railroad grade and were made by diverting naturally occurring artesian springs for a fish hatchery, and an opportunity exists to re-vitalize the ponds to an even more robust fishery resource.
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