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 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.