Double Heart Ranch combines virtually every quality that one looks for in a mountain ranch. On the recreational side, it has outstanding wildlife viewing and big game hunting, as well as over five miles of near blue-ribbon quality fishing on Tomichi Creek. It also both adjoins the national forest and ties together thousands of acres of other public land. From the point of view of location, it is 26 miles east of Gunnison, a small, dynamic Colorado mountain town that has good commercial air service. The ranch is less than a one-hour drive to Crested Butte, which is a world class destination ski resort. And, unlike many mountain retreats in Colorado, it has a viable livestock operation estimated at 800 animal units which operates on 11,300± deeded acres and approximately 45,000 acres of state, BLM and USFS grazing leases and permits. Its land base offers an appealing mix of lush irrigated meadows with early water rights that produce around 2,500 tons of hay per year, as well as sagebrush uplands which transition to timbered mountain pastures. Improvements are exceptional. They include a large lodge complex that sleeps up to 26 and offers the potential for a viable commercial guest/hunting operation, or it can simply function as a base for a family or corporate retreat. In addition, the ranch has three “owner quality” homes, five manager and staff houses and good-quality ranch operating facilities. This is also a scenic ranch with broad meadows and open, timbered pastures and the towering Tomichi Dome rising right out of the middle of the property. In summary, this is a fully-improved, operating mountain ranch in a great location with a full complement of scenic and recreational amenities.
Just the Facts
- 11,300± deeded acres
- 45,000± acres of state, BLM and national forest leased land
- 26 miles east of Gunnison, CO and Gunnison–Crested Butte Regional Airport
- Less than an hour to Crested Butte and 10 miles west of Monarch ski area
- Direct access off Highway 50
- Exceptional 10,000+ square foot primary lodge can accommodate 26 guests comfortably
- Eight additional homes, equipment shop, barn, and working facilities for livestock
- Just over five miles of both banks of Tomichi Creek
- Brown and rainbow trout fishery
- Adjacent to the Gunnison National Forest, BLM and state land
- Ranch surrounds iconic landmark of Tomichi Dome and is close to Fossil Ridge Wilderness Area
- 2,500± Irrigated meadows
- 2,500± tons of hay
- 100 CFS of water rights
- Currently running 800 cow/calf pairs
- Abundant grazing land
- Outstanding wildlife habitat
- The ranch controls 250 square miles of rangeland and associated outfitting and guiding permits
- Located in GMU 551
- Park and Wildlife Landowner Preference Program (LLP) allocates 19 deer and 19 antelope tags
- Elk tag process changes annually
- Elk, deer, bear, moose, antelope, mountain lion and a variety of small game animals and birds
Double Heart is characterized by its expansive irrigated meadows and riparian corridors in its lower reaches, which give way to open sagebrush rangeland. It then transitions to timbered and aspen-covered mountain pastures as altitude increases and one approaches and enters the national forest. It is apparent when one visits the ranch that it was put together by combining a number of smaller ranches which each at one time had their own headquarters area. The nicer homes and the lodge are located in a very scenic part of the ranch with the operating facilities and many of the smaller homes located in the lower elevations.
This ranch is truly multi-dimensional in every sense. It offers a tremendous agricultural operation, hay production, incredible natural fishery, and an amazing ecosystem with excellent wildlife habitat supporting big games animals. Additionally, the ranch has been expertly managed, both agriculturally and recreationally.
It is incredibly rare to feature a ranch the magnitude and scope of the Double Heart Ranch to the market. With a combination of a massive amount of deeded land, nearly 50,000 acres of leased land and control over 250 square miles of land, there is nothing else like it in the State of Colorado. The ranch is turn-key in terms of improvements. It has been expertly managed and meticulously maintained. The ranch supports a viable livestock operation, productive hay land, and has an immense amount of water rights. Double Heart features an incredible fishery of five miles of both banks of Tomichi Creek. It is truly a world-class hunting property and supports an incredible ecosystem and wildlife habitat.
The Double Heart Ranch offers a rare opportunity to buy a real operating ranch in the mountains of Colorado that also features both a full complement of scenic and recreational amenities and a high-quality set of improvements.
Double Heart Ranch is located 26 paved miles east of Gunnison off Highway 50. Commercial and private air service is available in Gunnison at the Gunnison – Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC). During the summer months, daily flights to Denver, Dallas and Houston are provided by United and American Airlines. Spring and summer flights vary and should be researched. The runway is 9,400 feet long and 150 feet wide, runs southwest-northeast and is equipped with high-intensity lighting.
Crested Butte is less than an hour’s drive from the ranch and is a dynamic mountain town that offers a full menu of services and variety of outdoor activities. Monarch Ski area, a smaller family-oriented resort, is ten miles east of the ranch. Denver and Denver International Airport are approximately a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the ranch.
This is a region that combines active cattle ranching with recreation. There is world-class hunting and fishing throughout the area (and on the ranch), as well as a highly-regarded destination ski resort in nearby Crested Butte and Monarch. Double Heart Ranch is considered one of the major ranches in the area.
Being within easy range of Gunnison is a real benefit for the ranch. It offers a source of seasonal and day help, good schools, and social and cultural amenities for the ranch’s owners and permanent employees. In general, the area around the ranch is made up of both ranches and recreational holdings. This has become typical of many of Colorado’s more expansive valleys. We feel that the ranching culture in these areas provides a positive influence that is markedly different from the more confined valleys near some of Colorado’s most famous mountain resorts, where ranching has long-ago disappeared and been replaced by golf courses and high-end retreat homes on small acreages.
Gunnison has long been recognized as one of Colorado’s premier recreational destinations, offering a multitude of year-round recreational opportunities, a friendly atmosphere, unique mountain lifestyle and small town flavor. One of the reasons Gunnison will always have a vibrant cultural atmosphere is because it is a “college town.” Western State College, highly ranked academically, is a fully accredited four-year institution offering a wide array of courses and degrees. Gunnison supports a diverse culture; several art galleries, antique shops, museums, shopping and a variety of restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines. A county-owned airport, convention center, hospital, variety of local health services, financial services, sporting goods stores, golf courses, shopping and plenty of fly shops are some of the attributes of this very distinctive mountain town. The three main drivers of Gunnison County are tourism, education and ranching. The county is sixth largest in the state consisting of 3,239 square miles and is approximately 78 percent federally owned. The current population is estimated to be slightly over 18,000 residents.
Crested Butte is a historic and colorful mountain town less than 30 miles from Gunnison and within 45 minutes of the Double Heart Ranch. To quote one of the locals, “Crested Butte is unpretentious and full of life, a place to unplug and recharge.” The Colorado State Legislature has officially recognized Crested Butte as the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado.” The annual Wildflower Festival, held in July, was recently named the “Best Annual Festival in the Mountains” by Westword. Mountain biking enthusiasts from around the world also come to visit The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, also headquartered in Crested Butte.
It goes without saying that, on a ranch of this size, the temperatures and precipitation are going to vary significantly from the valley floor to the mountain pastures. The ranch itself sits near the continental divide at around 8,000 feet. Average temperatures in the nearest town of Gunnison range from 0° to 78° F throughout the year. Extremes range down to -13° an up to 85° F. In the late spring, summer and early fall, expect comfortable daytime temperatures, a dry atmosphere and mostly clear, sunny skies. Expect the winters to be cold and long, often dipping below freezing. This weather makes the climate ideal for winter sports. Average precipitation in Gunnison is around 11 inches.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
There are two small acreages on the ranch totaling around 1,200 acres that are covered by conservation easements. They are sensible easements that do not materially affect one’s use of the ranch. The ranch maps will show the areas that are affected, and full copies of the easements are available from Hall and Hall offices. Easements are held by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Nature Conservancy.
The ranch is extensively improved with top-quality operating facilities and a total of nine homes. The following briefly describes the main structures.
Lodge: This building, estimated at over 10,000 square feet, was designed to sleep and feed up to 26 guests. It is a high-quality structure built to exacting standards. On the main floor, there is a large kitchen suitable to prepare meals for over two dozen guests, as well as a large living room, dining room and bar. The second floor offers a secondary living room area. Also, there is an attached three-car garage.
Skip-Peeled Log Home: This two-story, 3,800 square foot house has a rustic skip-peeled log exterior and windows that stretch from the first floor up to the second. It has four bedrooms, a beautiful master suite, and an expansive living room with rock fireplace.
Ranch-Style Home: This executive-quality home, with a stucco exterior, metal roof and covered front porch, has a large kitchen with an island and bar, three bedrooms and one substantial master suite.
Vaulted-Ceiling Log Home: This 3,600 square foot log home is two stories tall with 24 foot tongue and groove ceilings, stone fireplace, large kitchen, massive windows, three bedrooms and one large master suite.
With the exception of the lodge, all of these homes were originally built between 1998 and 2000 and run between 3,800 and 4,500 square feet. The lodge is much larger and was built around 1992. These houses have been well maintained and remodeled over the years. They all offer great views
There are five additional staff houses on the ranch. The ranch is also fully equipped with corrals, barns, shop, and livestock scales, in addition to well-fenced and watered pastures.
The ranch offers an extraordinary amount of historical surface irrigation water rights in excess of 100 C.F.S.
*Complete documentation is available upon request from qualified buyers.*
All mineral rights, if any owned by the seller, shall be conveyed to the buyer at closing.
The annual real estate taxes are estimated to be slightly under $37,000.
The ranch offers five± miles of both sides of Tomichi Creek, which is a highly-regarded fishery in an area that boasts some of Colorado’s best fishing. Here, you’ll primarily find both brown and rainbow trout.
The Tomichi Creek headwaters begin in the Sawatch Range, on the Continental Divide, and traverse 51 miles westward to merge with the Gunnison River. The upper end of Tomichi Creek is fast-moving water. As the creek settles into the valley it becomes slower moving and snakes its way through private property. While predominately a German brown fishery, rainbows and brook trout are present as well. Average size trout range from fingerlings to anywhere between 12 to 18 inches. It is rare to offer so much of both banks of any river on any ranch; however, Double Heart prominently features numerous “S-turns” and natural bends as it snakes its way through lush irrigated meadows and willow-lined banks. It is a freestone fishery offering a mild gradient, good holding water, several riffles, small pools and quality runs. Additionally, Tomichi Creek offers a healthy variety of insects, nutrient-rich trout habitat, consistent flows and cold temperatures.
There is access to the Taylor River, Gunnison River, and East River. Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest manmade body of water, is easy to get to and offers some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the state.
The wildlife at Double Heart Ranch is bountiful and diverse, and there is an enormous potential to take advantage of these resources with the lodge as a base of operations. Here, you’ll find populations of elk, deer, bear, moose, antelope, big horn sheep, mountain lion, abundant small game animals and a variety of bird species.
The Ranch participates in Colorado’s Park and Wildlife Landowner Preference Program (LPP). It currently qualifies for 18 deer and 18 antelope tag applications. There are no elk tags associated with the LPP Program because the ranch is located in GMU 551, which has an Over-the-Counter (OTC) Antlered Elk Second and Third Rifle Season. *(Additional information available upon request).*
The registration deadline is 11:59pm (MST) December 1 to be eligible for the drawing for the following year. The registration must be properly completed AND submitted by the deadline. If a registration is submitted after the deadline, the registration will be processed for the following year plus one.
Double Heart is virtually surrounded and interspersed by literally millions of acres of public land, including national Forest, BLM and state land. The ranch is adjacent to the 1.7 million-acre Gunnison National Forest, hundreds of thousands of acres of BLM and select sections of state Land. The ranch is within minutes of the Fossil Ridge Wilderness and Recreation Management Area offering convenient and easy access to enjoy all types of recreational activities on a year-round basis. Curecanti National Recreation Area, located just west of Gunnison, consists of 41,972 total acres. This designated recreation area possesses three major reservoirs — the Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal. Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest man-made body of water and is also recognized as the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States.
At maximum capacity the reservoir offers 96 miles of shoreline and is approximately 20 miles long. Morrow Point and Crystal Reservoirs are only accessible by a designated trail system and boating is limited to hand-carried crafts and guided tours.
Morrow Point Reservoir is the entrance to the famous “Black Canyon.” The name “Black Canyon” is appropriately titled due to the dimensions of this natural wonder — sunlight is precious and only illuminates the canyon for a short time. Designated as a National Park in 1933, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a geological marvel, encompassing 30,244 acres with enormous vertical wall rising to 2,722 feet and stretching for more than 1,500 feet at its widest point. The legendary Gunnison River has carved its way through this 47.26 mile-long canyon and created one of the most beautiful landmarks in the western United States. Taylor Park Reservoir, a 2,033-acre lake fishery and the headwaters of the world-class Taylor River is within 35 minutes of the Double Heart Ranch.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is less than 30 miles from the Two Rivers Ranch. The resort is very attractive with a unique local panache and is known for its extreme skiing. It offers 1,167 skiable acres, 121 established runs, 2,775 feet of vertical drop, and 300± inches of annual snowfall. Monarch Mountain is approximately an hour east of Gunnison and was established in 1939. With 350± inches of annual snowfall, 54 runs, 800 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 1,170 feet, it is some of the best powder and tree-skiing Colorado has to offer. Directly south of Gunnison is the Dos Rios Country Club, which features a 6,535-yard golf course and is stylishly intertwined with the Gunnison River. The Skyland Mountain Golf Resort at Crested Butte offers a 7,208-yard championship course.
The ranch runs a balanced cow calf operation with around 800 mother cows, 120 replacement heifers and 50 bulls. Hay is produced on 2,500± acres of irrigated land without fertilization, averaging about a ton per acre with the cattle coming in in the fall to utilize the considerable aftermath grazing. Hay production is normally adequate to carry the herd through the winter.
Calving season is from April 1 to June 1 and calves are shipped around the 1st of November. Steers normally average 550 pounds while heifers average 500 pounds. Cows are typically put on leased land around June 1 and typically come back to the deeded land around October 1. The ranch typically graze the cows in the hay meadows all fall and traditionally starts feeding protein at weaning. Full time feeding of hay usually starts when the snow sticks around December 1.
The hunting operation has been reserved for family and friends, although it has the potential to be an additional profit source for the ranch and turned into a commercial operation.
Leases and Permits
The ranch consists of approximately 11,300 deeded acres, of which around 2,500 acres are subject to flood irrigation. It runs on an additional 45,000± acres of leases and permits. There are BLM permits, state leased land, and USFS grazing allotments that make up this acreage. These leases and permits dictate a variety of on-and-off dates during the growing season, and some of them are situations where they run on deeded lands that are fenced in with the leased lands. The rates are set annually by the government entity that administers them. Copies of these documents are available from the offices of Hall and Hall. The time to graze livestock on the various allotments generally runs from the beginning of June through the beginning of August, while a few of the allotments run from beginning of August through the beginning of October and end of September.
In addition to the grazing leases, the ranch also holds outfitting and guiding permits for approximately 250 square miles of mountain country that offers potential to run a profitable commercial hunting operation using the lodge as a base. We are, however, offering Double Heart strictly as a real estate investment with no representations as to the relative level of profitability of these enterprises that take place on the ranc
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