Sweetwater Creek meanders through the wide valley of the L Quarter Circle Ranch where the land converges before sweeping into mild gradient, transitional hillside terrain. The 462± acre property is marked by the changing colors of the grassy meadows that bank both sides of the creek, summer wildflowers and aspen trees that trace the wilderness up the hillsides behind the elegant modern farmhouse residence, the manager’s dwelling, bunkhouse and barns. 50± acres of dynamic creek side, a uniquely varied topography, and an abundance of roaming wildlife make the property a standout for fishers, hunters and nature enthusiasts.
The rocky peaks of the Sawatch Mountain Range rise down valley while the distinctive Flat Tops surround the valley upstream, adding a sense of seclusion to the property’s expansive viewshed. Driving the county road up Sweetwater Creek, the landscape suddenly opens into the lush valley of the ranch, offering grand views and green meadows. Just 45 minutes from the town of Eagle and its airport/jet center, a little more than an hour from Beaver Creek and Vail, and less than two hours from Aspen, the L Quarter Circle is a private yet accessible gentleman’s ranch, ideal for family living, and renowned in the area for its extraordinary mountain beauty.
Just the Facts
- 462± deeded acres
- Excellent primary residence, functional manager’s home, barn, and turn of the century cabin
- 2002 - 4,715 sq. ft., 4 bed, 3.5 bath primary residence
- 1965 – 1,060 sq. ft. 3 bed, 1.5 bath caretaker residence
- Easy drive and accessibility to Eagle/Vail County Regional Airport
- Less than an hour from Vail and Beaver Creek and less than two hours from Aspen
- Year-round county road access
- Close proximity to iconic Flat Tops
- Approximately 5,640 linear feet of both banks of Sweetwater Creek, a tailwater fishery to Sweetwater Lake
- Exceptional German brown trout fishery featuring outstanding habitat and natural ecosystem
- Riland and Cease creeks offer seasonal tributary water resources
- Approximately 20 acres of irrigated meadows and hay production
- Adjudicated water rights to support irrigation
- Abundant migratory wildlife, small game species, and a variety of bird species
- Biodiversity of habitat, vegetation, and topography
- Transitional landscape and varying topography, ranging from bottomland irrigated land to mid-level scrub oak hillside, rising to heavily forested timberland
The L Quarter Circle Ranch contains a picturesque 462± acres of lush valley meadows and tree-covered hillsides beneath the stunning Flat Tops, bisected by more than a mile of Sweetwater Creek. The main residence, an elegant modern farmhouse, sits among a cluster of pine trees overlooking the creek and nearby pond.
The southeast portion behind the main structures of the ranch is a native, arid landscape of scrub oak, sage brush, blooming cactus and wildflowers. A historic homestead cabin takes advantage of the 800 foot elevation gain with spectacular views among the private mountain trails for hiking, trail running, horseback riding, four-wheeling and snowshoeing.
The ranch’s glory is the 50± acres along both banks of Sweetwater Creek as it winds through the property. The creek’s waters are clear and cool, and easy to access for fly fishers as they cast to the brown and rainbow trout in this extraordinary tailwater fishery. The water entices an abundance of wildlife from deer, elk and moose to coyote, bobcat, eagle, fox and bear.
The L Quarter Circle has been well cared for, with easy access to a year-round, well-maintained county road, a lovely, comfortable primary residence, sturdy barns, bunkhouse and manager’s home. Its thriving pastures and hay fields are ideal for enjoying the quiet rhythms of the land and family life.
L Quarter Circle presents an opportunity to purchase an extraordinary recreational property that also features a very manageable agricultural component. Extremely well located in a private valley, with immediate access to thousands of acres of BLM and National Forest and all located less than an hour from Vail and the Eagle Vail Jet Center while also offering year around county road access. However, the soul and essence of the property is unmistakably the brown trout tail-water fishery of Sweetwater Creek. These types of properties will remain in high demand and difficult to replicate.
Though the ranch feels secluded, it’s easily accessed year-round from I-70 by well-maintained county roads. It’s an easy 45-minute drive into Eagle or Glenwood Springs for goods and groceries, a little over an hour to Beaver Creek and Vail, and less than two hours to Aspen. Glenwood Springs features a new state-of-the-art hospital, Eagle a large health clinic and the Eagle County Regional Airport, with non-stop jet service to many cities in the winter and year-round daily service to Denver. Even driving to downtown Denver is an easy 2.5 hour day trip from the ranch.
The L Quarter Circle Ranch is surrounded by public lands or fellow ranchers, protecting its stunning mountain viewshed. It sits just south of Sweetwater Lake and at the base of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, Colorado’s second largest expanse of open wilderness.
L Quarter Circle is a uniquely remote and thriving parcel tucked beneath the stunning Flat Tops Wilderness Area within the Sweetwater Creek region of Garfield County, Colorado. Surrounded by other working ranches and protected forestlands, the ranch is part of a tight-knit community that celebrates the secluded and quiet origins of ranching life in Colorado and still gathers in the old Sweetwater schoolhouse for holiday parties and potlucks. The Sweetwater area is known for all the best hiking, fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation that Colorado mountain life has to offer.
The ranch is easily accessed year-round from I-70 up the well-maintained Colorado River Road and Sweetwater Road. Its location offers an authentic rural lifestyle within an easy drive to all the benefits of world-class destinations in nearby Beaver Creek, Vail and Aspen.
Vail and Roaring Fork Valleys
An hour and 20 minutes east of the ranch, Vail is known for having one of the best alpine resorts on one of the largest ski mountains in the world, boasting 5,289 skiable acres. The town was founded as a ski resort and has grown a thriving community around iconic cobblestone villages known for events, live music, and festivals, as well as world-class dining, lodging, and shopping. The neighboring Beaver Creek community also features a luxury ski resort and alpine village known for hosting premier ski events. Aspen, one of the first and most prestigious ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains, is an hour and 45 minutes south of the L Quarter Circle.
Just a 45-minute trip southwest, Glenwood Springs is best known for its historic thermal spring, considered the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool and one of the hottest in Colorado. Visitors enjoy the Hot Springs Resort for its spa and lodge, as well as taking in the healing natural waters. The national natural landmark, Hanging Lake, is a rare geological wonder located in Glenwood Canyon. Backcountry hikers consider it a destination for its incredible scenery and waterfalls.
White River National Forest
The White River National Forest borders the ranch to the north and preserves abundant wildlife, an incredible viewshed, 160 miles of trails, over 100 miles of streams, and hundreds of lakes and ponds. It’s home to the steep volcanic Flat Tops, also known as the “Cradle of Wilderness,” that rise dramatically above the ranch to the north. The Flat Tops Wilderness area is the first public land to be designated as such, and is among Colorado’s largest wilderness reserves with a varied topography ranging from bluffs and cliffs to tundra and plateaus. A little more than a mile up the road from the ranch, Sweetwater Lake is considered a regional treasure. It’s one of the largest lakes in Colorado with clear mountain water surrounded by rocky bluffs. The area just came under public ownership for preservation of its abundant wildlife and water resources, as well as increased access for community use.
The L Quarter Circle Ranch enjoys true Colorado seasons as well as its famous year-round sunshine. Winters are snowy and quiet with plenty of snowfall on the hillsides for snowshoeing along the ranch’s miles of private trails. In the summertime the valley turns green and vibrant with thick native grasses that flow in the breeze like a sea of undulating green. The autumn season is the most spectacular as the aspen trees cascade into waterfalls of yellow and orange down the hillside toward the residences and barns. The area sees around 15 inches of rain and 47 inches of snow a year. Summers see a high of about 84 degrees with winter lows around 11 degrees. The property ascends into hills on all sides, ranging from 7,500 feet to 8,200+ with about an 800 foot gain from the valley floor up the hill south of the residences.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
L Quarter Circle Ranch contains 462± acres of lush valley meadowland and rugged hillside. It’s bisected by more than a mile of Sweetwater Creek.
Some of the outstanding photography herein was provided by Tahvory Bunting and Denver Image Photography. (Contact information is available upon request.)
Sweetwater Creek runs from the northwest corner to the southeast boundary of the property, resulting in a well-irrigated valley which produces thriving meadow hay fields surrounded by rising hillsides. The main and manager’s residences, bunkhouse and barns are situated to the south of the creek facing north toward the stunning mountain views of the national forestland with a large pond to the west. A system of trails has been cut to zig-zag across the hillsides for hiking, trail running, horseback riding and four-wheeling. A historic homestead cabin is tucked into the hillside southeast of the residences with spectacular views. Though the county road runs parallel to the creek, the property’s hills and trees keep it quiet and secluded with little traffic and a private, unobstructed view of the Flat Tops.
The elegant 5,000 square foot modern farmhouse was built in 2003 for family comfort and natural beauty. Its two wings contain four bedrooms and three-and-half bathrooms, with one wing as a dedicated guest room and library. The open-concept home was designed as an indoor/outdoor retreat with multiple walk-out patios to enjoy the views of the hay meadows and creek as well as the Sawatch Mountain Range awash in sunrises and the Flat Tops golden with sunsets.
The ranch’s pristine domestic water is entirely spring-fed and piped down from the hillside to the houses and barns. The vast majority of the piping has been recently replaced.
A cozy manager’s residence with two bedrooms, and one-and-a-half bathrooms also sits on the property, positioned to capture the valley’s stunning mountain views.
The rustic cabin-style bunkhouse was renovated in 2012. It’s open-concept contains all amenities and has wonderful potential for further development.
Barns and Pasture
A three-stall barn was built in 2007 and is connected to the corrals of the old barn. The new barn provides clean and comfortable shelter for horses as well storage for hay and equipment, and features a tack room and a loft with a ping pong table. The older barn, corrals and cattle shoot recall the old west. All of which is still fully operational for cattle and as a loading shed.
The ranch is well-suited to horses with two pastures on the property; one adjacent to the corrals and the other off the back of the primary residence.
Any and all seller-owned water rights appurtenant to the property are included in the sale.
Wildlife abounds on the L Quarter Circle as it’s surrounded by an expanse of national forestland and large privately-held properties, and well-watered by Sweetwater Creek and a pond. It has seen up to 200 elk in the pasture during the winter months with deer and even moose roaming throughout. Coyotes, bobcats, foxes and bears also frequent the property. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy watching herons, osprey and eagles as they tend to their young in the spring and summer before migrating in the fall.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a lifetime of exploration in the vast Flat Tops Wilderness Area, not to mention the property’s miles of private trails.
Fishermen will be delighted by the variation of water, from the rushing waters of the canyon to the glassy smooth oxbows of the hay meadows. The dynamics of Sweetwater Creek are ideal for both beginner and expert flyfishers to enjoy. Stand up paddle boarders will also delight in running the private stretch of the creek, or can head to nearby Sweetwater Lake or the Colorado River for a variety of adventures, including rafting and kayaking.
Hunters will appreciate discovering the migratory elk, deer and bear that travel through the pastures and hillsides of the property.
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