The Motherwell has been thoughtfully improved with a variety of comfortable accommodations, which are augmented by extensive infrastructure and support structures for all the equestrian, agricultural, and recreational activities of the ranch.
The spectacular 6,240± square foot log lodge overlooks Flat Top Reservoir from its eagle’s perch at 8,690 feet above sea level. Built in 1998, the lodge features a great room with soaring ceilings, a commercial kitchen and large dining room. Designed to host guests and hunting parties, the lodge has four suites with private baths, plus a large bunk room with six beds and two baths. Decks on the upper levels and an outdoor patio offer endless opportunities for outdoor entertaining or just admiring the breathtaking views.
Contrasting with the rugged rock cliffs towering over the lower ranch, the owner’s residence is encircled by the lush river corridor, irrigated hay meadows and alfalfa fields. Built in 1909 and renovated in 1995, the historic 4,544± square foot home features five bedrooms and four baths with decks or patios on all three levels.
Cabins and additional accommodations
Supplementing the main residences are luxury cabins and additional structures to house guests and employees. Situated on either side of the equestrian facilities are two 1,584± square foot log cabins, each with a bedroom, bath and large deck. Another cabin for spillover guests is located near the lodge as well as a support building with housing for staff and hunting guides. Additionally, lavish “glamping” structures with wooden floors, roofs and full baths accommodate guests seeking a luxury camping experience.
Current ownership has been very active in rodeo and cutting horse competitions and has invested significantly in top-quality equestrian improvements. Located just south of the river along the Sand Creek meadows, the equestrian facilities are anchored by a large 80’ by 200’ barn. With 42 stalls and a sizable tack room, the huge barn has approximately 16,000± square feet with room for plenty of horses. Adjacent to the barn are two large pens for cutting and training and a number of paddocks and pastures. A 120’ by 250’ roping arena with dual staging areas and holding pen is a perfect set up for cowboy competitions.
Agricultural facilities and ranch infrastructure
The Motherwell has been extensively improved with quality and supportive infrastructure. More than 60 miles of interior roads provide vehicular access throughout the ranch. The primary roads are graveled and maintained with rock from a pit on the ranch. A multitude of hiking and hunting trails lead to lookouts, hidden wallows and secret meadows. Three bridges provide access across the river.
Fencing is well-maintained, and high quality welded pipe fencing was utilized around the headquarters, equestrian facilities and owner’s residence. Employee housing, barns, a shop, garage, and associated storage buildings are located at the ranch headquarters area. A guest favorite, the sporting clays shooting pavilion is beautifully sited overlooking the river valley.
From the trout-filled waters of the Williams Fork River to the picturesque upper lakes, the Motherwell has extraordinary water resources for recreation, wildlife, and agriculture.
Originating in the high elevations of the Routt National Forest and Flat Tops Wilderness, the Williams Fork River gathers flows from countless tributary creeks and streams on its way to the Motherwell. The river runs for 3.3 miles through the lower end of the ranch, providing ample water for irrigation and trout fishing alike.
A fertile, medium-gradient freestone stream, the Williams Fork flows with high-mountain snow melt, unimpeded by impoundments. The ranch is located at a prime spot in the river system, far enough down the system to have amassed good flows, but not too far down where the water slows and warms.
Native Colorado River cutthroat trout thrive in this stretch of the Williams Fork River, along with rainbow and brown trout. Meandering through the ranch beneath towering cottonwood trees, the river averages 25 to 50 feet wide and is perfect for wade fishing. The river offers diverse water, with an assortment of riffles, runs and pools. The streambed consists primarily of medium sized cobble, with many boulders creating deeper pools. Fortunately, both banks of the river are within the ranch boundaries, so the fishing is also very private.
“The Motherwell is one of our top private ranch destinations for guided trips. Our clients love the pristine setting, the length of river, and especially the dry fly fishing for cutthroats.” - Jarett Duty, Co-Owner of Bucking Rainbow Outfitters in Steamboat Springs
A Steamboat fly shop has leased the stream and guided anglers on the river for several years—attracted by the overall experience and the wealth of healthy trout. The quality of the river is demonstrated by two facts: First is that it supports a self-sustaining population of Colorado River cutthroat trout, which are a native species and not stocked.
Secondly, this stretch of the river supports stoneflies, which are not only a favorite food of trout, but also an indicator species for the biological health of a stream. Stoneflies in general are intolerant of poor water quality, so their presence is indicative of healthy trout habitat.
The Williams Fork River is also the primary source for irrigation water on the ranch. Productive hay meadows on either side of the river are irrigated with water diverted from the river during higher flows. This contributes not only to the agricultural production, but this healthy riparian corridor is a magnet for all types of wildlife.
The ranch is endowed with three beautiful high-mountain lakes located in the upper third of the property. These large water bodies range in size from 10 to 16.5 surface acres. Flat Top Reservoir, which spreads out below the hunting lodge, features a timbered backdrop with distinctive cliffs 500 feet above. Encompassing 12.3 surface acres in size, it is not only beautiful to look at, but ideal for boating and fishing.
Saddle Reservoir, located west of the lodge, is approximately 10 surface acres in size. Knife Edge Reservoir, the largest reservoir with 16.5 surface acres, is east of the lodge below the namesake Knife-Edge cliffs.
The fourth lake, with just over 4 surface acres, is located along the river near the owner’s home. This reservoir and the surrounding mowed grass area is ideal for cookouts, games, canoeing, fishing and swimming.
Ponds and Creeks
Over 90 natural and man-made ponds are spread throughout the ranch, along with an abundance of springs, seeps and wallows, supporting wildlife and livestock alike. Three tributary streams of the Williams Fork -- Sand, Second and Butler Creeks -- also flow through the ranch, providing additional water sources and nourishing healthy riparian zones.