Stealey Mountain Ranch

$22,950,000 Ridgway, CO 2,142± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

From spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains to an intelligent master plan and luxurious improvements, the Stealey Mountain Ranch combines the best attributes of a Colorado high-country ranch with those of a superb recreational retreat. The land spreads across 2,142± deeded acres at the foot of the Cimarron Ridge and the mighty Courthouse Mountain of the San Juan’s. Ridgway, the closest town, is eight miles from the ranch, while Montrose is 35 miles northwest and Telluride is about 47 miles southwest. The diverse terrain, ideal for endless recreational activities, rises in elevation from 7,400 to 9,200 feet above sea level, from lush, irrigated hay fields along cottonwood covered creek banks, over hills of pinion, oak brush, and juniper to alpine meadows, and spruce forests. Bounded by the Uncompahgre National Forest and large, privately held cattle ranches, the property is secluded and yet easily accessible via County Road 8 or County Road 10 from Highway 550.

The current owner has made significant, recent property improvements, including a pressurized water system, roads, fencing, land reclamation, damn repair, and pond enlargement. The cattle barn, machine shop, and horse corrals have been moved to a new headquarters compound away from the owner’s home, which is now accessed by an exclusive entrance to ensure privacy. Two creeks cross the property, providing ample water for livestock, irrigation, and large resident herds of elk and deer. Approximately 200 acres of irrigated hay meadows are capable of producing two to three tons per acre. Improvements include a magnificent 8,079-square-foot owner’s residence with guesthouse, pool and pool house; a beautifully appointed 3,865-square-foot mountain château; a high-country hunting cabin, and staff housing. Just minutes from Ouray, the “Switzerland of America,” and only about an hour from Telluride and world-class snow skiing, the Stealey Mountain Ranch offers distinct opportunities for the investor, rancher, and outdoor enthusiast.

Just the Facts

  • 2,142± deeded
  • 200± acres irrigated hay meadows
  • 35 miles to Montrose and the Montrose Regional Airport
  • 1 hour± to Telluride, Telluride Ski Resort, and Telluride Regional Airport
  • 17 miles to Ouray; 8 miles to Ridgway
  • Contiguous to Uncompahgre National Forest
  • 8,079± sq. ft. owner’s residence, four bedroom suites/five baths
  • 4,912± sq. ft. pool house and indoor, saltwater pool
  • 3,865+ sq. ft. mountain château, four beds/four baths
  • Guest house
  • Hunting cabin
  • Two staff houses
  • Headquarters/office, cattle barn, machine shop, corrals, sheds
  • Big Gun sprinkler irrigation system
  • Additional building permit approved and paid for, plans available
  • Pressurized and treated ranch-wide water system
  • Game Management Unit 65
  • Abundant large and small game animals
  • Two year-round creeks
  • Several ponds and catchments
  • World-class views of San Juan Mountain Range

Broker's Comments

Stealey Mountain Ranch combines the best attributes for one of the most diverse Colorado mountain ranches available today. Location, accessibility, proximity, improvements, views, and exceptional land are just a few of the many attributes afforded this property. Stealey Mountain Ranch provides a tremendous amount of physical diversity in terms of it’s hugely varying topography, abundant vegetation, exceptional wildlife habitat, and infrastructure for a functional agricultural operation. The land itself is a diverse variation of lower altitude irrigated meadows gradually transitioning into mid-elevation oak covered hillsides. This interspersed with numerous water features, several heavily timbered drainages that graduate into heavily forested higher elevation areas, provides the ultimate range of terrain and vegetation. Wildlife, especially elk, have access to several different feeding, breeding and calving areas. Views from nearly any location on the ranch are prominent in every direction, absolutely world-class and leave one with the feeling of total awe and grandeur. As a capstone to this combination recreational and agricultural ranch, the totality of the improvements are well-appointed, tasteful, completely turnkey and blend in with the surroundings. This property is a true multi-dimensional showpiece that possesses all the physical characteristics of a mountain ranch, is uniquely diverse, rare to the the market, and very distinct.

Learn about the locale


Stealey Mountain Ranch lies along the base of the Cimarron Ridge, about 8 miles east of Ridgway and 35 miles southeast of Montrose in Ouray County. The entrance to the ranch is on County Road 8, about 8 miles east of U.S. Hwy 550.


The closest commercial airport is the Montrose Regional Airport, which has daily flights to Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Chicago, and Phoenix. The Atlantic Aviation, also in Montrose, is regarded as one of the best FBO facilities in the country. The Telluride Regional Airport supports general aviation and commercial flights on seasonally adjusted schedules. The Denver International Airport, with extensive national and international flight schedules, is about a six-hour drive from the ranch.


Ouray County and its eponymous county seat lay claim to the title, "The Switzerland of America," and for good reason. The rugged San Juan Mountains and the Sneffels Range are rich with "Fourteeners," Colorado’s acclaimed 14,000-foot peaks. The former mining towns of Ouray and Telluride, in nearby San Miguel County, are today among Colorado’s most favored venues—Telluride for skiing and an international film festival, and Ouray for ice climbing, hot springs, and Victorian-era architecture.

The nearby Uncompahgre National Forest encompasses three distinct alpine wildernesses within almost a million acres. Ridgway, a former railway stop, supports a growing and eclectic arts scene. Montrose, an agricultural and business hub since the early 20th Century, anchors the area on the north and serves as a regional center for health care, retail and entertainment. There’s even golf, with three superb courses within minutes of Stealey Mountain Ranch.


Ouray County, with an average of 244 sunny days a year, has four distinct seasons, each glorious in its own way. Summer days are warm and mild with July highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s. Falls are crisp and clear, highlighted by golden aspens against brilliantly blue skies. Winter lows can dip into the single digits, especially at higher elevations, though daytime temperatures average in the upper 30s in January and February. Springs are cool and often see heavy snowfalls.

Ridgway, near the ranch, receives an average of 24 inches of rain per year, with much of that falling during the American Southwest monsoon season in July and August. Ouray County averages about 135 inches of snow per year.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 2,142±
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 2,142±

Additional Information

Area Attractions
Montrose, a county seat, has been a hub for agriculture and commerce since the early 20th century and the completion of the Gunnison Tunnel, which brought water for irrigation to the Uncompahgre Valley. Humans have lived here, though, for more than 3,000 years as evidenced by the petroglyphs at the Shavano Valley Rock Art Site. Today, Montrose is a regional center for health care, retail, and entertainment.

Historic and happening, Telluride is home to superb winter skiing, a thriving cultural arts scene, world-class restaurants, and more than a few artists, writers, and actors. A former mining town named after tellurium, a metalloid element never actually found here, Telluride is today at the center of southwestern Colorado’s cultural and winter sports scene. A free gondola connects Telluride to Mountain Village at the base of the ski area.

Ouray likes to call itself the "Switzerland of America" and in fact, this former mining town nestled in a valley surrounded on three sides by steep peaks is as quaintly beautiful as it is historic. Two-thirds of the town’s original Victorian buildings have been preserved. People come to Ouray for ice-climbing and for the natural hot springs.

The San Juans
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison near Montrose is, as the National Park Service notes, "big enough to be overwhelming and still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time." With its steep cliffs and rock spires, the canyon tests hikers while fishermen, boaters, and kayakers find challenges on the river.

The "Gateway to the San Juans," Ridgway supports an eclectic arts scene. True Grit, starring John Wayne, and How the West was Won were filmed in and around this historic mining town and former railroad stop.

Facts at a Glance

  • 2,142± deeded acres
  • 200± acres irrigated hay meadows
  • 35 miles to Montrose and the Montrose Regional Airport
  • 1 hour± to Telluride, Telluride Ski Resort, and Telluride Regional Airport
  • 17 miles to Ouray; 8 miles to Ridgway
  • Contiguous to Uncompahgre National Forest
  • 8,079± sq. ft. owner’s residence, four bedroom suites/five baths
  • 4,912± sq. ft. pool house and indoor, saltwater pool
  • 3,865+ sq. ft. mountain château, four beds/four baths
  • Guest house
  • Hunting cabin
  • Two staff houses
  • Headquarters/office, cattle barn, machine shop, corrals, sheds
  • Big Gun sprinkler irrigation system
  • Additional building permit approved and paid for, plans available
  • Pressurized and treated ranch-wide water system
  • Game Management Unit 65
  • Abundant large and small game animals
  • Two year-round creeks
  • Several ponds and catchments
  • World-class views of San Juan Mountain Range


The current owner has made significant improvements to the infrastructure, water systems, roads, fencing, and the operational configuration of the ranch. A cattle barn, machine shop, and horse corrals, formerly located near the primary residence, were moved to ranch headquarters to improve operational efficiency and ensure privacy for the residence. Separate entrances and roads now lead to ranch headquarters and the residential compound with an outer loop constructed to divert internal ranch traffic away from the houses.

Primary Residence
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said, "The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built." And so it is with the graciously scaled and welcoming 8,079± sq. ft. primary residence. From the bronze sculptures at the entrance to the tumbling waters behind the house, the post and beam residence incorporates the best elements of mountain design.

A complete remodel in 2014 added more than 3,000 square feet and created a commanding front entrance. Dramatic bronze sculptures of an elk, an eagle, and a wolf—the work of Western artist Vic Payne—stand beside the landscaped waterfall at the entrance. A large portico leads to the etched-glass front door, which, in turn, opens onto a soaring, light-filled atrium with a large, two-sided fireplace. The exterior is clad in state-of-the-art, low-maintenance, energy-efficient siding with natural moss rock masonry accents.

The walls and ceilings in the living areas and the master bedroom are tongue-and-groove paneling, while the floors throughout most of the house are a warm red oak.

Great Room
A double-sided stone fireplace centers the great room and creates two distinct seating areas, both infused with light from banks of picture windows. Large beams with exposed iron braces form the lintels above doorways and accent the ceiling.

Dining Room
The expansive dining room easily accommodates a table to seat 14 beneath a custom-made antler chandelier. A built-in Western-style hutch displays china and glassware.

The country kitchen is equipped with an EarthStone commercial pizza oven, Thermador double oven with a six-burner gas cook top, an LG dishwasher, Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer and a KitchenAid icemaker. A large island in the center of the room is perfect for preparing meals or serving a hungry family.

Wide picture windows in almost every room frame views of the ranch or the San Juan Mountains.

Media Lounge
The main floor media lounge has comfortable leather seating positioned to view a large, wall-hung, flat screen TV. A full bath and walk-in closet adjoin the room.

The Saloon
It’s play time in this elaborate recreation room with a full service bar and custom chandeliers, one featuring six-shooters and the other built from rifles and a wagon wheel. A stone fireplace with custom iron doors designed by Western artist Bob Glass is the focal point of the room, which also accommodates four flat screen TVs.

Most of the furnishings are included, with a few exclusions identified by the owner.

Bedroom Suites
The house has four distinct bedroom suites, each with an elegantly appointed private bath. There is also a full bath with shower and tub on the main floor. Each of the three guest bedrooms is large enough to accommodate a king-sized bed and have a private three-quarters bath.

Master Suite
The master suite has a wood-burning stone fireplace, a wet bar, and a sitting room. An exterior entrance leads to a private patio with views of the ranch. The master bath has a jetted tub, a separate glass-enclosed shower, and double vanities with granite countertops and copper sinks. His and hers closets have custom built-ins.

The home is beautifully landscaped with water features, outdoor patios, and a fire pit. Water diverted from Nate’s Creek tumbles down a man-made waterfall into a large pond in front of the house.

The four-car garage is attached with an entrance to the house through the laundry room. There is space for a small workshop with a tool bench.

The home has zoned heating and cooling supported by four forced air gas-fired units. Lights, security cameras, home monitoring systems, blinds, and the stereo are operated by touchscreen and remote control.

The two-story guest house located near the primary residence has a living room and kitchen, four bedrooms, and five baths. A second-story covered porch graces the front.

Inside or out, one cannot escape breathtaking views nor the chance to enjoy the tranquity and balance experienced at Stealey Mountain.

Pool House and Recreation Center
Built in 2013, the lodge-like pool house features classic wood beam construction and tongue-and-groove cedar siding. Inside is a 16 x 44 ft. heated saltwater pool with an adjacent 8 x 8 ft. saltwater hot tub. A computerized "smart system" controls blinds, security system, lighting, and stereo. The pool house, styled for entertaining, has a bar and a large dining area. There is a separate workout area for exercise equipment, a full bathroom, steam shower, and state-of-the-art utility system to control heat and humidity.

The Chateau
From its perch atop the north overlook of the Owl Creek Basin, the Chateau commands the best views on the ranch – the distinctive Chimney Peak, the Sawtooth arête, the San Juan’s, sunrises over Cimarron Ridge, and sunsets behind the Uncompahgre Plateau. Originally built as an owner’s home, the Chateau is perfect for visiting family and guests or a ranch manager. The house has three bedrooms and four baths in 3,865± square feet. High-quality finish work throughout includes 8-foot knotty alder doors, knotty alder cabinetry and trim, stacked flagstone, tiled floors, and distressed hardwoods. The exterior is wood siding and stone with wrap-around decks on the upper and lower levels to take in views of Chimney Rock and the Courthouse Mountains.

The master suite, kitchen, and great room are on the main level with the remaining three bedrooms and a recreation room on the lower level. A two-sided stone fireplace centers the great room, which has large windows to frame spectacular views to both the east and west.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, alder cabinets, distressed hardwood floors and views of Mount Sneffels and the San Juan’s.

The master suite has a wood-burning fireplace and expansive views of the mountains to the east and south.

The recreation room has a wet bar and a built-in gun vault with gun safe. Mechanicals include forced air propane heat and a 75-gallon hot water tank.

There is a detached garage and storage building.

Staff Housing
Two houses for employees include a three bedroom modular home with an open floor plan and a three bedroom, two bath house that has been recently remodeled.

Hunting Cabin
Located at 9,000± feet in the heart of the elk habitat, this day cabin has a kitchen, bathroom, and cupola for spotting game. The view from the cupola is of Ridgway and the mountains to the west.


Annual taxes are estimated at $23,197.00.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

With its flowing streams, forested hillsides, and lush meadows, Stealey Mountain Ranch is the ideal habitat for deer and elk. And, in fact, large herds of elk and deer thrive on the ranch, along with bear, mountain lion, bobcat, lynx, and Merriam’s turkey. The ranch is located in Colorado Game Management Unit 65, which is an open unit for elk tags with deer tags available by draw.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

Formerly a working cattle ranch that produced its own brand of natural beef, the ranch is equipped for handling cattle. The current owner has short-term grazing leases on the ranch. About 200 acres of irrigated hay meadows produce two to three tons per acre. Irrigation is partially supplied by a Big Gun gravity-fed sprinkler system. The current owner grazes livestock through a series of short term leases, however the ranch can also be managed as a traditional cow/calf operation.

As part of a carefully considered relocation project, the current owner moved an equipment shop, cattle barn, and corrals from a compound near the primary residence to ranch headquarters. Now all ranching operations are located on the northwest corner of the property above Nate Creek with access by a separate entrance.

The current owner also built an outer loop bypass road to re-route interior ranch traffic away from the residence and guest house and improve access to upper pastures. The improvement project also included more than four miles of new fencing, with pipe post and barbless wire, cedar posts in the pastures, and a cedar pole fence around the primary residence.

Water System

A fully pressurized system supplies water from two spring galleries to the houses and facilities on the ranch. One spring supplies water to the primary residence, the Chateau, and the guesthouse, while a second, larger spring feeds the headquarters, shop, corrals, cow barns, and staff houses. The spring galleries recover at the rate of 180 and 350 gallons per minute, respectively. Valves facilitate switching flow from one system to the other in the event a system is disabled.

Utility Buildings

Both the 8,700± sq. ft. equipment shop/office and the 4,000± sq. ft. equipment storage shed are insulated and heated.

Eleven miles of gravel road provide good access to all parts of the property.

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