Westlands is one of Colorado’s premier mountain recreational and retreat properties. Within its 4,603± deeded acres is perhaps the best private river fishing in the mountain states, excellent big game hunting, bird hunting, an exquisite owner’s home and guest quarters, extensive support buildings, four hole Greg Norman designed golf course, tennis court and immaculately maintained grounds.
Located in the treasured White River valley in Colorado’s western slope near Meeker, Colorado, Westlands has hosted many distinguished guests, from CEO’s of large corporations to well-known dignitaries, political figures and celebrities. Westlands has been carefully developed and nurtured over the last 30 years by Henry R. Kravis who has spared no expense and whose fine eye for detail has created a family and business retreat that is unrivaled.
The centerpiece of the property is the fishery on the North Fork of the White River. Fly fishing on this water is something most people can only fantasize about with the potential of landing multiple 10-15 pound, 24 to 30 plus inch rainbows and cutbows in a single session. With its many pools, islands and confluences, this fishery is completely private that likely could not be duplicated in today’s world. In total, Westlands has over five miles of live water on both forks of the White River.
Westlands has a desirable mixture of forested mountain land, open parks, productive hay meadows and a classic, picturesque freestone river. The majority of the property lies along the North Fork of the White River, in addition to a stretch of the South Fork. Over five miles of live water is found on the ranch. An appealing diversity of heavily forested mountain terrain interspersed with open parks leads to productive hay meadow on the western side of the ranch. White River National Forest, BLM and State Wildlife lands comprise most of the land adjacent to the ranch.
Mountain vegetation includes old growth spruce and Douglas fir stands, huge aspen groves and a variety of colorful brush species. Current ownership has taken great care to manage forest health and the ranch is used as a real-life example of exemplary forest management by public land managers. Forest health, diverse vegetation and limited hunting contribute to bountiful wildlife populations.
Four building sites are located throughout the property. Three of these are located in the White River valley and contain the support buildings and housing for ranch employees. The owner’s compound is south of the river valley on a secluded hillside with a manicured lawn and tremendous views of surrounding landscapes. With only the sounds of nature from the surrounding environs and not another building in sight, the owner’s home, outdoor pool and two guest cabins enjoy a tranquility rarely experienced in today’s world.
Westlands has a long history as one of the preeminent hunting and fishing properties in the valley, back to the days when Theodore Roosevelt hunted and fished the ranch and surrounding area. River fishing has always been outstanding on this property. With the oversight of Mr. Kravis, a two plus mile stretch of the North Fork has been developed into a private fishery that rivals or exceeds any trout water in the mountain states. Entirely wadeable, this section of river incorporates over 30 holding pools, runs, islands and channel confluences. Much of the river structure was implemented nearly 30 years ago, prior to today’s stricter regulations. This stretch of river now holds a healthy population of rainbow and cutbow trout weighing up to 15 pounds along with a good population of native cutthroat, brookies, browns and the occasional whitefish. Complementing the enhanced river section, there are more than three additional miles of the North and South Forks of the White River along with two ponds.
An extraordinary attraction of Westlands is the private golf course. Designed and played by Greg Norman, this four-hole course lays out along the river, with one tee box located across a channel bridge on an island. Additionally, a tennis court is located adjacent to the course.
Another popular recreational activity on the ranch involves shooting sports, which are enjoyed by guests whether accomplished marksmen or first-timers. There are challenging bird shooting areas along with more traditional trap shooting.
With thousands of acres of incredibly scenic mountain landscape, the ranch is also outfitted with miles of roads and trails for horseback riding, biking, and hiking. The entire ranch is self-contained down to its own woodworking, mechanical shop, greenhouse and second to none accommodations for an owner’s family and guests.
Westlands carries the reputation as one of the finest fisheries in the country for the massive size and numbers of trophy trout. While fishing alone is reason enough to consider the property, Westlands has so much more to offer. At 4,603± acres a variety of other recreational opportunities can be enjoyed within the completely private confines of the ranch. No detail has been overlooked in the quality and comfort of the owner’s home and guest accommodations. Grounds and overall property condition are carefully managed to a very high standard. This extraordinary property is being offered on a turn- key basis allowing the next owner immediate enjoyment of this singular ranch.
Westlands is located in Rio Blanco County, approximately 23 miles southeast of Meeker, Colorado, on paved County Road 8, also known as the Flat Tops Scenic Byway. The property is situated above the confluence of the North and South Forks of the White River, adjacent to Buford. The White is a large river system, draining approximately 3,770 square miles of the western slope of the Flat Tops Mountain Range. Most of the Flat Tops mountains lie within White River National Forest as does the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.
Meeker, with a population of about 2,400, is the county seat of Rio Blanco County and has retained its culture as a true western town still primarily influenced by agriculture and recreation. The resort communities of Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Vail and Beaver Creek are all within a 1-1/2 to 2-hour drive. Meeker boasts a 6,500 foot paved jet-capable strip less than a 30-minute drive from the ranch. The nearest commercial air service is available at Hayden, approximately 65 miles to the north of Meeker or Grand Junction, which is approximately 100 miles southwest.
The White River Valley boasts some of the best fishing and hunting in Colorado and is home to a number of large agricultural and recreational ranches. The valley is characterized by stewardship-minded ranch owners whose primary motivations for ownership are protecting and enjoying their properties.
Meeker is an attractive mountain town that offers a full complement of services from restaurants and motels, to banks, grocery stores, and other essential services. It remains a town with a strong agricultural base that has embraced the additional recreational activities in the area without losing its character. It has a unique charm and is quite unlike many of the other nearby towns and cities in that respect.
Summer climate at Westlands is ideal with sunny days and moderate temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s followed by cool nights. Winter days with cold temperatures are typical but don’t represent the extremes of many mountain valleys. Snowfall will accumulate throughout the winter with greater snowpack at the higher elevations of the property. With the low humidity and abundant sunshine, Colorado is noted for, outdoor activities can be enjoyed every month of the year. The property runs from just under 7,000 feet elevation on the west to 8,500 feet on its eastern boundary.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Deeded Acres: 4,603±
Total Acres: 4,603±
Extensive improvements provide for a self-contained property with owner and guest accommodations of the finest quality and buildings that support the wide array of recreational activities available at Westlands. Improvements are primarily found in four building sites. While some of the structures are original to the ranch and date back several generations, most of the buildings were constructed by the current owner.
OWNER’S COMPOUND: The impressive owner’s compound is located in the heart of the ranch on an elevated bench with ultimate privacy. The structures are nestled into a forest, yet offer stunning panoramic views spanning across the valley. As one approaches the site on the private ranch road, the spectacular owner’s residence lies at the end of a manicured lawn, framed by aspen trees and pine forest. Impressive stone masonry forms the lower level of the home transitioning into the upper levels of log construction.
MASTER CRAFTSMANSHIP: This custom built dwelling of superlative quality and craftsmanship, boasts massive open bent-log rafters, numerous fireplaces - several of which have mantels out of European castles. The upper two levels include four bedrooms and the master suite, library, great room, dining room, bar, an extensively appointed commercial kitchen with granite counters, its own fireplace, and staff dining area, butler’s pantry with marble counters.
MASTER SUITE: The master suite includes remote controlled window treatments, two master baths, marble floors and counters, and steam showers. Flooring is primarily stone and hardwood, and many interior walls are finished with oak and Hawaiian Koa Mahogany wood. Each floor has its own central stereo system with speakers installed within the walls and ceilings. A state of the art security system has recently been installed.
The lower walkout level, includes a wine cellar, game room, laser projector and rollup large screen theatre, indoor hot tub with masseuse area, sauna and steam rooms, wet bar, walk-in coolers, utilities and storage. Large patios and decks are accessed from different rooms in the home providing a relaxing environment and scenic views. An outdoor swimming pool with deck and comfortable lounging area is located just a few steps from the owner’s dwelling.
GUEST CABINS: Flanking the main residence are two large guest cabins of comparable quality and construction. The cabins are constructed as a duplex with one private suite on either side. Each of the four suites are impeccably furnished and feature full baths, stone fireplaces, writing desks, sitting areas and outdoor porches. These accommodations have served distinguished guests as the perfect retreat following a day of memorable adventures on the ranch.
Adjacent to the home is a carriage house with the lower level utilized as garages and the upper level containing two bedrooms and two bathrooms with high-end components. A secluded structure located out of sight from the owner’s residence is used for staff housing. It consists of five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and is constructed of stone on the lower level and a combination log and siding on the two upper levels in keeping with the design of the main structure. A small log horse barn is located a short distance from this compound as well as a large outdoor cookout and entertainment area.
RANCH HEADQUARTERS: Original ranch headquarters buildings are located along the North Fork of the White River just off County Road #8. Access is controlled with an electric guard gate on a tree-lined lane adjacent to several acres of irrigated lawn and aspen trees. The ranch office is a classic log structure reminiscent of a settler’s cabin. Next to the office is the Bell Ranch house, a historic log home currently used for employee housing. Also located at this site is an older structure once used as a lodge. The lodge is constructed of stone and logs and is equipped with a commercial kitchen, three sleeping rooms with private bathrooms, a common great-room with fireplace and an additional two fixture bathroom. Attached to this building is a one-bedroom apartment and storage areas separated from the main portion of the building by a covered driveway.
GOLF COURSE: A Greg Norman designed four-hole golf course is located at ranch headquarters adjacent to the White River. Complete with tee boxes, sand bunkers, putting greens, and water hazards, views from course include the scenic White River valley and surrounding mountainsides. A short distance from the lodge and the golf course are support facilities for the golf course that include a golf maintenance shop and covered sand storage. A fenced tennis court is located in this area as well as sports center building with garage bays and room for fishing and other recreational equipment.
SUPPORT FACILITIES: Additional ranch support buildings are located towards the west side of the property. Structures include helicopter hangar with office, storage and concrete landing pad, metal building set up as a complete woodworking shop, open equipment storage with an office enclosure, mechanical/welding shop, chemical storage shed, small horse barn with loafing sheds and a hoop style greenhouse with permanent end walls. Nearby, a century-old historic barn has been preserved. Across the South Fork of the White River are a small primitive log cabin and bird holding pens.
ADDITIONAL STAFF HOUSING: Additional staff housing is located in two structures approximately 1.5 miles east of the headquarters along County Road #8 adjacent to the White River. One residence is a two-story home with three bedrooms, living space, kitchen and three bathrooms. Across the lane is a housing and support building including two, two bedroom/two bathroom apartments, in addition to seven bedrooms and four full bathrooms, kitchens and a common laundry facility. This self-contained facility also hosts a drive-in game processing room with metal interior walls, drained concrete flooring, and overhead pulley system. The room can accommodate a large pick-up or trailer for unloading large game.
The ranch benefits from reliable irrigation water rights. Irrigation water is supplied to several ditches that divert water from both Forks of the White River, Cherry Creek, and Forbes Creek. The White River is fed by a large drainage that carries a high volume of water, resulting in an adequate to abundant supply of water in most years. Domestic water is supplied by wells located near building sites. The water rights appurtenant to Westlands are included with the sale of the real property.
Any and all mineral rights currently owned by seller appurtenant to the ranch are included with the sale of the real property. Exact mineral ownership is not known, and no representations are made as to any aspect of mineral ownership. There are no oil or gas wells on the ranch or in the immediate vicinity. A gravel quarry on the property is used to supply ranch needs.
The White River is widely regarded as one of Colorado’s top fishing rivers. Spring provides a heavy caddis hatch with excellent dry fly fishing available throughout the summer and fall months. The river stays open most of the winter with good nymph and streamer fishing making this a year-round resource.
Years ago, Westlands enhanced this naturally productive river by adding a variety of structures throughout a two-mile stretch of totally private water on the North Fork in the central part of the ranch. The majority of the structures are precisely calibrated dams constructed from large native rocks that form pools, small waterfalls, riffles and runs, perfect for holding, growing and sustaining large numbers of 10-15 pound and 30 inch plus rainbow and cutbow trout. These are strong and healthy fish that will take an angler deep into their backing and require skill to land. The truly amazing aspect of this fishery is that one can catch and release several of these trophies in a single session.
This incredible fishery is the signature feature of Westlands providing once in a lifetime angling opportunities for ranch guests. In addition to the trophy fish, ranch waters support good populations of native cutthroat, rainbows, brookies, browns and the occasional whitefish. Other quality fishing water is found above and below the enhanced section of the river as well as along the South Fork of the White. Two ponds provide stillwater fishing for an additional diversion. An exceptional feature of Westlands is the five miles of Blue Ribbon trout fishing on the North and South Forks of White River.
The Flat Tops region is well known for abundant populations of elk, mule deer, turkey and black bear. Indeed, the local White River elk herd is the largest herd in the world. As evidenced by the significant resident and migratory herds that utilize its lands, Westlands has perfect habitat for this wildlife. The ranch shares an extensive boundary with literally hundreds of thousands of acres of public land. Current ownership only allows hunting by employees so the ranch acts as a sanctuary for game animals throughout the public hunting seasons. In short, Westlands provides phenomenal private big game hunting.
In addition to big game, Westlands has an upland bird hunting program that simulates the driven hunts popular in Europe. A typical hunt involves releasing partridge and pheasant on a ridge above shooting stands. The birds fly over the shooting area towards the valley below. The shooting window is fairly narrow, which combined with the speed of the birds, creates a very challenging hunt. Many of the birds escape and are later hunted with pointing and flushing dogs in the lush riparian area and grass fields along the river. Located near the owner’s compound, a trap shooting area is used to hone shooting skills and for friendly competitions.
While Westlands is a self-contained recreational gem, the surrounding area complements the ranch. The White River Valley is blessed with a complete inventory of Colorado wildlife and year around recreational opportunities. It was in the upper White River Valley where Arthur C. Carhart first developed the concept of designating large areas of our most pristine National Forests as “Wilderness Areas.” He was determined that these unique treasures be saved from development. Convenient access from the ranch to White River National Forest provides further recreational opportunities in terms of riding, hiking and camping in the warmer months and snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter.
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