While there are several shared communal fishery developments throughout the United States, none come close to Crystal Creek. The exclusivity and history of this property has no rival. “Wildflower” at Crystal Creek presents an exceptionally rare opportunity to join the limited ownership of this one-of-a-kind fishing community. This property is identified as Lot 5 and features a 4,000± sq. ft. log home in perhaps the best location of the entire property. Exceptionally well positioned, the home has commanding views of an open meadow and surrounding mountains, while conveniently located a stone’s throw between the main stem of the Taylor River and the sight fishing stream known as Hall’s Run. The Taylor River is well known as one of the best trout fisheries in North America and carries a legendary reputation for big, aggressive fish. The 405± acre property is situated along a big bend in the Taylor River, set back from County Road 742 ensuring the utmost privacy. Both banks of the Taylor River mildly flow through the ranch for approximately 1.5± professionally enhanced miles. A spectacular sight fishing stream traversing through the lower meadow offers an additional 1.5± miles of a truly authentic stalking and sight fishing experience. The alpine setting of the property is completely surrounded by national forest with private access in several directions. This private fly fishing aficionado community enjoys paved road access and close proximity to Crested Butte, Gunnison and the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport.
Just the Facts
- Lot 5 at Crystal Creek – Historic shared communal fishing development
- .5 deeded acre fee simple and 1/13th ownership of total acreage
- 1982 4,000± sq. ft. log home offering 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and attached 2 car garage
- World class fishery featuring rainbows, browns and cutthroat averaging 16 to 24 inches
- Located within 30 minutes of both Gunnison, Gunnison–Crested Butte Regional Airport, and Crested Butte and Crested Butte Mountain Resort
- Accessed by year-round paved County Road 742
- 405± acres of total shared ownership featuring 13 total developed homesites
- 1.5± miles of both banks of the Taylor River
- 1.5± miles of Hall’s Run, a built from scratch sight fishing stream
- Enveloped by the 1.7 million-acre Gunnison National Forest
- Domestic well, Gunnison County Electric Association, and All Star gas provides propane
- HOA regulated community
- 2 private gated entry points
- On-site ranch manager
While there are several shared communal fishery developments throughout the United States, none compare to Crystal Creek. Located directly on the Taylor River, the 405± acre community forms an exceptionally scenic property, completely surrounded by 1.7 million acres of Gunnison National Forest.
“Wildflower” at Crystal Creek is set against an unmatched western backdrop with commanding views of an open meadow and surrounding mountains. It is conveniently located just a stone’s throw between the main stem of the Taylor River and the sight fishing stream known as Hall’s Run. The 4,000± square foot log home offers 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and an attached 2 car garage. Soaring walls of windows and an effortless floor plan capture the sheer beauty of this protected and rare alpine setting.
“Wildflower” at Crystal Creek is truly a diverse property, embracing the rich heritage of days past, while leaving a lasting legacy for the future. Some areas are heavily treed, while others are open meadows. Residents enjoy rock outcroppings, tributary creeks, a cascading river, aspen groves, towering pines and a meandering meadow stream. Other than deeded individual homesites, the remainder of the ranch is open to be enjoyed by all owners and their guests.
Approximately 1.5± miles of the highly productive freestone Taylor River traverse this protected property. The enhancements have produced a sustainable natural fishery, with additional pocket water, pools, drift lanes, and exceptional habitat to grow and maintain both insect and fish life benefiting upstream and downstream public waters. It rivals any gold medal quality fishery in the nation.
The Taylor River is well known as one of the best trout fisheries in North America. This is a very rare opportunity to join the exclusive ownership of this one-of-a-kind ranch. The 405± acre property is situated along a big bend in the Taylor River, where a number of tributaries enter the river and create an unusual wide spot in the canyon. The Taylor River rushes through the ranch for 1.5± professionally enhanced miles, providing countless opportunities to fish for trophy trout, in addition to a 1/5± miles of stream fishing through the lower meadow. The alpine setting allows for private access in several directions. The ranch enjoys paved road access and close proximity to Crested Butte (30 miles) and Gunnison (30 miles) which has an airport capable of handling any private aircraft and offers commercial flights. The exclusivity, lifestyle and experience is unrivaled at“Wildflower” at Crystal Creek.
Ideally nestled among 405± acres of total shared ownership with 13 total developed homesites, “Wildflower” at Crystal Creek (also identified as Lot 5) is a 0.5 deeded acre fee simple deeded homesite and features a 4,000± square foot log home in perhaps the best location of the entire property. Situated just 30 minutes from the town of Crested Butte, Gunnison and Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, the homestead boasts direct year-round access on all-weather County Road 742 via two private and gated entrances.
Located between Crested Butte, “the last great Colorado ski town” – and Gunnison, home to Western State College, “Wildflower” at Crystal Creek presents an exceptional locale in the middle of one of the most visually stunning areas of Colorado. Together, these two mountain towns are considered the recreational epicenter of the state, offering something for everyone throughout all four seasons.
The Gunnison River Valley, upstream from the town of Gunnison, consists of three separate drainages. To the northwest is the Ohio Creek Valley. To the north, passing by the town of Crested Butte, is the East River. To the northeast is the fabled Taylor River which passes through the property. The East River and Taylor River forks meet in Almont to form the Gunnison River. Gunnison County is 3,239 square miles and approximately 78% of the county is federally owned.
The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is located one mile southwest of Gunnison at an elevation of 7,678 feet and served commercially by United, United Express and American Airlines. The FAA identifier is GUC. Instrument approaches include GPS, RNAV, ILS, and VOR. Runway 06-24 supports 757 charters with 9,400 x 150 ft. running southwest-northeast. Runway 17-35, also asphalt, is 3,000 x 150 ft. The airport is owned by Gunnison County and includes a full service FBO, charter service, available rental cars and all-weather operations. “Wildflower” at Crystal Creek is less than a 30-minute drive from Gunnison/Crested Butte Airport.
Crested Butte is an historic mountain town originally sought after for its natural resources. 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 previously named the “Best Annual Festival in the Mountains.” Mountain biking enthusiasts from around the world come to visit The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, headquartered in Crested Butte.
The three main economic drivers of Gunnison County are tourism, education, and ranching. Gunnison provides all the necessities of a small town, in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Gunnison supports a growing economy, a variety of local health services, Gunnison Middle School, Gunnison High school, and a state college. It is also home to a convention center, fire station, several financial institutions, fly-shops, sporting goods stores, churches, a library, museums, art galleries, antique shops, and a variety of restaurants.
The elevation of the “Wildflower” at Crystal Creek is approximately 8,750 feet. The canyon walls and trails leading to higher points on the property reach 9,000± feet. At higher elevations, the summers in Colorado are mild and cool with heavy snowfall in the winter. The year-round weather conditions for Crested Butte make it one of the most inviting locations in Colorado, offering terrific summer conditions averaging in the mid-70’s, and a bounty of sunshine-filled days. Winter conditions are usually sunny, averaging slightly under 200 inches of annual snowfall. Temperatures vary from below freezing to mid-30’s and 40’s. Total annual precipitation averages 23 inches. Known for its consistent sunshine, Gunnison receives approximately 10± inches of precipitation and averages between 46 and 54 inches of annual snowfall. A typical winter day is in the low 20’s to 30’s and summertime temperatures vary from the mid-70’s to high 80’s during the day and low’s in the mid-30’s to low 40’s at night.
The Taylor Canyon is 20 miles in length and presents massive sheer rock walls up to 400 feet in height. The majority of the property is set back from the county road providing a high level of privacy and seclusion.
Summer evenings present an opportunity to relax, recount the day, and enjoy life. Beautiful irrigated meadows combined with massive rock outcroppings punctuate portions of the property. Two trout-filled ponds will foster incredible memories for children and grandchildren. Immediate access to the national forest and wilderness area allows for ample recreational opportunities including hiking the many trails or simply watching wildlife. A magnificent sparkling river is the capstone of this truly unique offering.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Ranch Manager: The manager and his family are available to assist a new owner with overseeing construction of a new home, trash and utility services, landscaping, house cleaning, vehicular support, and other services which can be negotiated between the owner and the ranch manager. The salaries of the ranch manager and family are paid by the homeowners through the Homeowners Association. However, the Ranch Manager is an employee of Wilder on the Taylor and not a member individually.
The purpose of the Homeowners Association is to control and maintain the common areas of the development. The current Homeowners Association is composed of 12 members. The homeowners principally reside elsewhere and utilize the ranch for both summer and winter holiday recreation. Each member is assessed his/her pro rata share of the maintenance expense, is entitled to one vote per home site and is limited to four fly rods per household. Any major Wilder on the Taylor capital expenditures requires a two-thirds approval of the members. Initial development costs include acquisition expense, construction of the maintenance cabin and barn, road and bridge construction, irrigation lines, river and stream improvements, fish- stocking, site improvements and any and all engineering. Legal and development costs will be subject to the approval of the Homeowners Association members. No physical changes can be made to the common area lands without the majority approval. No future home sites will be added to the property unless approved by all local authorities and 100% of the homeowner’s.
Officers of the Association are elected by the members. Existing and future covenants or restrictions can be changed with a majority approval of the Homeowners Association members. (Additional information about the by-laws of the Crystal Creek Homeowners Association, Inc. and Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions is available upon request).
A new owner will have the opportunity to build a home subject to the General Guidelines of the Covenants and Restrictions. The construction of a new home shall not exceed 5,000 sq. ft. of livable space, 35 ft. in height and construction materials shall be a combination of wood, log and stone. Also included in the construction envelope is an allowance for a 600 sq. ft. attached garage. The garage must open at the rear of the structure and is not permitted to face the river. A minimum set back of 200 ft. from the main stem of the river is also required.
Estimated 2007 annual expenses average $25,000-$30,000 per homeowner and all expenses are billed monthly to the individual homeowner by the Ranch Manager. Expenses include salaries, insurance, maintenance, fire prevention systems and any other costs approved by the Homeowners Association. Each homeowner is billed for services directly attributed to their individual property in addition to their proportionate part of general expenses.
• Telephone service is provided by Qwest
• Gunnison County Electric Association supplies power
• All Star Gas provides propane
A classic 4,000± square foot log home, constructed in 1982, features five bedrooms, four bathrooms an attached two car garage, updated kitchen, recreational room, and an expansive living room offering high ceilings, large windows and picturesque views. The residence is exceptionally well positioned on the property offering the utmost privacy and a premier location, a stone’s throw from the main stem of the Taylor River. The home is equidistantly positioned on the opposite side by Hall’s Run, the sight fishing stream, and a beautifully landscaped cascading waterfall. Facing south, the home overlooks a large irrigated meadow and Hall’s Run, while being enveloped by a large stand of dark timber. While the residence is very functional, offers a simple layout and design and has served the family very well; it can also be remodeled and updated according to the governing HOA and bylaws.
The property taxes for each one-acre homestead will be determined when purchased and will be subject to change after completion of improvements. Property taxes for existing homeowners are in the range of $5,000-$6,000 annually.
Enveloped by the Gunnison National Forest, “Wildflower” at Crystal Creek affords a world-class fishery featuring rainbows, browns, and cutthroats averaging 16 to 24 inches. Ranch fishing records document numerous rainbows in excess of 31 inches. Clearly, no fishing trip to Colorado is complete without fly fishing the Taylor River.
As proof of its productivity, the Taylor River currently holds two Colorado state released fish records: a rainbow trout of 40.25 inches and a Snake River cutthroat trout of 30 inches. The Taylor River is also home to some of the largest stream-born trout in the lower 48 states. Their large size is attributed to the tailwater from the Taylor Reservoir Dam providing a constant food source throughout the year, the bulk of which is protein-rich Mysis shrimp. The past three state record catch-and-release rainbows have come from the Taylor River tailwater. Successful fishermen can reasonably expect to catch 4-to-8 pound brown and rainbow trout. The possibility of attracting a 20-pound rainbow is within reason and 10-to-15 pound fish are not unheard of.
The Taylor River tailwater below the dam flows for approximately 20 miles before merging with the East River and creating the Gunnison River. After a short stretch of fairly flat water just after the dam, the river increases gradient and speed throughout upper Taylor Canyon. Beginning 6 miles below the dam, the pocket water gives way to a series of riffles, pools and runs as the river enters the ranch.
Approximately 2± miles of water on the ranch have been professionally enhanced to create improved holding water and feeding lanes for trophy trout. The fish in this section of the ranch are leaner than the Mysis-fed trout upstream on public waters. They are also significantly less educated and will strike a streamer or dry fly with abandon. In addition, Wilder on the Taylor also offers challenging small stream fishing via a 2/3-mile creek in the lower meadow, fed by diverted river water, to provide another fishing resource and spawning habitat.
In addition to the Taylor River, the ranch enjoys another 1.5 miles of Hall’s Run – a spring-creek style fishery, mere steps from “Wildflower” at Crystal Creek. Comprised of two main sections, Hall’s Run affords a spectacular timbered setting for fishing, as well as a meadow-style fishery for “spot and stalk” style. As a side-channel fishery, it produces extraordinary line-ripping trout that hide in the undercut banks and deep holding pools.
With its improved habitat work, the Taylor River and Hall’s Run offer a trout fishing experience that exists in very few places. Be on the lookout for classic riffles and deep pools, met by epic hatches and abundant natural aquatic life which create the high quality of trout that are present here.
Homeowners Association Fishing Regulations
The Homeowners Association requires that owners and guests abide by the following regulations to ensure the continued productivity of the fishery and enjoyment of all anglers.
- Fly fishing with barbless hooks and catch-and-release only.
- Each member is urged to exercise great care in the handling of all fish.
- All Colorado Fish and Game laws must be observed and obeyed at all times and shall be incorporated and become part of the Homeowners Association fishing regulations.
- An official armband must be worn at all times with each member’s lot number.
- Each member is limited to 4 rods on the river and stream at one time.
- A daily log and/or fishing report form must be completed showing the total number of fish caught, released and kept. This report must be maintained and submitted to the ranch manager at the end of the day.
- Each member is required to maintain a minimum distance of 100 yards from another member while fishing.
- A member must not occupy a “hole” for any longer than 60 minutes.
- Catch-and-release daily limit of trout is a total of 20, including those fish “hooked and played” and those “landed.”
- All trout over 14 inches must be returned to the stream alive.
- The daily limit of 20, as established by the Colorado Department of Wildlife, for trout caught between 8 and 14 inches may be kept for premises consumption.
- No trophy fish are to be destroyed. If a member wishes to display a trophy mount, it must be measured, weighed and photographed. A taxidermist must prepare a replica.
- No fishing from the bridges on the property.
- Artificial feeding is prohibited.
- All members of the Homeowners Association are responsible for the behavior of their guests including strict compliance with the fishing regulations. All fishing guests must be either visiting members who are present or residing in members’ homes if members are not present.
- Pond Fishing - Armbands are not required for fishing in the two stocked ponds on the property. Fly fishing and spin fishing are allowed however, all fishing is to be done with a single barbless hook. A maximum of two fish per day can be removed. It is preferred by the Association that the fish used for on-premises consumption be taken from the ponds.
With over 1.7 million acres of pure Colorado forest and wilderness, Wildflower at Crystal Creek offers an abundance of recreational opportunities. In 1853, Capitan John Gunnison explored the area searching for a route through the mountains and over the continental divide to develop a railroad. President Theodore Roosevelt created Gunnison National Forest, originally called the Cochetopa Forest Reserve, on June 13, 1905. Also adjacent to the property is Fossil Ridge Wilderness and Recreation Management Areas. An additional 31,539 acres was completed in 1993 offering more than 22 miles of established trail systems. There are several forest access points from the ranch that are not available to the general public.
Located 7± miles upstream of the ranch is the 2,033 surface acre Taylor Park Reservoir. The lake boasts excellent year-round fishing, summer and winter activities and seasonal boating recreation. Another attractive recreation area is the Curecanti National Recreation Area, located just west of Gunnison and consisting of 41,972 total acres. This designated recreation area has three major reservoirs: the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Morrow Point Reservoir and Crystal Reservoir. Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest man-made body of water. At maximum capacity, the reservoir is 20 miles long with approximately 96 miles of shoreline. In May of 2007, a state record lake trout was caught in Blue Mesa Reservoir weighing 50.35 pounds and measuring 44.25 inches in length. Blue Mesa Reservoir is also recognized as the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States.
Morrow Point is the beginning of the famous “Black Canyon” and the Crystal Reservoir is further downstream on the Gunnison River. Morrow Point and Crystal Reservoirs are only accessible by a designated trail system and boating is limited to hand-carried crafts and guided tours.
The Black Canyon is a geological marvel with enormous vertical walls rising to a height of 2,722 feet and stretching more than 1,500 feet at its widest point. 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. The 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. In 1933 The Black Canyon was designated a National Park.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is a short 35-minute drive from the property and is a very attractive family-friendly ski resort known for extreme skiing, offering 121 established runs, 2,775 feet of vertical drop and 300± inches of annual snowfall. Monarch Mountain, approximately a 50-minute drive east of Gunnison, boasts 350± inches of annual snowfall, 54 runs, a vertical drop of 1,170 feet and some of the best powder and tree skiing Colorado has to offer.
Directly south of Gunnison is the Dos Rios Country Club featuring a 6,535-yard 18- hole golf course stylishly intertwined with the Gunnison River. The Skyland Mountain Golf Resort at Crested Butte offers a 7,208-yard 18-hole Pete Dye championship course and the large golf school known as John Jacobs Practical Golf School.
This area is widely recognized as one of the best locations in Colorado for its tremendous wildlife and hunting opportunities. Elk, mule deer, bear, mountain lion, Merriam turkey, blue grouse and several other species of small game animals inhabit the adjacent national forest. Several of Colorado’s state record big game Pope and Young and Boone and Crockett record animals have been harvested from this area.
Habitat and migration maps furnished by the Colorado Division of Wildlife are available upon request. These maps cross-reference the location of the Wilder on the Taylor property with specific species data taken by the division of wildlife offices.
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Our Hall and Hall broker, Randy Shelton, kept us in the loop as though it were. Our sale hinged on that of larger surrounding parcels, and when an initial offer fell through, Randy went back to the drawing board and found a suitable buyer who shared our values. That meant a lot to us, as our property had been in the family for more than 100 years.
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Bill McDavid was an outstanding and very patient partner in this sale. His expertise in the market and marketing of the property was excellent. I would use him again in a heartbeat to either buy or sell a ranch property.
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