For Sale

Oregon Trail River Ranch

$10,700,000 Torrington, WY 5,166± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Located along five and a half miles of the North Platte River southeast of Torrington, this 5,166± deeded acre ranch combines 480± acres of highly productive irrigated cropland, 450± under pivot, with lush river bottom habitat and strong foothill grazing. Hay and grain crops, an owner rated 300 head cow herd and seasonal grazing for 700-800 AUMs give the ranch excellent diversity. Headquarters include good outbuildings, a nice set of pipe corrals and a newly remodeled ranch home. Wildlife resources on the ranch include excellent deer and antelope hunting plus terrific waterfowl hunting in season. The Oregon Trail River Ranch is a well located and highly productive working ranch with excellent recreational amenities.

Just the Facts

  •  5,166± deeded acres
  •  5 ½ miles of the North Platte River
  • 480± pivot irrigated acres
  • Excellent livestock handling facilities
  • High quality deer and antelope hunting
  • Located in the heart of the waterfowl Central Flyway
  • A well-balanced ranch with solid production and excellent recreational amenities

General Description

The Oregon Trail River Ranch runs along five and a half miles of the North Platte River approximately five miles southeast of Torrington. The ranch headquarters lie in the middle of the ranch and consist of a newly remodeled ranch home, several outbuildings including various grain bins, tool and cattle sheds, a Quonset building and a nice set of pipe corrals making this a fully functional operation. The ranch itself consists of over five miles of lush riparian river bottom with adjacent scenic and productive foothill grazing land that offers habitat and cover for antelope and deer as well as summer range for the ranch’s cattle herd. The 480± acres of irrigation lie above the river bottom and add further diversification with the ability to raise cash crops. 

Broker's Comments

The Oregon Trail River Ranch is a true production ranch that offers one the ability – not often found in Wyoming - to be diversified between crops and livestock. The real bonus is the five and a half miles of river bottom that offer amazing habitat for wildlife, waterfowl and birds as well as protection for livestock. The location near the attractive and vibrant small town of Torrington makes this an appealing location for a family. 

Learn about the locale

Location

Situated on the North Platte River in eastern Wyoming near the Nebraska border, the Oregon Trail River Ranch is located just southeast of Torrington. The ranch is accessed by heading south of Torrington on Highway 85, then turning easterly down Highway 92 towards Huntley and then due east a little over a mile on County Road 64 where the ranch headquarters are situated at the western boundary of the ranch. The ranch runs along the beautiful North Platte River for five and a half miles, providing lush river bottom habitat loaded with cottonwood trees. The town of Torrington is the county seat and provides most basic amenities as well as being the home to Eastern Wyoming College and Torrington Livestock Market and Sale Barn. Torrington itself has a small municipal airport, with Scottsbluff, Nebraska having the nearest regional airport 32 miles away. It is 182 miles to Denver International Airport. 

Locale

The Oregon Trail River Ranch sits in the midst of prime farming and ranching country. The mild and temperate climate in this region makes it an ideal location for raising cattle and dryland and irrigated crops consisting of native and alfalfa hay, corn, dry edible beans, sugar beets, potatoes, sunflowers and wheat. Beef cattle and cattle feed are the primary commodities of the area, with Goshen County producing more cattle annually than any other Wyoming county.

The town of Torrington has a population of around 6,700, giving it an ideal small agriculture town atmosphere but with plenty of amenities including several eating and shopping establishments along with an 18-hole golf course, several churches, and a small community hospital. Torrington also boasts the largest livestock auction operation and barn in the state, as well as the Western Sugar factory and is the home of Eastern Wyoming College. Public schools in Torrington include Lincoln Elementary School (grades K-2), Trail Elementary School (grades 3-5), Torrington Middle School (grades 6-8) and Torrington High School (grades 9-12).

The historic North Platte River bottom was part of the original Oregon Trail route used by fur trappers and traders; ruts from the wagon wheels can still be seen on the ranch. Museums and historical sites in Goshen County include Fort Laramie, the Hell Gap Paleoindian Site, the Homesteaders Museum and the Grattan Massacre Site. Recreation opportunities in the area are abundant with hunting and fishing, water sports at the nearby Hawk Springs, Springer and Guernsey Reservoirs.

Climate

Torrington has the typical semi-arid climate of the High Plains region, with high temperatures reaching the 90’s in July and August and low temperatures dropping to 10 degrees in the winter months of December and January. For the majority of the year, the average temperatures run between 20 to 40 degrees in the winter months and 60 to 70 in the summer months. Annual average rainfall is 13.8 inches with precipitation reaching an average of 2.5 inches in the wettest months of May and June and about half of the year receiving over an inch of rain on average. Snowfall is the highest in the months of February and March with as much as 8 inches. Wind speeds also tend to be strongest in the months of March and April at over 12 mph on average. 

History

The Torrington and Goshen County area is rich with history; the North Platte River served as a route for fur traders and trappers bound for the Rocky Mountains. Later, in the 1840’s and 1850’s, the same route functioned as part of the route for early pioneers following the historic Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. On the ranch and in nearby town of Guernsey, ruts created by the wagon wheels of pioneers can still be seen and are as deep as five feet. By the late 1850’s this route was regularly scheduled for east-west stagecoaches carrying passengers and the U.S. mail, as well as becoming part of the route for the short-lived Pony Express. From September 1876 to February 1887, a north-south Cheyenne to Deadwood stagecoach line ran to the gold fields in the Dakota Territory in the midst of the Black Hills gold rush. The town of Torrington was founded in 1900 by W.G. Curtis and was named for his hometown of Torrington, Connecticut. The growing city soon became the main source of civilization for nearby farmers and ranchers.

Historical sites and museums in the area include the Fort Laramie National Historic Site, the Hell Gap Paleoindian Site, the Oregon Trail Ruts, the Grattan Massacre Site, and the Homesteaders Museum.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

  • 5,166± deeded acres
  • 480± irrigated acres; 450± acres under pivot
  • 4,686± range and river riparian acres

Deeded Acres: 5,166±
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 5,166±

Improvements

The Oregon Trail River Ranch has very comfortable and functional improvements. In 2020 the current owner added an Amish built new Headquarters shop which includes a very nicely finished air conditioned 3 bedroom apartment with high end finishes. Including a very nice kitchen, hardwood floors and tiled showers. The adjoining shop has 3 bays, is insulated with concrete floors and a restroom. There is also a one story, three bedroom 1,288 square foot ranch style house that was built in the late 1950’s but has recently been remodeled. In addition to excellent pipe corrals and livestock handling facilities, the headquarters includes a detached four car garage, three grain bins, various tool and livestock sheds, and a 4,800 square foot Quonset building with concrete floor that is used as a shop and equipment storage. A new Amish built hay barn was added in 2019 with 220v power and a transformer to accommodate motor homes. 

Water Resources

The North Platte River runs along five and a half miles of the ranch and is a key resource for the waterfowl and wildlife on the ranch. In addition to the river system, the ranch has numerous water wells that are the water supply for the irrigated cropland. For the livestock water, there is a pipeline and tanks running throughout the ranch. Additionally, the overflow of a water well on the southwest end of the ranch supplies water to a couple of ponds.  

Water Rights

These are records found in the State Engineer’s Office and Board of Control records and may or may not reflect the actual situation on the ground. Water Rights are not guaranteed by the Seller nor by Hall and Hall. It is Buyer’s responsibility to conduct their own water rights search and investigation. 

Mineral Rights

Sellers will convey 50 percent of all the mineral rights that they own. The Seller has not completed a mineral rights search.

Taxes

Based upon past years, the real estate taxes are estimated to run around $15,717.69 per year.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Fishery Resources

The North Platte River is home to a variety of fish as it traverses through Wyoming. The higher elevations of the river have exceptional trout fishing and the lower reaches, near the ranch, hold a variety of warmer water fish such as perch, walleye, bass, catfish and green sunfish, as well as the occasional brown trout. Nearby Hawk Springs and Guernsey Reservoirs also provide excellent angling.

Wildlife Resources

With the lush river bottom, the Oregon Trail River Ranch supports and holds a variety of wildlife, including big game species of whitetail deer, mule deer as well as antelope. The area is considered to be in the heart of the waterfowl Central Flyway, a bird migration route that follows the Great Plains in the United States and Canada, accounting for a high number of waterfowl species. This allows for exceptional duck and goose hunting. Other species of wildlife include bald and golden eagles, hawks, owls and numerous species of songbirds. The area is also home to cottontail rabbits, red squirrels, and wild turkeys. 

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The Oregon Trail River Ranch has been run as a diversified operation with 480± acres of pivot irrigated cropland where hay and grain crops have historically been raised. Other crops such as corn, dry edible beans, sugar beets, potatoes, sunflowers and wheat also do well in this area. In addition to the cropland, the ranch runs a cow herd of 300± Animal Units year-round and they are easily able to run another 700-800 AUM’s seasonally. This offers good diversity and a pretty optimal year-round operating plan. The current owner completely revamped the working corral system with hydraulic chute and working pens. The current owner produces approximately 2,000 tons of hay annually.

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