Legacy Ranches and Fine Sporting Properties

Bear Creek Meadows

Bayfield, Colorado (La Plata County)
$925,000
82 +/- Deeded Acres

With great water rights, important wildlife habitat, and scenic accessible frontage along Bear Creek.

Located in the Pine River Valley on Bear Creek with Strong Development & Conservation Potential
Featuring
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  • 82 acres (~23 acres irrigated pasture)
  • 25 miles east of Durango, Colorado
  • Neighbors the San Juan National Forest and the famous Weminuche Wilderness Area
  • Beautiful wildlife including elk, mule deer, and turkeys
  • Historic improvements (primitive)
  • Adjudicated water rights
  • A half-mile of Bear Creek
  • Residential and agricultural development potential
  • Attractive conservation opportunity
Introduction
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The 82-acre Bear Creek Meadows is a gorgeous mountain property located in La Plata, County 25 miles (30 minutes) east of Durango, CO and 12 miles (20 minutes) north of Bayfield.  Situated in the scenic Los Pinos River Valley, this remarkably well-located property offers easy access to both town and the great outdoors.

Situated at the corner of County Road 501 and Bear Creek Road, the ranch is a 5-minute drive from the San Juan National Forest and a 10-minute drive from the friendly town of Bayfield. Graced at an elevation of approx. 7,000-7,200 ft elevation, Bear Creek Meadows offers bucolic grazing lands for livestock and scenic wildlife habitat for elk, mule deer, and turkey.

A terrific investment opportunity, with tremendous development and conservation potential, Bear Creek Meadows affords attractive limited residential development possibilities, that with ~24 irrigable acres could be paired with the burgeoning boutique farm-to-table commercial gardening boom as a potential side-business.

Lay of the Land
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Improvements

Though once the headquarters for a larger ranching operation there are currently no functional improvements on the property.  There is a historic abandoned Victorian-era home on the ranch that is easily viewable from the Bear County Road, which is in primitive condition and not occupiable. La Plata Electric utility service runs along the boundary of the property.

Location

Bear Creek Meadows is a short thirty-five minute drive east from Durango, CO and a ten minute drive north from the town of Bayfield. The gorgeous Pinos River Valley makes for a lovely setting for the property with the impressive San Juan Mountain Range and the 3 million acre San Juan National Forest nearby.

Locale

Durango, Colorado is one of the West’s great mountain towns boasting all the major amenities of a large city, while maintaining the appeal and charm of a smaller accessible community. Located at the foot of the San Juan Mountains with the wild Animas River running through the heart of it, Durango is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an incredible array of activities with easy/immediate access to the mountains and rivers with hundreds of miles of National Forest and BLM lands in all directions.

Culturally diverse, Durango is home to a number of art galleries and museums as well as Fort Lewis College, a four-year liberal arts institution. A gateway to the desert Southwest, the Four Corners region, and red rock canyon country, Durango is a short drive from Mesa Verde National Park and Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. While known for its eclectic mix of fine restaurants, farmers’ markets, music festivals, and art fairs, Durango is not without conventional services including big box retail, abundant fast-food food, numerous grocery options, hardware, motels, movie theaters, and other major services. The La Plata County Airport with non-stop service to Denver, Salt Lake, Albuquerque, and Phoenix is a twenty-five-minute drive from the ranch.

Climate

The Durango area offers the best of Colorado’s ideal 4-season climate. The + 6,500’ elevation assures both winters and summers are generally mild with plenty of Colorado’s famous year-round sunshine.

  • Rainfall (in.): 14.6
  • Snowfall (in): 108.6
  • Precipitation Days: 64
  • Sunny Days: 269
  • Avg July High: 83
  • Avg. Jan High: 4
Sporting Features
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Recreation

Located at the foot of the San Juan Mountains with the wild Animas River running through the heart of it, Durango is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an incredible array of activities with easy/immediate access to the mountains and hundreds of miles of National Forest and BLM lands in all directions. Numerous trailheads for hiking, world-class mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking and white water rafting, cross country skiing, hunting, and fishing are all part of the vibrant activities available in and around Durango. World-class skiing at the Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort is a short hour’s drive from the ranch over what many argue is one of Colorado’s most scenic highways. Vallacito Reservoir is 4 miles east of the ranch; the Animas River is less than half an hour away and is renowned for the excellent fishing, and thrilling white water rafting. The world-famous Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway leaves right from downtown and offers visitors a trip back through the areas rich mining history and incredible scenery.

Hunting

While relatively small and close to the road for hunting purposes, Bear Creek Meadows provides seasonal elk, mule deer, and turkey habitat and is home to the full spectrum of Colorado montane wildlife species. The property is situated in Colorado’s famed Game Management Unit (GMU 75). With excellent grazing and year-round habitat, the property serves as a home for elk and mule deer moving thru from higher Forest Service lands.

Fishing

There is no known fishing in Bear Creek, but for the avid angler, there is also world-class fishing only a few miles away on either the Animas River near Durango or five miles west on the Los Pinos River and Vallecitos Reservoir,

Ranch Attributes
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Ranch Operations

The ranch was originally assembled in the 1960s, built and run as part of a larger working cattle ranch, serving as seasonal fall and winter grazing lands for decades. Other than the abandoned home on Bear Creek Road, there are no improvements on the property. There are ~23 acres of adjudicated irrigated hay ground on the property, though it has been a few years since any hay has been produced. As recently as summer 2021, the property was leased for grazing purposes and was managed with a hot-wire along Bear Creek Road, as there is otherwise no fence along the north and west boundaries of the property. The east and southern boundaries of the ranch are fenced with three and four-wire barbed wire fences.

Water Rights

The property has adjudicated rights in both the Ludwig Ditch and the Wommer Irrigation Ditch, as well as some limited storage rights in Pine River Irrigation District (Vallecito Reservoir). While it is the intent of the Seller to transfer any/all water associated with the property in a sale, Seller has little working knowledge of the historic use of the property and makes no statements or claims as to the viability, volume, seniority, or capacity of these water rights and encourages any and all buyer prospects to inquire with the State Water Resources Division 7 as to all matters related to the water on the property.

Conservation Values

An important open space and wildlife legacy property, Bear Creek Meadows is an attractive conservation opportunity and significant interest to the La Plata Open Space Conservancy.

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