Legacy Ranches and Fine Sporting Properties

Cottonwood Springs Ranch

Durango, Colorado (La Plata County)
525 +/- Deeded Acres

Near perfection at an elevation of 7,500 ft., this magnificent equestrian estate borders U.S. BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land and offers state-of-the-art horse breeding facilities and an exquisite residence.

An Impeccable Equestrian Estate Adjoining Public Land
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  • Magnificent primary and guest residences
  • State-of-the-art horse breeding facilities
  • Senior adjudicated water rights
  • 250 acres irrigated/sub-irrigated pasture
  • 9 ponds and 1.2 miles of Texas Creek
  • Steel pipe fenced pastures run with power and heated water units.
  • Hay production, capable of 100 tons
  • Adjoining U.S. Bureau of Land Management land
  • Protected in perpetuity by a Deed of Conservation Easement
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The 525-acre Cottonwood Springs Ranch is an immaculate mountain equestrian property located in La Plata County 12 miles (20 minutes) east of vibrant and attractive Durango, CO and 10 miles (15 minutes) north of the friendly town of Bayfield. The ranch is remarkably well maintained and is known for its distinguished collection of impressive buildings and improvements, most notable of which is the 5,700 sq. ft. northern New Mexico territorial-style headquarters residence. The ranch is fully equipped with state-of-the art equestrian breeding facilities including numerous barns, separate heated foaling stalls, steel pipe fenced pastures, training arena, hot walker, and round pen. Situated on the banks of Texas Creek, which feeds the Los Pinos River, the ranch is graced with a signature cottonwood gallery winding gracefully through flawless irrigated pastures surrounded by a mixed spruce, aspen and ponderosa pine forest.  Near perfection at an elevation of 7,500 ft., this magnificent equestrian estate borders U.S. BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land with a trailhead to the 3 million acre San Juan National Forest and the famous Weminuche Wilderness Area. A terrific investment opportunity, without question Cottonwood Springs is one of the finest multi-purpose equestrian ranches in the state, and a rare find in the Durango/Four Corners region.

Co-listed with Shane Dawson at Elevation Real Estate Company.

Lay of the Land
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Cottonwood Springs Ranch is served by an extensive set of tasteful improvements that are thoughtfully laid out along the property’s verdant creek bottom. The combination of formal gardens, resplendent water features, and manicured lawns that lie between the various structures makes for an attractive and seamless transition between the residential and working margins of the ranch. The entire compound is tied together by a handsome rural aesthetic and a contemporary rustic architectural theme, which generously celebrates both the leisure and working agricultural legacies of the ranch.


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. January Low: 4°


Cottonwood Springs Ranch is a short twenty-five minute drive east from Durango, CO and a fifteen minute drive north from the town of Bayfield. The impressive San Juan Mountain Range and the 3 million acre San Juan National Forest are located just 2 miles west of the ranch.



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. There is 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 Western State University, a four-year liberal arts institution. As 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.

Sporting Features
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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 5 miles east of the ranch; the Animas River is less than a half an hour away and is renown 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.


There are a total of nine man-made ponds on Cottonwood Springs Ranch and the fly-fishing is quite decent, with the largest of the ponds stocked with brown and rainbow trout. 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 east on the Los Pinos River and Vallacitos Reservoir.


Cottonwood Springs Ranch contains vital seasonal habitat and serves as an important migration corridor for elk and mule deer moving thru from higher Forest Service lands to lower elevation habitat. While the property has not been actively hunted in more than a decade, the ranch is situated in Colorado’s Game Management Unit (GMU 75), and would likely qualify for landowner preference tags. A sportsman’s paradise, the general area around the ranch offers a diverse mix of habitat types and is rich in abundant wildlife including elk, mule deer, big horn sheep, mountain goats, wild turkeys, grouse, black bears, coyotes, and mountain lions.

Ranch Attributes
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Ranch Operations

Cottonwood Springs Ranch is intentionally laid out as a horse breeding facility, but the ranch has also been used for cattle through the years and could easily be fitted to serve lamas or other exotic livestock. The property is fenced into 17 pastures with steel pipe and cedar post accent fencing, most of which is double protected with hot-wire electric fencing on inside. There are 13 loafing/shade barns with heated Nelson waterers, and all 17 pastures have heated Hoskins water units. The ranch is serviced by three miles of interior roads providing easy access to all of the residences, ranch buildings and pastures. And all work areas, sheds, and pastures have been served with water and electrical power, with well-placed transformers throughout enabling emergency generator hook-ups. A lighted cattle processing area sits on the far west end of the property away from other facilities and includes holding pens, loading ramp, branding chutes, and squeeze chute. There are approximately 250 acres of sub-irrigated pasture on the ranch, and while the ranch has not elected to put up hay in almost a decade, the pastures are capable of producing 5,000-6,000 bales of hay in a season.

Water Rights

Cottonwood Springs is a remarkably well watered property given its size and location. In addition to perennial Texas Creek flowing through the heart of the ranch, as is indicated by its name, Cottowood Springs is graced with a number of surface springs which feed nine separate landscape/stock ponds which have been fitted to used as pump storage for both domestic and agricultural irrigation. The ranch has senior water rights in a combination of decreed surface/ditch rights (West-Stockade and Polly ditches), as well as six adjudicated ponds with storage/irrigation rights, controlling a total of 1.34 cfs equivalent of usable water.


Conservation Value

An important open space and wildlife legacy property, Cottonwood Springs Ranch is protected in perpetuity by a Deed of Conservation Easement held by the La Plata Open Space Conservancy.  Easement details and a copy of the Deed are available upon request.

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