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Granite Peaks Ranch – JUST SOLD

Colorado, La Plata & Hinsdale Counties, BAYFIELD

Granite Peaks Ranch is an exquisite, one-of a-kind, 565-acre fly-fishing and equestrian estate – the last privately owned ranch before the vast Weminuche Wilderness. With three miles of the Pine River, the property offers exceptional fly fishing for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout a few steps from the main residence and cabins. There are several architectural masterpieces consisting of a 5,500 square-foot main home with a detached garage that has an 800 square-foot caretaker's apartment above it, 1,677 square-foot, private guest house on the river, two large horse barns, and three historic cabins which have been completely restored. The entire property is beautifully scaled and landscaped – all fitting naturally into the surrounding environment. It is encircled by majestic granite peaks which climb to over 12,000 feet and tower over lush meadows and mixed forest of evergreens, pines and aspens. Granite Peaks Ranch borders a hiking trail providing direct access into the 500,000-acre Weminuche Wilderness – the largest wilderness area in Colorado and the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests providing a combined total acreage of over 3.5 million acres.

Location and Area

Granite Peaks Ranch is located at 7,800 feet above sea level and is directionally oriented east-to-west allowing for maximum sunshine. The ranch sits in the heart of the unspoiled San Juan National Forest, offering a variety of recreational opportunities and just minutes from Vallecito Lake, one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Colorado featuring 12 miles of shoreline. Vallecito (Spanish for Little Valley), an ancestral home to many of Colorado's Ute Indians, became the name of the sparkling waters of the lake it surrounded. Located in the southwestern part of the state just 18 miles from Durango, Vallecito provides a perfect base for enjoying the Four Corners area and its many wonders.

Durango is a town of rural mountain charm and character and has many big city conveniences including a new, state-of-the-art hospital, fine restaurants, hotels, shopping, a four-year college, golf courses, first-class fly fishing and numerous outdoor hiking and biking trails offering endless activities for the outdoor sports enthusiast. The town is 6,512 ft. above sea level and is surrounded by scenic mountain views and receives over 300 days of sunshine each year. Comfortable summer temperatures reach the upper 80's while the autumn days are clear, cool and full of vibrant foliage colors. The crisp and sunny winter days often feature abundant, light powdery snow.

The La Plata County area, which includes Durango and Bayfield, has a population of 44,000. La Plata County Airport runs daily commercial air service to Denver, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque and Phoenix with seasonal service to Houston and includes facilities for full-service general aviation. Granite Peaks Ranch is 100 miles from Telluride, 170 miles from Grand Junction, 200 miles from Albuquerque and Santa Fe, approximately 300 miles from Denver and Colorado Springs and 450 miles from Phoenix.

History of Granite Peaks Ranch

The original owners of Granite Peaks Ranch were General William Jackson Palmer, a Civil War Medal of Honor winner, and John Porter, the founders of Durango, Colorado in the early 1890's. General Palmer brought the railroad to Durango to transport the lucrative mining ores from Durango to market. He and Porter purchased Granite Peaks along with some out-parcels that totaled approximately 1,000 acres of land. The property was a three-day horseback and wagon ride from Durango. Arriving dressed in their suits and ties, along with the women in their long white dresses, they would ride from Durango to camp, hunt and fish the abundant Pine River which flows right through the middle of the property.

General Palmer died first and after John Porter died in the 1920's, the ranch was purchased and used as a camp for kids. Then, during the Depression, it was sold to a wealthy Texan oil and gas tycoon. The new Texas owner put in all of the irrigation systems, heavily reinforced concrete foundations that continue to hold up structurally today, built several buildings and three existing cabins (all which have been completely restored from the concrete up). After these improvements were made, they sold Granite Peaks Ranch to the Schillingburg family in the early 1950's. The family kept the ranch until the current owner purchased a portion of it in 1993 with the remainder of the ranch purchased a few years later.

Since the current owners have had the property, many well-thought-out changes have been made to the land and buildings such as removing old structures which were in disrepair and restoring several of the existing historical buildings. There is still an original standing stone fireplace and back porch looking over the confluence of the Pine River and Indian Creek that was built by a previous owner in the 1930's but burned down in the 1950's. The area where this original cabin stood is now being restored to an outdoor picnic area with a fire pit and grill for an al fresco dining ambiance.

Property Description


  • 3-miles of Pine River (both sides) runs through property; providing gold-medal fishing for Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout
  • Stunning (almost spiritual) views of the granite peaks 10,000 – 12,000 ft surround the property
  • The ranch is split-rail fenced with some metal cross fencing
  • Water rights – 9 cubic ft/second from Pine River and 1.5 cubic ft/second from Indian Creek; via concrete flume built to capture Indian Creek water to distribute for irrigating the ranch
  • 3 wells produce abundant water
  • Due to the special nature of the property and the riparian area along the river, the ranch has been protected with a conservation easement, as with most of the other properties in the upper valley, protecting the neighborhood
  • Timed irrigation for pastures and flower beds; meadows are lush and full of wildflowers
  • Fully-irrigated, fenced vegetable and herb garden with raised beds
  • Main and guest homes are both close to the river; one can hear the rushing water from inside
  • Waterfalls, ponds and bridges over the Pine River on the property
  • New 400-amp electrical service
  • All roads through ranch have been well maintained
  • Apple orchard between barn and house

Construction Details

  • Building materials of wood from property and 600-million-year-old Vallecito Agglomerate stone (combination of quartz surrounded by granite) quarried from surrounding granite peaks
  • Shake shingle siding and Vallecito Agglomerate stone wainscoting; galvanized heavy metal roofs
  • Cedar flower boxes attached to outside of windows
  • Vaulted and 10' ceilings with gabled areas
  • Ponderosa pine logs for interior support; structure has steel frame core with log surrounds
  • Aspen tongue-and-groove ceilings
  • Custom forged metal work on fireplaces and accents by Rod Picket at Forging Ahead; outdoor designer metal and mica light fixtures by Rocky Mountain Hardware & Lighting; custom solid cedar doors
  • Rumford wood-burning fireplaces with large fireboxes
  • Oiled bronze fixtures throughout
  • Windows are all Marvin, double-paned, wood-framed with wood dividers; metal-clad on outside
  • Full-length drapery and Roman shades throughout
  • Abundance of windows with captivating, beautiful views of the Pine River and surrounding San Juan Mountains
  • Multiple outdoor sitting areas overlooking the rushing Pine River; several over-sized flagstone patios
  • Hot tub sits next to the Pine River under the stars


Custom decor and accents are found in every corner of this home, designed by Steven Gawlik, AIA. The home was masterfully built by Tom Gorton.

General Details

  • 5,000+ square feet of living space; 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths; open floor plan; very spacious; great for entertaining
  • Wrap-around cedar decks with vaulted protective overhang; large flagstone entrance
  • Large outside seating area with built-in fire pit
  • Abundant perennial landscaping surrounds house
  • Surround sound inside and outside
  • Propane forced-air heating (4-1,000 gallon tanks) with back-up generator; 2 heating units
  • Central water filtration system for most of the wells on property
  • 100+ year old Douglas fir plank flooring and ceilings re-milled at the time of construction; Ponderosa pine decorative and cross supports; 8" baseboard molding throughout
  • Recessed, custom sconce and pendant lighting
  • House wired for high speed internet



  • Custom metal table forged into Vallecito Agglomerate stone wall
  • Custom chandelier

Gourmet Kitchen/Breakfast Seating Area/Office

  • Colorado Rose honed granite countertops with bull nose edge; long and spacious counters for food prep
  • Very large center island with 6-burner Thermadore gas cook top and griddle; lots of storage; stainless steel vegetable sink and disposal; bar seating
  • Douglas fir cabinets with hammered copper inserts; brass pulls; cookie sheet cupboards; ample pull-out storage and deep drawers
  • Deep double stainless steel sinks with sink-to-ceiling windows above which look out to the Pine River; copper fixtures
  • Two Dacor conventional/convection ovens
  • Two Asko dishwashers
  • Side-by-side Sub-Zero fridge with hammered copper inserts
  • Kitchenaide compactor
  • Double door pantry and pull-out shelving
  • Built-in wine rack and cookbook shelves
  • Adjacent breakfast/casual seating area
  • Built-in wall-to-wall desk and drawers for kitchen office; large windows and bookshelves
  • Waterford wood stove built into floor-to-ceiling Vallecito Agglomerate stone wall

Mud Room

  • Flagstone floors
  • Separate furnace room
  • Storage and coat closets
  • Hanging pegs for fly-fishing gear

Laundry Room

  • Lots of storage and counter space
  • Deep porcelain sink
  • Asko washer and dryer

Powder Room

  • Kohler pedestal sink
  • Built-in cupboards with hammered copper inserts; mirrored hidden medicine cabinet

Media and Reading Room

  • Wood-burning fireplace with custom forged metal screen; cedar mantel
  • Built-in bookshelves with flat-screen TV
  • Tall windows

Great Room/Sitting or Game Room/Open Dining Room

  • Extra large great room includes separate sitting area and game room
  • 22 ft vaulted ceilings; lots of floor-to-ceiling windows; skylights over fireplace
  • Double French doors on either side of sitting area
  • Beautiful, large Rumford fireplace built into Vallecito Agglomerate stone floor-to-ceiling wall with stepping stone ledges and cut-out area for wall hanging; custom forged metal screen and hand-forged metal sconces on either side of mantel
  • Ponderosa pine mantel with stone hearth; very large custom antler chandelier
  • Built-in entertainment area in stone wall; large cubby for log storage underneath
  • Separate dining area open to great room; double French doors on either side of wall of windows out to back patios; custom double antler chandeliers
  • Double French doors opening from seating area to large patio with dramatic mountain views

Wet Bar

  • Open to great room
  • Hammered brass sink and Colorado Rose honed granite counter
  • Scotsman ice machine
  • Compact fridge

Master Suite and Bath with Upstairs Loft

  • Master on main floor with two steps up into master suite
  • Vaulted ceiling
  • Extra large sitting area with floor-to-ceiling windows and walk-out French doors to flagstone patio with meadow and mountain views
  • Floor-to-ceiling Vallecito Agglomerate stone wall with deep box wood-burning fireplace; raised hearth
  • Loft area can be used for office or exercise room; lots of storage with built-in desk
  • Master Bath has tumbled travertine floors with tumbled marble accent
  • Colorado Rose honed granite counters with double Kohler porcelain sinks and copper fixtures
  • Wall-to-wall mirrors above counters with built-in hidden medicine cabinets
  • His & hers walk-in closets with built-in cubbies
  • Deep built-in soaking tub with surrounding granite ledges
  • Arched steam shower with tumbled travertine and tumbled marble tile accent; sitting bench


Family Room

  • Hand-hewn railings and balustrade
  • Upstairs living space (now holds a pool table) is a private sitting area adjacent to the two guest bedrooms; lots of windows

Guest Bedroom & Bath One

  • Gabled ceilings
  • Built-in bookshelves
  • Windows looking out to beautiful views
  • Double-door closet with built-in shelving
  • Bathroom with tile floor
  • Shower/tub combo
  • Kohler sink with custom cabinets with hammered copper inserts and copper pulls
  • Hidden medicine cabinets in the mirrors

Guest Bedroom & Bath Two

  • Gabled ceilings
  • Built-in bookshelves
  • Double-door closet with built-in shelving
  • Bathroom with tile floor
  • Shower/tub combo
  • Kohler sink with custom cabinets with hammered copper inserts
  • Hidden medicine cabinets in the mirrors


  • Shake shingle siding with river rock wainscoting outside; galvanized heavy-gauge metal roof
  • Large flagstone patios in back close to the Pine River with three separate levels; fire pit
  • Flagstone path leads to hot tub
  • Wrap-around cedar decks with protective tongue-and-groove aspen overhang
  • 1,677 sq ft. of open living room, dining room and kitchen
  • Master bedroom and bath downstairs; upstairs has dormer loft bedroom and bath
  • Custom solid Douglas fir and pine insert front door
  • Douglas fir floors, custom cabinets and cross beams inside
  • Interior pine walls
  • Tongue-and-groove vaulted aspen ceilings; large wagon wheel light fixture; pendant lights; recessed lighting
  • Cruciform design with windows and doors on four sides of the living, dining and kitchen areas; walk-outs to flagstone patios and river
  • Lots of windows
  • Living room has floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplace with Rumford wood-burning fireplace; flagstone hearth; stair-stepped built-in bookshelves, entertainment spaces; drawers
  • Kitchen has slate countertops and double porcelain sinks; 4-burner GE gas stove with overhead vent; side-by-side Profile fridge; pine wood counter with bar seating and under counter storage; entire wall of windows and double French doors out to patios and Pine River
  • Master bath with tub/shower combo; window to Pine River
  • Laundry room with full-size stackable Maytag washer and dryer; broom & utility closet
  • Hand-hewn log banister and railings
  • Upstairs guest bedroom with bath; tile shower/tub combo; porcelain oval basin with tile counters; custom cupboards and drawers
  • Lots of storage

Separate 3+ Garage/Caretakers Apartment Above

  • Heated; cement floors with drains; pine tongue-and-groove panel interior
  • Perennials surround garage
  • Storage room houses utilities
  • Washer and dryer
  • 800 sq ft. apartment upstairs has kitchen, bath, living area, large outside decks on north and south sides
  • Circular driveway
  • Storage Shed
  • Douglas fir beams and logs on outside; double door entry
  • Houses a stand-by 37.5 kilowatt generator with automatic start; services all essential appliances and half the lights
  • Room with built-in shelving and storage; windows
  • Window boxes on outside

Modern Horse Barn

  • Very large board-and-batten barn, beautifully finished inside and out with ponderosa supports and river rock foundation – Steve Gawlik AIA design; architecturally acclaimed for its features that mimic the surrounding mountains
  • 15' wings on either side; aspen tongue-and-groove ceilings
  • Large heated machine room with cement floors and drains; 2 cranes; tall garage doors; tongue-and-groove pine walls and ceiling
  • Horse side of barn has tongue-and-groove pine walls and ceilings; cement floors with drains; water outlets
  • 2 large stalls with special rubberized floor; turn-out gates; swivel turn-table feeder for easy access; watering pails
  • Separate bathroom with shower
  • Separate tack room with 6 racks for saddles; lots of bridle and blanket storage
  • Grain room with rodent-proof metal feed box; extra storage cabinets
  • Upstairs hay storage has double doors with crane to lift hay bales to upper level; numerous paned windows
  • Separate room with crane for lifting snowmobiles, toys etc. for winter storage
  • Outside steel exercise round-pen
  • Lush pastures surround barn

Historical Cabins – Completely Restored

  • Originally built by a previous owner in the 1930's
  • Built from cut and milled 12" logs on-site; concrete crawlspaces
  • Restored interiors from the ground up; new plumbing, electrical; sand blasted inside and out; new paint; cedar porches and railings added
  • New and original windows
  • Classically decorated to reflect the 1930's style

Cabin One

  • Approximately 1,100 sq ft.
  • Oak floors, ceilings, and walls
  • Living room has enamel propane stove
  • Kitchen has double stainless steel sink with chrome and porcelain fixtures; 4 burner gas stove; Hotpoint fridge/freezer
  • 2 bedrooms with closets
  • Bath with shower, sink and toilet

Cabin Two – Green door

  • Approximately 700 sq ft.
  • Living room with enamel propane gas stove
  • Kitchen with double stainless steel sink with chrome and porcelain fixtures; cupboards and drawers; 4-burner gas stove; Hotpoint fridge/freezer; broom closet
  • Bath with shower, sink and toilet and hammered tin counter

Cabin Three

  • Approximately 1,200 sq ft.
  • Tongue and groove pine walls, ceiling and floors
  • Living room has enamel propane stove
  • Kitchen has Saltillo tiles; walk-in pantry; built-in cupboards including spice cupboard; 4-burner gas stove; Whirlpool fridge/freezer; solid wood counters with porcelain sink and old-fashioned porcelain drain board; service porch (could hold washer/dryer) with door out to back porch
  • 2 bedrooms with closets
  • Bathroom has old-fashioned freestanding porcelain tub; pedestal sink; lots of natural light

Original Horse Barn

  • North wall and foundation completely rebuilt; original floorboards and walls
  • 5 stalls; 2 original log saddle supports
  • Original tack room
  • Many antique tools kept clean and displayed
  • Original machine room with storage cubbies and many antique handmade tools, vices, machine parts, etc.
  • Double doors on either side of building allow truck to access inside
  • Separate storage room houses antique refrigerator and stove

Original Chicken House – partially restored

  • Wood siding
  • Metal roof

Original Storage Shed

  • Converted into a game hanging building; originally used as an ice storage room
  • Separate game processing/butcher shop room

Wildlife and Recreation

Granite Peaks Ranch has an ideal combination of wildlife in its natural habitat. Commonly seen are migrating elk, deer, moose, coyote, red tail hawks, bald eagles, golden eagles and many other small animals and sporting birds. The ranch's Pine River frontage allows for exceptional fishing for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. The Pine River Hiking Trail runs alongside the ranch and is the gateway to the 500,000-acre Weminuche Wilderness surrounded by the 3.5 million acres of San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests. Boating is only minutes away on Vallecito Lake. Cross-country skiing and snow-mobiling are available on the ranch and directly in surrounding areas. For downhill skiing, Durango Mountain Resort is an hour from the ranch, while Wolf Creek and Silverton Mountain Ski Areas are two hours away. Summertime is filled with opportunities for riding, hiking, fishing, boating, golfing and visiting the local Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners National Monument. Excellent golf can be found at Dalton Ranch Golf Club, Hillcrest Community Club, the private Glacier Club (memberships available) and a top-rated public course at Pinion Hills in Farmington, NM (approximately 40 miles).

Final Thoughts

One can search for a lifetime to find all the qualities of the perfect ranch featuring live-water fishable river, breath-taking scenery, abundant wildlife, bordering national forest and wilderness and constructed of high quality, carefully conceived improvements – all close to a popular town with amenities. Granite Peaks Ranch is positioned at the top of that list – including all of these remarkable attributes and much more.

Price and Further Information

Granite Peaks Ranch is offered to the market for the first time in its entirety, including all real estate, improvements, water resources and mineral rights to qualified purchasers for the price of $18,000,000. Broker cooperation is invited. For further information or to arrange a scheduled appointment, contact:

Ron Morris

Ranch Marketing Associates, LLC

Tom Morse

Legacy Properties West
Sotheby's International Realty

This property is offered by Legacy Properties West Sotheby's International Realty, LLC, Tom and Zach Morse, Brokers. All information provided by Legacy Properties West Sotheby's International Realty, LLC or its sales representatives in connection with this property was acquired from sources deemed reliable, however, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness and any users of such information waive any claims related thereto. Legacy Properties West Sotheby's International Realty, LLC recommends that every item of interest to the purchaser (i.e. issues regarding title, water, minerals, survey, zoning, permits, land use regulations and other applicable laws, and any other issues) be independently verified by the purchaser's attorney.

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