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Indian Shadow Ranch – JUST SOLD

Colorado, La Plata County, Durango – MLS 717067

This exquisite 1,769-acre ranch, with approximately 1 mile of improved La Plata River, is one of the last large acreage ranches in the region and it is only 15 minutes from historic downtown Durango. The property consists of several improvements, including a newly remodeled 6,780 SF, 4 bedroom, 4 bath main residence, a 1,100 SF, 2 bedroom, 2 bath guest home, a 2,400 SF stable with apartment and two large top-quality shops. The ranch has several ponds and hay meadows. It would make a great cattle or horse ranch. Elevations range from 8,200' to 9,200' offering alpine vegetation and cooler summer temperatures, while avoiding severe winter extremes due to its proximity to the high desert. The fishery (ponds and river) provides for great experiences and there is exceptional elk hunting.


The Indian Shadow Ranch is located twelve miles west of historic downtown Durango, off Highway 160 and County Road 124 set along a stretch of the La Plata River at the mouth of La Plata Canyon. It is a short 25 minute drive to the Durango-La Plata County Airport – a 9201 ft. paved runway, full service aviation facility offering private and daily commercial carrier service. Mesa Verde National Park is twenty miles from the ranch.

Durango is a town of rural mountain charm and character, and has many big city conveniences, including a state-of-the-art new hospital, many fine restaurants, hotels, shopping, a four-year college, golf courses, first class fly fishing, numerous outdoor hiking and biking trails, with endless activities for the outdoor sports enthusiast. There are 40 national and state parks within a day's drive. Durango means "Water Town"; it was named after all the rivers in the valley. With abundant rivers and the magnificent San Juan Mountains, Durango is also referred to as the "American Alps" and is known for its warm, mild mountain climate. Recognized as a sophisticated mountain resort destination for the adventure seeking and a rejuvenating retreat for those seeking tranquility, Durango has a friendly, laid-back western attitude and enjoys the charm and allure of small town mountain living influenced by a stable economy.

The La Plata County area that includes Durango and Bayfield has a population of 52,000. La Plata County Airport runs daily commercial air service to Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas with seasonal service to Houston, and includes facilities for full service general aviation. The property is 100 miles from Telluride, 170 miles from Grand Junction, 200 miles from Albuquerque and Santa Fe, about 300 miles from Denver and Colorado Springs and 450 miles from Phoenix.


Indian Shadow Ranch enjoys a pleasant mountain climate with low humidity and approximately 300 days of sunshine per year. Summer days are warm with average temperatures of 80 degrees and cool night temperatures averaging 50 degrees. The low humidity produces light and powdery snow providing some of the best skiing conditions in the world. Durango sits at 6,512 feet above sea level and enjoys an ideal four-season climate with moderate temperatures year-round. Indian Shadow Ranch is higher than town at 8,200 feet. Summers are delightful and winters are usually mild and sunny with temperatures staying between 10 to 50 degrees. Despite Durango's average snowfall of about 71" each year, snow removal is manageable because Durango is in a low, sun-drenched valley. Spring brings warmer weather and rain with annual precipitation of 19" per year. Summer temperatures seldom climb more than the high 80s and rivers and reservoirs stay relatively full most summers, filled by melting snow from deep winter snows in the San Juan Mountains. Fall days are comfortably cool and dry, the perfect time for a mountain hike or a drive on one of the area's Scenic Byways.

Property Description

The ranch's natural topography provides rolling grass-covered meadows with westerly views of the Baldy Mountain. The ranch runs from the Cottonwood shaded river bottom through open meadows and brush covered hills climbing to alpine summits with Bristle Cone Pines and Aspen groves. The ranch consists of 1,769 acres and is about two miles square in configuration. The ranch is set in the La Plata Mountains of San Juan Mountain Range shadowed by Baldy Mountain where a shadow profile of an Indian's face is visible on the mountain at sunset - thus the name Indian Shadow Ranch. Approximately one mile of the La Plata River runs through the ranch and it has 57 structures designed to provide excellent fish habitat. The west side of the ranch is bordered by County Road 124, the north and south sides are bordered by private land used for cattle grazing and the east side is bordered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and BLM land.


Main Residence: The main residence is a cedar sided, wood frame 3-level home constructed in the 1980's and completely renovated in 2008. The home features 4 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. The main and upper level living area is 6,027 SF with a 753 SF basement. The house has many upgrades, including outdoor patios, fire pit and incredible mountain and river views.

Guest House: The guest house is 1,100 SF with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. It was re-modeled in 2006-2007

Stable: The horse barn is approximately 2,400 SF and there is a 700 SF, 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment with living area and kitchen constructed in 1998. It has in-floor radiant heat

Small Shop: 1,700 SF built in the 1980's

Big Shop and Managers Apartment: 6,000 SF built in the 1998. Insulated and finished with in-floor radiant heated concrete floors. There is a 1,200 SF apartment attached to the shop with 1 bedroom, 1 bath with large living area and full kitchen built in the 1980's

Hay Barn: 1,500 SF built in the 1980's

Dog Kennel: 1,700 SF built in the 1998

Other Improvements: Mixture of wire fencing and pole fencing around the perimeter of ranch along with cross fencing for pasture rotation. There is a paved road from County Road 124 to the main residence and ranch buildings.

Water Rights

The Indian Shadow Ranch has 2.25 CFS of senior and fairly senior agricultural water rights associated with the Brown Ditch and the Keller Ditch out of the La Plata River. In addition there are three wells on the ranch at an average depth of 300 feet along with fifteen ponds throughout the ranch, two of them quite large.

Recreational Opportunities

Durango provides some of the most exciting outdoor activities anywhere in the world and offers plenty of space to slow down and take in the breathtaking beauty that makes Durango and the location of Indian Shadow Ranch so unique. The Durango/Four Corners area is known for its cowboy and Indian cultural heritage, climate, topography and pristine river waters and abundant public lands.

Skiing at the Durango Mountain Resort, Wolf Creek, Telluride and the high adventure Silverton ski area, provide unlimited winter recreation. Special events take place throughout the year in the town, bringing the community together to enjoy Durango's unique heritage with music festivals, cowboy art gatherings, the Iron Horse Classic bike race, and events involving the world famous Durango to Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad.

The San Juan Mountain Range lies along the eastern and northern side of the valley and rises to over 14,000 feet providing a spectacular backdrop to the Indian Shadow Ranch. Outdoor enthusiasts choose Durango and its surrounding forest and rivers for fly-fishing, hunting, white-water rafting, wildlife expeditions, horseback riding, photo safaris, hiking/camping, mountaineering, and scenic car-trips along San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway, one of America's most spectacular paved highways looping right past Indian Shadow Ranch through the mountains connecting Durango to the towns of Silverton, Ouray, Ridgeway, Telluride and Dolores.

Summertime in the area is filled with opportunities for riding, hiking, fishing, boating, golfing and visiting Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners National Monument, along with the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Excellent golf can be found at Pinion Hills in Farmington, NM and in Durango at Dalton Ranch Golf Club, Hillcrest Community Club, The Glacier Club (memberships available). The Cortez parks offer a wide range of recreational opportunities, including picnic spots and sports fields. The Conquistador Golf Course in Cortez is a championship 18-hole golf course with sand traps, water hazards, practice driving range and putting green. The Cortez Municipal Aquatics Complex is open to the public seven days a week during the summer months, with a pool, climbing walls, and numerous amenities.

Wildlife and Fishing Opportunities

The ranch and area is densely populated with many rare and spectacular wildlife species including elk, mule deer, black bears, foxes, coyotes, eagles, great owls, and mountain lions. The Indian Shadow Ranch has approximately 1 mile of the La Plata River through it providing fishing for Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout. Hunting on the property is exceptional and consistently produces trophy elk. Also, there is stream, river and lake fishing in the region, including streams found in the National Forest and rivers like the Animas, Pine, Florida, San Juan, and others. Area lakes include McPhee, Jackson, Narraguinnep, Lemon and Vallecito Reservoirs.

Operational Considerations

Indian Shadow Ranch produces up to 1,200 bales of premium grass hay on approximately 20 irrigated acres. The ranch has operated as a summer cattle ranch leasing grazing to a neighbor who runs 70-to-90 cows and calves.

Future Development/Conservation Easement Potential

The ranch has been approved by La Plata County for an 82 unit subdivision and the water rights decrees have been amended to support this under a 20-year development plan. Water shares in a new reservoir and water district have also been reserved to support this development. While not priced or offered as a development project today, the future potential provides an extraordinary investment exit opportunity as well as significant immediate tax and other financial benefits that could be realized from the donation of a conservation easement.

Offered at $21,750,000

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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