970.624.0444  |  


How can we help you?

Find your perfect property or get answers to your questions.








Morningstar Ranch Estate – SOLD (2013)

Colorado, La Plata County, Durango

This 38-acre equestrian estate is situated in the lush Animas Valley with unblemished views looking straight up the valley to capture Engineer Mountain from every area of the property. It includes a 4,800 SF main home, 1,800 SF private guesthouse with attached caretakers’ house, old restored barn with horse arena and riding pen, multiple pastures, ponds with water features, and a charming potting shed, all with beautiful and mature irrigated landscaping. This is a lovely estate that offers unique artistic elegance, privacy and easy access, just a few miles north of Durango.

Location and Area

Nestled in a picturesque red cliff and tree-lined valley a convenient twelve minutes north of Durango, the ranch has a private gated entrance off County Road 250, in the lovely Elkhorn Mountain Estates.

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. It is located 6,512 ft. above sea level, surrounded by scenic mountain views, and over 300 days of sunshine each year. Comfortable summer temperatures reach the upper 80s, 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 that 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. 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.

Property Details


Entering this estate through the grassy meadows, you arrive underneath the massive log and stone arched entrance and are gently greeted with the sound of tumbling water, flowing over stacked Tennessee rock, underneath the driveway and cascading down multiple river rocks into the pond below. Beautifully set amidst the Animas Valley and the backdrop of Engineer Mountain, this equestrian property has some of the most exquisite views in the valley.

Features include:

  • 38 acres with split rail fence surrounding property
  • Water rights from two ditches running through the property
  • 2 water wells on property
  • Extensive mature gardens surround houses, grass and pastures; all on separate, timed irrigation
  • Several ponds with water features running through river rock from one side of the property to another
  • Original barn restored; 8 stalls metal roof; multiple pens and fenced and cross-fenced pastures with iron pipe and split rail
  • Separate guest house and care-takers’ house in private area
  • Heated potting shed/greenhouse for over-wintering summer plants; concrete floors and water
  • Original garage on property is separate; good for storage
  • Original old building on property has one bedroom/kitchen/ bathroom; washer/dryer; could make nice wine cellar or art studio
  • Well-house structure encloses 2 domestic wells pumps


Custom décor and accents are found in every corner of this home, which has been masterfully built to feature artwork throughout. The main house is on one level and includes 10‘ ceilings along with various vaulted and cathedral ceilings. The oversized floor to ceiling windows in the main living and dining areas allow ample natural light to stream in and enjoy the unobstructed views of Engineer Mountain and the surrounding Animas Valley. A stunning custom water feature in foyer, numerous wood burning and gas fireplaces, and high-end custom light fixtures give this home a one of a kind, elegant yet casual ambiance, fitting right in to the Durango mountain lifestyle. Outside protected living space with fireplace and covered porches allow al fresco dining most of the year.

Features include:

  • 4,800 SF living space on one level; great for entertaining
  • 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths (one bedroom used as an office)
  • 3-car heated garage with large dog wash; hot and cold water
  • Water softener system
  • Multiple outside sitting areas/porches; porches of Brazilian hardwood
  • Outdoor patio with wood-burning fireplace with floor to ceiling stacked stone; under covered porch; outdoor sound system; bubbling fountain
  • Custom front door of solid Alder; floor to ceiling transoms on each side allow light to stream in
  • Solid, oversized Alder doors throughout house
  • Numerous large tinted windows throughout allow for plenty of natural light; most windows have automatic blinds
  • Exquisite, custom, aspen-motif etched glass in foyer stands in front of a ceiling to floor waterfall
  • 200 year-old red oak flooring with edge accent, wool carpet and natural stone throughout
  • Custom 9’ lighted glass, copper and steel cabinet for art collectibles
  • Stacked stone wall accents; radius corners and arched doorways
  • Separate Billiard Room
  • 10’, cathedral and vaulted ceilings
  • Custom light fixtures and recessed lighting throughout house
  • Extra-wide hallway cove, turned ‘art gallery’ with stunning hand-painted decorative faux finish and tucked-in up-lighting on arched ceiling
  • Surround sound inside
  • Forced air heat and air-conditioned
  • House wired for high speed internet
  • New shingled roof; Spring of 2010


  • Custom lighting in center from beams, copper, hammered steel and large stained glass bowl
  • Long granite counters with mosaic tile backsplash
  • Huge center island of unique granite with ample storage underneath; stainless steel vegetable sink
  • Deep and long drawers for pan storage; Lazy Susan corners
  • Double stainless sinks with instant hot water and soap dispenser
  • 4-burner Wolfe stainless steel range with double grill; double oven underneath
  • Accent mosaic tile behind stove with hooded vent; built into a stacked stone floor to ceiling chimney/wall
  • 2 dishwashers
  • Trash compactor
  • Warming drawer
  • Built-in stainless steel microwave
  • Stainless steel 40” side-by-side refrigerator
  • Granite computer/recipe desk with shelving and drawers on either side
  • Walk-out to covered al fresco seating porch/patio with wood-burning fireplace

Living Room/Great Room

  • Custom 27’ stone stacked wall with wood burning fireplace and grill; extra large wood mantle; separate wood storage
  • Built-in entertainment center
  • Sliding walk-out doors to porch
  • Floor to ceiling windows looking to mountains and Engineer Mountain
  • Charming Powder Room off living room with antique mosaic and acid-flushed marble, Italian garden sink; Kohler fixtures; exquisite hand-tooled leather insert design on front and back of door; faux wall finish; granite tile floor
  • Separate Formal Dining Room
  • Custom light fixture
  • Gas fireplace set in stacked floor to ceiling stone wall
  • Vaulted ceiling
  • Built-in shelving for art
  • Multiple windows with unobstructed views to west mountains and Engineer Mountain
  • Separate walk-out to covered porch

Wet Bar

  • Built in cupboards with pebble glass; up lighting and under counter lighting; granite counter top under cupboards
  • Gorgeous granite countertop for bar seating with in-laid hammered copper panels in base
  • Beverage center - ice maker; wine cooler; refrigerator; hammered copper wet sink and antique copper fixtures
  • Custom twisted brass & iron and hand blown glass fixtures over bar

Office or Guest Bedroom

  • Red oak flooring
  • Tongue & groove pine vaulted ceiling
  • Separate ensuite bathroom with travertine tile and mosaic backsplash; travertine shower

Master Bedroom and Bath

  • Gas fireplace with tumbled travertine hearth and mantle
  • Travertine tile flooring
  • Automated black-out blinds
  • Ceiling fan
  • Large double walk-in closets with built in drawers, shelving and cupboards
  • Unique Jerusalem stone flooring in bathroom
  • Separate room with hot tub
  • Self-drying, bubble jet tub with custom stained glass window - allows privacy yet natural light to enter
  • Pounded copper dual sinks with black and gold granite countertops; Kohler top of the line, fluted, brushed-gold fixtures
  • Black with gold trim built-in cupboards and shelving hide toiletries and outlets
  • Separate sit down make-up vanity
  • Large walk-in steam shower with dual shower heads
  • Separate water closet
  • Linen closet with doggy door to garage  

Second Guest Room & Bath

  • Wool carpet; ceiling fan
  • Large bath with 16” travertine tile floor
  • Mosaic decorative tiles on backsplash and shower
  • Large walk-in shower with travertine tiles

Media Room

  • Antique siding from barn on walls
  • Built-in entertainment center for oversized TV
  • Decorative lighted niches for artwork
  • Custom black and beige leather u-shaped couch
  • Automated black-out blinds


  • Guest and Caretakers Bunk House
  • 1,800 SF of open living space
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 baths; Master and guest; baths have travertine showers, floors, counters
  • Fully air conditioned, heated; water softener
  • Floor to ceiling windows looking west to mountains and pond with tumbling river rock stream to main house
  • Vaulted tongue & groove pine ceiling; recessed lights
  • Slate floor; wool carpet; travertine floors
  • Great room with wood-burning fireplace with gas starter; hearth and mantle in stacked stone wall; built-in entertainment area and shelving
  • Free standing wet bar with copper top, built in shelving, lighting and wet sink; wine cooler
  • Kitchen – travertine tile counters with double stainless steel sinks; dishwasher; microwave; side-by-side fridge; skylights
  • Large walk-in pantry; laundry room with washer/dryer
  • Master bedroom with gas fireplace; sliding doors to deck
  • Double walk-in closets; double sinks and large walk-in shower
  • Fans in all rooms
  • Guest house and care takers’ house attached by one wall
  • 700+ SF in care takers’ quarters; 2 bedroom, bath; living room
  • Large covered Trex porch looking to mountains
  • Very mature perennial garden surrounding house; grassy yards


  • Original structure remodeled and well maintained; double entrance and exit
    8 horse stalls with outside runs and shelters
  • Tack room
  • Riding arena with steel-rail fence
  • Exercise round-pen
  • Pastures

Wildlife and Recreation

The property has an ideal combination of wildlife habitat, pastures, manicured lawns and gardens in a very private setting. Commonly seen are migrating elk, deer, coyote, red tail hawks, eagles, and many other small animals and sporting birds. The ranch’s creek and ponds are stocked with trout and there is exceptional fishing in several near-by rivers. For downhill skiing, Durango Mountain Resort is a short drive from the ranch, while Wolf Creek and Silverton Mountain Ski Areas are an hour away. Cross-country skiing and snow-mobiling are also available throughout the area and on the ranch. 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).

$3,997,000 – Reduced by $503,000.

Owner will consider financing for qualified buyers

This property is offered by Legacy Properties West, LLC. All information provided by Legacy Properties West, LLC or their sales representatives in connection with this property was acquired from sources deemed reliable and is believed to be accurate and reliable, however, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. Legacy Properties West, LLC recommends that every item of interest to the purchaser (i.e. water laws, mineral laws, zoning, land use regulations, state, federal and private permits) be independently verified by the purchaser’s attorney.