Ask Gary Hubbell
Rainbow Trout Ranch is one of those rare finds with so many possibilities. The ranch encompasses 591± acres of unspoiled country amid the glorious scenery of the San Juan Mountains. Located at 9000’ feet in the secluded Conejos River Valley, also known as the Conejos Canyon, it is as vast as it is beautiful. Over 1.1 miles of the Conejos River flows through the ranch, creating exceptional private fishing. Trophy catches of rainbow and brown trout have come from the waters of this serene and very scenic river. The Rainbow Trout Ranch is a true Colorado recreational ranch featuring spectacular acreage in which to ride, fish, hike and enjoy nature, as it is surrounded by National Forest, with further access to wilderness via a network of beautiful trails. The ranch is very desirable due to its strong, positive influence from the Conejos River and the surrounding public lands. It has excellent views, strong wildlife activity, good mixed vegetation, and land types. The ranch sits in GMU 81, offering various types of terrains, and species to hunt. Though in a remote mountain area, it is very accessible year-round from paved CO Highway 17 and 1.5 miles on a good gravel road. The Rainbow Trout Ranch offers an impressive array of improvements, central to which is the historic and massive grand lodge. The lodge and twenty-one cabins of various sizes and layouts can accommodate a large group so the property is perfect for a fishing club, family retreat, corporate retreat, church camp and so on. Currently it is under operation as a long-time, very successful family dude ranch. The heart of the ranch is its 12,119± sq. ft. lodge. It is the central gathering place, offering an impressive floor to ceiling double sided stone fireplace inlaid with turquoise, huge commercial kitchen and dining area, library, reception area, several cozy gathering places, and a giant wrap-around porch on which to relax and soak in the incredible views. Nearby are the heated outdoor pool, hot tub, volleyball/basketball court, and guest cabins which form a secluded cluster overlooking the valley and the river below. Just above the river are the barn, corrals, and outdoor arena, and along the river is a beautiful riverside area set up for ranch cookouts, and further downstream, a rustic trapshooting/archery meadow. Just east of the barn and across the gravel road is a 3000± square foot owner/manager home (completed in 2000) with a 100x70 sq. ft. indoor arena area attached. There is also a smaller and older 1000± square foot house, and a large, tall building (completed in 2019) featuring the operational barley seed fodder production room and a 60x25 sq. ft. workshop. The ranch and surrounding area are steeped in rich history. The Spanish settled in the area in the 1600s, and preceding and interwoven with the local history of the Spanish is that of the Native Americans. The 1870s brought the miners with the discovery of gold and silver but by the 1900s the local mining industry had faded and the Conejos Canyon became a noted fisherman’s and backcountry adventure paradise. By the turn of the century, the ranch was a private fishing club using wall tents and a central bathroom building. In time, some cabins were built and by the mid-1920s construction began on the grand lodge, which was the largest log structure in the southwest at the time. It is said that not a single nail was used in the lodge's construction, just wooden pegs, although reinforcement cables have since been added. In the late 1920s, with the completion of the magnificent lodge, the door was opened to the public as a guest ranch with extraordinary riding and fishing both on-property as well as via spectacular backcountry trips to alpine lakes and creeks. More cabins were built, and in later years individual bathrooms were put in, and eventually living areas with fireplaces were added to all the guest cabins.
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Listed By: Michael Murphy of Team Murphy Realty