About this Ranch
The mighty Rio Grande River is the heart and soul of the Flying W Ranch. This Colorado “River Mountain Ranch” is an exclusive one-of-a-kind property located in Rio Grande County, Colorado. The ranch sits on the western edge of the San Luis Valley, the largest alpine valley in the world. A rarity for river ranches, this ranch includes acreage along both sides of the Rio Grande River. Internal access to both the north and south banks of the river is achieved by way of a unique single-lane steel truss bridge that was formerly a Rio Grande County bridge. Including more than two and one-half (2.5) river miles of the Rio Grande River and more than one and one-half (1.5) creek miles of Pinos Creek, this ranch is a recreational water paradise. The entire 2.5 miles of the Rio Grande River are classified as Colorado Gold Medal Waters by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, a designation for trophy trout waters. Less than 4% of all rivers and streams in Colorado have achieved this lofty Gold Medal status. One of the most unique attributes of the river throughout the ranch is the lake effect section, consisting of over one-half (1/2) mile of the river located along the lower section of the river corridor. This lake effect on the flowing Rio Grande River is caused by the Rio Grande Canal dam/diversion, located just below the lower river corridor property boundary, which holds back the entire width of the river. This provides the opportunity to paddle and row both upstream and downstream due to the slower moving water.
Big water! The mighty Rio Grande River flowing through the Flying W Ranch contains the highest river flows of any section of the Rio Grande River in Colorado. The Rio Grande River is the 3rd longest river with headwaters in the United States and is the 20th longest river in the world. This “Grande River” has its headwaters above the Flying W Ranch along the continental divide and flows all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The extensive riparian ecosystem along the river corridor provides the abundant habitat biodiversity needed for aquatic, wildlife, fish, and woodland habitats.
An abundance of trophy trout along with a multitude of wildlife species are found throughout the ranch. Mule deer and pronghorn antelope can often be found grazing or bedded on the ranch. Both bald eagles and golden eagles soar year-round on the ranch along with red-tailed hawks. Other raptors can be viewed seasonally. In the spring, after the snow and ice melt, waterfowl return to the nest and hatch their young along the river, creek, slough, and pond waterways. The ranch experiences an annual return of the great blue heron to its rookery located on the lower ranch with over 50 returning blue herons nesting in the cottonwoods along the river. Ducks and geese return to the ranch in significant numbers along with a myriad of small bird species. Spring and fall migrations also provide for the occasional glimpse of both sandhill cranes and great white pelicans. Occasional moose, elk, mountain lion, bobcat, lynx and other species of both big and small game pass through the ranch as well.
Abundant surface water rights provide for irrigation of more than 600± acres and provide more than 500± acre-feet of consumptive use water rights. The ranch has more than 15 CFS of surface water rights, of which more than 6 CFS are senior water rights. These priority water rights assure that irrigation water will be available during the entire growing season.
Consisting of more than 1,580 acres, the Flying W Ranch is a hidden gem with a private and secluded atmosphere to escape into while being located adjacent to the Town of Del Norte and the amenities of town life. A new U.S. Hwy 160 access and entry road provides access into the ranch from the south and access into the ranch from the north along paved County Road 15.
Enjoy postcard views throughout the ranch. With over 600 acres of riparian habitat along the river and nearly 1,000 acres of elevated dryland habitat, views of the San Juan, La Garita, and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges provide 360-degree views. Multiple 13,000’ and 14,000’ foot peaks can be viewed from locations on the ranch. Overlook more than 50 miles of the Rio Grande River corridor from select elevated ranch lookouts. Experience Colorado’s four-season splendors. The lush green vegetation and running waters of spring, summer, and early fall give way to breathtaking fall colors, sights, and sounds. Winter arrives when the silently majestic pure white snow blankets the region, changing the landscape into a winter wonderland.
Golf at the highly-rated Rio Grande Club in South Fork, Colorado, located only 17 miles from the ranch. Ski and board at Wolf Creek Ski Area, “The Most Snow In Colorado”, only 35 miles from the ranch. Visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park, a short 50-mile excursion to experience the tallest dunes in North America. Ride the historic Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Steam Railroad, only 60 miles from the ranch. Take in a show at the Creede Repertory Theatre, only 40 miles up the road in the historic mining community of Creede. Soak in the natural hot springs at Pagosa Springs, a 60-mile road trip.
tbd Hwy. 160
Del Norte, Colorado