Elk Highlands Ranch
Plug and play ranch within two hours of Denver containing renovated homestead residence and cabin.
Park County, Colorado
2,340+/- total acres
with 1,700 +/- deeded acres
and 640 +/- leased acres
The Elk Highlands Ranch Summary
Elk Highlands Ranch contains approximately 1,700+/- diverse deeded acres consisting of pasture, rolling hills, ponds, lush gulches with year-round spring fed creeks and high-altitude saddles. The ranch also leases a contiguous 640 acres of Colorado State Land Trust ground for grazing for a total of nearly 2,340+/- acres. All within approximately two hours are both of Colorado’s most populous cities and their international airports. The ranch is nestled near the top of the Currant Creek Valley which carries its named tributary to the Arkansas River. On the west are multiple peaks rising to nearly 10,700 feet. On the east Thirtyninemile Mountain, the hulking monument of the southern end of South Park, rises to nearly 11,600 feet. The ranch shares a 2.5 mile portion of its western border with Pike National Forest making this not only the ranch incredibly convenient to access for 12 months but a jumping off point for some of the most remote National Forest in the area for your hiking, camping and big game hunting enjoyment. The ranch unfolds over the valley with low points under 9,000 feet and its borders climb to nearly 10,000 feet. The elevation change lends itself to incredibly dynamic microenvironments within the ranch. Each high point captures a delightful 360-degree view and each valley presents an opportunity to explore. From the western high point on the ranch which is itself one of the many homesites on the ranch is a complete view of Pikes Peak to the east which rises to over 14,000 feet is one of Colorado’s famed “14ers”.
The area is rich with history. So much so that Congress declared it a National Heritage area in 2009 to preserve its roots in mining and ranching. This distinction is shared with only 55 other areas in the United States. The ranch itself features a portion of this history with its renovated and restored homestead which was built by John Bender in 1885- 9 years before Colorado earned its statehood. Earning recognition in November 1885 edition of The Fairplay Flume a newspaper still in circulation to this day Mr. Bender, “…the Currant Creek stock man, has recently moved into his newly completed residence on his ranch. It is an eight-room house and one of the best in that entire section.” In addition to Mr. Bender’s residence, there is a log cabin that was renovated the same year with kitchen, living area, one bedroom and bath and a large loft. Log barns, another log cabin from the same vintage still serve the Ranch, along with functioning steel corrals. Increase capacity with your coach as there are RV hookups at headquarters. Both the cabin and the house are on the historic registry, a designation that can be unilaterally revoked by the ranch owner.
Careful consideration was given to renovating and restoring the structures. As was the decision to power them using off gird, sustainable methods. The structures are served by both solar and wind power that have proved to be even more reliable than grid power. Power production is at a level that the backup generator is rarely needed. Choose your level of connectivity on the ranch. Broadband internet through multiple providers, Starlink and cellular services are all available. Elk Highlands Ranch can be your get away, while staying connected.
Silviculture is at the forefront on the ranch. A forest management plan is being built and a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is being formed to address timber thinning of the fir and spruce on the ranch currently impacted by the Spruce Budworm- a native species to Colorado running its natural cycle. The goal of the effort is implement thinning practices on the impacted north and east elevations of the ranch. This proactive effort will also include regeneration practices and starts new growth much faster than letting the affected areas run their natural course. A potential future contract with the NRCS will include reimbursement payments for a large portion of the work to be done and such contract is assignable to a new owner.
Sporting opportunities abound in this draw only Game Unit 58. Opportunities for Pronghorn Antelope, Elk and trophy Mule Deer exist. The ranch is eligible for Colorado’s Landowner Preference Program. Historically the ranch has received over ten big game hunting tags. These tags can be enjoyed by the landowner or monetized to outfitters in the area. The ponds have historically been stocked with trout and other angling opportunities exist nearby including on the Gold Medal waters of the South Platte River locally known as the “Dream Stream” as well still water opportunities on Antero, Spinney Mountain and Elevenmile Canyon Reservoirs. These opportunities afford a landowner a complete wildlife experience that is difficult to find on a ranch of this size.