Rawhide Ranch

The most significant private trout fishery within an hour of Denver.

Bailey, Colorado

327 +/- deeded acres

SOLD. Value: $10,000,000

Fly Fishing Trout

Rawhide Ranch Summary

Late in 1994, Confluence Land Company founding partner Clint Packo began working at the Rawhide Ranch near Bailey, Colorado as a fishing guide. For the next 14 years he was one of a few lucky guides to become intimately familiar with what is likely the most diverse and significant recreational property within 90 minutes of Denver.  Rawhide Ranch is situated directly downstream of Bailey on the North Fork of the South Platte River and controls over 1.5 miles of the storied watershed.  Beginning in 2006, Clint understood that the then ownership was evaluating opportunities to create value with the property and potentially liquidate the property.  Several developers were engaged by the owners and a 9 hole golf course and condominiums were planned for the ranch.  Had this plan succeeded, the remarkable agricultural property with stunning recreational attributes would no longer be the example of nature’s beauty that it is today.

Clint took it upon himself to find a partner for the ownership to prevent the large scale planned development.  It took three years to get the agreement finalized, but beginning in 2007 the management of the property transferred to a new group led by Clint and a close friend. Immediately after taking over the property in 2007, Freestone Aquatics began thorough restoration and expansion of the fisheries resources on the property.  Working closely with Jeff Spohn of Colorado parks and wildlife, Colorado Trout Unlimited, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Denver Water Board, Freestone Aquatics transformed the river from a degraded conduit to move water from Dillon reservoir to Denver, to a sterling example of what the north fork of the South Platte river can be.  The fishery developed a wild spawning population of rainbow and brown trout that is unmatched on the entire watershed and has been used as a philanthropic recreational paradise for hundreds of returning veterans, Boy Scouts, cancer survivors and other fundraising events. These uses exemplify what recreational and agricultural properties can be.

Enter Confluence Land Company in 2018. Confluence began its evaluation of the property for a potential transition to a new buyer.  Confluence’s founding partners Michael ledger and Clint Packo worked to connect the seller and buyer while simultaneously preserving the integrity of the transaction and the property. Confluence continues to manage the property post-sale  This management involves regular communication with the onsite ranch managers, expanding and increasing the efficiency of the agricultural operation and ongoing wildlife management.

The Rawhide Ranch is surrounded by National Forest and because of its stunningly unique cliffs, draws, and fauna, the property boasts incredibly healthy populations of mule deer, elk and black bears.  Mountain lions are remarkably frequent visitors to the property as are coyotes, foxes and bobcats.  Raptors abound as golden and bald eagles migrate through eh watershed as well as the occasional osprey.  The tall cliffs provide refuge and rearing habitat for several species of hawk including Red-Tail, Cooper, Swainson, American Kestrel, and Sharp Shinned. These birds are reared annually in he cliffs of the property and earn their wings flying over the river in early summer of each year.

In 2020 and 2021 property is undergoing a large scale renovation to its infrastructure and water delivery systems for irrigation.  The remaining 30% of the river which had not already been rehabilitated will be restored and the Rawhide ranch will continue setting the bar as the premier sporting operation on the South Platte river system.  This will occur while continuing the standard as the preeminent philanthropic supporter of local charity.

Confluence Land Company and Freestone aquatics continue to expand the potential of this property while managing it as a big game sanctuary where low-pressure use creates an opportunity for exceptional viewing of wildlife, birds and fishing.

Why this transaction is significant:
  • Off market
  • Tremendous upside potential
  • Close-in location
  • Senior water rights
  • Big game hunting
  • Land management
  • Water resource management