Colorado ranches in store for good water year

Recent spring snowstorms across the Colorado Rockies have bumped the state’s snowpack into the “above average” category for the second year running. And that’s welcome news for Colorado ranch real estate owners. 

Colorado’s annual snowfall acts as the state’s largest water reservoir. When spring arrives and snow begins to melt, all that water flows into the state’s storied rivers. For Colorado ranchers, that water also flows across ranch land, recharges aquifers and refills water sources for livestock.

A promising season ahead

It’s also a boon to Colorado trout rivers and streams, including fishable waters located on Colorado ranch properties, several of which are on the market and listed as ranches for sale.

Every major river basin in the state, is at or above average when it comes to snowpack as of March 20. 

Take a look at these snowpack percentages, all of which offer encouraging news for ranchers and ranch investors heading into the 2024 growing season: 

  • San Miguel, Dolores and San Juan basin: 103 percent of normal
  • Upper Rio Grande basin: 102 percent of normal
  • Arkansas basin: 108 percent of normal
  • Gunnison basin: 102 percent of normal
  • Upper Colorado basin: 106 percent of normal
  • Yampa, Little Snake and White basin: 110 percent of normal
  • Laramie and North Platte basin: 106 percent of normal
  • South Platte basin: 110 percent of normal

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, there’s not enough data available to accurately measure the data for the river basins on the state’s eastern plains. 

Fishing on Broadacre Ranch.

Ranches for sale in great river basins

In the Upper Rio Grande basin, where the storied Broadacre Ranch is listed for sale, snowpack looks good for the coming summer. The ranch features 600 acres. And it includes five miles of the Rio Grande River. 

In northern Colorado’s Yampa River drainage, where Trapper Divide Ranch is listed as a ranch for sale, snowpack is even better at 110 percent of normal. This ranch consists of 3,000 acres and sits in perhaps the best elk-hunting country in the Lower 48. 

Bearslide Ranch near Cedaredge is a ranch for sale in the Gunnison drainage. This basin is sitting at just above normal for snowpack heading into the 2024 season. This ranch features incredible elk-hunting acreage (almost 1,000 acres) and a beautiful lodge. It’s also situated on the Grand Mesa, which offers some of the best fishing in Colorado. 

Independence Mountain Ranch near Walden is in the North Platte drainage, where snowpack this spring is 106 percent of normal. This 362-acre parcel is located in a hunting and fishing wonderland. 

Final word

Across Colorado, the 2024 water season looks promising. And that’s great news for ranch real estate owners and potential buyers who are looking for ranches for sale. It translates into healthy forage for livestockc. It also means good water levels for trout fishing and a plentiful season for big game heading into the 2024 hunting season. 

We have over 30 years of experience throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and New Mexico. We know these states well, including some “undiscovered” places. We are offering best hunting ranches for sale along with other premier properties
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