Grand County Colorado Ranches For Sale – Recreational & Production
Population estimate, 2007: 13,612, 7.3 persons/sq. mi.
Square miles: 1870
Approximate driving time from Denver: 2 hours
Commercial Airport: None in county, Denver International within two hours. General Aviation fields at Granby and Kremmling
Ski Areas: Winter Park, SolVista Basin
Major Communities: Fraser (910), Granby (1525), Grand Lake (447), Hot Sulphur Springs (521), Kremmling (1578), Winter Park (662)
Elevations: 7000 to 14,000 feet
Major streams: Colorado River, Williams Fork River, Fraser River, Muddy Creek, Troublesome Creek, Lower Blue River
Average ranch/farm size: 1269 acres (NAICS, 2002) vs. Colorado average 991 acres
Pros: Excellent deer and elk hunting and trout fishing, but relatively close to the Denver metro area. Downhill skiing at Winter Park and SolVista. Rocky Mountain National Park. A great variety of recreational activities are available.
Cons: Eastern portion of the county is developing rapidly. Land prices have escalated. A Pine Beetle infestation is devastating some large areas of forest.
Grand County contains the headwaters of the Colorado River (formerly the Grand River) and abuts the rugged Continental Divide to the east. Spectacular alpine mountains lie within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, yet much of the county is dominated by the rolling sagebrush and pine hills of Middle Park. Grand County is “classic Colorado high country” in many respects. Extensive and productive cattle ranches encompass most of the river and streambottoms. Public lands include the Arapahoe National Forest and BLM lands, both with good access.
Cattle ranching was the historic base of economy in Grand County, and still has a significant presence. Recreation and vacation home development have exploded recently, however, particularly in the eastern sections of the county closest to the ski areas and Rocky Mountain National Park. Working ranches still exist in the central and western portions of the county, and many of these control large sections of the Colorado and other rivers. Land values county-wide, however, have taken a major jump upward in recent years.
Hunting: Mule deer and elk populations are good in Grand County, but hunting pressure is high due to its proximity to the Denver area. Public land hunting dominates the higher elevations, but several large private ranches also offer large uninterrupted areas of habitat as well. Most significantly, large herds of deer and elk find critical wintering habitat among many of the lower elevation ranches.
Fishing: Grand County has long claimed a well-deserved reputation of containing some of the best trout fishing within Colorado. Former President Dwight Eisenhower fished here often. Portions of the Colorado River, in particular, have been designated Gold Medal quality by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Although whirling disease has limited the river’s rainbow trout population, brown trout still thrive here. Several Colorado tributaries such as the Fraser, Blue and Williams Fork Rivers are also excellent fisheries in their own right. Due to irrigation demands and transmountain diversions, some streams suffer from low flows from late summer through winter. These pressures are likely to increase over time. Stillwater fishing opportunities are superior in Grand County as well, with Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, Lake Granby and Williams Fork Reservoir offering a combination of rainbow trout, lake trout, kokanee salmon and pike fishing.