Colorado’s Most Expensive Property Is a 6,919-Acre Wonderland
The most expensive property in all of Colorado isn’t just a home.
It’s a whopping 6,919 acres filled with wild animals, ancient footprints, amazing views, helipads, a ruined mansion and three houses which are certainly not in ruins.
Welcome to West Creek Ranch, a property with 14 bedrooms and 12 full bathrooms located in Gateway, Colorado, on the western edge of the state. Offered by Sotheby’s International Realty, it’s up for sale at a staggering $149 million.
Who Owns It?
This sprawling landscape has a fitting owner. John Hendricks, who founded Discovery Communications — owner of the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, among other media properties — purchased the property in the mid-1990s and built the main residence over a three-year period.
Over the years Hendricks bought more land and put 4,000 acres into permanent conservation easement. He also owns and runs the nearby rural getaway of Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa.
It Comes With Four Parcels of Land
West Creek Ranch’s 6,919 acres are made up of four distinct, named parcels of land: the rocky, Precambrian cliffs of Gill Meadows; the plateaus of Sky Mesa; the lush wildlife landscape of Blue Creek; and finally, West Creek Ranch Headquarters.
The majority of the property is located in Mesa County, but a chunk of West Creek Ranch — about 507 acres — is located in Grand County, Utah.
A Pilot’s Dream
There’s a lot of space at West Creek Ranch, and there’s far too much space to walk the whole thing (although you could pull off your own miniature “Wild” every weekend).
Instead, take to the skies. This property comes with two helipads, one located at Sky Mesa and one at the main residence, an airplane hangar and an irrigated grass air strip.
This vast expanse is a hunter’s paradise.
The land teems with small game and waterfowl, and the property within a Colorado big game management unit, where herds of more than 10,000 elk and 17,000 mule deer from the Uncompahgre Plateau roam.
That doesn’t mean you’ll encounter 27,000 deer and elk, but odds are good a portion of that herd can be found trotting around West Creek Ranch.
Beware the Wildlife
If you’re wandering about in the Blue Creek parcel, you may want to bring a rifle — or at least some bear spray. The area is known for its mountain lion and bear habitats.
The listing does say West Creek Ranch has “trophy-class hunting opportunities” for these animals, but it’s certainly not necessary.
Hendricks has said he only goes hunting with his camera.
Indulge in Amenities Galore
While you can hike, fly, fish, hunt and ride throughout these massive grounds, you may never want to leave home in the first place.
The main house has an oversized elevator to transport you to any of its four floors. There are eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen, art studio, theater, game room, gym, art studio, two interior water fountains, two exterior water fountains, six fireplaces (five inside, one outside), staff quarters, a pool and a spa.
There’s also a five-car garage, helipad and backup generator in case the power goes out. But if it does, just go check out the stars.
Enjoy Your Own Personal Observatory
Want to check out the Milky Way? With the night sky being lacking light pollution — civilization is about an hour away — you might be able to see it just by laying down in the grass.
But who wants to pay $149 million to lay in the grass? This property comes with an honest-to-god 400-square-foot observatory with a 20” Meade telescope and a rotating copper dome that opens.
It Comes With an Office Building
This listing isn’t just limited to its grand scenic landscape and three houses. West Creek Ranch also comes with a 17,333 square-foot office building and airplane hangar located an hour away at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.
Currently the 11-office building and the hangar are being used for VIP guest transport to West Creek Ranch and Gateway Canyons goers.
Maybe you can work out a business deal with Hendricks and Gateway Canyons.
The Library Is a Masterpiece
West Creek Ranch’s library might not be the biggest we’ve seen, but it’s certainly one of the coolest.
Located at the top of a spiral staircase, it’s a cozy, circular room with a domed roof and custom French patio doors.
But the Main Residence Is Wild
As a whole property, West Creek Ranch is a pastoral slice of heaven. As a sole home, the main residence is just bonkers.
It’s a custom-made 22,000 square-foot custom adobe replete with custom flourishes. The walls seem to flow rather than stand. Marble archways and columns frame the residence like the entire interior is an honoring to a long-lost god.
Outside, there’s about 3,500 square feet of covered verandahs and patio space. Jamie Daugaard of Center Sky Architecture designed this architectural showpiece.
Check Out the Pool
Outside the main residence, relax in the gorgeous infinity pool with waterfall feature. Climb out and lounge by one of the exterior adobe fireplaces.
The Views Are Incredible
West Creek Ranch’s lands are beautiful enough to look at, with waterfalls, lakes and roaming animals, and it’s also framed by some stunning landscapes: red rock canyons, the tower-like Palisade formation, snow-capped mountains, Precambrian rock exposures, canyons, valleys and lush riverbanks.
There isn’t another home within view, as the hundreds of thousands of acres surrounding the ranch are under federal protection.
It Comes Furnished
You won’t have to spend another million dollars furnishing this massive property.
If you can see it in the photos, it probably comes with the property — unless it’s a personal item, like art and antique fossils. But the seats and projector in the theater, the pool table, and cozy living room set?
They’re probably all yours.
You Also Get Some Animals
While you can certainly find majestic beasts on these 6,919 acres, you won’t have to go searching for them. The sale comes with pasture fields containing five American bison, four American quarter horses, three miniature horses and one Belgian draft horse.
Of course, there are stables.
If you want to start your own cattle farm, you can do that, too. There’s enough grazing land and winter pastures to support 285 cattle pairs, and there’s more than 1,000 acres of land capable of producing hay.
Big Things Happened Here
And we don’t mean multi-millionaire deals (although we’re sure those happened, too).
According to the listing, dinosaur fossils and footprints can be found on the vast swaths of land. There’s also Native American rock art and petroglyphs to be found on and around the property.
Choose a Vacation Spot
“Staycation” takes on a whole other meaning at West Creek Ranch, where you have two other unique homes to lounge about in.
In addition to the main residence, there are two other homes: one on the Sky Mesa parcel and one on the Blue Creek parcel.
The Blue Creek’s guesthouse is a two-bedroom, one-bathroom adobe-style cabin with a big kitchen to cook trout from the nearby stream. The house at Sky Mesa is a bigger, three-bedroom two-bathroom log cabin with a separate garage and adjacent helipad.
You’ll Be Awash in Water
You’re definitely not in a desert at West Creek Ranch. The property “holds significant water rights” in both Mesa County, Colorado, and in Grand County, Utah.
Water coming in from the Dolores River and other tributaries create small lakes, streams and waterfalls throughout the property. Two irrigation ponds, a pump house and a sprinkler irrigation system make the nearby areas lush with foliage.
Visit a Crumbling Mansion
Located on the Gill Meadows parcel is a one-story sandstone house known as the Driggs Mansion. It was built between 1914 and 1918, and served as a headquarters for Lawrence Driggs, a New York businessman who ran a cattle ranch.
The mansion, which is a registered historic place, is now a roofless ruin. But that just makes it yet another perfect spot to stargaze.
While you might not be spending the night here, it’s a really cool place to visit.