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Between Gunnison and Crested Butte, and set in one of Colorado’s most beautiful and photographed valleys, Eagle Ridge Ranch (ERR) is a rare blend of breathing space and community. Comprising 4,900 acres with conservation easement owned by only 15 lucky families, ERR is a working cattle-hay ranch balancing exceptional recreation opportunities and wildlife preservation. The home is where architect, artisan and builder united to create a stunning yet comfortable home worthy of its spectacular setting – 360-degree views that capture incredible sunny days, postcard sunsets and starry nights. This is an authentic western Colorado dream.
Architect Elizabeth Metz brought the seller’s vision of ranch aesthetics with sustainability to life, artfully combining a smart ranch house floor plan, replete with custom elements, natural materials and eco-friendly construction techniques. Of these, old world, straw-bale walls are the most prominent. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter, the result – Casa Tres Unos – is an authentic and environmental 6 bedroom / 4 ½ bath ranch home.
Walking through the front door you’ll notice the massive 18” thick walls plastered with clay sourced from the property, giving a sense of organic warmth and comfort that carries throughout the home. The main hallway leads past beetle-kill pine wall treatments and the stairwell’s custom steps and forged hand rails into the family room, with adobe floors, plaster walls, a fireplace and saloon-style ceiling décor. Down the main hallway you’ll find the bar with custom concrete counter and motifs.
Next is the kitchen, spaciously designed for functionality and entertainment. It is the heart of the home. It features a massive concrete island, wood-fired stone and plaster pizza oven, wide plank pecan floors and a stunning custom hood and backsplash with “The Castles” motif, the valley’s landmark geological formation. The kitchen also leads to both outdoor living areas – to the East a small flagstone patio for sunrise hot tubs, and to the West a large terrace for dinners and sunsets over Mill Creek and the Anthracites.
The kitchen flows into a large but warmly inviting living and dining room highlighting exposed wood beams, a floor-to-ceiling rock fireplace, deep interior windowsills and postcard views of nearby pastures and up-valley mountains. Ceilings are tall but not cathedral, adding to the warmth and coziness. Just off the living room, you’ll find the master suite wing with adobe floors, beautifully plastered walls and more of those gorgeous wood beams.
The upstairs floor plan features two bedrooms and full bathrooms, more pecan wood flooring accompanied by cork floors, wainscoting detail and ceilings in tongue-and-groove. The big bonus room is currently set up for pool night and music but could easily function as a fifth bedroom or large office. Other floor plan highlights include an office located off the kitchen and a three-car garage with a raised dog bath. There is ample closet and storage space throughout the home. Across from the garage, a 1,024 sf free-standing post and beam barn serves a variety of storage needs and could be converted to accommodate horses.
The home site is at the end of a road providing utmost privacy. Irrigation ditches wrap a good portion of the property, attracting wildlife – elk, deer, owls, eagles, hawks and sage grouse – and providing grazing pastures. The yard, fenced in for dogs, is low maintenance with native grasses and wild flowers. The property is prime for horses and yet is a short walk to the ERR equestrian center, for maximum convenience. With two structures built, the new owner may add another, such as an additional barn or guesthouse.
ERR is widely acknowledged as one of the best planned and managed shared-ownership ranches in Colorado, if not the West. 300+ acres per home site is extraordinarily large. A working ranch, it also boasts 2 ½ miles of Ohio Creek accessible for fishing and other recreation. ERR has developed 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The 2,500-acre “wilderness area” portion of the ranch sits high up towards and abuts with the 175,000-acre West Elk Wilderness. Here, ERR owners may hunt and otherwise explore some of the best wilderness areas that Colorado offers.
ERR is in a remarkable part of Colorado increasingly being discovered for its world-class recreation (skiing, fishing, hunting, horseback riding and mountain biking) and scenery (ranchland, mountain ranges, canyons, rivers, reservoirs, wildflowers, mesas and ghost mining towns).
The Gunnison Valley has witnessed over 10,000 years of human activity through its (now inactive) volcanic corridor, once the summer encampment of Ute Indian tribes and more recently, domain of the Spanish empire and disputed territory between the Mexican and Texan republics. This rich and diverse history comes to fruition upon discovering artifacts in our backyard, from Folsom point spearheads to century-old small-animal traps. Gunnison is an authentic ranch community while enjoying all the benefits of a college town, as it’s home to Western State Colorado University. Crested Butte and its world-class ski mountain are a 45-minute scenic drive from Casa Tres Unos. Over the summer and fall, an alternative route to Crested Butte, through Ohio Creek Valley, is accessible in which you drive past other conservation ranches, and through one of the world’s largest living organisms, an amazing aspen grove.
The home and its environs are a unique opportunity to own a piece of the “real deal” Colorado.
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