Office Locations

  • WYOMING: Jackson Hole | Sheridan
  • MONTANA: Bozeman | Lewistown
  • COLORADO: Denver
  • IDAHO: Driggs
  • OREGON: Bend | Hood River | Portland
  • NEBRASKA: Oshkosh
  • GEORGIA: Atlanta | Albany
  • TENNESSEE: Chattanooga
  • TEXAS: Fredericksburg

Stay Up To Date Join Our Newsletter

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Main Content


Penn Ranch

Sold: 2023 Penn Ranch Durango, Colorado

Details & Features

Located in one of the most scenic and tightly held valleys in the Rocky Mountains lies the incomparable Penn Ranch. This Durango Ranch for sale boasts +343 acres of irrigated pasture, timbered hillsides leading to vast and wild public lands, dramatic views of towering granite peaks, spring-fed ponds, all highlighted by a picture-perfect trout fishery meandering and tumbling its way through the ranch. This offering is a multi-generational ranch holding, accessible year-round, that offers the best-of-the-best for privacy, scenery, recreation, and direct access to some of the most inspiring and untamed wilderness areas in the Lower 48. No hyperbole is necessary when describing the Penn Ranch, held by the same family for 70 years.

Improvements on the property include a primary home of approximately 2,900 sqft and a secondary/guest home of +1,700 sqft, built in 1965 and 1971. A major remodel of the primary home was completed in 2000. In addition to the homes, there is a two-story bank barn and tack shed. Penn Ranch controls approximately 1.44 cfs of water rights with a priority date from 1884. Additionally, the ranch is located approximately ten minutes drive from Vallecito Lake, the largest lake of its kind in Colorado, at an elevation of 7,700 feet and covering nearly 2,700 acres of surface area.

The ranch is thirty-five miles NE of the thriving western community of Durango, and all it offers, from diverse dining options to a full array of shopping, healthcare services, entertainment, and outdoor adventures. Durango is a cultural center in the Southwest, with Fort Lewis, a prestigious liberal arts college.


The approximate 343 acres that comprise the Penn Ranch range from the irrigated pastures flanking the picturesque Pine River (or Los Pinos) at a base elevation of 7,800 feet to the timbered hillsides on either side of the valley offering a view that must be seen to appreciate at roughly 8,600 feet. Contained within the deeded acreage of the ranch are pockets of diverse flora from the mighty firs and cottonwoods along the river in a park-like setting of lush green undergrowth to the patchwork of pine and aspens rising along the hillsides. Parallel to the river is a series of spring-fed pond that serves as a resting spot for all manners of waterfowl and a water resource for big game, not to mention its idyllic setting for stillwater trout fishing with views to the towering Granites Peaks.
The pasture ground is irrigated utilizing senior rights from the Kirkpatrick Ditch. The current owners have a grazing lease allowing an operator to graze cattle on their land and the adjacent ranch to the south. The two properties generally support 22 pairs which are turned out in early June and taken off the property in late July or early August. Penn Ranch has a seasonal employee who handles the property’s irrigation, ditch maintenance, fence repair, and weed control.
“The free-flowing water and 360 degrees of wilderness surrounding us have so many natural healing qualities,” says Bill Penn, whose family has owned the ranch for the past 70 years. “We’ve had wonderful times with multiple generations of our family and friends, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. There’s really nothing quite like it. The valley looks very much like it did 50 years ago.”


Four miles off a well-maintained county road, Pine River Ranch is an excellent basecamp for adventures for all ages. Bayfield, the nearest place to get groceries, is about a 30-minute drive, and Durango is about 35 miles away. The historic mining city of Durango (pop. 19,071) comes from the Basque word “Urango,” meaning “water town” because of the Gold Medal rated Animas River. It was founded in 1880 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Company. It is flanked to the north by the San Juan Basin and to the south by the foothills of the San Juan and La Plata Mountains.
Vallecito Lake, nestled in the heart of the pristine San Juan National Forest, is minutes from Penn Ranch. With 12 miles of shoreline, Vallecito Lake holds a special place in history, being an ancestral home to Colorado’s Ute Indians. The lake beckons adventurers with a wide range of activities throughout the year. Whether you’re an avid biker, wildlife enthusiast, or water sports lover, this haven has something for everyone. Experience the thrill of OHV exploration, embark on scenic horseback rides, fish for large trout and pike, or hike along the area’s trail network. Vallecito Lake Country Market and Rocky Mountain General Store offer options for stocking up on essentials. The Weminuche Woodfire Grill and La Comida Ranchera offer local dining options for regional Southwestern fare. The secluded mountain valley is a short 18-mile drive from Durango.

Getting to the Ranch

The Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) offers year-round commercial flight options for Penn Ranch. DRO provides quick boarding and hassle-free security screening and is only one hour from the property. Long-term parking is conveniently situated a few steps away, ensuring effortless travel arrangements. Enjoy the ease of flying with major carriers such as American Airlines and United Airlines, as DRO provides year-round daily nonstop service to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN), and Phoenix (PHX). For added flexibility, seasonal nonstop service to Houston (IAH) is also available. Private air services are accommodated by AVFLIGHT, which is based out of the Durango-La Plata Airport.


The structures on the Penn Ranch were built by following the vision and craftsmanship of the Penn Family. They consist of a two-story cabin built in 1965 and a four-bedroom, three-bathroom ranch house completed in 1975. A tack shed and a storage bank barn lie between the two residences. In 1971, they erected a steel bridge with concrete pillars to access the east side of the river. The steel utilized in the bridge construction came from army surplus airplane hangars. The improvements are ideally positioned to take advantage of the dramatic views of the river valley and inspiring mountain peaks while allowing easy access to the river, pastures, and trailheads.
Should an incoming owner desire to build new homes to match the vision and needs of their family, the ranch is a blank canvas upon which they can put those dreams into reality.

Live Water

Tumbling from the high in the Weminuche Wilderness, the Pine River, known locally as Los Pinos, is a pristine freestone fishery teeming with feisty trout. Once on the deeded acreage of the ranch, the river meanders through a picturesque stand of towering firs over a series of plunge pools before making its way to the central portion of the ranch. There it opens up to a classic meadow-style fishery with deep holes and undercut banks. Throughout the stretch of premier water, there is no shortage of structure, trout-friendly natural features, and clear casting lanes to target rising fish and the big ones holding in the deeper pockets. The setting is pristine, the bug life is abundant, and the resident rainbows and browns are hard-charging and healthy.

Hunting and Wildlife

Located in GMU 751, the ranch enjoys visits from abundant wildlife. Deer and elk often move throughout the property, and Bighorn sheep can be found higher up on the cliffs. The lush habitat also provides refuge for other game, including bears, mountain lions, turkey, and grouse. The unit allows for over-the-counter tags during the second and third rifle seasons. Most of the lands in GMU 751 are wintering big game areas, making it great for later-season hunting. For the early season, hunters succeed in the “dark timber” of the north-facing slopes in the spruce/fir and aspen forests. The ranch’s proximity to the 500,000-acre Weminuche Wilderness – the largest wilderness area in Colorado – allows game animals to thrive. Rufous and Broad Tailed hummingbirds are abundant. Blue herons, great horned owls, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and other raptors are commonplace.


There are two trails with access to the vast National Forest above the east property lines. The steeper of the two begins where it enters the ranch on the east hillside close to the north boundary line of the property. The other starts on the valley floor adjoining the south boundary. They end on top of the high cliffs on the east side of the valley’s north end. At the summit are breathtaking views of the mountains north, west, and south and of the valley below.
The steeper trail from Granite Peaks rises 1,000 feet above the Pine River Valley floor and overlooks Vallecito Reservoir to the south. Wildflowers are abundant, and game trails made by elk, deer, and big horn sheep offer an easy path for horses to follow.
“There are hundreds of magical spots along the trails to the east and west that no one else has access to but us,” says Bill Penn. “The primitive forest has some of the biggest aspen trees I’ve ever seen. From the top, we can see clearly down to New Mexico. The beauty of the valley is enthralling.”


This incomparable mountain ranch has been deeply cherished and thoughtfully managed by the Penn Family, who have shown an unwavering commitment to land stewardship. There is a reason why this historic western ranch has not been made available in generations. It takes a wanderlust that does not go quietly into the night, with an enduring vision and a passion for the wild. This is a rare opportunity to create a legacy in the wilderness that meanders far, stretches high, and ripples deep. Combining unparalleled access to some of the most scenic and pristine wilderness areas in the Lower 48, views that have to be seen to be believed, exceptional private fishing on both the river and spring-fed ponds, a treasure-trove of wildlife visitors, historic water rights, comfortable improvements all near the thriving Durango community the Penn Ranch is a best-in-class offering that is as special as it gets.

  • 4,000+ ft both sides of private Pine River fishing and 3 spring-fed ponds onsite
  • Improvements include a two-story cabin, four-bedroom ranch home, tack shed and storage bank barn
  • Located 30 minutes from Bayfield, Colorado
  • Located 35 miles from Durango, Colorado
Show More
Last Listed At:$9,200,000
343 Acres

Watch This Ranch Video

Penn Ranch

Get To Know Colorado Colorado Ranches for Sale


Live Water Properties features breathtaking ranch properties throughout Colorado. These Colorado ranches for sale are the finest recreational properties available. Opportunities abound whether located on one of the state’s famed rivers, shoulder to shoulder with pristine national forest, or perched above a spectacular mountain vista. With endless pursuits in skiing, fishing, and hunting, Colorado is the destination for outdoor lovers interested in owning ranch real estate.

View All Colorado Properties

Landowner Insights

2024 Mountain West Hatch Report

With spring in the rearview mirror, it is time to gear up for summer fishing in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. Thanks to yet...

Preparing to Sell Your Ranch: Expert Advice from a Ranch Broker

Ensuring that a ranch, farm, or recreational property sells for top dollar takes an experienced broker who can help landowners position their property for success...

Join Our

VIP List

See listings before anyone else
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Download Property Brochure
Skip to content