Step back in time to a high mountain valley in the Colorado Mountains where ranchings rich heritage still prevails. Cowboys call it home—not the buckle bearing pretenders, but the real deal ---ranchers who don't hesitate to share their kitchen with a sick calf while a snow storm rages outside. With less than two residents per square mile, North Park (Jackson County) is still considered a "frontier” by governmental standards and boasts more than 1,600 square miles of soaring vistas and no stop-lights. Entirely surrounded by snowcapped peaks, the headwaters of the North Platte River are formed, feeding this fertile valley with lush hay meadows and trout-rich streams, rivers, and lakes.
Located in North Park's southwestern border near the quaint town of Rand (population 14; counting cats and dogs), The Buffalo Creek Ranch is a rare diamond among jewels. Whereas many ranches spread across open sage plains swept by wind-driven snow, The Buffalo Creek Ranch's unique, natural landscape sets it apart. Quietly nestled in its' own private valley, its borders are created by pine, spruce, and aspen covered ridges shadowed by the snowcapped peaks of the Continental Divide. With lush hay meadows starting at 8,500 feet, punctuated by wildflowers, the landscape gently ascends into aspen groves then rises into the dark timber of the wild Rockies topping out at over 11,000 feet. This is where its creeks are born, eventually meandering their way within walking distance of our lodge, offering brook, rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout to the angler, and feeding the heart of this ranch: the magnificent 45 acre Buffalo Lake.
"North Park---a beautiful, circular valley of 30 miles in diameter, walled in all around with snowy mountains, rich with water and with grass, fringed with pine on the mountainside beneath the snow line, and a paradise to all grazing animals.”
John C. Fremont, June 15, 1844
This habitat creates a flourishing and diverse wildlife sanctuary. Herds of elk call this their home and rarely leave the ranch's solitude. The mule deer, moose, and pronghorns are plentiful and, as the web of life would have it, so are their predators, the mountain lion which are rarely seen but for their large tracks and their prey's carcasses left in the snow. In this intact wildness one can easily imagine how this place looked when the early explorers discovered this area. Sadly, the buffalo and the summering Ute and Arapaho Indians have vanished, but ghostly skeletons of that time can be found by the curious: arrowheads lie scattered on ridges overlooking where the buffalo grazed; settler cabins sag into the soil; tenderly stacked grave markers withstand the ravages of time and beckon us to remember the young boy who drowned in Buffalo Creek and the cowboy who was thrown from his horse. Due to divine luck, however, the animals: the bears fishing in the lakes; the moose feeding in the willows; the elk grazing in the meadows; and the badgers hunting gophers, still grace this ageless landscape.
Today science intertwines with tradition to preserve this natural paradise. Holistically managed with the latest biological and land management techniques, wildlife and fish co-exist with cattle and hay ranching, making the Buffalo Creek Ranch what it is today, preserving what was here yesterday. So not only its borders our people also protect this quiet place---and that is why you will rarely share this ranch with more than seven other guests.
We invite you to visit our ranch and experience its uniqueness.
Buffalo Creek Ranch
P.O. Box 2
2320 JCR 28A
Rand, Co 80473
John Ziegman, General Manager
Buffalo Creek Outfitters, LLC is an equal opportunity service provider operating under permit from Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.
All or part of this operation is conducted on public lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Colorado Outfitters' License Number 2119.
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