Historic ranch for sale

5,911-acre spread south of Hayden listed for $16 million

Advertisement

— Lou Wyman doesn't sound like a man who's going to miss the ranch that's been in his family for 83 years.

Of course, $16 million might take the sting out of selling the home where he was raised and his 10 children were raised.

"If I never saw another elk, elk horns or an elk belt-buckle, I'd be all right," Wyman said from his 5,911-acre spread along the Williams Fork River.

Wyman and his wife, Paula, have decided to move on to other things, leaving Routt County's best big-game hunting ranch up for grabs.

"Ranching is fun, but you never get away from it," Wyman said.

"I wake up and hear a cow bawling and I gotta go to work right out of the house."

While the long-time rancher may be downplaying his feelings for leaving his old home, there's no hiding his passion for history.

The Wymans have their heart set on building a "living history museum" on a much smaller ranch about three miles east of Craig. They want folks to see how ranch life really was in the early 1900s.

"We'll put up hay and horses and thrash some grain with a steam tractor," Wyman said.

When Wyman says steam tractor he means it. His ranch about 20 miles south of Hayden is full of antiques, including a World War II tank, guns and all.

Need a specific household item, book or farming tool from the late 1800s or early 1900s? It's likely the Wymans have it. Antique trucks, tractors and cars line the driveway to Wyman's house.

One of the barns is decorated with old cast iron seats from various farming implements used before 1910. An old wood toilet, used by President Teddy Roosevelt at a well-known lodge, sits in one barn.

There are at least six more tractor trailers full of history that are stored on his property. An old train caboose from 1914 sits near the main house.

It's just one of the many things Wyman hopes to restore once his ranch is sold.

Of course, it's not the antiques potential buyers are coming to see. It's the ranch's rolling hills and forests, dotted with elk, bear, mountain lion and mule deer that will likely pull in an elite buyer.

"Historically, it's a ranch that is second to none in terms of big-game hunting," said listing real estate agent Troy Brookshire. "I wouldn't be surprised if (the buyer) was a CEO or a company that is looking for some tax deductions and to entertain wealthy clientele who spend a few million dollars every year."

The nearly 6,000-acre ranch is supplemented with another 1,750 acres of BLM land that is leased to the Wyman Ranch.

Brookshire said even the people who can afford such a ranch are astounded by its size.

"We showed it to some ladies from England and the 6,000 acres blew them away," Brookshire said.

"They had no clue what to do with 6,000 acres of land."

Brookshire said the ladies ended up buying a smaller ranch, but not much cheaper.

Just a few years back, Wyman said he sold off a few thousand acres of his ranch to his current neighbor.

In the meantime, the Wyman Ranch is being listed in all the finest magazines, from Christie's Great Estates to the Dupont Registry, along with ranching publications like the Western Livestock Journal and Rocky Mountain Farm and Ranch.

Brookshire said the ranch's perks include water rights to the river and being located along a maintained county road only 20 miles from the airport.

There's also a money-producing gravel pit and better yet, a natural gas well that supplies the ranch.

"I don't know of any other that does that," Brookshire said. "They pipe it right down to the ranch and heat and cook with it."

Folks who have come to hunt at Wyman's ranch for decades are "kind of disappointed really," Wyman said.

Wyman and his wife will miss the solitude most, he said.

He hopes the new buyer will leave it "as a ranch, not as a development."

It's something Brookshire is hoping for as well. "The goal," Brookshire said, "is whoever steps in and buys the ranch will put some of it in conservation."

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.