Big ranches are making the headlines of late, with the $725 million sale of Texas' Waggoner Ranch to Stan Kroenke, the real estate mogul who recently moved the Rams to Los Angeles. But Texas doesn't have a monopoly on marquee ranches; ski country has its own pricey pastoral gems — but with much better vistas, in our opinion. To show off some of the best examples, Curbed Ski put together a list of the five most expensive ranches in ski country.
↑ Cielo Vista Ranch is a one-of-a-kind, top-dollar ski country property. The southern Colorado ranch listed for $105 million covers 83,368 deeded acres and 22 miles of Sangre de Cristo Range ridgeline, including 18 peaks over 13,000 feet. The ranch even includes its own 14er: Culebra Peak. Four out of Colorado's five vegetation zones are represented — foothills, montane, subalpine and alpine — and 80 percent of the property is covered by mature forest. There are more than 100 miles of creeks, Rio Grande trout and thousands of prize elk and other big game.
↑ Close behind Cielo Vista is Bill Koch's Elk Mountain Lodge outside Aspen. Koch bought what was a 55-acre wedding venue for $26.5 million and turned it into family home, adding land and structures to get it to its current $100 million list price. There's still less than 83 acres included with the ranch, but there are 28 bedrooms and 30 bathrooms to make up for it. This isn't the ranch that got Koch in cattle trouble, but it counts for our purposes.
↑ This lakeside Tahoe ranch took a major price cut (it was previously listed at $98 million) but Shakespeare Ranch's current $69 million asking is still good enough to make this list. The 130-acre property still has more than 200 feet of Lake Tahoe frontage intact, a host of guest cabins and homes, a spectacular entertaining barn that was originally built in 1873 and a grand pool house that's basically its own health club. Plans for even more buildings are included, as well.
↑ Wolf Springs Ranch, the 55,486-acre ranch assembled in southern Colorado by an eccentric shampoo tycoon, comes in at the cool $54.7 million. The property is home to its own elk herd, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. Water rights for more than 3,370 acres of irrigable land supports a bison, cattle and horse ranching operation. There are also multiple homes and improvements across the acreage, but the property is clearly centered around the working ranch and outdoor opportunities.
↑ Crazy French Ranch in southern Colorado holds nearly 40,000 acres of land, 4,000 feet of elevation change and seven types of big game — elk, mule deer, bison, black bear, pronghorn, cougar and turkey. The $51 million property also encompasses 9,600-foot Fishers Peak, an iconic mesa that is the highest point all the way east to the Atlantic.