Pine Valley Ranch Park

Address: W. of Pine in S.W. part of the county, off Cty. Rd. 126 between Pine Junction and Pine.

In 1896, J.W. Hildebrand, cattle rancher, homesteaded land called Pine Valley and built cabins at the site of the present lodge. 1908 saw the transfer of ownership to the Eckert Ice Company, that cut ice from Crystal Lake and shipped it to Denver via the Colorado & Southern Railroad. In 1925, a Chicagoan, W.A. Baehr, bought the property and built a large manor-like structure for summer use and named it Baehr Den. It was sold in 1956 to a group of professional businessmen, mostly from Denver, and was used as a fishing retreat. In 1975, the property was again sold and extensive remodeling was done: a conference wing was made available, an indoor swimming pool built, also a large dining room, all for the public's use. The place became known as the Pine Valley Ranch and operated until the late 1970s. Jefferson County Open Space purchased the 820 acre property in 1986 for $2.35 million . Additional moneys were used for parking lots, new roads, bridges, restrooms and other improvements. It opened to the public in July 1994 with fishing, trails, picnic areas, and other recreational activities. The large lodge is to be reopened for use at a future date.
Quad Map/Date: Pine, 1965 (1985)
Sec/Town/Range: S28, T7S, R71W
Elevation: 6780
Source: Open Space Location Map, Jefferson County Open Space; Hiwan Homestead Museum Library.
Other Names: Pine Valley Ranch & Observatory
Last Modified: Mon, December 10 2012

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