The Olson Ranch is a rare property that doesn't come along very often. This magnificent 1600 acre ranch has everything one would want in the West-premier fishing, great hunting, spectacular views, productive hay meadows, and a true western legacy. It has almost four miles of the Little Laramie River and Kelly Creek meandering through its meadows. This ranch lives big, bordering the National Forest providing access to high country elk hunting. LandThe ranch is approximately half river bottom and half high country pasture. Sitting at 8000 feet the ranch produces some of the best native grass hay. The ranch is irrigated with spring runoff and senior water rights through ditches from the Little Laramie River. The high country pasture is a good mix of grasses and offers additional grazing with breathtaking views and excellent access to the high country of Sheep Mountain for recreation and hunting.
ImprovementsThe 3000 square foot ranch home is a remarkable two-story, log-accented home with an open floor plan and impressive fireplace built with local sandstone. It is not uncommon to see elk, deer, and moose in the surrounding meadow with a breathtaking view of the Snowy Range Mountains. This three bedroom, two bath home with its western flavor would serve well as the main headquarters or a manager's residence.
RecreationWith almost four miles of blue ribbon water, fishing in this stretch of the Little Laramie River is truly legendary. The owners are excellent stewards of the land and understand fish and fisheries very well. They practice catch and release angling and that combined with streambed improvements has enhanced, maintained and improved one of the West's truly great streams. The Little Laramie in this area produces many fish up to and over 30 inches in both Brown and Rainbow Trout. Kelly Creek or Spring Creek as the owners call it also feeds into the Little Laramie and produces some amazing fish with its beautiful waters. A variety of trout including Brown, Rainbow, Brook and Cutthroat can be caught at the Olson Ranch.
Hunting on the Olson Ranch is extraordinary and offers good elk, mule deer, pronghorn and varmints. Bull elk into the 370s are taken annually. The ranch has had very little hunting pressure and this helps insure a quality herd. The ranch is located in a general unit in Wyoming so tags are available by draw. Please see game regulations in the State of Wyoming for details and accuracy.
AgricultureCurrently, the ranch is running a cow/calf operation year round and produces on average 500 tons nutritional, high country native grass hay.
Water/Mineral Rights & Natural ResourcesThe water rights from the Little Laramie River date back to the late 1800S providing excellent ditch irrigation.
Region & ClimateHome to the University of Wyoming, the Albany County Campus of Laramie County Community College, and WyoTech Automotive School, Laramie sits at 7,000 feet elevation with less than 40,000 residents. The surrounding area offers year-round recreation in the Medicine Bow National Forest and Curt Gowdy State Park, to include downhill Snowy Range Ski Area and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hiking, jet skiing and paddle board, fishing, ATVing, horseback riding, and rock climbing. Laramie on average gets 12 inches of rain per year and 64 inches of annual snowfall. Summertime is beautiful with average temperatures around 80 degrees and little or no humidity. Laramie has a regional airport and is 150 miles from Denver.
HistoryIn 1900, John and Hulda Olson moved to the ranch. The original purchase was so small that the Olsons soon began buying land nearby. The lower and upper meadows to the south were bought in 1905 and 1909. Land was also available for homesteading east of the Olson Ranch, on the west side of Sheep Mountain, and at intervals John, Hulda and Charley Olson, John's brother, and eventually John and Hulda's son, Harry, proved up on land.
For many years, the Olson Ranch was a station for the exchange of passengers and mail on the way to and from Albany and Keystone, and during the stop the passengers always enjoyed a hot meal of Mrs. Olson's Scandinavian cooking. Many of these travelers were timber workers and they developed a kindred feeling with the Olsons for they, too, were from Sweden, the old country.
The Olsons realized early the quality fishing on the ranch and have had anglers since the 1930S.
In 1927, Wana Clay, a widow with her four little boys, moved from Missouri to Laramie to be closer to her father who owned acreage just outside of Laramie. Wana taught in rural schools and was very active during her 40 years involvement in education in Wyoming. After a long courtship, she married Harry Olson in 1954.
After the death of Harry Olson and retiring from her teaching career in 1964, Wana was the driving force behind the dude business. Guests came from all over the world to experience the beauty of Centennial Valley, life on a working cattle ranch, and, of course, great fishing. Wana would stand on the back porch waving good-bye to fishermen while one dollar bills were peeking out of her apron pocket.
The Olson Ranch is a family-owned and -operated ranch. At one time, there were four generations living and working together raising mother cows and their calves, and putting up hay. The ranch is still operated the cowboy way riding horseback and using stock dogs on the annual cattle drive moving cows to the Usfs summer pasture after wintering the cattle in the valley on the river. The Olson Ranch is proud of their heritage and being good stewards of the land.
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