County fully funds federal land transfer work for river parcels
September 21, 2020
March 2, 2021

Crags Land Exchange Closes in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, Colorado

Western Land Group worked with the U.S. Forest Service and the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to pursue and ultimately close this Congressionally authorized land exchange with the U.S. Forest Service. The land exchange closed on February 8, 2021. It conveyed a forested and undeveloped 320-acre parcel along the northwestern flank of Pikes Peak (known as the Crags Parcel) to the Pike and San Isabel National Forest near located near the popular Crags Campground to enhance the management of this area for its wildlife values and public recreational opportunities, and the values associated with the adjacent Pikes Peak West Roadless Area. As part of this land exchange, the permanent easement along the Barr Trail was confirmed, which provides public access to areas near the Manitou Incline, a popular hiking trail starting at Manitou Springs, Colorado, and routing to the top of Pikes Peak.

In exchange, the Broadmoor Hotel acquired ownership of the Emerald Valley Ranch. This Ranch, which comprises an 83-acre parcel, has been operated as a camp and resort since 1892. The Broadmoor Hotel operates it as a resort, formerly under a U.S. Forest Service special use permit since 2014. It contains 9 cabins, a lodge, and other facilities and amenities providing hotel guests with a rustic outdoor experience in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. The Broadmoor Hotel will document the history of this Ranch as part of this land exchange, and also acquired, as per the congressional authorization, a permanent easement along Forest Service Road 371 to provide access for guests and ongoing maintenance and operation of this resort.