The Vision

“A community in which ranching, recreational, and preservation interests work together to protect and enrich the great agricultural heritage and landscapes of the American West.”

Steve and Ann Stranahan built The Home Ranch in 1980 on 560 acres north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Over the next forty years Steve, Ann and their four children welcomed guests and developed friendships with people from all over the world. They were eventually able to acquire adjacent properties, and at one time owned parcels of land totaling over 4,000 acres that touched National Forest lands on both the east and west borders.  Within that acreage, they sought to establish a community for Home Ranch guests who wanted to make their Colorado experience more permanent. They set aside 1,500 acres to be shared among eleven homeowners who also hold a deep appreciation for conservation, privacy and refinement in a most-stunning mountain landscape. 

Over the years, much of the land has been placed into conservation easements, and strong relationships were formed with other large landowners who share the desire to protect the valley. As a result, most of the upper Elk River Valley is protected by permanent conservation easements created among trusting neighbors. This wonderful land can only be minimally developed – if at all. Steve and Ann’s appreciation for the valley laid a strong foundation for future residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful area, just as they did.

In 1992, the Stranahans made a covenant with the neighbors who shared their mission of preservation:

“None of us will build homes that are easily visible from the valley floor. This covenant with our neighbors and with the Land Trusts is to preserve the integrity of the Elk River Valley, one of the most beautiful and unspoiled alpine ranching valleys still existing in America.”

The Murphy-Larsen Ranch is a direct product of this vision. Over 800 acres of the ranch are under a conservation easement, ensuring that the land be free from development and available for agriculture and recreation use. Each homesite at the Murphy-Larsen is at least 50 acres, making it the lowest density ranch development in the area. The homeowners relish the seclusion, prefer views of mountain ranges over developments and celebrate the raw beauty of Colorado.  The carefully constructed ranch covenants and design guidelines ensure all homeowners share the same vision and appreciation for the land. Each custom home on the Ranch was built with the Murphy-Larsen ethos in mind; they are refined, unique and blend harmoniously in one of the most beautiful and unspoiled alpine ranching valleys still existing in America. The agricultural operator on the ranch continues the rich tradition of ranching on the land. Keeping land stewardship a priority, the agricultural operator encourages a practical cattle operation while fostering a healthy agricultural based community engaged in low impact recreational activities.  The Murphy-Larsen Ranch has evolved to include a wonderful blend of residents from Holland to Hong Kong, from Maryland to Alaska and the American heartland in between.  

Live Lightly On the Land

Hallie Myhre & Christy Belton

(970) 846 1687 | (970) 734 7885