Saving Bruce Spruce, a historic Pagosa Springs ranch will survive
The West Fork Fire began showing signs of flaring up again and the decision was made to protect the Bruce Spruce Ranch. A large crew hit the ground running.
The Bruce Spruce is a historic business setting at the confluence of Wolf Creek and Falls Creek. The point at which these rivers meet is the headwaters of the San Juan River. There may be places as beautiful and pleasing as Bruce Spruce Ranch, but nothing is better!
Bruce Spruce Ranch History
In the 1930s Judge Leslie Bruce bought 350 acres that had a lodge and a couple of cabins. During the next few years more cabins were added.
In 1954 Chuck Farris bought the property and continued to rent the cabins.
In 1966 Craig Hinger, his dad Oscar Hinger and another business partner bought the ranch and took over its operation. During these years they added more cabins and made some overall improvements in the camp. One of the improvements was the addition of camping RV spaces. In 1967, Craig Hinger married Eugenia Reynolds and became sole owners of Bruce Spruce Ranch. In 2000, Craig and Eugenia decided to retire. They still help out in the summer with the office, busy sheet days and tractor work. Today Chris, Rusty and Brigette run the guest ranch continuing to make improvements day to day. The ranch continues to have some fourth generations stay year to year. It is a great place to bring the family to relax, fish, hike or even do some horseback riding!
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This is truely a treasure in Pagosa Country. It is about as quaint and real as it gets.
Bridget and Rusty Hinger are operating the ranch currently and the firefighters made sure they were informed and involved.
Paths were hacked out and the hose pulled through. These boys and girls do some hard work and are skilled at the job.
Clearance was cut between the cabins and forest so the sprinklers had a clear space.
It would be tragic for these old cabins to burn. Generations of families have stayed here and Bridget talked of the phone ringing constantly from past customers wanting to know how they are doing, that’s the kind of palace it is! Due to good decisions and hard work it looks as though it will be there for generations to come. Good work people.