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22. Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge MuseumPine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum

To ensure that you have the most current & accurate information regarding park closures, changes to rules & regulations, or any other changes to the parks or park systems call or visit Jefferson County Parks & Open Space online.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

View of Pine Lake from Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo of Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.

Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo contributed by Carbonfibrephoto

Jeffco Parks Video presents Baehrden in the Rockies

The historic Baehrden Lodge was built in 1927. Published on Apr. 30, 2014.

Click to see more photos of Pine Valley Ranch Parksee more PHOTOS Click to see more photos of Pine Valley Ranch Park

Location Map:

View Google Terrain Map - Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open SpaceView Google Terrain Map

View in Google Earth - Pine Valley Ranch Park, Golden, Colorado - Jefferson County Open SpaceView Google Earth

Pine Valley Ranch Park MapPine Valley Ranch Park Map (Jeffco Open Space)

Access & Parking:

Trailhead: 30400 Crystal Lake Rd., Pine, Colorado

Acreage:

881 Acres

Hours:

Park Hours: Open one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.

Baehrden Lodge Tours:

Call 303.271.5925 (Jeffco Open Space) for dates and times of guided tours.

Cost: FREE

Observatory:

Programs are scheduled through the Lookout Mountain Nature Center & Preserve at 720.497.7600.

Activities:

Museum Museum - Baehrden Lodge

Fishing Fishing

Ice Fishing Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Fishing Pier

Ice Skating Ice Skating

Hiking Hiking

Horseback Riding Horseback Riding

Mountain Biking Mountain Biking

Picnic Tables Picnicking

Picnic Shelters Picnic Shelters - call 303.271.5925 to reserve a shelter.

Wildlife Viewing Wildlife Viewing

Amenities:

Restrooms, Drinking Water, Fishing Piers (Handicap Accessible), Picnic Tables, Picnic Shelters, Parking

Elevation:

Approx. 6800 ft. - 7600 ft.

Life Zone(s):

Foothills Zone

Weather forecast for Pine, Colorado:

Click for the latest Pine weather forecast.

Park Rules:

Fishing - requires Colorado Fishing License; limitis are posted & enforced by Jeffco Open Space.

No boating, swimming, tubing or wading in Pine Lake.

No camping.

Trails:

Total: 6 miles of trails

Hiking Dogs On-Leash Horseback Riding Mountain Biking

Trail Rules: Hiker-Only & Multi-use Trails; bikes & horses are NOT allowed on the trails.

Trail Comments: Trails between .4 and 1.9 miles.

Trail Ratings:

Trail Rating Legend

Trail Rating - More DifficultBuck Gulch Trail

Trail Rating - Least DifficultNarrow Gauge Trail

Trail Rating - Least DifficultNorth Fork View Trail

Trail Rating - More DifficultPark View Trail

Trail Rating - Least DifficultPine Lake Loop Trail

Trail Rating - More DifficultStar View Trail

See also: JCOS Trail Difficulty Ratings

Trail Etiquette: Be aware & expect other trail users. Use a friendly greeting to gain attention when passing. Pass on the left. Yield to traffic traveling uphill when possible. Step off the trail when you are on your cell phone. Read the JCOS guide: Trail Etiquette

Trail Connections to other Parks:

Buck Gulch Trail connects to the trail system (Buffalo Creek Recreation Area) in Pike National Forest.

Features:

North Fork of the South Platte River

Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Pine Lake

Observatory

Programs at the Observatory are scheduled through the Lookout Mountain Nature Center & Preserve - call 720.497.7600.

Baehrden Lodge

High above the North Fork of the South Platte River, perched on the side of a ridge in a dry pine forest, is a fabulous lodge which was acquired by Jefferson County when they bought what would become Pine Valley Ranch Open Space Park in 1986. For the past few years, Jeffco Open Space, partnering with Denver-based HistoriCorps America, has been hard at work, helping restore this exquisite example of "Rocky Mountain Rustic" architecture to its previous glory.

This lodge, called "Baehrden (Bear-den) of the Rockies" at the time it was built, was the summer home of the Baehr family of Chicago. William Adolph Baehr, president of Chicago’s North Continent Utilities Company, vacationed in Colorado in 1925. He saw Pine Valley, decided that it would make a fine summer home for his family, and bought the ranch.

The land on which the Baehrden Lodge is located was originally the 4L Ranch. The "ranch" was primarily a timber and ice-cutting operation. It was owned by four families – Hildebrand, Busher, Liming, and Eggert. The valley was serviced by a narrow-gauge railroad, part of the Denver, South Park & Pacific line, which used to make the 42-mile trip to and from Denver in a mere 2.5 hours, hauling timber and ice to the metro area, returning with picnickers and fishermen.

Baehrden was designed by Denver architect J.J.B. Benedict, who was originally from Chicago. Benedict rose to local prominence, becoming Denver’s greatest master of the architectural Beaux Art style. The private homes he built in the mountains and public spaces like Chief Hosa (1917), Echo Lake Lodge (1926) and St. Catherine’s Chapel at Camp St. Malo (Estes Park, 1935), however, are exemplary of his "Alpine Architecture" phase – what we fondly call "Rocky Mountain Rustic".

William Baehr, his wife Mabel, son William B. and daughter Irene Mabel were able to move into the Lodge in record time. Baehrden’s original 15 rooms (expanded to 27 rooms over time), were built by 60 skilled workmen in 90 days, during the summer of 1927, at an estimated cost of $1.5M.

An estate like Baehrden didn’t run itself; Conrad & Eloise Johnson and their large brood of children were caretakers from the time Baehr bought the ranch. Conrad started as the chauffeur, gardener, and maintenance man, but in 1930 he was promoted to foreman. It was then that he started improving life at the Lodge by building bridges, a garage and equipment sheds, and a powerhouse for the gasoline-powered lighting system that illuminated the Lodge after dark. He crafted a water delivery system with a 10,000 gallon water tank on the ridge above the house and a water wheel at the river below, which pumped water up into the tank so it could flow down to the house, as well as cascade through the hanging gardens and pools which lie just to the east of the Lodge.

The two families spent many fruitful years at Baehrden. William Baehr was an astronomy buff, so Johnson built an observatory for him in 1937. Mabel Baehr had a Japanese-style pagoda build on an island in the river, so she could picnic and have afternoon tea with friends in a private, quiet space. The pagoda is still there, just a few steps from the picnic shelter at the eastern end of the Park.

All good things must come to an end. When William died in 1956, the Lodge was sold to a group of Denver investors who used it as a mountain get-away. Upkeep of the Lodge and land was expensive, however, so when this group could no longer afford the property, they sold it. In 1970, the property passed to Pzazz! West, who promptly turned the lodge into a destination hotel and conference center, fitting it out with orange shag carpet and a pool for hotel guests. If you look closely, you can still see a bit of the carpet peeking out from under the left-hand door at the back of the dining room in the photo on the left.

The Lodge is beautifully crafted, full of hand-worked wrought iron fixtures – door and window hardware and electrical lamps and lanterns; even the logs are joined by decorative ironwork straps (like the strap in the picture to the right), hand-made on site by teams of craftsmen. The logs used in the construction of Baehrden were peeled and torched, to give them the darkened appearance found in Bavarian lodges of the time. The log-and-daub used throughout gives the Lodge a heavily Germanic feel.

The Lodge is full of little surprises, one of which our tour group spotted…the dining room ceiling. The style of the ceiling is totally out of sync with the architecture of the rest of the house. It’s more consistent with the Art Nouveaux or Beaux Arts style. There was speculation from members of our group that the ceiling panels might have been transported from the Baehr’s Chicago house, and installed at Baehrden as a reminder of their previous life.

The builders made extensive use of native boulders and logs, as shown in the photo to the right, of the staircase that leads from the great room up to the dining room.

In June, 1998, the Baehrden Lodge was listed in the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.

This past summer the Baehrden Lodge was finally opened for guided tours. Seeing the Lodge restored in part to its former glory, being with docents who could relay the story of the Baehrden, was truly a worth-while experience. I highly recommend taking advantage of any opportunity you might have to see for yourself this place that William Baehr and his family called home.

Tours of the Baehrden Lodge:

Call 303.271.5925 (Jeffco Open Space) for dates and times of guided tours.

Location of the Baehrden Lodge:

Baehrden Lodge
30400 Crystal Lake Rd.
Pine, CO 80470

Directions to Baehrden Lodge:

From Denver, take U.S. Highway 285 west to Pine Junction. At the traffic light turn southeast (left) onto Pine Valley Road (County Road 126). Continue 5.8 miles toward the town of Pine. Turn right on Crystal Lake Road. Follow the signs for Pine Valley Ranch Park.

Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Photo - Pine Valley Ranch Park & Baehrden Lodge Museum - Baehrden Lodge - click to enlarge

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Baehrden Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park, Jefferson County Open Space.
(Photos courtesy of Carbonfibrephoto).

Wildlife:

Osprey (nationalgeographic.com)

Scenic Views:

Park View Trail - views of Baehrden Lodge.

Photos:

Click to see photos of Pine Valley Park at Jefferson County Open Space on Flickr

See photos of Pine Valley Park Jefferson County Open Space on FlickrPine Valley Park (Jefferson County Photo Album)

History:

Jefferson County Open Space acquired Pine Valley Ranch for $2.35 million in 1986, and Pine Valley Ranch Open Space Park was opened to the public in 1994. The Baehrden Lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 for its contribution to Colorado state heritage. Read more about the history of Pine Valley Ranch: Pine Valley Ranch Park History

Park Acquisition

Acreage

Year

Action

Funding/Grant

Pine Valley Ranch

820

1985

Purchased


Links:

To ensure that you have the most current & accurate information regarding park closures, changes to rules & regulations, or any other changes to the parks or park systems call or visit Jefferson County Parks & Open Space online:

Pine Valley Ranch Park (at jeffco.us)

J.J.B. Benedict, "The Architecture of Jules Jacques Benois Benedict in Colorado, 1909-1942" (National Register of Historic Places Property Documentation; see page 3)

Jefferson County Open Space: 303.271.5925

Trails Hotline: 303.271.5975

Comments or suggestions for Jefferson County Open Space Staff? Submit them online through the Jeffco Open Space: Contact Form

Jefferson County website: jeffco.us

Follow JCOS on Twitter

Park News:

OSAC

January 7, 2016

Baseline Engineering has been hired to provide engineering and construction observation for a new water diversion structure at Pine Valley Ranch Park. The existing 85-year old structure does not allow meeting the State diversion, measuring, and reporting mandates. ... read the Director’s Report »

Historic Lodge at Pine Valley Ranch Park Reopens for Summer Tours

Jefferson County Parks - Open Space

May 5, 2014

The unique Colorado Alpine lodge called the Baehrden, located in Jeffco Open Space Pine Valley Ranch Park, will reopen for tours this summer. In 2013, Jeffco Open Space made a big push to open the building to the public and with the help of HistoriCorps volunteers, renovated the lodge's ... read more »

Baehrden Lodge tours offer stroll through past

High Timber Times, Conifer, CO

July 24, 2013

Visitors to Pine Valley Ranch Open Space now have the opportunity to step back into the 1920s and tour the historic Baehrden Lodge on Sundays until Labor Day.

Jeffco Open Space opened the lodge for public tours July 7, and Open Space education director Andy ... read more »

Baehrden Opens for Sunday Summer Tours

Jefferson County Parks

July 1, 2013

Built in 1927 as a summer home for a wealthy Chicagoan and later used as a private fishing retreat, a country club and a family resort, the partially restored Baehrden at Pine Valley Ranch Park will open to the public on July 7.

Jeffco Open Space will host public tours on Sundays through August 25. Baehrden’s great room, porch and dining room will be open for visitors to experience. Tours will begin every half hour ... read more »

Preservation of the Baehrden Lodge

HistoriCorps

Sponsored by Jefferson County Open Space.

History: Constructed in 1927 as summer retreat for William Baehr and his family, this 3,500 square foot lodge is an excellent example of high-style rustic ... read more »

Historic Baehrden Lodge renovation work begins

The Denver Post, YourHub

July 17, 2012

Volunteer preservationists were repairing stone steps and reconstructing log railings last week at the Baehrden Lodge, a historic structure in Pine Valley Ranch Park. This week they will be busy removing some “nonhistoric” items such as shag carpet, a pool table and a piano. ... read more »

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