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The Foundation

Learn more about our history and mission



The Foundation manages a 1,000 acre ranch in the Rocky Mountains near Vail, Colorado. We offer a unique blend of outdoor activities, focused small group time and enriching spiritual direction experiences for individuals, families, and a variety of groups and organizations including community, educational, governmental and non-profit. 


We donate our services and net profits to people in need, “the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40).

Our Foundation is named after the Historic e Eagle Ranch, which bears witness to the ranch’s location, 4 miles north of the Eagle River on Highway 131 in Wolcott.


The 4 Eagle Foundation is a 501(C)3 corporation is dedicated to “sharing the love of Jesus in tangible ways,” practically lived out through our support of various organizations.



  • God-Honoring

  • Family

  • Integrity

  • Humility

  • Quality

  • Stewardship

History  of  the  Ranch

Homesteaded in 1885 by the John Welsh Family, the property now known as 4 Eagle Ranch served as the center of a large cattle and sheep operation. The Welsh family, originally from Michigan, lived on the ranch until 1929. In later years, their daughter Sally and son-in-law George Hartman built the big white farmhouse and carriage house in 1925. After a major renovation in 2011, it’s now called the Homestead House and serves a guest house. The Carriage House was turned into a dining and dance venue for groups and the public.

The ranch changed hands several times over the next sixty years. Once part of a 30,000-deeded acre ranch with a million acres of leased grazing rights, the property was one of the largest ranches in the Central Rockies with grazing rights all the way to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Our 1,100-acre spread is surrounded by hillsides filled with sage brush, mountain flowers and trails where the Ute Indians once made their camps.

In February of 1991, Tom and Tess Backhus transformed the ranch to accommodate groups, weddings, and individual guests, providing a taste of both the true American West and genuine Colorado.

The 4 Eagle Foundation acquired the ranch in May of 2010 and has been busy with upgrades since. The Foundation uses the ranch to offer a unique blend of outdoor activities, focused small group time, and spiritual direction to enhance the potential of families, communities, educational, governmental, and non-profit organizations. It is dedicated to developing leaders around the globe through teaching and mentoring the principles modeled by the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

In addition to the Welsh estate, the property now includes Nelson Cabin (Circa 1890), which is a log cabin relocated from Minturn and now used as a venue for our Sleigh Ride Dinners and private events. The original homesteader cabins, where the Welsh family first lived, are also still on the property, and guests are encouraged to wander through them to see what it was like to live on a remote ranch in the 1800’s.

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