FLATTOPS WILDLIFE RANCH
Colorado Hunting Ranch, Recreation Ranch and Equestrian Ranch
Flattops Wildlife Ranch is located in northwest Colorado between the resort areas of Vail and Steamboat Springs near the town of Yampa. The 960-acre private ranch with spectacular scenic vistas and abundant wildlife is comprised of a large very private basin running northwest to southeast and is characterized by open meadows surrounded by evergreen covered ridges and aspen stands. The ranch has been operated as a big game preserve, a horseback recreation area, cattle grazing and a winter recreation area for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
The property's location on the west slope of the Continental Divide contributes to more moisture and verdant vegetation than that experienced at similar elevation on the east side of the Divide, providing better grazing for wildlife and stock alike. Total precipitation is 16 inches per annum. With elevations ranging from 8,800 to 9,400 feet, the Flattops Wildlife Ranch exhibits the attractive characteristics of the Colorado mountain climate – warm sunny days with low humidity and cool nights. Average summer temperatures are in the upper 70's, with lows in the 40's. Due to the elevation, there is very little insect nuisance. Winter is typical of the conditions at the base of some of the Colorado ski resorts with pleasant days (temperatures ranging from the teens at night to 30’s during the day) and snow cover (approximately 100 inches of snow per year) from December through April.
Entering the ranch from County Road 3, the internal access entrance crosses over the corner of a low ridge on the northern side of the property and then drops into the main, very private, grassland area. The 960 acres (1 and 1/2 sections) are comprised of 1/3 timber and 2/3 open grasslands: Grasslands - 570 acres, Pine - 171 acres, Fir - 9 acres, Aspen - 130 acres, Hay Meadows - 56 acres and Riparian/Wetlands - 70 acres. Spectacular 360-degree views from a high point near the center of the property looking southeast toward Vail, the Gore Range and New York Mountain, west to "The Dome" and the Flattops, north towards Steamboat Springs and the Park Range and south towards Aspen and the Elk Mountains and the Sawatch Range.
*Acreages are approximate and based on estimates by Greystone Consultants.
The ranch includes its private ranch roads which run east to west and fences that surround the property. There are no structures or buildings on the ranch but there are many excellent building sites throughout the property, ranging from higher locations with panoramic views to very private, secluded sites. The ranch may be subdivided into two parcels allowing the construction of three residences one of which could be a commercial lodge.
The ranch has been operated as a big game preserve, a horseback recreation area, a winter recreation area for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in conjunction with cattle grazing with capacity of approximately 500 AUM's. Traditionally the land was not grazed early in the summer by cattle because over 100 cow elk usually use it as a calving ground and nursery in June and July. The range conditions have been evaluated every year and found to be in very good condition. All land is owned in fee, there are no public land grazing permits associated with the ranch. Adjoining ranches will lease for summer cattle grazing if desired.
Water and Timber Resources:
There are four streams and two reservoirs on the property: Egeria and Sterner. Two of the intermittent streams enter the west and south sides of the property and flow into the Sterner Reservoir. A third stream is the outlet of the Sterner Reservoir and flows into the fourth stream on the eastern boundary of the property which is more of a year-round stream. Egeria Reservoir is approximately 13 acres in size and is divided by the property line. Sterner Reservoir is approximately 27 acres in size. Both reservoirs provide year-round water for livestock and wildlife. The adjacent ranch uses irrigation from both reservoirs.
Timber was selectively removed from the ranch in a thinning process to enhance the vitality and disease resistance of the forest. This has been successful as the coniferous tree population is much healthier than many parts of the state. There are virtually no lodgepole pine issues. on the ranch.
Wildlife and Fishery Resources:
The ranch is inhabited by elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, black bears, porcupines, red foxes, bobcats, pine martins, and beavers, as well as numerous small mammals such as snowshoe hares, marmots, long-tailed weasels, ermine, muskrats, chipmunks. In addition, ducks, geese, blue grouse, magpies, great blue heron, hawks, owls and eagles frequent the property. Moose have migrated onto the property over the last couple years and are seen occasionally.
Elk are abundant on the ranch in the spring, summer and fall. Elk in the area are part of the White River Elk Herd, which is the largest in Colorado and the largest in the United States. The CDOW estimates 37,930 elk in the Data Analysis Unit of which this land lies. The bull:cow ratio is 27:100. Rifle hunter success averages around 21% in the area but within the ranch it is typically 95%.
Mule deer are also abundant on the ranch and utilize it as spring, summer, and fall range. The CDOW estimates that over 10,250 deer make up the herd in this DAU with a buck:doe ratio of 35:100. Rifle hunter success ranges from 25 to 40%. The herd size and buck to doe ratio has been increasing over the last decade.