Brinker Creek Ranch

Scenic Colorado Working Ranch

Located at the base of the Flattops Range in the Steamboat/Vail corridor, Brinker Creek Ranch consists of 1,451 acres ideally suited for high country grazing and native grass hay production. Traditionally worked as a cattle operation, the ranch has both dryland and irrigated hay meadows interspersed among several draws and small plateaus that provide excellent forage for cattle and wildlife. The headquarters are located adjacent to the State Fish Hatchery and at the end of the well-maintained county road. Tucked into the Brinker Creek drainage and in good working condition are a 2,300 sq.ft. ranch manager’s home, large equipment/hay storage building, barn, corrals and numerous outbuildings. A new 1,000 sq.ft. log cabin with covered porch overlooks the ranch with long views down the Yampa Valley.

Brinker Creek Ranch is situated at the base of the geographically unique Flattops Wilderness Area, the second largest such area in the state, characterized by wide steep faces that rise up to an expansive plateau. The ranch is about 1 ½ miles off of State Highway 131 on very good year-round gravel roads. The county plows the road to the ranch entry. The headquarters of the ranch are just inside the ranch gate; access is surprisingly easy. The improvements are clustered in a scenic creek valley in close proximity to the Finger Rock Fish Hatchery. The hatchery, always impeccably maintained, is owned and operated by the State of Colorado. The Town of Yampa, with a café, elementary school and convenience store/fuel stop, is about 4 miles north of the ranch. Steamboat Springs is 30 miles north of Yampa and Vail is 60 miles from the ranch. Commercial air service is at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport about 30 miles northwest or in Eagle, 50 miles south.

This area of the state is well known for its outstanding year-round recreational activities set against a historical agricultural backdrop. Rural values are still alive and well; people are friendly, crime is almost non-existent and a deep appreciation for the outdoors is evident. The 235,000-acre Flattops Wilderness, with hundreds of high mountain lakes and streams, is a short ride or drive. The Green Ridge area of the over one million-acre Routt National Forest is just east of the ranch. World class skiing, great dining and shopping are an hour away in either Vail or Steamboat Springs. These resort communities enjoy amenities often found only in larger communities (concerts, seminars, speakers, summits, etc.) along with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and activities.

Brinker Creek Ranch is just over a mile west of paved State Highway 131. The graveled county road, maintained year-round, winds through a small, wide valley of rolling hills. As the valley opens up, the Flattops Range with its steep rocky slopes flanked by giant Aspen groves comes into view. The acreage on the ranch is characterized by several small drainages and plateaus consisting of sagebrush, hay meadows and pockets of aspen trees. The ranch has been placed into a conservation easement; a 50-acre parcel overlooking the ranch and headquarters area has been excluded from the easement.

At 8,100 feet in elevation, Yampa, Colorado experiences long winters with spectacular summers and falls. The 12,000 ft. Flattops Range remains snow-capped for much of the year providing a scenic backdrop for the ranch and a water supply well into the summer growing season. Annual precipitation comes mostly in the form of snowfall and averages 15”. The average high in July is 77 degrees F; the average low in January is 7 degrees. Coloradans enjoy 300+ days of sunshine every year and the dry air makes the temperature feel surprisingly mild.

The improvements on the ranch are located near the northern boundary, just inside the eastern edge of the property. Many of the improvements were constructed in the 1940s and 1950s and have been maintained and remodeled over the years. The ranch manager’s residence, a comfortable 4-bedroom, 3-bath home of frame construction was remodeled in 1994. The livestock barn and corrals, large metal enclosed equipment/hay storage shed and various ranch outbuildings, sheds and shelters are all in good condition. A new 2-bedroom log cabin with covered porch is situated on the hillside overlooking the ranch operations and fish hatchery. The ranch is fenced and cross fenced with a decent set of working corrals.

Operational Considerations:
The ranch is currently leased out to a young couple whose family has a long standing tradition of ranching in the immediate area. They operate Brinker Creek Ranch in conjunction with adjoining lands. As a stand-alone property, it is reasonable to expect the ranch to carry about 75 head of cow/calf pairs, plus horses and replacements. The ranch has been leased out in the past for grazing and, as is typical in northwest Colorado, great gains can be put on cattle during the summer months. The ranch is ideally set up for cattle with small drainages and ponds providing water, approximately 120 acres of irrigated meadows providing native grass hay and numerous pastures providing good options for rotational grazing. The tenants have the ranch leased into 2016 and could be available to continue to lease the property.

Recreation and Wildlife:
Brinker Creek Ranch attracts a rich variety of birds and wildlife. Mule deer and antelope find forage and cover in the numerous draws and valley and elk can be found near the upper reaches of the ranch closer to the base of the Flattops range. A large number of birds are attracted to the ranch, largely due to the proximity of the fish hatchery and wetlands mitigation bank. Big game hunting is unlimited in the nearby national forest located just a short drive east or west of the ranch. The Flattops Wilderness area is home to hundreds of miles of trails and over one hundred high mountain lakes for outstanding alpine fishing. Several reservoirs, including the 800-acre Stagecoach Reservoir, are within a 15 minute drive from the ranch.

Water Resources:
Brinker Creek flows year-round through the property. Several tributaries and irrigation ditches on the ranch fill ponds and water the hay meadows. Water rights include:

CFSAppropriatedAdjudicated3.0 cfs7/1/203/9/532.0 cfs5/1/200212/31/20020.0056 cfs5/15/196412/31/19950.135 cfs7/1/19493/9/19531.0 cfs7/1/19403/9/19533.32 cfs4/7/18889/22/18923.12 cfs6/1/19189/14/194624% interest in 4.89 cfs10/20/18869/22/189224% interest in 8.1 cfs7/1/19203/9/1953

Bowers Ditch
Kaufman Ditch
Acord Spring #2
Bower Springs & PL
Kauffman Spring 2 & PL
Mandall Ditch
Mandall Ditch
Buckinham & Mandall Ditch
Pony Creek Ditch

Taxes: $3764.08

Mineral Rights: Any seller owned minerals will convey.