Scenic High Mountain Recreation Ranch

Little Trout Ranch, 3,397 acres of diverse terrain and cover, is located just 20 miles from Steamboat in the State Highway 131 corridor. Surprising is the proximity to Oak Creek (about 1 mile) coupled with the extreme privacy the ranch affords. The ranch has several dramatic draws and ridges which create outstanding wildlife habitat and 100-mile vistas of enormous basins, sandstone cliffs and snow capped mountain ranges in Northwest Colorado. Good ranch roads exist, leading to ponds, springs, and small creeks. Little Trout Ranch is bordered on several sides by smaller (mostly landlocked) BLM parcels and is well suited for big game hunting and year round recreation. Very few parcels of this size are available in Routt County; Little Trout Ranch is aggressively priced and extremely easy to access.

The ranch is located about 20 miles south of the resort town of Steamboat Springs. The northeast access to the ranch is just over a mile from the small mining town of Oak Creek on paved and good gravel roads. Oak Creek has a grocery store, fuel stop, restaurants and public schools. Vail and the I-70 corridor are an hour’s drive south.

The area surrounding the ranch is comprised of several high-mountain ranches and a few smaller acreage parcels. The Yampa Valley Regional Airport with daily flights to Denver International Airport is about a half hour drive. During the ski season, direct flights are available from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Newark, New York City, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. Steamboat Springs, with a population of about 12,000, is a friendly resort community that features many amenities found in larger towns. The Yampa Valley Medical Center, constructed in 1999, is a full service acute care hospital. The Bud Werner Memorial Library, recently constructed following an $11,000,000 voter-approved tax is a 28,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art facility. Colorado Mountain College, an established community college, continues to experience growth and success and recently added two 4-year degree programs.

Little Trout Ranch consists of about 60% aspen cover with the balance being open meadows and some oak brush. Small stands of pines are interspersed throughout the ranch, primarily on the north facing slopes. Good ranch roads provide access to most of the ranch. When you first enter the ranch, just outside of the town of Oak Creek, the land is loaded with aspen trees. As you make your way toward the higher reaches of the property, 100-mile views of northwest Colorado become apparent. The higher ridges have near-360 degree views. Looking west at Browns Park (old Butch Cassidy stomping grounds) and Sandwash Basin (with some of the last wild horses) and moving north to Bears Ears, Sand Mountain, Hahn’s Peak and the saw-toothed Zirkel Range, you get a real sense of Colorado’s diversity. The jagged peaks of the Gore range in the distant east and the geologically unusual Flattops Range to the south are an appealing study in contrasts. Such spectacular scenery that is so close to town with this degree of privacy and interesting topography is not often found within 20 miles of a world class ski resort.

Steamboat has four distinct seasons, each with its own display of color. Summers are mild and green with the average maximum temperature just below 85 degrees. The average temperature in January, typically the coldest month, is about 1 degree. Spring comes in April as the rivers swell with melting snow and flowers and tree buds emerge. Fall has a brilliant display of gold colors, attracting visitors from all over. Annual precipitation averages 24 inches and comes mostly in the form of snowfall, roughly 167 inches per year.

No improvements exist on the ranch; it is a clean slate. State statute requires 35 acres per residence and there are a variety of different settings to establish homesites or ranch headquarters. In the early 90’s a vision of smaller ranch parcels was surveyed and old covenants still exist on those lots closest to the entrance of the ranch.

Operational Considerations:
The ranch is leased by an area rancher for sheep grazing. The sheep typically move through the ranch in the early summer and sometimes in the fall on their way to and from their summer range. Because the sheep are tended by herders, only portions of Little Trout Ranch are fenced.

Water Resources:
There are several ephemeral streams on the ranch. Unadjudicated springs and ponds are scattered around the property, attracting wildlife.

The size and topography lend themselves to exceptional recreation opportunities on the ranch. The existing ranch roads and game trails are ideal for riding and hiking. The forested areas and open parks provide excellent cover and forage for wildlife. This area of Colorado places a high value on recreation; year round activities such as downhill skiing, cross country skiing and backcountry skiing are nearby as are hundreds of miles of national forest trails which connect lakes, streams and local mountain peaks.

Broker’s Comment:
Little Trout Ranch is a scenic high-mountain recreation ranch. It is private and very secluded but is very close in proximity to Steamboat Springs with its world-class skiing, boutique shopping, and fine dining. With a 1,500 ft. change in elevation, the higher elevations have amazing views of the entire northwestern corner of Colorado. Sand Point Ranch adjoins; the two combined ranches total approximately 6,500 acres.