Step Rock Ranch

Productive and Scenic High Mountain Colorado Ranch

The 835-acre Step Rock Ranch is located 30 miles south of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, along the banks of Trout Creek with a National Forest boundary and surrounded by large area ranches. The ranch is situated in a long, wide valley with aspen covered hillsides and willows that line the creek. Traditionally used for hunting and grazing, Step Rock Ranch is also ideally set up for horses with a 4 stall barn and hay loft, fenced paddocks, irrigated grass hay meadows and a comfortable 3,400 sq.ft. home.

The ranch is located 30 miles south of the resort town of Steamboat Springs and is easily accessed via year-round paved and gravel state and county roads. Scenic Routt County Road 29 follows Trout Creek and is flanked by steep canyon walls for several miles then opens up into wide, fertile meadows shadowed by Sand Point. Oak Creek, a small community with groceries, fuel stop and public schools, is 15 minutes from the ranch.

Immediately surrounding the ranch are large acreage, productive high mountain ranches. The adjacent Routt National Forest is over one million acres and stretches from Wyoming in the north to the White River National Forest south of the property. The Yampa Valley Regional Airport with daily flights to Denver International Airport is a just over a half hours 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 s.f. 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.

Step Rock Ranch consists of a nice balance of irrigated and sub-irrigated native grass hay meadows with over a mile of Trout Creek that meanders through the property. Large stands of aspens provide cover for the elk, moose, deer and bear in the area. Much of the acreage along the creek is lined with willows and provides excellent habitat for the wildlife and birds.

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.

A comfortable 3,400 sq.ft. frame home built in 1997 has been impeccably maintained and has timeless features such as wood floors and covered porches. The well-designed floor plan includes a master suite on the main level along with defined rooms that flow easily from one another and to the covered porches on either side of the house. Irrigated landscaping is in place immediately surrounding the house and the horse paddocks are nearby. The 4 stall barn, constructed with the same simple quality features 4 stalls, a large hay loft, and pull-through doors. There is a small enclosed tack room and enough room for equipment storage. Two small hunting cabins are located near the forest boundary. The improvements are situated near the southern end of the ranch and just below Sand Point, a magnificent summit in the Flattops Wilderness, Colorado’s third largest wilderness area.

Operational Considerations:
The ranch is leased by the neighboring ranchers, a multi-generation family known for responsible land stewardship practices. They harvest the hay and graze their cattle on the deeded portions of the ranch. The adjoining BLM leases are permitted for sheep/goats and are also operated by the lessee. The ranch will put up 120 tons of hay in a normal year. Because the property is operated in conjunction with the adjacent private land, only portions of Step Rock Ranch are fenced. The Seller estimates the ranch could support up to 70 head of cattle; with approximately 3 ton/head required for winter feed, additional hay meadow would need to be developed to support this number.

Water Resources:
Domestic Well-Permit 202358-42 feet deep/30 gpm
Slough Ditch, Priority #89, 1.0 c.f.s.
Slough Ditch, Priority #186, 1.7 c.f.s.
Male Moore Co. Ditch, Priority 387AA, 3.07 c.f.s
Male Moore Co. Ditch, Priority #189, 2.17 c.f.s.
Pine Grove Ditch, Priority #44, 1.68 c.f.s.
Pine Grove Ditch, Priority #182, 2.30 c.f.s.

With the shared national forest boundary along the southern end of the ranch, access to the Flattops Wilderness is convenient. Hunting (Game Management Unit 131)is excellent both on and off of the ranch and the adjacent BLM parcels are landlocked by the surrounding private land. The Flattops Wilderness is an unusual departure from the typical jagged peaks in the Rockies. It is a range that features a broad, level top reaching 12,000 feet in elevation. The area has hundreds of miles of hiking and riding trails, high mountain streams, and over 80 alpine lakes. Trout Creek, which flows through the ranch, has great Brook Trout fishing.

Historical Info:
Located in an ancient volcanic area, the ranch has on old lava seam that is exposed in places. The seam resembles a series of steps, hence the name Step Rock Ranch.


Mineral Rights:
Although the Seller owns some minerals, ownership is fragmented. The Seller will convey all Seller-owned minerals.

Broker’s Comment:
Step Rock Ranch is a productive and scenic high mountain ranch. The national forest boundary and live creek flowing the entire length of the property combined with the superb big game hunting and proximity to world-class skiing are unique qualities that are challenging to find for a ranch in this price range. A recent sale within a mile of the ranch closed at over $9,000 per acre. It was a comparable property that had been on the market for several years. With the quality improvements, the views of the Continental Divide in the distant north and Sand Point just beyond the southern boundary of the ranch, and 11+ c.f.s. of water, Step Rock Ranch is a true working ranch in a spectacular alpine setting.

Co-Listed with Cam Boyd, Prudential Steamboat Realty