Owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years, the C Cross C Ranch represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the last remaining trophy ranches in one of Colorado’s most desirable areas, just 20 minutes from the resort town of Steamboat Springs. The ranch includes approximately 2,126 deeded acres, almost one and a half miles of the Upper Yampa River, historic water rights irrigating lush hay fields, unobstructed views of the Flat Tops Wilderness, and year-round access off of Routt County Road 14 and Highway 131. With elevations ranging from 7,200’ – 8,800’ above sea level, the terrain and vegetation on the ranch varies from the lush irrigated hay meadows along the river up to the thick fir and Aspen covered mountainsides with wildflowers and bracken ferns blanketing the forest floor.
The ranch boasts excellent hunting opportunities with numerous game species including elk, mule deer, black bear, and mountain lion. Fly fishermen will also appreciate the 1.4 miles of the Upper Yampa River, and just downstream from the ranch is the 780-acre Stagecoach Reservoir which is known for great trout and northern pike fishing. The neighboring Stagecoach State Park, Routt National Forest, White River National Forest and Sarvice Creek and Flat Tops Wilderness offers the outdoor enthusiast year-round access to thousands of acres of public land. Modern conveniences are never far away with the town of Oak Creek less than 1 mile to the north. Steamboat Springs is just 20 miles to the northeast and the planned Stagecoach Ski Area is just minutes from the property. Commercial air service is available at the Yampa Valley Airport, less than 30 miles to the northwest.
The 2,126 +/- acre ranch has a wide range of topography and vegetation from irrigated meadows along the river, to rolling pastures with native grasses and timbered slopes of Thorpe Mountain. The headquarters of the ranch encompasses approximately 1,320 acres and is located immediately east of the town of Oak Creek with access off of Highway 131 and County Road 14. The home, barn and other ranch improvements are located off of County Road 14 overlooking the Yampa River. There are historic water rights that irrigate 100+/- acres along the river. There is an additional 2,000 +/- acres on Thorpe Mountain consisting of two separate tracts of mountainous terrain that include vast stands of healthy fir and Aspen trees and scenic lookout points of the valley below. Parts of the ranch along the river and the upper reaches of Thorpe Mountain have been protected by a conservation easement.
The ranch is modestly improved with a 3-bedroom home and a large metal barn and loafing shed. All of the improvements on the ranch are located on the Yampa River parcel just north of County Road 14. The lack of substantial improvements on the ranch offers a clean slate for future owners to personalize the property however they like.
The C Cross C Ranch has been owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years, and is one of the few operating ranches remaining in the area. Historically the ranch has been a cow/calf operation with hay production and valuable wildlife resources. The area surrounding Steamboat Springs was originally inhabited by the Yampatikas Utes, who hunted in the valley during the summer. Trappers began to move into the area during the first decades of the 19th century. Ranchers soon followed, and ranching traditions are still preserved by the large ranching community.
From Steamboat Springs, take Highway 131 south for approximately 20 miles through the town of Oak Creek until turning west on County Road 14. The ranch entrance is approximately 1 mile west of Highway 131 on County Road 14. The ranch is located approximately 3 hours from Denver, and 45 minutes from the Yampa Valley Airport.
Steamboat Springs is situated in the Upper Yampa River Valley in north central Colorado, just west of the Continental Divide at Rabbit Ears Pass. The town is the county seat and the most populous city of Routt County. The Steamboat Springs tourism industry is primarily driven by the Steamboat Ski Resort which is just south of the town. The internationally known winter resort destination, also dubbed “The Boat,” or “Ski Town USA,” offers a wide range of cultural amenities, excellent shopping ,and fine dining opportunities, while still hanging on to its distinctive western rural appeal.
- Average annual precipitation: 24 inches
- Average annual snowfall: 166 inches
- January temperature: High: 30°, Low: 1°
- July temperature: High: 82°, Low: 42°
- Days of sunshine per year: 300+
The ranch provides extremely valuable and pristine habitat for many big game species, with elk, mule deer, antelope, moose, black bear, mountain lion, turkey, and dusky grouse all prevalent on the ranch.
There is a rustic hunting camp located deep in the forest atop Thorpe Mountain where hunters stage both archery and rifle hunts beginning in early fall through late November. Many 300+ class bulls have been harvested on C Cross C, and due to thoughtful management, the ranch continues to produce year after year. All three parcels of the ranch are situated in Colorado’s Game Management Unit 15.
Fly-fishermen will also appreciate the 1.4 miles of the Upper Yampa River, which is known as a private gem amongst locals. The ranch’s private stream is characterized by meandering oxbows, undercut banks, deep holes, and shallow gravel runs, which create a wonderful diverse habitat for a thriving population of rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout.
Additional fly-fishing opportunities are abundant in the nearby Routt and White River National Forests and the Flat Tops and Sarvice Creek Wilderness Area. The 780-acre Stagecoach Reservoir is just one mile from the ranch and is known for great trout and northern pike fishing.
Nicknamed “Ski Town USA,” Steamboat Springs boasts world class skiing opportunities and has been the home of numerous skiing competitions, including competitions for the 1989 and 1990 Alpine Skiing World Cup. The ski area has 165 named trails which spread over 2,965 acres with an average annual snowfall of 344 inches on the mountain.
In addition to the skiing, the neighboring Stagecoach State Park, Routt National Forest, White River National Forest, and Sarvice Creek and Flat Tops Wilderness offer the outdoor enthusiast year-round access to thousands of acres of public land. The abundance of nearby public land offers something for every outdoor enthusiast, whether it be hiking and boating in the summer months or cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter months.
Flowing through the Routt National Forest, winding its way towards the town of Steamboat Springs, the Yampa River is a popular conduit for water sports including fishing, rafting, tubing, and kayaking. In addition, the mighty Colorado River corridor is a located just 45 minutes south of the ranch and offers additional recreational opportunities.
The ranch has traditionally been a cow/calf operation supporting up to 150 pairs. Historic water rights come with the ranch, providing valuable water to irrigate approximately 140 acres along the Yampa River. The ranch is fully functional with a home and large metal barn and loafing shed. The ranch includes large native mountain pastures as well as grassy hillsides providing excellent feed for livestock. Natural springs and additional water resources are located throughout the ranch or livestock and wildlife. It is highly suitable for horse and cattle grazing, availing the property with an ideal combination of prime recreational and hunting land, and also a traditional operating horse and/or cattle ranch.
The natural beauty of this property is evident in the pictures with the scenic views, timbered mountainsides, private river corridors, irrigated meadows, rock outcroppings, and rolling grasslands. The ranch has all the elements that buyers are searching for including live water, good access, premier fishing and hunting, nearby public lands, and proximity to a world renowned ski area and mountain town. This is a ranch that can be enjoyed year-round.
Approximately 100 acres of the Yampa River Parcel along the river and the 470 acre Grouse Creek Parcel atop Thorpe Mountain have been protected with a conservation easement held by the Yampa Valley Land Trust. The remaining portion of the ranch would make an excellent candidate for a conservation easement, and there are potentially valuable tax credits available in Colorado.