Singing Elk Ranch is located in the coveted Upper Yampa River Valley of northwestern Colorado. With Vail Valley just 35 miles to the south and Steamboat Springs 40 miles to the north, the ranch is situated right in the middle of quintessential Colorado high country. The property itself is tucked away on the western side of Routt County, directly neighboring the 1.2 million acre National Forest. Continuing west from the ranch, the National Forest quickly transforms into the pristine 235,000-acre Flat Tops Wilderness Area, which is the second largest Wilderness Area in Colorado, comprised of numerous aqua blue high-alpine lakes, emerald green mesas, as well as other stunning geological features and landmarks that beg to be explored. The Upper Yampa Valley is mostly made up of large agricultural ranches with lush irrigated hay meadows on the valley floor along the river, and open sagebrush steppe landscapes with timbered side drainages reaching up to higher terrain. Singing Elk Ranch is just 9 miles from the rural community of Toponas. The agricultural town of Yampa with its basic amenities is a short drive up the road. Commercial air service, jet accessible airport and FBO, and more extensive amenities are readily available in nearby Vail Valley.
A 3,232 square foot two-story craft log home adorns Singing Elk Ranch and has 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The main level consists of an open and functional floor plan with a full kitchen and dining area as well as a living room, den/bonus room and a full bath. The living area is very attractive with exposed logs and a custom stone fireplace. The upstairs features two bedrooms, a master bed with full bath, and a second suite with its own ¾ bath. The residence also has a fully-finished basement that includes a game room, bunkroom, ¾ bathroom, as well as storage. The house is replete with top of the line finishes like custom wood floors and granite countertops, however it is not overdone and exudes a quaint rustic feel.
The ranch is accessed from State Highway 131 and County Road 3, traversing up Porcupine Ridge to the elevated plateau of Five Pines Mesa. Singing Elk’s 423 acres are mostly forested, rolling terrain with a mix of healthy spruce, fir and lodgepole pines, along with mature aspen groves. The ground cover is a mixture of native high elevation grasses and sagebrush. Upon entering the ranch one is greeted by a large open meadow along the northern boundary. The log home is perched just east of this meadow in a large stand of aspen trees. Crossing the middle of the property and flowing from the northwest corner is a lush riparian area that feeds a picturesque 3-acre lake along with natural spring water. The lake area is improved with a sandy beach, boat dock, and cook out area that enhances the use and enjoyment of the water. Continuing south from the open riparian meadow the property becomes more densely timbered and blends in seamlessly with the National Forest along the entirety of the western boundary where the ranch has its own private gated access. This southern half of the property is stellar elk and deer habitat. With an overall gently sloping gradient and steeper rocky outcroppings on the eastern side, this area acts as a funnel for migrating wildlife in the fall.
The ranch sits at an elevation of around 9,000 feet. There are approximately 60 frost free days per year at this elevation and the climate is characterized by cold winters and cool summers. Mean values for participation is 16.4 in./yr. with 120 inches of snowfall. February is the driest month and August is the wettest.
Singing Elk Ranch provides excellent habitat for a variety of game. The White River Elk Herd, North America’s largest elk herd, is found here and takes up residence in the sprawling Flat Tops, migrating east right through the ranch to lower elevations during the fall hunting season. Trophy mule deer are also prolific on the property and adjoining National Forest lands. The ranch qualifies for private landowner vouchers and over the counter big game tags are readily available. Other species include black bear, mountain lion, and the occasional moose. The property falls within Colorado GMU #26.
Other recreational pursuits include endless snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter months as well as hiking, canoeing, and mountain biking in the summer.
The ranch’s 3-acre lake is stocked with rainbow trout and is a great on-site resource for anglers. Nearby fly-fishing is abundant within the Yampa River Valley and on high-alpine lakes in close proximity to the ranch. The Yampa River is a short drive and is considered a hidden gem amongst Colorado trout enthusiasts. The tailwater section of the Yampa below Stagecoach is one of the prized pieces of water in the region. The 780-acre Stagecoach Reservoir is known for great trout and northern pike fishing. To the south of the ranch the Colorado River is easily accessible for miles of floatable gold medal fly-fishing.
The ranch is currently operated as a family recreational retreat and hunting property, however it could easily support summer grazing if an owner desired.
Singing Elk Ranch is subject to a Conservation Easement held by Yampa Valley Land Trust, ensuring the property’s wildlife habitat and ranching heritage are preserved. The CE allows for subdivision into two separate parcels, as well as the identification of a second 10-acre building envelope. For more information on the Conservation Easement, please contact the listing broker.
Five Pines Mesa Association
Singing Elk Ranch enjoys membership to the Ranches at Five Pines Mesa, providing additional resources and economical ranch management. The Association consists of a total of ten properties ranging between 50 and 400+ acres, Singing Elk Ranch being the largest. Five Pines Mesa is structured similar to an HOA and provides shared amenities to member-owners, including a 53-acre central parcel that is owned by the association and has a shared barn with a workshop, storage loft, and manager’s apartment. The common parcel also features a luxurious 1,378 square foot log cabin that overlooks a private pond and is available for accommodating owners and their guests. The HOA employs a full time manager/caretaker who performs interior road and fence maintenance, home monitoring and maintenance, as well as general coordination of ranch activities and winter access via snow machine.