Flying J Ranch on the Elk River

  • $10,000,000
  • Fishing, Horse Riding, Skiing, Snowshoeing
  • 35 Acres
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • Colorado
  • Routt
  • Steamboat Springs


Located in the Elk River Valley north of Steamboat Springs, The Flying J Ranch consists of 35 acres with both sides of the Elk River and a custom-built luxury home. Just 12 paved miles from Steamboat and 5 miles from Clark, the property has easy access to world-class skiing at Colorado’s second largest ski resort and is within minutes of the Routt National Forest, Pearl Lake State Park, Steamboat Lake State Park, and the Christina State Wildlife Area. The home, enjoyed by a multi-generational family for years, is an intelligently designed luxury retreat surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape.


  • Fishing
  • Horse Riding
  • Skiing
  • Snowshoeing


The property has easy access from the paved county road 129 and is 12 miles north of Steamboat Springs in the Elk River Valley. Much of the drive from town winds through the lush meadows of the valley and parallels the river corridor. The road crosses two corners of the Routt National Forest; both areas have trailheads that provide access to over 2 million acres of public land. A State Wildlife Area with over 2 miles of access on the Elk River is about 6 miles south of the property. Just a few miles north of the ranch is a massive expanse of public land with several high mountain lakes and streams, miles of backroads and trails, and two small villages. Clark offers a neighborhood store with a full deli serving breakfast and lunch, a post office, general provisions, unique local gifts and food, and a liquor store. Hahn’s Peak, a few miles farther north, has two restaurants and a small store with fuel. Area residents and visitors take full advantage of the great outdoors in this beautiful part of Colorado.


The property consists of 35 acres. Approximately 20 acres are native grass hay meadows and the balance is the river corridor with the main channel of the Elk plus two braids in a park-like setting. Spring runoff is fast and furious, but the braids tame the flow and offer some excellent early season fishing. The slower flows of late summer, still shaded by trees and brush, extend the fishing well into the fall. The meadows are irrigated with senior water rights from ditches that take water from the Elk River upstream. The western 15 acres are mostly covered in tall cottonwood trees punctuated by pockets of open meadows. A mobile covered platform that doubles as a music stage for weddings and family events provides shade for a morning yoga session or afternoon picnic. A wood-framed wall tent is perfect for overnight “glamping” under the stars.


Timeless finishes like wide plank wood floors, moss rock fireplaces, iron railing with reclaimed wood posts, and Douglas Fir pillars have been incorporated into modern design features like subway tile backsplashes, top of the line appliances, and seamless granite counters. The intelligently designed home features essential modern upgrades including dedicated fiber optic cable internet, mesh internal network, and Sonos audio throughout the common areas. Custom spaces that cater to the three generations who have enjoyed the home for years include a bunk room (4 queen and 4 full sized beds) with reading lights and outlets at each bunk, a well-equipped yoga studio, a sophisticated and fun western saloon, a theater room, and inviting outdoor living areas. The great room is defined by a massive floor-to-ceiling moss rock fireplace flanked by attractive wood beams. The gourmet kitchen, open to the great room and dining room, will satisfy any culinary aficionado and the thirteen-foot granite breakfast island offers plenty of space for eager little helping hands. Two prep islands, a dual fuel Wolf range, a Wolf warming drawer, a full-size side by side refrigerator/freezer, refrigerator drawers, dishwashers, and a walk-in pantry complement the well-designed space. The main-level primary suite is warmed by its own fireplace, has a soaking tub with spectacular sunset views, and a door to the cozy screened-in porch, perfect for watching a summer rainstorm move across the valley. A separate guest wing has two bedroom suites, plus a third bedroom and separate full bath. The comfortable den with warm wood beams and ceilings has a stone fireplace and its own outdoor deck space. Heavy double doors lead from the modern elegance of the open and bright great room to the intimate atmosphere of the saloon. Outfitted to accommodate easy gatherings, the rich leather furniture and polished accents are enveloped by dark wood floors, beetle kill pine ceilings, and wood beams. A traditional western style bar, complete with TV and surround sound, is an ideal place to ease into the evening on a barstool for a beverage or treat expectant kids to a root beer float. The entertainment spills out to the covered outside deck through a custom dutch door. A massive rock fireplace and sandstone hearth augment the view of the open meadow to the forest along the river and the mountains beyond. Several porches and decks have east, west and south facing views, providing a different vantage point for watching local wildlife or an early morning sunrise or dramatic sunset. A firepit lies just beyond the deck and under brilliant galaxy of stars. The younger generations have their own space on the upper level with an 8 bed-bunk room, a cozy den with a giant screen TV, and bathrooms customized for cowboys and cowgirls of all ages. The home has a garage and storage wing that accommodates multiple vehicles and every type of gear needed to enjoy Colorado’s outdoors. Custom ski lockers and several storage stalls are located just off of the garage. During winter, the garage can be used as an indoor gymnasium. With a basketball hoop, concrete floors for skating or pedaling around, even room for a singles pickleball court, this space is much more than a traditional spot to park vehicles and toys!

Recreational Amenities

The Flying J serves as a private retreat, with a long list of activities to enjoy without leaving the ranch boundaries. The private stretch of the Elk River beckons the angler to tempt a rainbow or brown with a skillful cast or the artist to capture the landscape with a skillful stroke. The live flowing water attracts big game species like elk, deer, moose, and bear. An open-air covered platform is a great spot for a riverside picnic. The canvas wall tent nestled in the cottonwood forest is a comfortable way to enjoy the crisp air and clear skies while a camp stove keeps the chill off.


The sellers have compiled copious notes and instructions for operation of the ranch, broken down month by month. Systems are in place for smooth operations so that the property can serve as a simple, easy to monitor and maintain retreat. A detailed notebook with links and photos is available. A longtime area rancher harvests the native grass hay, typically about 45 tons per season. The hay operation helps keep the favorable agricultural tax status in place.

Water Rights

1.5 CFS decreed to the Upper Elk Ditch Company Ditch, Priority #141, appropriation date June 6, 1897, adjudicated September 15, 1902

.5 CFS decreed to said Upper Elk Ditch Company Ditch, Priority #298C, appropriation date June 1, 1908, adjudicated June 25, 1943

Water for the improvements is supplied by a well. There is a 2400 gallon cistern and a filter system. The well permit is 137097.


The Flying J Ranch is located just north of the resort town of Steamboat Springs. The area is known for its respect for the outdoors, agricultural roots, laid-back vibe, and skiing. Epic downhill skiing is a short drive to the Steamboat ski mountain. Now Colorado’s 2nd largest ski area, a $200 million expansion is complete with additional terrain, a new ice rink, several restaurants, and the fastest 10-person gondola in North America. Steamboat Springs is a friendly community of about 13,000 that features great amenities usually only found in larger towns: a state-of-the-art music pavilion that attracts acts and speakers from around the world, an indoor tennis/pickleball center, beautiful botanic gardens, natural hot springs, an award-winning full service acute care hospital, and the City-owned Howelsen Hill Ski Complex, the training grounds for the very long list of Steamboat Olympians. The Yampa Valley Regional Airport is about a half hours’ drive and serves both private and commercial aircraft. During the ski season, direct flights are available from 16 major cities around the country. Southwest and United provide daily, year-round service to Denver International Airport, the third busiest in the U.S. offering numerous options for convenient travel to every corner of the world.


The property offers the best of easy access to the variety of regional year-round recreational activities. Recreation in the greater area is only a few minutes’ drive. The Routt National Forest covers much of the local area, encompassing over 2M contiguous acres stretching from Steamboat Springs to southern Wyoming. This huge expanse of public land provides hiking, cycling and horseback riding trails, hunting, additional fishing, plus snowmobiling and cross country skiing on groomed trails. A road and trail system provides miles of ATV/UTV/Motorcycle riding between the notable mountain peaks in the area. There are several lakeside campgrounds in the area as well as day-use trailheads. Whether exploring the mountains of northwest Colorado or enjoying the outdoors steps away from the house, a lifetime of outdoor adventure comes with living at the Flying J.

Brokers Comments

The Flying J Ranch may be one of the finest recreation/luxury home properties on the resort market today. With a custom home and 35 acres packed with recreational amenities, close proximity to the Steamboat Ski Resort, the regional airport, and the vast expanse of national forest, it is unique among luxury mountain properties. The privately owned live water that flows through the ranch is the most difficult to find amenity in the region. Intentionally set up to entertain and relax, the property is located in one of the most scenic settings in the West. The ranch has served as a luxury family gathering spot for the seventeen members of three generations; for years they have convened to connect, get their hands dirty, and play together while making a lifetime of memories.


    Christy Belton 970-734-7885-c