With over 350 acres of varied topography, Steamboat’s Elk Meadows Ranch is an impressive recreation property located 8 miles from Steamboat Springs. Overlooking several miles of the Elk River corridor and providing protective cover for wildlife, the ranch is a magnet for the big game animals indigenous to Northwest Colorado. The 5,460 s.f. custom home has been carefully designed to capture eye-popping views of the Steamboat ski area and the continental divide. Built with recreation in mind, the house has an oversized garage with loft storage, ski lockers in the mudroom, and a stone patio with a fire pit. A private trail that loops around the entire ranch along the ridges and valleys entices hiking, riding, and wildlife-watching excursions. Located in a prime resort area with plenty of hold and exit strategies, Elk Meadows Ranch is a thoroughly enjoyable asset.
Elk Meadows Ranch is just 8 miles from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Paved U.S. Highway 40 is 2 miles south of the ranch via well-maintained gravel county roads. The location of the ranch is also convenient to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport which is a 15-minute drive to the west. Bordered by conservation ranches on the south, west, and north sides, the ranch is very private. Over a million acres of National Forest land is within a 6-mile drive and miles of public fishing are available nearby on the Yampa and Elk Rivers. The ranch is close enough to town to see the lights of Steamboat and night-ski lights at the ski area.
The 358 acres of Elk Meadows River Ranch consists of scenic terrain ranging from open grassy fields at about 6500’ in elevation to 7100 feet along the ridge tops. The owners have carefully managed the land and water resources over the years. The meadows have been cleared of sage, reseeded, fertilized, and sprayed resulting in pristine, productive, healthy land. The springs have been piped to the horse paddock which overflows to ponds and can be diverted to the house for domestic and irrigation uses. The home is situated on a gentle plateau with every room oriented toward the river corridor, ski area, and continental divide view. The excellent wildlife habitat coupled with the bordering conserved land provides safety for the wide variety of game animals that can be found on any given day. The ranch is in a designated deer migration area and supports a resident herd of elk. The northwest side of the ranch overlooks the county’s only privately owned depressional wetlands on the adjacent conservation ranch. These wetlands provide a front-row seat to the nesting grounds and seasonal stopovers for waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds. The opportunity exists to place the ranch into a conservation easement.
Improvements on the ranch were completed in 2017. The 5,460 s.f. home was designed by one of Steamboat’s foremost architects, Joe Robbins, and noted builder Hamilton Construction. Opening the massive front door hints at the quality inside: constructed by a slab of cypress, the completely hand-made, hand-forged door is an exact replica of a 13th-century Italian castle. Inside, giant beams, hand-scraped hickory floors, and locally milled beetle-kill pine ceilings offer a warm and impressive welcome. The great room has windows lining the east and west walls; deliberately relying on the landscape as art. Regularly changing seasons punctuated by the constantly changing weather turns this photographic panorama into a live video that never shows the same scene twice. Two dining nooks extend in a window-clad semi-circle for comfortable seating. The kitchen is open to the great room and has a large island as well as a separate bar with a bar sink, built-in ice maker, and beverage cooler. Perfect for entertaining, the kitchen also features a 6 burner Viking range, Subzero refrigerator, additional oven, microwave drawer, and separate pantry complete with custom saloon doors! For those who like to sneak a quick taste while the chef isn’t looking, the shuffleboard table is just a few steps away from the kitchen area.
The main level master suite has a spacious closet room and a bathroom with a two-sided vanity. The cast iron freestanding tub is nestled in another window-lined semi-circle; arguably the best soaking views in Steamboat. Two guest suites, on one each level, provide a welcome retreat for friends and family. The lower level is fun for kids and adults alike with a kids bedroom built to resemble a fort, complete with a wagon bed. The den, leading out to a stone patio and fire pit, has a TV built into a replica covered wagon. A wet bar and beverage cooler round out the fun space. The top level of the home is dedicated to a tower office with 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape. The main level mudroom, located adjacent to the garage has oversize ski lockers with room for boot dryers and recreation gear. An oversized three-car garage has a large loft accessed from an extra wide staircase, providing additional storage. Central air and radiant floors provide comfort in all seasons and an alarm system sends temperature alerts, lower level water alerts, and a whole-house security system. The ranch is comfortable and useful for all generations and guests-the owners didn’t miss a single detail!
The trail system on Elk Meadows Ranch provides year-round recreation. Wintertime snowmobiling is exhilarating in the deep powder open meadows. Snowshoeing, hiking, and horseback riding provide an opportunity to get up close and personal with the resident wildlife during all seasons. Exploring with ATVs is a fun way to spend an afternoon, stopping for a picnic at one of the lookouts. Hunting, spotting an elusive summer bear, cross country skiing, and sledding also promise to deliver for outdoor adventure on the ranch.
The agriculture status is maintained with a hay lease arranged with area hay producers. The ranch produces one cutting of native grass hay every summer. The agriculture production helps keep taxes low and maximizes the traditional ranch attributes on the property.
There is a domestic well and two adjudicated springs on the ranch. The fall of 2019, a notable drought year, saw continued production from the springs as they kept water in the ponds and water for the house.
The ranch is located 8 miles west of the resort town of Steamboat Springs. It is easily accessed via year-round paved roads. State Highway 40 follows the tree-lined Yampa River through the productive river valley meadows. Along the way are several historic ranches; a demonstration that ranching and recreation continue to work hand in hand in this area. The Yampa Valley Regional Airport is a 15-minute drive from the ranch; its 10,000 ft. runway serves both private and commercial aircraft. During the ski season, direct flights are available from 14 major cities all over the country. 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 is an award-winning, full-service acute care hospital. Steamboat has excellent public schools and a new elementary school is being constructed just a few miles from the ranch. Colorado Mountain College, an established community college, offers a variety of programs for associate and bachelor degrees plus many local-interest classes.
This area of Northwest Colorado is popular for big game hunting. With over half of the land in the county under federal ownership and most of the game management units having over-the-counter bull tags available, varied hunting opportunities are plentiful on the ranch and within close proximity to the ranch.
Steamboat’s Elk Meadows Ranch is a prime recreation/luxury home ranch west of the world-renowned resort of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The wildlife attributes on and around the ranch attract a variety of animals that reside on and move through the property. The attractive, well-located custom home overlooks the long Elk River corridor and is ideal for comfortable family living and entertaining. The ranch is well priced in its category and represents an opportunity to own a superb recreational property with numerous hold and exit strategies.