Offered for the first time in over 70 years and sharing a 1.5 mile border with the Routt National Forest, Copper Ridge Ranch, sits 300 hundred feet above the valley floor at the base of Copper Ridge offering vast, unabated views across the Yampa Valley. Only three miles north of Steamboat Springs, with end of road privacy, this 360-acre Ranch serves as a wildlife haven, conserved for its elk habitat, but also home to numerous other species. Immerse yourself in nature right out your backdoor, with direct access to over 1.4 million acres of national forest. Implant your vision into the existing home or restart within the 20-acre building envelope upon which to find that perfect spot for a true legacy to be handed down for generations to come.
The Copper Ridge Ranch is an end of the road destination only three miles north of Steamboat Springs Colorado. Less than 10 minutes by car, you will find one of Colorados infamous ski towns, with shopping, restaurants and of course, world class skiing renowned for its Champagne Powder. Just 20 minutes to the Hayden Regional Airport gets you access to commercial air and private FBO.
ACREAGE AND DESCRIPTION
The 360-deeded acre ranch lies along the northern edge of Copper Ridge, starting at 7000 in elevation and climbing to 8150 at its highest point, you will own your own mountain. The acreage is comprised of primary two ecological systems, divided by the mountain ridge.
The Brushy Loam range site is located on the south slopes of the property and is dominated by oak brush, serviceberry, snowberry and chokecherry. The brush component of this site makes up about 50% of the current annual growth. The new growth on this brush is what the elk use almost entirely to survive through the winter. The brush species and the south aspect is what makes this area, critical winter range for elk. The understory species of the brush community is dominated by grass and grass like plants. The dominant species is elk sedge, mountain brome, Kentucky blue grass, slender wheatgrass, letterman needle grass and june grass. The grasses make up about 35% of the annual forage production on this site. Forbs found on this site were Fendler waterleaf, low larkspur, lupine, meadow rue, asters, American vetch, western yarrow and oregon grape. The forbs make up about 15% of the plant community.
The total annual air-dry production on this Brushy Loam site is estimated at 2500 lbs/acre/year. The total acres of this plant community are 151 acres.
The Aspen/Subalpine fir plant community is located on the north end of the property, with north facing slopes dominated by an overstory of mature Aspen and Subalpine fir trees. The understory is comprised of a mix of grasses and forbs. The dominant grasses are mountain and nodding brome, Thurber fescue, Idaho fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, blue wildrye and Columbia needle grass. These grass species make up 35% of the annual production of the site. Forbs found on the site include herbaceous cinquefoil, Fremont geranium, aspen peavine, bluebell, columbine, cow parsnip, lupine and asters. Forbs make up about 25% of the current year growth. The dominant shrubs are snowberry, serviceberry and woods rose.
The total annual air-dry production on this Aspen/Subalpine fir site is 2800 lbs/acre/year. The total acres of this plant community on the property are 174 acres.
The primary use by the current owners has been grazing and recreation. The current owners utilize the ranch for its grazing by running cattle and horses and mules. Past operations of hydro-axing and mulching cleared the way for regeneration of grasses and other forbs, helping to increase the vegetation available to wildlife. Colorado Cattlemens Agricultural Land Trust manages the Ranchs conservation easement.
WILDLIFE AND RECREATION
Colorado Parks and Wildlife classifies the area of the ranch as elk winter ranch and elk winter concentration area. Once home to over 300 elk, this ranch serves to protect what little habitat remains along Copper Ridge. Columbian sharped-tailed grouse also call the ranch home. With a 1.5 mile shared border with the National Forest, wildlife seek safe haven on the ranch from the public pressure. The dark timber and aspen groves provide ideal cover for deer, elk and moose while tree-covered mesas provide additional opportunity for forage. Wildlife will regularly come down to graze on the flatter areas of the ranch and traverse back into the safety and coolness afforded by the dense vegetation.
Additionally, due to the vegetation present, the following can also be expected to be found: red-tailed hawk, golden eagle, American kestrel, blue grouse, great homed owl, broad-tailed humming bird, red knaped sap sucker, long-legged myotis, big brown bat, yellow bellied marmot, porcupine, coyote, red fox, pine marten, and bobcat.
The Ranch currently has a 2,768 square foot home, with high-end appliances and log purlins. The home has a two-car attached garage with a large loft above the garage, great for a studio or additional storage. While the home is currently livable, there are a few outstanding finishes needed to fully complete the home. Due to the current condition, the property is being offered in an As Is, Where Is, with all Faults condition.
Copper Ridge Ranch was purchased in 1942, then consisting of 1300 acres. The family operated a cattle and outfitting business via a forest recreational permit. Over the years, the ranch has been home to four generations, all with deep roots in agriculture and the community. Through the generations, the ranch has been divided amongst the family, and Copper Ridge Ranch stands as one of the few remaining parcels. With the growth of Steamboat Springs, the family wanted to protect the land which had served them so well. In the late 1990s, the family sought to protect the integrity of the ranch and the wildlife that had supported the family for decades. With the help of the Yampa Valley Land Trust, now Colorado Cattlemens Association Land Trust, the ranch was placed into conservation easement, providing a permanent habit and wintering grounds safe from future subdivision and development.