The Home Ranch in Clark, CO is located in Northwestern Colorado, in North Routt County, 17 miles north of Steamboat Springs, in what is referred to as the upper Elk River Valley. Clark is a small, sparsely populated, yet still-thriving ranching community, completely surrounded by one million acres of roadless, undeveloped public lands. Western scenes of cattle, horses, and ranches dominate the valley floor, while stunning Alpine scenery dominates the skyline in every direction. The pristine Elk River flows through the heart of the valley it has sculpted towards its confluence with the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, about 17 miles from Clark. The drive from Steamboat to Clark, and further north to Steamboat Lake and Hahn’s Peak Village, is one of Colorado’s prettiest drives, and is especially loved by cyclists.
The Mt. Zirkel Wilderness and the dramatic Western Slope of the Continental Divide can be seen from the valley road as one enters The Home Ranch. The view is spectacular. The elevation at the Home Ranch is about 7,000 feet rising to 12,180 feet at the peak of Mt. Zirkel, where the headwaters of the Elk River begin. The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest makes up the remainder of the surrounding acreage and contains the unique geological formation of the Elkhead Mountain range, of which Sand Mountain to the west, and the iconic Hahn’s Peak to the north, are the towering symbols. The vastness and wildness of the area, with its rivers, lakes and mountain trails, creates endless recreation opportunities, in every season of the year. It is one of Colorado’s favorite wild playgrounds, and is especially renowned for its consistent, and abundant snow, (an average of about 300 inches a year), which is almost always sparkling dry powder. The Routt County area has produced more Winter Olympians than anywhere in the United States. It is a winter sports paradise, with a deep commitment to its community of avid skiers.
Just north of Clark, on the shores of Steamboat Lake, is the small, historic community of Hahn’s Peak Village, a once vibrant mining town was also the county seat or Routt County. A visit to Hahn’s Peak Village today offers visitors a quick stroll through Colorado’s colorful mining past. The locals have opted to preserve the original quiet residential character of the town and shy away from the commercial tourism development typical of many old Colorado mountain towns.
Seventeen miles south of Clark, in the heart of the Yampa River Valley, is the classic Western town of Steamboat Springs, Ski Town USA, home of Steamboat Ski Resort and its famous, trademarked Champagne Powder® skiing. (We get the same snow here, we just didn’t have the heart to trademark it.) With its still extant Western heritage and deep agricultural ties, Steamboat is unique among other world class resort areas. The community is strong and vibrant, and boasts excellent schools, a dedication to open space preservation, emphasis on healthy lifestyles and outdoor recreation, and a firm commitment to art and cultural events. Steamboat has been successful in maintaining a sense of community while attracting amenities found in cities many times the size.
Fodor’s Travel Guide has This to Say About Steamboat Springs:
“Steamboat Springs is Colorado at its most authentic, where hay bales and cattle crowd pastures, McMansions are regarded with disdain, high schoolers compete in local rodeos, deer hang from front porches during hunting season, and high-fashion means clean jeans. Steamboat Ski Resort has none of the pretensions of the glitzier Colorado resorts. Ask a local about the last celebrity he saw in town and he’s liable to tell you the name of the kid who won the steer-roping competition.”
The Home Ranch, which is only seventeen miles from the attractions of Steamboat Springs, is very close, and yet worlds away from the typical ski town setting. Guests of The Home Ranch are perfectly located to take advantage of the endless recreation opportunities in Routt County and the Steamboat Springs Colorado area.
If you are considering a visit to the area, and would like to find out more about this gorgeous part of Colorado, the following links make a great resource.
RECREATION AREAS NEAR THE HOME RANCH
Pearl Lake State Park
Voted one of America’s top 25 canoeing spots for 2008 with a wakeless lake, and restricted to fly and lure fishing only, Pearl Lake offers a serene experience at the base of Farwell Mountain. Our wildlife viewing deck offers great views, and the chance to either look for critters or just sun yourself in the clean, quiet mountain air. A meandering trail accesses thousands of acres of National Forest. Winter offers a serene forest experience and spectacular views while skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobilling.
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State Parks in the Area
Stagecoach State Park Steamboat Lake State Park Yampa River State Park
Routt National Forest White River National Forest
National Wilderness Areas
Mount Zirkel Wilderness Sarvis Creek Wilderness
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Fish Creek Falls National Recreation Trail Swamp Park National Recreation Trail
Great Parks Bicycle Route
Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway