Highlighted by a scenic setting beneath the highest peaks of the Flat Tops Mountains, this historic ranch has been owned by the same family since it was originally homesteaded. The 800± acre mountain retreat encompasses the headwaters of Cedar Creek and is marked by numerous aspen groves, irrigated meadows, sage pasture, springs and ponds. The ranch features back-door access into the adjacent White River National Forest and the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. This location and habitat make it an excellent wildlife property for elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. Modest improvements in the form of several rustic cabins and a barn are nestled into an aspen forest at the headquarters. The property is located between Steamboat Springs and the Vail Valley in an area known as Sunnyside, aptly named for its location on the south slope of the divide that runs between King Mountain and Dome Peak. From the Eagle County Regional Airport, the ranch is approximately 42 miles north via the Colorado River Road.
Just the Facts
- 800± acre historic mountain cattle and big game hunting ranch
- Available for the first time since being homesteaded
- Aspen groves, irrigated meadows, sage pasture, springs and ponds
- Back-door access to adjacent White River National Forest and nearby Flat Tops Wilderness Area
- Tremendous mountain vistas from the base of Dome Peak
- Abundant populations of elk and mule deer as well as seasonal pronghorn
- Modest improvements utilized for hunting operations and ranching
- Located between Steamboat Springs and Vail Valley
- 42 miles north of Eagle County Regional Airport via Colorado River Road
Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch encompasses 800± acres of deeded lands. The White River National Forest adjoins the property to the north, with the Flat Tops Wilderness Area laying roughly two miles to the north and west. The eastern, southern and western boundaries are bordered by private lands.
The ranch is comprised of stands of aspen, sagebrush, a willow-lined creek bottom with irrigated hay meadow, and intermittent stands of evergreen timber. Two ponds in the northern half of the property complement a series of small, seasonal creeks that flow through the property. The cabins are sited in a stand of aspen to the east of the property at an elevation of 9,000 feet. Elevations range from 9,000 feet at the cabins and along the creek bottom to over 9,500 feet along the national forest boundary to the north. The national forest can be accessed by foot or horseback directly from the property.
The Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch provides a beautiful mountain setting at the base of Dome Peak and the Flat Tops Range. In addition to a sweeping viewshed, abundant wildlife, and limitless on-site recreational opportunities, the ranch provides an ideal jumping off point for those looking to explore the adjacent White River National Forest and nearby Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Equally suitable as a working ranch, the land provides a favorable combination of topography and natural resources that serve as excellent summer pasture for cattle. In short, Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch is an ideal property for those seeking a well-rounded mountain ranch or retreat within easy striking distance from Vail, Beaver Creek or Steamboat Springs.
Learn about the locale
Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch is located in Northwest Colorado at the base of Dome Peak, the southernmost summit of the eastern escarpment of the Flat Tops Mountain Range. Situated between Steamboat Springs and the Vail Valley, the area encompassing the ranch is comprised of a large bench at the southeastern corner of the Flat Top Range known as Sunnyside. Renowned for its favorable southern exposure and tremendous vistas, Sunnyside serves as a unique transition zone where timbered subalpine mountain slopes give way to rolling sage and aspen covered ridges before dropping into the Colorado River, just a short distance below. In addition to its scenic beauty, the Sunnyside area is known for its quality ranch lands and abundant recreational resources.
Located in southern Routt County, the property is ideally sited between Steamboat Springs and the Vail Valley. Steamboat, a 4-season resort town and recreational mecca, is 48 miles to the north. The I-70 corridor is a 33.5-mile drive on gravel roads to the south and west of the ranch. Beaver Creek is 54 miles to the southeast and the distance to Vail is 64 miles – also to the southeast. The Colorado River, popular with anglers and rafters, is 10 miles to the south. The ranch is accessed from the north and south by gravel county roads that provide seasonal access.
The Sunnyside neighborhood stretches east from the southeastern corner of the Flat Tops Range and across a short divide to the southwestern corner of King Mountain. Essentially a broad mountain bench, Sunnyside is perched on a series of south facing slopes comprising the northern rim of the Colorado River Valley. A number of small streams and seasonal creeks originating in the Flat Tops flow south through Sunnyside and into the Colorado, which in turns drains a significant portion of the western slope of Colorado. Tucked into the base of Dome Peak at the northwestern corner of Sunnyside, the Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch enjoys a quiet location with spectacular views of the Colorado River Valley and beyond to the peaks of the Gore Range, Sawatch Range, and Elk Mountains.
Good southern exposure and elevations ranging from 9,000 to 9,500 feet insure that the Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch enjoys mild temperatures throughout the year.
The Sunnyside area is typical of Colorado’s mountain climate in that it exhibits warm sunny days with low humidity and cool nights in the summer with snow accumulation in the winter months. Because of its south-facing orientation, Sunnyside typically experiences milder winter conditions and an earlier start to spring relative to other areas located at similar elevations. Average summertime temperatures reach into the high 70’s with lows in the 40’s. Winter temperatures range from the teens during the night into the 30’s during the day.
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Deeded Acres: 800±
Total Acres: 800±
Lowest Elevation: 8,920
Highest Elevation: 9,530
Improvements include a number of rustic log cabins, bath house, mess hall/kitchen cabin, and barn that were built in the 1930s. The buildings have long been utilized to house and feed hunters throughout the fall. The ranch offers a number of potential building sites, all of which possess tremendous views. There is no electrical service to the property and power is provided by a generator. Water to the improvements is provided by a spring and heated with propane.
Appurtenant water rights are believed to consist of the following. Prospective buyers are advised to complete their own investigation and verification of water rights prior to purchase.
8.0 cfs Cabin Creek Basin Ditch
5.4 cfs Dome Ranch Ditch
Any appurtenant minerals owned by the Sellers will transfer with a sale.
Current property taxes are estimated to be approximately $642 annually.
Learn about the recreational amenities
A favorable blend of aspen stands, sage, irrigated meadows and water resources provide a favorable environment for a variety of wildlife including elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, black bear, as well as an array of song birds and raptors. Serving as a transition zone between evergreen forest and critical wintering grounds, the ranch’s cover and terrain provide ideal habitat for resident herds of elk and deer as well as animals migrating out of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area and surrounding national forest lands. Located in Colorado Game Management (GMU) 26, Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch offers quality hunting opportunities both within its boundaries and on surrounding national forest and designated wilderness lands.
A multitude of recreational opportunities exist within the ranch’s boundaries as well as on the thousands of acres of adjacent White River National Forest lands. In addition to hiking, hunting and horseback riding, the ranch provides abundant winter recreational activities including cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
The ranch is located between the resort communities of Vail, Beaver Creek and Steamboat Springs, and just a few miles above the Colorado River. The combination of activities available on the ranch, nearby resort communities, and neighboring public lands of the BLM, White River National Forest, and Flat Tops Wilderness provide unlimited recreational opportunities.
Learn about the general operations
Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch has long been utilized as summer pasture for cattle and big game hunting in the fall. The owners run their own cattle on the ranch and are typically running between 40 and 60 pairs during the summer season - which typically begins in late May or early June and ends in late September or early October. Over 40 acres of irrigated hay meadows produce an average of 1 to 1.5 tons of grass hay per acre. Three acres have been planted in alfalfa and produce a grass and alfalfa blend.
Big game hunting has always played an important role in the ranch’s operations. Commercial outfitting is no longer conducted on the property; however, ownership provides hunting access and lodging to hunters on a trespass fee basis. Most of the Owen-Skiles Sunnyside Ranch’s hunters are repeat customers.