Sky River Ranch

Property Map

Sky River Ranch

  • Sky River Ranch

Sky River Ranch

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Crowned by an exceptional custom home perched on a bench overlooking the Elk River Valley, this 797± acre ranch is distinguished by its live water, wildlife habitat, luxurious accommodations and spectacular panoramic vistas. The beautiful Elk River flows through the property, providing outstanding fly fishing for a variety of trout. The cottonwood-lined riparian areas are a haven for wildlife including sandhill cranes, great blue herons, bald eagles, sharp-tailed grouse, elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope. A sizable tributary, Deep Creek, provides additional diversity as it meanders through another area of the ranch. Historic water rights from both sources provide irrigation for 100± acres of hay meadow, complementing 500± acres of rolling upland pasture.

The magnificent 9,583± square foot owner residence is a work of art with high quality materials and craftsmanship, created to accentuate the breath-taking vistas up and down the valley. The custom dwelling was designed to provide a relaxing retreat for its owners while also accommodating guests in three comfortable suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and gorgeous views. Located just 20 minutes from downtown Steamboat Springs, the property is easy to access yet remains a private and tranquil oasis.


Sky River Ranch is situated in the heart of the scenic Elk River Valley of northwest Colorado. Recognized as one of the state’s last unspoiled river valleys, this basin is surrounded by timbered mountain slopes that give way to rolling foothills, lush hay meadows and old-growth cottonwoods lining the clear waters of the Elk River. In addition to its storied beauty, this is an area known for its fertile ranch lands and abundance of recreational opportunities.

Extending north from Steamboat Springs, the Elk River Valley lays along the western slope of the Park Range and Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. From its headwaters high in the Park Range, the Elk River courses through the valley, gaining the flows of numerous tributary streams and creeks. A freestone river highly regarded for exceptional fly-fishing, the Elk River is a primary tributary of the Yampa River, which in turn joins the Green River near the Utah border. Sky River Ranch enjoys a quiet location within the valley, where the paved road was constructed nearly a mile from the river and there are no railroads.

Located in northern Routt County, Sky River Ranch sits nearly midway between Steamboat Springs and Steamboat Lake. Steamboat, a four-season resort town and recreational mecca, is 10± miles southeast of the ranch. The local general aviation airport sits between the ranch and town, a 10-minute drive from the property. Clark, a small community that is home to the popular Clark Store that serves as a gathering place for locals and the guests of several luxury guest ranches, is 8± miles to the north. Steamboat Lake, a popular recreation area for anglers, boaters and snowmobilers, anchors the northern head the valley. Commercial air service and a full service FBO is also close by at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, which is just over 30 minutes to the southwest of the ranch.


The Steamboat Springs region of northwestern Colorado is surrounded by a scenic mosaic of mountains, rivers and fertile hay meadows. Even though this natural beauty has contributed to its popularity and growth as a premier ski resort, Steamboat proudly maintains its rich ranching heritage. Located within minutes of downtown Steamboat Springs, the Elk River Valley remains largely protected from development, with working cattle and horse ranches dominating the valley floor – a number of which have been permanently protected with conservation easements.

Steamboat Springs is a unique mountain community that embraces its western ranching culture and small town ambience while also enjoying its status as a premier resort destination. A welcoming community of over 12,000 residents, Steamboat offers world-class amenities, an excellent educational system, as well as the regional health care center. Free from the traffic of the I-70 corridor and Front Range of Colorado, Steamboat has remained less impacted by the development and congestion of many other resort communities. It is a place where families choose to live and play while surrounded by a diverse set of recreational opportunities including the Steamboat Ski Resort, famous for its champagne powder and bluebird ski days.

General Description: 

Sky River Ranch owes much of its distinctive character to the amazing setting of the owner’s residence. A ridge running eastward from the Elk Head Mountains enters the ranch and narrows to a point overlooking the river, where it plunges down to the water, providing a dramatic venue for an exceptional dwelling. Elevated 130 feet above the river, this treed bench provides the perfect location for an abode crafted to accentuate the amazing views of the meandering river below as well as the sweeping panoramic views up and down the valley.

Continuously visible from the residence, the Elk River winds through the property in a pattern of consecutive “S” turns. These long, sweeping bends provide a combination of trout-laden runs, riffles, deep pools and tailouts lined with intermittent beaches of sand and river stone. The river corridor is dominated by towering cottonwoods, thinleaf alder, wildflowers and a variety of willows.

The name Sky River Ranch pays homage to the remarkable setting of the main house, seemingly floating “in the sky” above the river valley.

East of the residence and the riparian corridor are the river meadows and an additional forest of cottonwoods bisected by a creek. These lush hay meadows encompass approximately 80 acres and are fed by senior irrigation water diverted from the river. The meadows are complimented by another 20± acres of irrigated pasture. It is not uncommon to see deer, elk and sandhill cranes feeding in these productive meadows in the mornings and evenings.

South and west of the residence, the property is bisected by Deep Creek, a tributary stream to the Elk River. A portion of the water in Deep Creek is diverted to irrigate another 20± acres of hay meadows. Beyond the creek is a vast pasture of rolling grass and sage. This 500± acre pasture is fenced for cattle and includes several ponds for stock and wildlife. This is prime habitat for deer, grouse and migrating elk. The gentle terrain and panoramic views from this part of the ranch make it excellent for equestrian riding.

The ranch is easily accessible from town via a pleasant 9 mile drive on Highway 129 as it heads north paralleling the Elk River. After turning west on County Road 54 and traveling one mile, the ranch begins on the north side of the road. Access to the owner’s residence is by a private and gated drive located just west of the river bridge.

From the county road the private drive climbs to the crest of the ridge before disappearing into a forest of oak trees, past the secondary garage and culminating at the circular drive of the residence. Additional entrance gates along the county road provide private access to both banks of the river, as well as the hay meadows and pasture portions of the ranch. County Road 54 is a quiet neighborhood road that is maintained by the county throughout the year.

Outstanding views from the residence extend from the valley floor to Hahn’s Peak to the north, the Park Range and Mount Zirkel Wilderness to the east, and the ski runs of the Steamboat Resort to the southeast. Elk Mountain, also known locally as the Sleeping Giant, is a landmark mountain to the immediate south, and in the distance the high peaks of the Flattops Range are visible. To the west and beyond the ranch are views of Wolf and Sand mountains, two of the Elk Head Range’s most prominent summits. Elevations on the ranch range from 6,935 feet along the river to 7,235 feet at the highest point. The owner’s residence sits at an elevation of 7,060 feet.


797± deeded acres


The incomparable natural setting for a residence was fully realized with the completion of an exceptional owner’s home.  The custom 9,583± square foot dwelling is the result of creative design and luxurious materials constructed with the finest craftsmanship.  The style is “Craftsman Contemporary,” inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and characterized by clean lines, rich woodwork and Wright-inspired stained glass.  

The residence was masterfully designed by Bill Rangitsch of Steamboat Architectural Associates and built by Ric Ostrom of MEO Construction, both top firms based in Steamboat Springs. The floor plan is functional yet unique, combining a sophisticated and efficient layout with warm and intimate living areas. High ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows were utilized to maximize the spectacular views from every suite and the main living areas. The home blends well with its natural surroundings and ingeniously blurs the line between inside and out.

The formal entry and vestibule welcome guests, while the spacious mud room provides ample storage for outdoor clothes and boots. Wide gallery hallways were designed for showcasing art with an art gallery hanging system and spotlights. The design of the floor plan, abundant windows and unobstructed sight lines combine to accentuate the views of Hahn’s Peak, Elk Mountain, the Elk River valley, and the distant ski runs on Mount Werner. An internal waterfall and stream give a sensual visual and auditory background for the guest wing as well as humidifying the home.

High quality materials are used throughout the home – imported stone countertops (some with 50-million year old fossils), imported limestone flooring, Telluride Gold dry-stack stone fireplaces, ultra-durable hardwood floors of spotted gum (eucalyptus), tongue-in-groove ceilings, and rich woodworking with clear cherry cabinets, doors, and trim. Massive yet delicate fir beams differentiate interior spaces and structurally allow high ceilings and plentiful eight-foot-tall windows. Five stone fireplaces (three gas, two wood burning) including a large outdoor fireplace, in addition to in-floor heating throughout, make the home cozy and comfortable.

Designed by a gourmet chef, the kitchen can easily accommodate many collaborating chefs with three sinks, three ovens, two cooktops, a large Subzero refrigerator, an equally large Subzero freezer, two under-counter refrigerators, three dishwashers, walk-in pantry, beautiful cherry cabinets above with art glass, ample drawers and lower cabinets, all with pull-out shelves.

The master wing features a spacious bedroom with a gas fireplace, hidden TV projector and drop-down screen, wet bar, private patios, two offices, laundry, his-and-her bathrooms and dressing rooms/closets, plus a Jacuzzi soaking tub and an exquisite curved tile shower in a shared bath.  

Three spacious guest bedroom suites all have tasteful baths, walk-in closets, and wool carpeting. One of them, the master guest suite, features a fireplace, private patio and a Jacuzzi tub in addition to its large shower. Additionally, a separate powder room is located on each floor.

The lower walk-out level consists of a game room with mini-kitchen, a home theater, an exercise room, a crafts and gift-wrapping area, and a wine storage room. The exercise room has its own full bathroom and closets to double as an extra guest suite. The home is completely wheelchair accessible, including an elevator, and one of the guest suites was designed for wheelchair access to its sinks and shower.

The exterior of the home is equally appealing with stonework, windows, multiple patios, native landscaping and outdoor entertaining spaces. Blending into its setting by utilizing existing grades, a low profile, and buried utilities, the home sits on a bench on the “brow of the hill” as Wright would have specified. A variety of outdoor spaces are highlighted by the main covered patio, which offers the most scenic al fresco dining in the valley. Extensively manicured grounds around the home include landscaped flower beds, vegetable garden, stone walkways and irrigated lawns. The elevated nature of the home also eliminates flooding risk during high water in the spring.

With 1,160± square feet, the attached garage has plenty of room for three vehicles plus substantial storage, floor drains, built-in work benches and a back-up generator.  A detached 1,080± square foot three-car garage provides storage for additional vehicles such as snowmobiles and other “toys.”


Sky River Ranch’s valley setting insures an attractive year-round climate. With elevations ranging from 6,935 to 7,235 feet, the ranch enjoys moderate summers with cool nights and winters that are considered mild for a ski resort location. Temperatures range from an average high of 82 degrees in July to an average high of 27 degrees in January. As a result of its location at the base of the west slope of the Continental Divide, the Steamboat Springs area receives more precipitation than average for Colorado while also benefitting from abundant sunshine and little wind. This region averages 24 inches of annual precipitation with higher elevations receiving a significantly higher accumulation of snowfall than the valley.  

General Operations: 

The aesthetic and recreational attributes of the ranch are complemented by quality agricultural components and senior water rights. A total of approximately 100± acres of productive irrigated meadow produce high-quality hay along the Elk River and Deep Creek riparian corridors. The 500± acre Deep Creek Pasture is utilized for cattle grazing during the growing season, and the livestock are subsequently grazed through the meadows in the fall after the hay is harvested. Sky River Ranch is currently leased to a tenant who is responsible for the haying, irrigation, grazing and fence maintenance. As a result of its favorable terrain and proximity to national forest lands, the ranch would also serve as an excellent equestrian property.

Wildlife Resources: 

The ranch’s diverse habitat and abundant water resources provide a healthy environment for a wide variety of wildlife including elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, sandhill cranes, as well an abundance of songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl.

From the deck of the owner’s residence once can watch deer and elk feeding in the ranch meadows below and be eye-level with raptors as they fly past on their patrol of the river corridor.

Additional opportunities for wildlife viewing are located nearby. For the hunter, the ranch is located in one of Colorado’s most prolific big game hunting areas.

Fishery Resources: 

The Elk River’s reputation for privacy and beauty is second only to its standing as a tremendous trout fishery.  “The Elk” is a fertile medium-gradient freestone river, fed by high mountain snowpack and free from any impoundments.  On its 15± mile course from the headwaters to the confluence with the Yampa River, the Elk flows through predominantly private ranch lands, resulting in low fishing pressure.  Benefiting from this combination of plentiful flows, excellent habitat and low pressure, the Elk River consistently offers high-quality trout fishing. 

Sky River Ranch is blessed with a beautiful and diverse stretch of the Elk River that is regarded for its excellent trout fishing. Flowing south through the ranch for just under one mile, this section of the Elk winds through a series of long “S” curves as it passes below stands of towering cottonwood trees. Easily wadeable, the river features a series of deep runs interspersed with broad tailouts and long riffles, each providing classic holding water for trout.

The Elk enters the ranch as two separate channels – a main channel and side channel flowing around a large island. These channels converge in a deep plunge pool just upriver from the large bend and pool located at the base of the steep bluff below the owner’s residence. From the bluff pool, the river winds through a series of riffles and deep runs before passing under the county-road bridge and off the property.

One of the most attractive traits of the ranch’s river beat is the ease with which it can be fished. Sky River Ranch possesses both banks of the river, providing access to numerous open beaches that allow anglers to stealthily approach and cast to every inch of water. A number of high banks, combined with tremendous water clarity, provide anglers with excellent sight fishing for the river’s large trout. Unlike rivers with a soil-based streambed that are prone to poor clarity during and after rainstorms, the streambed of the Elk is comprised predominantly of medium-size cobblestone and generally exhibits exceptional clarity. It also enjoys a range of widths throughout the ranch that vary from 50 to over 100 feet across.

Rainbow trout are the predominant species, though brown, cutthroat, and the occasional brook trout also inhabit the river. Trout on the Elk average 14 to 16 inches, however trout in excess of 20 inches are regularly landed throughout the river and on the ranch. A number of prolific hatches insure excellent dry-fly fishing while streamers and nymphs are productive throughout the year. As a testament to its quality fishing, Sky River Ranch ownership has historically leased its waters to one of the premiere fly-fishing guides in Steamboat. Fishing is limited and the resource has been carefully managed to maximize quality angling.

Recreational Considerations: 

A multitude of recreational opportunities are available within the boundaries of Sky River Ranch as well as in the immediate vicinity. The ranch enjoys proximity to the ski area, Steamboat Springs, Yampa River, Steamboat Lake, Routt National Forest, and Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. This unique location makes it convenient to take advantage of numerous nearby recreational activities.

In addition to nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain at the Steamboat ski area, other winter activities include snowmobiling on nearby extensive trail systems, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. An abundance of spring, summer and fall activities are also immediately available including outstanding fishing, boating, as well as horseback riding and hiking in nearby national forest and wilderness lands.

Additional Information: 

Sky River Ranch’s current owners recognized the uniqueness of this property and in 1999 placed a conservation easement with the Yampa Valley Land Trust to preserve its rural character in perpetuity.  The land is still privately owned and no public access has been granted.  Certain development rights have been extinguished and others retained.  The easement protects and preserves the wildlife and wildlife habitat, natural plant communities, open space condition and scenic values of the property.  Rights to build additional residential and agricultural structures were reserved and are allowed per the terms of the conservation easement.

Broker Comments: 

Sky River Ranch is blessed with an excellent stretch of Elk River, beautiful land and a great location, but what really sets this ranch apart is the integration of the magnificent owner’s residence into an exceptional natural setting overlooking the river valley.  This remarkable venue simply cannot be replicated and the feeling is truly breathtaking when experienced in person. 

Additional Services: 

MANAGEMENT SERVICES – Hall and Hall’s Management Division has a very clear mission–to represent the owner and to ensure that his or her experience is a positive one. Services are customized to suit the owner’s needs. They often begin with the recruiting and hiring of a suitable ranch manager or caretaker and are followed by the development of a management or operating plan along with appropriate budgets. Ongoing services include bill paying, ranch oversight, and consulting services as needed. Even the most sophisticated and experienced ranch owners appreciate the value of a management firm representing them and providing advice on local area practices and costs. Wes Oja and Jerome Chvilicek at (406) 656-7500 or Justin Bryan at (325) 260-5883 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT SERVICES – Increasingly the value of a ranch is measured by the quality of each and every one of its resources. Coincidentally, the enhancement of a ranch’s resources also increases the pleasure that one derives from the ownership of a ranch. Our management services have included the assessment of everything from wildlife habitat to bird habitat to water resources and fisheries and the subsequent oversight of the process involved with the enhancement of these resources.Wes Oja, Jerome Chvilicek or Dan Bergstrom at (406) 656-7500 or Justin Bryan in our Abilene office at (325) 260-5883 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offer “Another Solution” to create liquidity for the owners of Investment-Quality Rural Real Estate.  Our auction team has experience in marketing farmland, ranchland, timberland and recreational properties throughout the nation.  Extreme attention to detail and complete transparency coupled with Hall and Hall’s “Rolodex” of more than 40,000 targeted owners and buyers of rural real estate help assure that there are multiple bidders at each auction. In addition, the unique Hall and Hall partnership model creates a teamwork approach that helps to assure that we realize true market value on auction day.  For more information on our auction services contact Scott Shuman at (800) 829-8747.

APPRAISALS - Staying abreast of ancillary market influences in ever-changing economic conditions requires a broad professional network to tap into. Finding an appraiser who not only understands the numbers but also the differences in value from one area to another is a critical part of making an informed decision. The appraisal team at Hall and Hall, formed entirely of Accredited Members of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), has that critical network of brokers and lending professionals. This professional network coupled with diverse experience across multiple regions and market segments allows our appraisal team to deliver a quality product in a reasonable timeframe.  For more information contact our appraisal team at (406) 656-7500.

SPECIALIZED LENDING - Since 1946 Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to landowners.  In addition to traditional farm and ranch loans, we specialize in understanding the unique aspects of placing loans on ranches where value may be influenced by recreational features, location and improvements and repayment may come from outside sources. Our extensive experience and efficient processing allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.

Competitive Pricing  |  Flexible Terms  |  Efficient Processing
Dave Roddy • (406) 656-7500 
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882
J.T. Holt • (806) 698-6884


In Colorado, Buyers should be aware that different real estate brokerage relationships are available which include seller agency, buyer agency or transaction-brokerage.



Definitions of Working Relationships:

Seller’s Agent:
A seller’s agent (or listing agent) works solely on behalf of the seller to promote the interests of the seller with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the seller. The seller’s agent must disclose to potential buyers all adverse material facts actually known by the seller’s agent about the property. A separate written listing agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the broker and the seller.

Buyer’s Agent:
A buyer’s agent works solely on behalf of the buyer to promote the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the buyer. The buyer’s agent must disclose to potential sellers all adverse material facts actually known by the buyer’s agent including the buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of the transaction and if a residential property, whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. A separate written buyer agency agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the broker and the buyer.

A transaction-broker assists the buyer or seller or both throughout a real estate transaction by performing terms of any written or oral agreement, fully informing the parties, presenting all offers and assisting the parties with any contracts, including the closing of the transaction without being an agent or advocate for any of the parties. A transaction-broker must use reasonable skill and care in the performance of any oral or written agreement, and must make the same disclosures as agents about all adverse material facts actually known by the transaction-broker concerning a property or a buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of a transaction and if a residential property, whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. No written agreement is required.

A customer is a party to a real estate transaction with whom the broker has no brokerage relationship because such party has not engaged or employed the broker, either as the party’s agent or as the party’s transaction-broker.

Please contact one of the Hall and Hall brokers for a complete discussion of potential working relationships for this property.  A written relationship disclosure will be provided to a prospective buyer prior to engaging in brokerage activities as defined by the Colorado Real Estate Commission. 

NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been provided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee. Prospective buyers should verify all information to their satisfaction. Prospective buyers should also be aware that the photographs in this brochure may have been digitally enhanced.