When Steamboat Springs is teeming with traffic and crowds, it's nice to retreat to your own private valley.
Residents or visitors can do just that at a 615-acre property for sale in North Routt County.
At Chimney Creek Ranch, located near the base of Pilot Nob west of the Elk River, scrub oak and sage-covered ridges gently enclose open meadows.
The ranch, in the already quiet Deep Creek area, is about 18 miles from Steamboat at the end of Routt County Road 56H. It isn't visible from any other county road.
Above the green pastures, where cattle graze and meadows sing of haying possibilities, elk and deer comfortably mingle among the brush. The ridge tops reveal impressive views of the backside of Sleeping Giant and the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
The seclusion in this setting is not unlike that enjoyed by homesteaders who, in the early 1900s, built a cluster of cabins and outbuildings on the property.
Plentiful water, in addition to privacy, endows the ranch. Water rights to Chimney Creek flowing through the property collect in a scenic 3-acre reservoir.
The reservoir, creek and several ponds provide good water for cattle, and remnants of water ditches offer the possibility of resurrecting and improving and old irrigation system for hay production.
The property also includes nine adjudicated springs.
In addition to agriculture, Chimney Creek Ranch also offers hunting opportunities for deer and elk that linger on the land as they migrate from California Park to the Elk River, said listing broker Troy Brookshire, of Colorado Group Reality.
"It's an area that doesn't have a lot of public impact -- it's a quiet area of the valley where wildlife feel very at home," he said.
Interested buyers likely are extended families or groups of friends interested in clustering three to five residential compounds on the ranch while enjoying agriculture and recreation on the land, Brookshire said.
The ranch's distance from town may seem excessive to some locals, but buyers living in cities may not mind the extra drive for solitude, he said.
"Eighteen miles seems like a long way until you relate it to an urban commute," Brookshire said.
Chimney Creek Ranch is being offered at $2.46 million. For more information, call Brookshire at 870-8800.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org