Craig & Moffat County 2017
A SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE CRAIG DAILY PRESS
Moffat County Treasures
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TO MOFFAT COUNTY Moffat County has many hidden treasures that are cherished by those who live in Northwest Colorado. It is our pleasure to highlight places that we’ve identified as the cream of the crop in our beautiful and vast county. Whether you’re looking for a great place to hunt, fish, hike or snowmobile, Moffat County is sure to capture your heart. From wild horses to dinosaur bones, this special publication of the Craig Daily Press has mapped out dozens of activities and places for you to see. It’s our hope that you fall in love with all of the county’s treasures as the community has over the decades. No matter where you go, the there’s a common thread within Moffat County, which is kindness and passion. Residents and businesses alike love visitors, and they’re sure to charm you with their welcoming demeanor and warm consideration. Moffat County’s treasures are for you to discover within this magazine. Welcome to Northwest Colorado. – Noelle Leavitt Riley, editor
Treasures Moffat County Treasures is published annually by the Craig Daily Press. Moffat County Treasures magazines are free. For advertising information, call 970-871-1782. To get a copy mailed to your home, call 970-824-2600.
Publisher Renee Campbell Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley Circulation Supervisor Amy Fontenot Advertising Manager Sheli Steele Design Manager Afton Pospisilova Art Direction & Design Darin Bliss Content & Photos Lauren Blair, Andy Bockelman, Patrick Kelly, Noelle Leavitt Riley, and Dan Olsen Advertising Danielle Elkins, Cori Kroese Design Team Carly Arnold, Madelyn Lybarger, Malisa Samsel Administrative Assistant Christy Barnes Moffat County Treasures
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Craig & y Moffat Count 2017
On the cover: Yampa Bench Road. Photo by Sasha Nelson Craig wave pool. File photo Rodeo. Photo by Andy Bockelman
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Wild horses hold a majestic, Wild West-like quality. The amazing aspect of wild horses is that they still exist right here in Moffat County, giving spectators who visit their habitat at the Sand Wash Basin an opportunity to experience the heart of the American West. Currently, the Sand Wash Basin herd consists of 500 wild horses. To see the magnificent equines, all you have to do is take a short 45-minute drive west of Craig on U.S. Highway 40. Go 30 miles to Maybell and turn north onto Colorado Highway 318 and drive for roughly 18 miles. Turn north onto Moffat County Road 67 onto the Herd Management Area and follow the road to the Wild Horse Loop. If you’re lucky, you’ll see one — if not several — of the wild horses that live on the 160,000 acres of property maintained by Bureau of Land Management. The horses are fascinating, colorful and simply breathtaking. “They’re beautiful, they’re high in color and you can see them pretty easily,” said Wendy Reynolds, field manager at the BLM Little Snake Field office in Craig. “What makes it so unique is the markings and the colors of this particular herd.” The Sand Wash Basin and its horses have become a huge tourism attraction for the county — an alluring treat for those who crave a taste of an untainted part of Colorado. “I’ve always just loved horses, and I love seeing horses in a natural habitat and watching them communicate in a band-type setting,” said Patti Mosbey, a professional photographer who resides in Craig. The horses have more than 160,000 followers on Facebook under the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses page. Tourists come from around the world to see the colorful herd. As a matter of fact, a woman named Heather Robson, who lives in New Zealand, keeps record of the horses and their names. Sand Wash Basin is a great day trip, but visitors can also camp on the land. “There’s people that go out and sleep in their vehicles. They car camp,” Mosbey said. “There’s so many places to camp off of Horse Trail Loop.” It’s almost impossible to visit Sand Wash Basin and not see a wild horse. “In the heat of the summer, if you know where the water holes are, you’ll know where to find the horses,” she said. Many water holes exist off of Horse Trail Loop. For more: Bureau of Land Management, 970-826-5000, or www.blm.gov; Moffat County Tourism Office, 866-332-8436, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com
A mama horse and her foal roam the grounds at Sand Wash Basin in Moffat County. Photo by Noelle Leavitt Riley
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THIS AERIAL SHOT OF ELKHEAD RESERVOIR HIGHLIGHTS ITS BOUNTY OF WATER THAT SERVES AS BACKUP WATER RESOURCES FOR CRAIG AND CRAIG STATION COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT. IT ALSO OFFERS A PLETHORA OF RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES. PHOTO BY NOELLE LEAVITT RILEY
The moment you drive up to Elkhead Reservoir, youâ€™re instantly in awe of the large body of water that sits hidden in the rolling plains of Moffat County. With 900 surface acres of water and 1,300 acres of land, Elkhead Reservoir State Park provides endless recreational opportunities for fishing, water skiing, hiking, observing the diverse wildlife, horseback riding and camping â€” to name a few. Visitors also get an up close and personal view of the famous Bears Ears mountain range. Elkhead Reservoir is located 10 miles northeast of Craig. An oasis in the vast sagebrush prairie, the reservoir was constructed in 1974 on Elkhead Creek to serve as backup water supply for Craig and Craig Station. Since its construction, the park has seen the addition of boat ramps, swim beaches, picnic areas, campsites and hiking trails. On the south end of the reservoir, the Bears Ears campground offers 16 campsites. Each site has a gravel pad, picnic table, shade shelter and fire pit. Restrooms are located at both ends of the campground. The boat ramp is located in the southwest area of the park and open from sunrise to sunset from late May to mid-September. Elkhead is the best warm-water fishery in the county with a healthy population of northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass and crappie that draws many anglers to the reservoir. In the winter months, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities and some fishers brave the ice to drop a line. If you are visiting Craig for its world-renowned hunting, the northern portion of the park offers big-game hunting after Labor Day during established seasons. A daily pass, available at a self-service dispenser, is $7 per vehicle and an annual pass can be purchased for $70 at the Yampa River State Park office near Hayden. Campers are required to purchase a $16 camping permit. To get to Elkhead Reservoir State Park from Craig, take Highway 40 east approximately 6 miles to Moffat County Road 29; turn left at the signs noting Elkhead Reservoir and proceed approximately 3 miles to MCR 28. When: Boat ramps are open from sunrise to sunset from late May to mid-September. There are limited hours in the late summer and early fall. Where: Moffat County Road 29, northeast of Craig For more: Elkhead Reservoir State Park, 970-276-2061, or www.parks.state.co.us
Moffat County Treasures
LEFT: STEAMBOAT ROCK IN ECHO PARK. PHOTO BY NOELLE LEAVITT RILEY ABOVE: THE QUARRY EXHIBIT HALL HOUSES MORE THAN 1,500 VISIBLE FOSSILS. COURTESY PHOTO
If you’re looking for a Jurassic adventure, visit Dinosaur National Monument. Several places exist throughout the monument — in both Colorado and Utah — where you’ll feel as if you were transported back to the dinosaur ages. To get to the dinosaur bones, you must go to the Utah monument site. Although the actual dinosaur bones only reside in Utah, Dinosaur National Monument has several Moffat County sight-seeing and camping options, including the majestic Echo Park where the famous Steamboat Rock sits at the confluence of the Yampa and Green rivers. If you’re looking for dinosaur bones, head back out to U.S. Highway 40 and go west into Utah. Follow the signs to the dinosaur quarry. The fossils date to the Jurassic period — the period most highly acclaimed by Hollywood — which began about 208 million years ago, but visitors can see and touch rock layers that date back 1.1 billion years. In the canyons of the park, 23 of these rock layers can be seen. These ancient rocks make the geology of the area a sight to behold. President Woodrow Wilson declared the area a national park on Oct. 4, 1915 after paleontologist Earl Douglass discovered a large amount of fossils in a quarry in northeastern Utah. Douglass was exploring the area for fossils to send back to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. After thousands of fossils were excavated and sent to the museum for study, Wilson set aside 80 acres to be considered National Park land. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the park to 210,000 acres in order to protect stretches of the Green River and the Yampa River. The monument spans across Colorado and Utah in the southeast portion of the Uinta Mountains, a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. The Carnegie Quarry in Utah where Douglass discovered many of the area’s fossils is one of the park’s most famous locations. The quarry exhibit hall, which received an $8 million refurbishing job in 2011, houses more than 1,500 visible fossils. Ten different dinosaur species are represented in the quarry, but visitors may be surprised to find that a few of their most beloved film star dinosaurs are not on the rock wall, namely tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops, of “Jurassic Park.” That is because Hollywood didn’t get their dates exactly right. Those dinosaurs came long after the Jurassic period. Dinosaur National Monument celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2015. To get to Echo Park: Echo Park is located 38 miles north of Dinosaur National Monument headquarters near the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers. Steamboat Rock, where the two rivers converge, is one of the most photographed places in the monument. Echo Park Campground is a popular spot to spend the night, but use of high-clearance vehicles is advised. Echo Park Campground is open year-round, but access is dependent on weather. For more: Dinosaur National Monument Visitor Center, 970-374-3000, or www.nps.gov/dino
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If you’re looking for a unique, history rich destination to visit in Moffat County, take a drive toward Greystone to tour the Bromide Charcoal Kilns. They’re located five miles west of Douglas Mountain off of County Road 10 and have become a popular tourism attraction. Built in 1889 by the Bromide Mining and Milling Co., the coke ovens are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. They were used to smelter copper ore from a Bromide Mine near Douglas Mountain, according to Museum of Northwest Colorado documents. The smelter closed in the early 1900s, according to the documents. “Close by, a very rich but small body of copper ore was discovered and mined most intensively in the late 1890s through World War I. Freighting the ore to the nearest railroad in Rock Creek, Wyoming, a distance of approximately 90 miles, was expensive. Consequently, the Bromide Mining and Milling Company erected a smelter facility with a 15-ton copper blast furnace,” according to the National Register of Historic Places continuation sheet. Four charcoal kilns that look like massive beehives were constructed out of sand stone in 1889. All four kilns are roughly 20 feet in diameter and height, with four-foot-by-six-foot tall doors on the front of each furnace. Directions: From Craig, take U.S. Highway 40 west for roughly 35 miles. Take a right onto Colorado Highway 318. Stay on Colorado Highway 318 for approximately 28 miles. Turn left on Moffat County Road 10 and look for signs for the Bromide Charcoal Kilns.
THE BROMIDE CHARCOAL KILNS OFFER AN EXCITING EXCURSION INTO MOFFAT COUNTY HISTORY. PHOTO BY DAN OLSEN
Moffat County Treasures
RIDERS TROT ALONG NEARLY 400 HORSES AT THE SOMBRERO RANCHES GREAT AMERICAN HORSE DRIVE IN MOFFAT COUNTY. PHOTO BY NOELLE LEAVITT RILEY
Nothing says the Wild West like a horse drive, and every year in early May, visitors can have front row seats to witness one of the largest domestic horse drives in the state that moves across 60 miles of open range in Moffat County. The Sombrero Ranches Great American Horse Drive offers locals and visitors alike an exciting and unique opportunity to watch as hundreds of horses, flanked by about 75 riders, cruise through the town of Maybell 30 miles west of Craig. To be clear, the drive is to move ranch horses from one place to another. The horses are not from the wild horse herd in Sand Wash Basin — they’re ranch horses. Spectators line the streets to watch as the horses take over the highways, giving onlookers a taste of the old West. The event provides one-of-a-kind photo opportunities for photographers and a thrilling experience for the whole family. “It’s a really neat, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Melanie Swearengin, chamber of commerce director from Conifer, Colorado who traveled to Maybell just for the event. “I’ve never seen anything like this.” The event began in 1962 and now draws riders from around the world who pay up to $2,500 to become a participant in the two-day drive. “I’m addicted,” said Sanne Timmers, who travels from the Netherlands each year to ride the drive. “I’ve met so many nice friends.” For more details about when and how to watch the drive, contact Moffat County Tourism Association at 970-824-2335 or go to visitmoffatcounty.com. For more information about participating in the drive, visit http://www.sombrero. com/adventures/horse-drive/.
Hundreds of horses traveled from their winter pasture in Browns Park to spring pasture at the Sombrero Ranches. Photo by Noelle Leavitt Riley
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DEVRIES FARM MARKET When: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, June through October Where: Somewhere along Victory Way If you’re looking for a full selection of Western Slope fruits and veggies, visit DeVries Farm Market from about 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday. The Grand Junction-based farm sets up shop in Craig one day per week from June through October along Victory Way. Past locations include the parking lot of Walgreens and the Yampa Valley Medical Center (old Safeway) parking lot. Make sure to try their on-site roasted green chiles, available hot, medium or mild. Other highlights include West Slope peaches, plums, apricots and apples, a wide array of homemade salsas, sauerkraut and preserves, heirloom tomatoes, summer and fall veggies and colorful pumpkins and gourds. Make sure to say hi to Bill and daughter Shauna DeVries while you’re there! DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET When: Noon to 6 p.m. Fridays, June through September Where: Alice Pleasant Park in downtown Craig, on Yampa Avenue between Victory Way and Sixth Street For a true taste of Craig, stop by the Downtown Farmers Market from noon to 6 p.m. each Friday from June through September. The market features local vendors providing home-grown produce, prepared and specialty foods, framed art, household crafts and more. It’s also a great place to pick up some handcrafted gifts.
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Moffat County is rich in natural resources and not just the kind that lie below ground. More than 350 species of wildlife roam the sagebrush steppe habitat that dominates Northwest Colorado, and one among them puts on a flashy performance for the ladies and a few lucky guests each spring. Greater sage grouse are iconic for their unusual mating ritual, during which male birds puff their chests and fan their tail feathers, fill two bright yellow-orange air sacs on their chest and release them with a rhythmic, popping sound. “Even though you may have seen a picture of a grouse with its full plumage… if you haven’t been there and seen it all happen, it’s a completely different experience than what you’re expecting,” said Derek Cleverly, owner of Red Coyote Adventures. “It’s just the dance, the whole scene… it’s a unique spectacle that you can’t imagine.” Participants on Red Coyote Adventure’s sage grouse lek tours can get a rare peak at the ancient mating display of the greater sage grouse, which occurs in the wee hours of the morning in remote locations throughout the sagebrush. Moffat County is home to more than two-thirds of Colorado’s total greater sage grouse population, giving visitors the unique opportunity to see this bird in its natural element. Participants usually see more than just sage grouse; on any given morning, mule deer, elk and antelope may wander past the lek, or coyotes and golden eagles may swoop in and give the grouse a scare. “It starts you thinking about the whole ecological system in Moffat County,” Cleverly said. “You’re not just thinking about the birds, you’re thinking about the whole habitat that’s out there.” Tours take place only from mid-March to mid-April. Space is limited. For more information, contact Derek Cleverly at Red Coyote Adventures at 970-629-8499.
SAGE GROUSE LIVE THROUGHOUT MOFFAT COUNTY’S VAST SAGEBRUSH LAND. FILE PHOTO
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YAMPA VALLEY GOLF COURSE SITS NEXT TO THE YAMPA RIVER. LOCALS AND VISITORS BRAG ABOUT THE BEAUTY OF THE COURSE AND HOW WELL IT’S MAINTAINED EACH YEAR. PHOTO BY NOELLE LEAVITT RILEY
In the heart of northwest Colorado lies the Yampa Valley Golf Course. The oldest and most affordable 18-hole facility in the Yampa Valley. First opened in 1968, the Yampa Valley Golf Course lies beside the lazy Yampa River and plays through and over 240 acres of cottonwoods, wetlands, native grasses and sage. YVGC is a golf course where everyone is welcome and treated like family. You won’t find a better welcome for a golf course! Of course the Yampa Valley Golf Course is a great place to play a round of golf, but it is also another one of our hidden gems when it comes to wildlife and bird-watching. Eagles nest comfortably amongst the cottonwoods and other birds of prey. Osprey is a common spring and summer sight, diving for fish in the course’s ponds and along the river banks. Mule deer, fox and squirrel are common sights as well. You may even have to play through the occasional curious pair of raccoons! The gorgeous Yampa Valley views from the course will make playing through a pleasure. The real treat is the opportunity to enjoy the course year round. Walking the course provides a healthy way to enjoy this little nature oasis just five short minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Craig community. There are groomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails around the course in the winter that extend the enjoyment of the course long after the last of the beautiful golden leaves have fallen. Photographers enjoy the abundant chances to catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset, sand hill crane nest, osprey hunt, raccoon antics and even some flashy dragonflies! All the while, it’s only a few minutes from town. There is a full service restaurant on the property and the Craig-Moffat County Airport is within walking distance if you want to fly in for a round! To get there: Drive south on Ranney Street in Craig, across the bridge over the Yampa River and turn left onto Colorado State Highway 394. Head east on Highway 394 approximately 8/10 of a mile to the entrance to the golf course. Carefully follow the winding road just over 1 mile to the clubhouse. For more information: Contact the Moffat County Tourism Association at www.visitmoffatcounty.com, 970-824-2335 or 866-332-8436.
Moffat County Treasures
Moffat County’s history includes some classic Wild West stories, from tales of Butch Cassidy and Tom Horn to the sheep and cattle wars of the 19th and early 20th centuries. But modern settlement is only the tip of the historical iceberg, and some of the county’s earliest inhabitants left clues to their lives in this region etched into rock faces across the landscape. Petroglyphs and pictographs are numerous throughout Moffat County, and some of the most visible and accessible rock art can be found in Irish Canyon near Browns Park. On the southern end of the canyon, several panels of petroglyphs — depictions that have been carved rather than painted into a rock face — are thought to have been made by the Fremont people who inhabited the Browns Park area from about 300 to 1400 AD, according to archaeologist Brian Naze from the Bureau of Land Management Little Snake Field Office in Craig. “The Fremont made representations of humans in a certain style where the body is a trapezoid with broad shoulders and limbs as sticks and… squareshaped heads,” Naze said. The style of the human depictions are akin to those found in the Mesa Verde area, suggesting the tribes may have had contact or even traded with each other. “There’s a theory there that our Fremont folks were in contact with the ancestral Puebloans, the Anasazi, and that influenced corn agricultural,” said archaeologist Michael Selle from the BLM White River Field Office in Meeker. The Fremonts were horticulturists, meaning they grew, harvested and stored corn in stone granaries hidden in well-concealed locations throughout Browns Park. To visit the site, take U.S. Highway 40 west to Maybell, turn right on State Highway 318 and then right on Moffat County Road 10 North. A pullout on the right (east of the road) will be visible at the southern entrance to the canyon, and interpretive signs will highlight three separate rock art panels. For more information, visit http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/lsfo/programs/ recreation/irish_canyon.print.html. Remember to treat the sites with respect and do not touch them. Note: For an in-town view of petroglyphs, park at Moffat County High School and walk east toward the base of the Sandrocks, the large sandstone cliff faces that define Craig’s northern perimeter. A small, unmarked trail hugs the base of the cliff faces, where more recent petroglyphs likely made by Ute or Shoshoni peoples depict horses with elongated bodies and necks and bear paws.
PETROGLYPHS IN ECHO PARK ARE MORE THAN 1,000 YEARS OLD. FILE PHOTO
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OARS RAFTING GUIDE RUSSELL SCHUBERT KNOWS THE CURRENTS AND MOODS OF THE YAMPA AND GREEN RIVERS IN DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT LIKE FEW OTHERS. HE CAN NAVIGATE THE RIVER’S RAPIDS WITH FINESSE WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ROWING A HEAVILY LOADED 18-FOOT RAFT. PHOTO BY TOM ROSS
The Yampa River winds through Northwest Colorado offering an array of recreational opportunities from Steamboat Springs through Craig all the way to Dinosaur National Monument on the Utah border. If you’re looking for a fun way to beat the summer heat with the family, grab some tubes and jump in for a leisurely float down the river. The popular “Town Run” takes you down a three-mile stretch of the river from Pebble Beach at Yampa Valley Golf Course to Loudy-Simpson Park, making for an easy, half-day adventure. For longer runs by kayak, raft or canoe, put in at a public river access site further upstream towards Yampa River State Park near Hayden. The state park manages the 130-mile stretch of river from east of Hayden all the way to Dinosaur National Monument in western Moffat County. “The entire stretch of the river can accommodate rafts and kayaks, both touring kayaks and whitewater kayaks,” said Yampa River State Park Manager Ron Dellacroce. “As our water flows drop, you definitely have a great canoe opportunity all along the river.” Most of the Yampa River offers gently flowing, flat water until you reach Juniper Canyon and Cross Mountain Canyon west of Craig, the latter of which offers big whitewater, according to Dellacroce. The river also offers excellent fishing, including brown trout, rainbow trout, channel catfish and northern pike and small mouth bass. Local rentals of tubes, canoes, kayaks, rafts and stand-up paddle boards are available through Red Coyote Adventures, which also offers shuttle drop-offs and pick-ups. For more information, call at 970-629-8499 or visit Red Coyote owner Derek Cleverly at Radio Shack at 106 W. Victory Way in Craig. More information on floating the Yampa is also available through Yampa River State Park at 970-276-2061 or cpw.state.co.us. Make sure to respect private property along the river and pack out all trash. For the more committed river adventurers, both the Yampa and Green rivers offer world-class rafting through Dinosaur National Monument. Commercial guided trips are available through multiple outfitters, and private, non-commercial trips are available by permit only. For more information on rafting in Dinosaur National Monument, visit www.nps.gov/dino. Moffat County Treasures
Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1965 to replace wetlands lost when the Flaming Gorge reservoir was filled. Evidence of human occupation of the area goes back thousands of years as evidenced by the primitive rock art, native artifacts and pioneer structures. The Lodore School and cemetery sit near the Green River on the southeast end of the refuge acting as a community center for the area since 1910. Dances, funerals and community parties, including Christmas parties rumored to have been thrown by the outlaw Butch Cassidy, are examples of events held at the hall. Just up the highway is the entrance to Wildlife Drive. Crook Campground and Hog Lake are both located along the drive that winds through the refuge, offering views of the wetlands and wildlife. Swinging bridge is found off the north end of Wildlife Drive. Activities at the refuge include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, river rafting, wildlife watching, hunting and camping. To get there: Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge is off Colorado Highway 318 in northwest Moffat County. The first entrance leads to Lodore Hall and Cemetery. The next entrance leads to Wildlife Drive. The final entrance leads to headquarters and the lower Beaver Creek Hiking Trail. Stay longer: Crook Campground at Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, Gates of Lodore Campground, Irish Canyon Campground and Indian Run Campground all offer developed campsites and pit toilets. View rock art at Irish Canyon to view rock art. Take a short hike to overlook the Gates of Lodore or tour the John Jarvie Homestead. For more information: About Browns Park contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 970-365-3613 or visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Browns_Park/. About Gates of Lodore contact the National Park Service at Dinosaur National Monument at 435-781-7700 or visit www.nps.gov. About Irish Canyon contact the Little Snake Office of BLM at 970-826-5000. Or visit www.blm.gov. About the John Jarvie Ranch contact the Vernal Field Office of BLM at 435-781-4400 or visit www.blm.gov.
THE LODORE SCHOOL AND CEMETERY SIT NEAR THE GREEN RIVER ON THE NORTHEAST END OF BROWNS PARK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AND HAS ACTED AS A COMMUNITY CENTER FOR THE AREA SINCE 1910. PHOTO BY LADORE HALL
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DOUGLAS MOUNTAIN OFFERS PLENTY OF TERRAIN FOR A NUMBER OF OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. PHOTO BY SASHA NELSON
Rising to the west, from the river bottoms and dusty sagebrush steppe, between the Little Snake and Yampa River drainages, is Douglas Mountain. The community of Greystone sits on the shoulder of the mountain. The area is known for trophy deer and elk hunting and also offers primitive camping, hiking, backpacking, sightseeing and horseback riding. In the past, the mountain was the location of mining activity. There are no developed recreation sites or services in the Douglas Mountain Area. It is important to take plenty of water and supplies. To get there: West of Maybell, take Moffat County Road 318 north, then take Moffat County Road 12 or 10 through Greystone to Moffat County Road 116 also known as Douglas Mountain Boulevard, which is a dirt road not always maintained. High clearance vehicles are recommended to drive on the road. Stay longer to see the Coke Ovens: Four stone charcoal kilns dating from 1898 are the only remaining intact structures associated with the Bromide Mining and Milling Companyâ€™s smelter facility. Operations at the facility extended through the end of World War I and included smelting copper mined from Douglas Mountain. The ovens are said to be the best surviving examples of their type in the state and are found off a side road to Moffat County Road 10 about five miles from Moffat County Road 116. For more information: Contact the Bureau of Land Management, 970-826-5000 or www.blm.gov
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Moffat County Treasures
YELLOW JACKET PASS ROAD TRAVEL BETWEEN MONUMENT BUTTE AND THE MONUMENT BUTTE STATE WILDLIFE AREA. PHOTO BY SASHA NELSON
Named for a wasp with a sharp sting, Yellow Jacket Pass road travels by the Thornburg Mountains and through the Danforth Hills. Sites along the roadside are rich in history. About four miles down the road is Monument Butte. Locally known as “Molly’s Bonnet” in honor of Molly Rink who homesteaded the area, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Nearby Monument Butte State Wildlife Area is 653 acres, open from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28 for hunting elk, deer, rabbits and grouse. Motor vehicles are not allowed, so access is by foot or horseback only. Another 10 miles down the road is a memorial park for one of the last battles in of “Indian Wars,” states the Historical Society of Meeker website. On Sept. 29, 1879 a tense meeting between U.S. soldiers and the Utes turned deadly when a single gunshot was fired, sparking a weeklong battle. Major Thornburg was killed fighting in the mountains. Other soldiers were pinned down until rescued by a unit of Buffalo Soldiers — 12 of whom would later be the first black men to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. To get there: Take Colorado Highway 13 south of Craig about 15 miles to Moffat County Road 45. Moffat County Road 45 becomes Rio Blanco County Road 15 and meets Highway 13 about five miles north of the town of Meeker. Stay longer: Primitive camping sites are available in the White River National Forest at Aldrich Lake accessed by taking Rio Blanco County Road 51. Forest access is also available from Rio Blanco County Road 48. For more information: Call White River National Forest Blanco Ranger District in Meeker at 970-878-4039. Visit the Historical Society of Meeker website at MeekerColorado.com.
Soak-up history over a picnic lunch at Thornburg, the site of the 1879 Battle of Milk Creek Photo by Sasha Nelson
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The Yampa Bench Road offers spectacular views of the majestic canyons near the lower Yampa River. Three pullouts offer opportunities for short walks ending in scenic overlooks along relatively flat land between the lower and upper rims of the river canyons. The best time to take this drive is when the roads are dry in late spring, summertime and early fall. Access roads are closed after the first snowfall until late spring. It is recommended to travel in a high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle. Stay longer: The views and hike at the end of the Harper’s Corner Road, rock art and historic cabins near Echo Park are worth seeing. To make the trip longer, consider exploring Harper’s Corner or camping in Echo Park. To get there: Travel U.S. Highway 40 to the Colorado entry to Dinosaur National Monument in western Moffat County about two miles east of Dinosaur. Take the Harper’s Corner Road 25 miles to the Echo Park Road. Follow the Echo Park Road for about 8 miles before turning east on the Yampa Bench Road. At the end of the 26-mile Yampa Bench Road take Moffat County Road 16, traveling about 16 miles back to U.S. Highway 40 arriving near Elk Springs. The entire trip is over 50 miles long. For more information: Contact Dinosaur National Monument at 435-7817700 or by visiting their website at https://www.nps.gov/dino/planyourvisit/ yampa-bench-road. SHORT WALKS ALONG THE YAMPA BENCH ROAD ALLOW TRAVELERS TO STRETCH THEIR LEGS AND TAKE IN THE SPECTACULAR CANYON OVERLOOKS WITH THE YAMPA RIVER BELOW. PHOTO BY SASHA NELSON
Amazing Wine and Beer Selection. 970-826-0071 • 539 E. Victory Way, Craig
Moffat County Treasures
MARCIA CAR The Marcia Car was the personal railroad car of David H. Moffat, who brought the railroad from Denver to Craig. The Craig Chamber of Commerce purchased the car in 1953 to symbolize Moffat’s dream of building a railroad across the West. When: Tours are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, May through September weather permitting Where: Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way, Craig For more: Craig Chamber of Commerce, 866-332-8436, or www.craig-chamber.com CRAIG CITY PARK/VETERAN’S PARK Located just off Victory Way, Craig City/Veteran’s Park is one of the best spots to have a picnic in Craig. The former host site for Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, Craig City/Veteran’s Park features more than 25 wood sculptures arranged around the open grass area. Adjacent to the Craig Swimming Complex and Marcia Car, the park is a hub for summer activities. Where: 605 Washington St., Craig For more: Craig Parks and Recreation, 970-826-2029 VIEW LOCAL ART AT CNCC Walk the halls and view the artwork on the walls of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus. Adorned with works by local and regional artists, as well as some by artists from around the state and nation, the varying pieces offer something for everyone to enjoy. Where: CNCC Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St. in Craig For more: 1-800-562-1105 or www.cncc.edu/cms/content/campuses-service-centers-craig LOUDY-SIMPSON PARK Loudy-Simpson Park is a treasure trove of outdoor activities. With soccer fields, four baseball and softball fields, plentiful fishing spots, jogging and walking trails and a playground, there is no lack of options. Fishing is especially popular in the spring and summertime, with plenty of space on a pier. There is ice-skating at the Moffat County Ice Arena from October to mid-March When: Year-round, though trails are best from spring to fall Where: 500 S. Ranney St., Craig For more: Loudy-Simpson Park, 970-824-3011, or www.co.moffat.co.us, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com
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WAVE POOL AT CRAIG SWIMMING COMPLEX Craig boasts the only wave pool complex in the Western Slopes. It also has a lap and diving pool. The wave pool begins at zero-depth, making it perfect for swimmers of all ages. When: June 1 to the end of August: 1 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Where: 605 Washington St., Craig For more: Craig Swimming Complex, 970-824-3105, or www.ci.craig.co.us MOFFAT COUNTY FAIR When: First week of August The Moffat County FairÂ is a local tradition highlighting the areaâ€™s agricultural heritage. Take in such events as an open horse show, stock show and a fashion revue, then stick around for the goat roping, live music, contests and other events for all ages. Where: Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way, Craig For more: Moffat County Extension Office, 970-824-9180, or www.moffatcountyfair.com BOWLING A great place for large parties or to spend a leisurely afternoon or night out, the 16-lane Thunder Rolls Bowling Center has food, full bar, pool tables and character to spare. It is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to midnight Fridays; 1 p.m. to midnight Saturdays; and 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays. Where: Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, 990 Industrial Ave., Craig For more: Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, 970-824-2695. Moffat County Treasures
DEER LIVE THROUGHOUT MOFFAT COUNTY AND ARE A POPULAR ANIMAL TO HUNT. PHOTO BY NOELLE LEAVITT RILEY
If you’re big on the great outdoors, Moffat County is already a great place for you to be, but if you’re on the hunt for a spot for you to engage in your favorite activity, look no further. Hunting is the name of the game for much of Northwest Colorado, and Craig and Moffat County love to see their annual visitors in camo and orange come back each fall, so much so that they made it official. In 2012, Craig registered the slogan “Elk Hunting Capital of the World” as a true trademark to highlight the amazing outdoor opportunities the area has in store to share with the world. People come from around the globe for a chance at the antlered denizens of the landscape, and while over-the-counter licenses are available readily, a preference points system saves some of the most coveted locations for hunters who have waited for years at a time to get a shot at the best big game. Herd numbers in elk, deer and antelope in the area vary annually, but trends have been positive in recent years for all three animals. Antelope numbers are well over 10,000, while elk and deer congregate heavily in sections of Northwest Colorado including Bears Ears and the White River area, north and south of Craig, respectively. Elk counts for the 2015 season showed more than 20,000 around Bears Ears and as much as 40,000 for White River, while both spots averaged about 40,000 in deer. And, the abundance of animals is well met by a long list of lodging, dining and shopping outlets that relish the chance to bring in hunters, not to mention experienced guides, outfitters and other specialized services providing all you could ever want to make your experience a memorable one for all ages. Whether you’re using a rifle for the first time outside of a hunter’s safety class or a well-seasoned sportsman who’s just getting around to our corner of the world, Moffat County welcomes you.
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BIG GAME HUNTING SEASON DATES IN COLORADO ARCHERY Aug. 15 to 31 Aug. 29 to Sept. 27 Sept. 1 to 20 Sept. 12 to 27 Oct. 1 to 23 Nov. 4 to 30 Dec. 15 to 31
Pronghorn (bucks only) Deer/elk (west of I-25) Pronghorn (either sex) Moose Plains deer (east of 1-25, except unit 140) (first season) Plains deer (east of 1-25, except unit 140) (second season) Plains deer (east of 1-25, except unit 140) (third season)
*MUZZLELOADER Sept. 12 to 20 Sept. 21 to 29 Oct. 10 to 18
Deer/elk/moose Pronghorn Plains deer (east of I-25, except unit 140)
RIFLE Oct. 1 to 14 *Oct. 3 to 9 Oct. 10 to 14 Oct. 17 to 25 Oct. 24 to Nov. 3 Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 Nov. 11 to 15 Dec. 1 to 14
Moose Pronghorn Separate limited elk (first season) Combined (deer/elk) (second season) Plains deer (east of I-25, except Unit 140) Combined (deer/elk) (third season) Combined limited (deer/elk) (4th season) Late plains deer (east of I-25, except Unit 140)
*By draw only
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Liane Davis-Kling (D-K) email@example.com www.downtownbookscraig.com
543 Yampa Ave. Craig, CO 81625 970-824-5343
FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL SERVICE WHERE AND WHEN YOU NEED IT!
970-824-4422 • 2705 West 1st St • Craig, CO • www.victorymotorsofcraig.com Moffat County Treasures
A FLY FISHERMAN ENJOYS A LEISURELY DAY FISHING ON THE YAMPA RIVER. PHOTO BY JOHN F. RUSSELL
Moffat County has many areas that provide phenomenal fishing opportunities. Anglers can pick between the gentle flow of the Yampa and Green rivers, the tranquility of Elkhead and Freeman Reservoirs or stay in town at Loudy-Simpson Park for a place to drop a line. Elkhead Reservoir is located 10 miles northeast of Craig and offers the best warm-water fishery in the county with an abundant population of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, northern pike and channel catfish. In Routt National Forest 20 miles north of Craig, the 17-acre Freeman Reservoir offers a similar fishery to Elkhead but with the chance of hooking a cutthroat trout. The reservoir also has 17 campsites available for $12. Unlike Elkhead, no motorized boats are allowed. The lower section of the Yampa River, from Craig over to Utah, has less trout than the eastern portion of the river around Steamboat Springs. Northern pike, channel catfish and other warm-water fish are common with larger trout sprinkled in. The Green River in the Northwest corner of Moffat County is popular for its excellent fly fishing and offers anglers a good shot at landing one of the several species of trout found in the river. In some areas only artificial flies and lures are allowed and visiting fishers should pay attention to posted restrictions. Fishing or launching watercraft from otherâ€™s private property is also prohibited. If you want to do your angling in Craig, Loudy-Simpson Park offers a pond stocked with northern pike, brown trout and rainbow trout. In 2014, the pond was dredged and renovated, making it better than ever. Glen Sherman Park at the Wyman Living History Museum provides a fishing hole for anglers under 16 or over 64, as well as those with disabilities. For kids under 12, Little Rascals Pond next to the Moffat County Public Safety Center is a fun spot to fish for trout. Fishing licenses are available throughout Craig and costs range from $1 for a senior citizen annual pass to $56 for an out-of-state annual pass. Nonresident five-day passes are also available for $21. Anyone over the age of 16 must purchase a license. When: Year-round Where: Yampa River, runs east to west through Moffat County; Elkhead Reservoir State Park, Moffat County Road 29; Freeman Reservoir, 12 miles north of Craig on Colorado Highway 13 then nine miles on Moffat County Road 11; Green River, runs north to south in western Moffat County; Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St., Craig; Wyman Museum, 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40, three miles east of Craig; Little Rascals Pond, 800 W. First St. For more: Sportsman Information, 970-824-3046, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com, or call Yampa River State Park 970-276-2061.
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210 E. Victory Way 970-826-0468
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970.824.9380 • 211 W. 4th Street • Craig, Colorado
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Moffat County Treasures
The Museum of Northwest Colorado offers visitors a genuine view into the history of Craig and Moffat County through its unique and extensive exhibits. Photos and art depict what life was like when Craig was founded in 1908 and pieces of history line the walls and fill glass cases in the museum, detailing times past. Housed in a 90-year-old armory, the museum features local and regional history displays in addition to its extensive Cowboy and Gunfighter Collection. The museum also houses a research room with an extensive collection of documents and photographs. Considered to be one of the world’s finest collections of Western accouterments, the Cowboy and Gunfighter Collection is the result of a five-decade effort by Craig resident Bill Mackin. Mackin’s collection features a variety of antique firearms, locally made saddles, custom cowboy chaps, spurs, horse bits and more in an outstanding representation of Western Americana. The extensive collection is also the basis of Mackin’s own book, “Cowboy and Gunfighter Collectibles.” Other exhibits include the “Death Duel,” a life-sized depiction of two mule deer locked in a fatal engagement; photos from homesteaders and pioneering wildlife photographers A.G. and Augusta Wallihan; and artifacts from Northwest Colorado’s indigenous peoples. With an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff on hand to answer any questions and color the experience, the history of Northwest Colorado is on full display at the Museum of Northwest Colorado. When: Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays Where: 590 Yampa Ave., Craig For more: Museum of Northwest Colorado, 970-824-6360, or www.museumnwco.org
TWO VISITORS TO THE MUSEUM OF NORTHWEST COLORADO LOOK AT A COLLECTION OF ILLUSTRATIONS BY A MEMBER OF THE LAKOTA SIOUX TRIBE. PHOTO BY PATRICK KELLY
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A HORSE WAGON RIDE PULLS ALONG RIDERS DURING THE WYMAN LIVING HISTORY MUSEUM PUMPKIN PATCH. PHOTO BY NOELLE LEAVITT RILEY
Lou Wyman is living relic in Craig. His love for collectibles helped him sprout an impressive museum on the east side of Craig. For decades, he’s been collecting anything and everything, providing museum guests with an opportunity to view aspects of the Western American life they won’t see anywhere else. Now, his assortment of historic items fills an entire warehouse-sized building and spills out onto the property. Old farm and ranch machinery, vehicles, a canvas boat, coal mine trucks and a large collection of smaller artifacts are available for viewing. The best part is that entrance to the museum is free With such an extensive collection, Wyman guarantees there will be something you have never seen before. The Wyman Living History Museum also offers archers a place to shoot for free. Colorado Parks and Wildlife partnered with the museum to open a new archery range in 2014, offering bowmen and 4-H archers a great spot to practice. Not only does the range have standard archery targets, it also offers 3-D animal targets for practice. When: Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Closed Wednesdays. Cost: FREE Where: 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40, three miles east of Craig For more: Wyman Museum, 970-824-6346, or www.wymanmuseum.com
CRAIG HAS A PET ELK NAMED JUNIOR Junior — Craig’s pet elk — is the second elk that Lou Wyman has owned and displayed at the Wyman Living History Museum. After the death of the beloved Clyde the elk in October 2012 at the age of 18, Wyman was unsure whether or not he would find a replacement. Then CHILDREN FEED AN ELK Junior came along. NAMED “JUNIOR” AT WYMAN Brought in from Plateau Valley Elk Ranch near LIVING HISTORY MUSEUM. Rifle as a 3-year-old with a six-point rack, Junior has FILE PHOTO grown into a handsome example of his species. Junior quickly settled into his new home and will come running when you call him to receive some attention. He loves his treats and is occasionally spoiled with an Oreo cookie. Most afternoons you can catch him running around and playing. Where: 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40, three miles east of Craig For more: Wyman Museum, 970-824-6346, or www.wymanmuseum.com Moffat County Treasures
MOFFAT COUNTY BALLOON FESTIVAL OFFERS COLORFUL BALLOON RIDES AND VARIOUS ACTIVITIES TO THE COMMUNITY. PHOTO BY NOELLE LEAVITT RILEY
The annual Moffat County Balloon Festival started in 2010 with hot air balloon pilots launching in the early morning summer sky, but this favorite event has grown in attendance every year, with more and more of the colorful crafts providing an amazing spectacle over Loudy-Simpson Park. In 2016, more than 20 balloons graced Moffat Countyâ€™s sky. The day is jam-packed with activities, demonstrations and contests for all ages following the launch, as well as live music, something a little different every year, making it hard not to let your entire day float away having fun. Once it begins to get dark, pilots set up their balloons again to participate in the balloon glow, with people in the crowd getting a closer look at these grounded beauties, gorgeously lit up against the nighttime sky. Time will tell how big it will soar year by year, but this fabulous gathering is one both locals and tourists love. When: Early August Where: Loudy-Simpson Park, 600 S. Ranney St. For more: www.mcballoonfestival.com
A hot air balloon flies high. Riley Photo by Noelle Leavitt
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J ust Stuff Thrift & Consignment Shop
A Unique Boutique Thrift Shop offering something for everyone Donations & Consignment Items Accepted
1594 W. Victory Way| Craig, CO 81625| 970-824-5665 On the West Side of Dark Horse Discount Liquor
• Quality Food Right Next Door •
Matt Johnson, Owner 970-701-3400 351 Ranney Street, Craig, CO 81625
The museum has everything for him and her, young and old. J.R. Wyman’s Resident Elk
Jr. Wyman’s Resident elk, Archery Range , Fishing & Bird watching.
M47 Patton Tank
M47 Patton tank, Black smith shop, barn and more.
Stop by and see us. We guarantee you will see something you have never seen before!
94350 Highway 40, Craig CO • 970-824-6346
Look for the big tan building. Our sign at the turn off is 4 miles east of Craig.
Visit us at www.wymanmuseum.com
Moffat County Treasures
JOE WENAL CUTS INTO HIS LOG AND SPRAYS SAWDUST EVERYWHERE DURING THE OPENING DAY OF WHITTLE THE WOOD RENDEZVOUS. PHOTO BY ANDY BOCKELMAN
If it’s June in Craig, you may want to take a trip down to Loudy-Simpson Park. The annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous is a spectacular summer celebration that has become the town’s signature yearly event and a draw for tourists as woodcarver artisans come from across the country to create something unique. Whittle the Wood takes place in June where carvers are presented with a healthy log and given several days to use their chainsaws and a variety of other tools to make anything they want. The competition’s entries have ranged from comic book superheroes to cowboys to aliens to Native American icons, though many of the favorites have been animals like eagles, cougars and other wildlife that looks shockingly real once these experts have finished their task. Watching them work each day and viewing each stump’s progress is enough of a show in itself, but that’s far from the whole shebang as the weekend nears and the festival really gets going. Whittle the Wood started in 1999 as a small crafts event coupled with carvers who were brought in to turn a selection of dead cottonwood trees in Craig City Park into something more pleasing to the eye. As enthusiasm revved up each year, organizers with Craig Parks & Recreation continued to expand the features by bringing in more carvers, more vendors, more everything, as crowds continued to turn out, with a peak of more than 10,000, part of the reason planners moved the gathering to the larger Loudy-Simpson Park. In recent years, the Bear River Young Life Car and Motorcycle Show has been attached to the schedule as the fun has spread to downtown Craig as well as the park. Also, if you travel virtually anywhere in town, you’ll be able to find an entry from years past. The week concludes with a final concert preceded by numerous musical sets, and among the headliners to rock the audience have been Rare Earth, Blue Öyster Cult, The Outlaws, Cracker, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Jefferson Starship.
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You’ll likely want to bring your wallet because those selling their wares — including the carvers themselves — always bring great inventory. Trust us, you won’t be able to resist picking up a homemade masterwork for yourself, a friend or a family member. Whittle the Wood traditionally takes place the week leading up to Father’s Day, which makes it a wonderful happening to share with those closest to you. Ask anyone in Craig, and they’ll tell you it’s a cut above the rest.
ROBERT WAITS WON THE 17TH ANNUAL WHITTLE THE WOOD RENDEZVOUS IN 2016 FOR HIS CARVING, “NEVER MORE.” PHOTO BY ANDY BOCKELMAN
Solutions Oriented Systems Home & Office, Custom Built PC’s, PC Software, Installation & Maintenance, Hardware Upgrades, Instruction, Network Design, Internet Installation Michael E. Lausin COMPUTER CONSULTING (970)824-7414 firstname.lastname@example.org 10 West Victory Way Craig, CO. 81625
We Deliver! Burgers, Pizza, Calzones, Pasta & Made-From-Scratch Desserts! 572 Breeze St. • Craig, CO | 824-6323 Moffat County Treasures
Moffat County has plenty of outdoor activities for your itinerary at any time of the year, but once the weather gets chillier, you can access a whole new kind of fun within the winter wonderland. With miles and miles of wide-open space, a blanket of powder means hours of joy for the avid snowmobile rider. Some locals make good money and have plenty of rip-roaring fun competing in the Xtreme Mountain Racing circuit throughout the winter at spots around Colorado and Wyoming. For those who want to make tracks without the use of a motor, opportunities abound in every direction for cross-country skiing, though one of the best spots to do so is the grounds of Yampa Valley Golf Course, providing plenty of flat space and the occasional small slope to keep it interesting. Within city limits, family activities are abundant once the temperature drops, and after a good snowfall, be sure to head for the hills — sledding hills that is, with some good rides guaranteed at locations like the basin-like practice field at Moffat County High School and Cathy Cisar Hill north of town. Snow is superb, but ice is nice, too, and from October through March the Moffat County Ice Arena at Loudy-Simpson Park offers hours of cool thrills from public skating to curling to hockey leagues, so lace up those skates and join the fun. SNOWMOBILING Whether it’s riding or racing, there’s plenty of snowmobiling in Moffat County. The Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club maintains groomed trails at the Black Mountain parking area, Freeman reservoir parking area and the Wilderness Ranch. Where: Black Mountain, take Colorado Highway 13 about 10 miles north of Craig to the Black Mountain turnoff; Freeman Reservoir, 11 miles north of Craig on Colorado Highway 13 to Moffat County Road 11; Wilderness Ranch, about 25 miles north of Craig on Highway 13 to Moffat County Road 38. For more: Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club, 970-824-5821, or www.northwestcoloradosnowmobileclub.org; XMR www.xmr-racing.com
LIZ, LEFT, AND JOHN BABB GET THEIR VEHICLES READY TO GO AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NORTHWEST COLORADO SNOWMOBILE CLUB POKER RUN AT FREEMAN RESERVOIR TRAILHEAD. PHOTO BY ANDY BOCKELMAN
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CROSS-COUNTRY SKIIING There are few better workouts and fewer still that can take you to places in deep winter, where the landscape is untouched and wildlife abound. Cross-country skiing also takes place at Yampa Valley Golf Course, one of the more popular destinations in Moffat County. Where: Yampa Valley Golf Course, 2179 Colorado Highway 394, Craig For more: Moffat County Tourism Office, 866-332-8436, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com; Yampa Valley Golf Course, 970-824-3673, or www.yampavalleygolf.com SNOWSHOEING Snowshoeing is one of the best ways for sightseers to easily travel into Northwest Coloradoâ€™s wilderness when wintry conditions prevent normal hiking or vehicle access. Where: Throughout Moffat County For more: Moffat County Tourism Office, 866-332-8436, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com SLEDDING There are not many things easier or more fun that grabbing a sled, inner tube or piece of cardboard and flying down a nearby hill. There are countless places throughout Craig and Moffat County to go sledding, but locals often flock to a couple favorites. Where: Cathy Cisar Hill, 13th and Ranney streets, Craig; the hill in front of Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane, Craig. For more: Moffat County Tourism Office, 866-332-8436, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com
1776 W. VICTORY WAY CRAIG
970-879-3900 W. U.S. HWY 40 STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
970-824-9441 801W. VICTORY WAY CRAIG, CO
After Hours Wrecker Service: (970) 326-8876 Moffat County Treasures
PARTICIPANTS IN THE ICE FISHING DERBY AT THE WYMAN MUSEUM DISCUSS THEIR FISHING TECHNIQUES. FILE PHOTO
With Elkhead Reservoir State Park being a 10-minute drive from downtown Craig, it is the primary spot for ice fishing, but any of the regional lakes offer fantastic winter fishing opportunities. The warm-water fishery at Elkhead is still active through the winter months but it might take a little more skill to land a fish than it would in the summer season. Before heading out on to the reservoir, call the park office to see what the conditions are and always remember to be safe when treading on the ice. Avoid snowdrifts, which create thinner ice layers, and make sure ice is at least four inches thick when walking and drilling fishing holes, or six to eight inches for snowmobile traffic. Ice fishing is also popular at the Wyman Living History Museum. Where: Elkhead Reservoir, Moffat County Road 29, northeast of Craig, or Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St., Craig For more: Elkhead Reservoir State Park, 970-276-2061, or www.parks.state.co.us; Colorado Division of Wildlife 970-878-6090, or www.wildlife.state.co.us; Moffat County Tourism Office, 866-332-8436, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com.
970.824.6343 530 Yampa Ave. Craig, CO
and check out the selection!
34 | 2017 Visitorâ€™s Guide
Those looking to shoot a round or two have a few special options. If you like shooting rifles, archery or any other firearm, the following shooting ranges are available in Northwest Colorado: BEARS EARS SPORTSMAN CLUB Bears Ears Sportsman Club is a private club working toward advancing shooting sports skills. Members focus on a variety of disciplines, including cowboy action shooting, three-gun competition, bowling pin shooting, National Rifle Association bullseye competition and 4-H shooting sports. The range is open to the public Dec. 1 through March 31, as well as the first Friday and Saturday of every month. Where: Moffat County Road 7 For More: Bears Ears Sportsman Club, 970-824-7538, or www.bearsears.org WYMAN LIVING HISTORY MUSEUM ARCHERY PITCH THE MOFFAT COUNTY .22 RIFLE In 2014, the Wyman Museum added a 60-yard TEAM SHOOTS AT BEARS EARS archery pitch to its grounds with free access SPORTSMAN CLUB. PHOTO BY for interested archers. After emptying their ANDY BOCKELMAN quiver, visitors can explore the fantastic collection of artifacts in the museum or visit with Junior, the resident pet elk. Where: 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40, three miles east of Craig For more: Wyman Museum, 970-824-6346, or www.wymanmuseum.com CRAIG TRAP CLUB Craig Trap Club is a local club dedicated to the safe and fun enjoyment of trap shooting. Where: U.S. Highway 40 to Moffat County Road 64; first driveway on the right For more: Craig Trap Club, 970-629-8437, or www.facebook.com/craigtrapclub HAYDEN SHOOTING RANGE Although it is located in Routt County, Hayden’s range is the best public shooting spot in the area. A free outdoor range operated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, this is the perfect spot for uninterrupted shooting. The facility, open from dawn to dusk seven days a week, accommodates long gun, pistol and shotgun. Where: Three miles south of Hayden on Routt County Road 37 For more: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 970-870-2197; Rainbow Sporting Goods, 970-276-3425
Trapper Mine is a surface coal mine located 6.5 miles southwest of Craig, Colorado. With an average annual production of nearly 2 million tons, it is a major Colorado coal producer. The name “Trapper” reflects local history; fur trapping was an important livelihood in the area.
Moffat County Treasures
GATES OF LODORE At Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument, spectacular red canyon walls tower above the Green River. The canyon narrows to steep cliffs that squeeze the river into Class 4 rapids. White-water rafting is by permit only. Picnicking, camping, hiking and wildlife viewing also are available. The site offers 18 campgrounds that boast running water in the warm months only. When: Year-round Where: Northern Dinosaur National Monument, Moffat County Road 34 off Colorado Highway 318 in western Moffat County. The drive lasts about one hour, 45 minutes. For more: Ranger station, 970-365-3693, or www.nps.gov/dino BROWNS PARK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE Browns Park is a high desert valley formed by the Green River in northwest Moffat County. “Browns Hole,” as it used to be known, was a favorite watering hole of the Ute and Shoshone Indians and was also a haven for outlaws such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Browns Park is also home to Two Bar Ranch with log buildings, corrals and sheds built in 1887. Browns Park is a popular wildlife viewing and bird-watching area and also offers fishing for license holders. Camping is available, though services are limited. Take along food, water and gasoline. Where: Northwest Moffat County on Colorado Highway 318. The drive lasts from one hour and 45 minutes to two hours. For more: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 970-365-3613, or www.fws.gov/brownspark LODORE HALL Lodore Hall was built in 1911 and was used for a church and school and for meetings and funerals. The hall has been restored to its original condition and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It can be used as a community center, pending prior approval from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Where: Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, off Colorado Highway 318 in northwest Moffat County For more: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 970-365-3613, or www.fws.gov IRISH CANYON The colorful and scenic canyon offers sightseeing, picnicking, camping, hiking, climbing, wildlife viewing and Indian rock art. The canyon was named for three Irishmen who robbed a Rock Springs, Wyoming, saloon and stopped to consume part of the take in the north end of the canyon. Where: Moffat County Road 10N off Colorado Highway 318. The drive lasts about one hour and 15 minutes. For more: Bureau of Land Management, 970-826-5000, or www.blm.gov VERMILLION FALLS This 25-foot waterfall located on public land may be viewed as a great side trip on your way to Browns Park or Irish Canyon. Where: Near mile marker 20 on Colorado Highway 318 in western Moffat County For more: Bureau of Land Management, 970-826-5000, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com DEERLODGE PARK Exceptional camping in Dinosaur National Monument, Deerlodge Park is close to the Yampa River, and fishing and rafting opportunities abound. Seven campsites, picnic tables and fire rings are open year-round. When: Year-round Where: 60 miles west of Craig on Deerlodge Park Road For more: Dinosaur National Monument, 970-374-3000, or www.nps.gov/dino BLACK MOUNTAIN Black Mountain, located northeast of Craig in Routt National Forest, offers spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery, unlimited picnic areas and the potential to view some of the more than 300 species of wildlife that inhabit the region. Camping areas serve as base camps for day hikes and hunting and fishing trips. Non-motorized trails offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, and motorized trials are available close by. Where: Take Colorado Highway 13 several miles north of Craig to the Black Mountain turnoff For more: U.S. Forest Service, 970-870-2299, or www.visitmoffatcounty.com
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REALTORS OF MOFFAT COUNTY
Roy McAnally Broker Associate Cell: 970-326-6566 email@example.com
105 E Victory Way • Craig,CO 970-824-3445 www.cbdistinctive.com
Ashly Shipman Broker Associate Cell: 970-629-8218 firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Bingham Broker Associate Cell: 970-210-7360 email@example.com
Yvonne McAnally Broker Associate Cell: 970-326-8346 firstname.lastname@example.org
Janalee Adams Broker Associate Cell: 970-620-6597 email@example.com
Homes and Land REALTY, LLC
304 W Victory Way Craig CO 970-824-0223 www.craigcorealty.com
Marylou Wisdom Broker Associate Cell: 970-629-3693 firstname.lastname@example.org
504 W Victory Way 970-701-3463 www.kinghomesland.com
Yvonne Gustin Broker Owner Cell: 970-629-5842 email@example.com
Dorina Fredrickson Broker Associate Cell: 970-629-1089 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra King – ABR, CDPE, CRS, ePRO Owner/Broker Cell: 970-629-0596 email@example.com
508 Yampa Avenue, Craig CO 970-824-4455
Sari Cobb Broker Owner Cell: 970-629-9876 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Cox Broker Associate Cell: 970-326-6057 2017 Visitor’s Guide email@example.com
840 W. Victory Way Craig CO 970-824-7086 www.brasskey-realty.com
Chuck Cobb Broker Associate Cell: 970-629-9397 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicki Burns ABR, CRS, GRI, MRE Broker Owner Cell: 970-629-2470 email@example.com
Stacey Mathers Broker Owner Cell: 970-326-7581 firstname.lastname@example.org
Otis Lyons Broker Associate Cell: 970-326-6938 email@example.com
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Locally Locally Owned Owned & & Operated Operated firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 970.629.3596 970.629.3596 15 15 Elkhead Elkhead Lane Lane Craig, Craig, CO CO 81625 81625
Save your windshield and your money. County Treasures | 39 Call or text to schedule your Moffat appointment
Where the West Runs Wild still is. The pioneers called it Colorado’s last frontier. It Up in the northwest corner of Colorado, this is where h the west runs wild. Wild, untamed rivers wrap throug scenic canyons. Wild Horses and migratory elk count hike as some of the world’s largest herds. Get out and in Dinosaur National Monument, hide out like an outlaw ys. cowbo real some with range the ride or Park, Browns e. The treasures of Moffat County are yours to explor
Moffat County Tourism Association 970-824-2335 VisitMoffatCounty.com
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