There’s something to be said about sitting in a rocking chair on a covered porch of the quintessential mountain cabin tucked at the base of a pine covered hillside with the sound of water cascading and splashing over boulders in a nearby stream. This type of setting does exist in areas not to far from Steamboat Springs, and at relatively affordable prices.
For definition purposes, I consider a cabin being a dwelling under 2,000 square feet and not located in an urban setting. Cabins in the Steamboat Springs area begin at a few hundred square feet with some, dating as far back as the early 1900’s, are still standing today.
Cabins throughout the Steamboat Springs countryside come with a mixed variety of conveniences and services. Some will be tapped into water and sewer services, and also enjoy electric and telephone. Propane tanks would be the norm for those homes with furnaces, gas boilers or gas fireplaces. It is not uncommon for a cabin to be on a well and septic system, both of which should be professionally inspected during the buyer’s due diligence period.
It is not uncommon for a cabin to be “off-grid” - meaning it does not have electric service. This can be circumvented by having a solar system or gasoline or diesel generator provide power if the owner desires appliances, pump for the well, lights or other electric devices. Depending upon the cabin’s location, cell phone reception may be a bonus, and should be checked during showings.
There are basically three areas surrounding Steamboat Springs where cabins are most popular:
Northern Routt County Head north toward Steamboat Lake, and you will find the towns of Clark, Hahn’s Peak Village and Columbine, and subdivisions of Willow Creek Pass Village, Red Creek, Badger Meadows, Glen Eden Resort, Captains Cove, and Steamboat Lakes. One, two and three bedroom cabins, situated on lots from a tenth of an acre and larger, make up a majority of the homes in the area. Some have indirect (easement) or direct access (adjoining) to the Routt National Forest and Zirkel Wilderness Area for hunting, hiking, snowmobiling and back country skiing. For fishing and boating, North Routt residents have access to Steamboat Lake, Hahn’s Peak Lake, Pearl Lake or to the Elk River and Willow Creek.
Southern Routt County The Stagecoach Recreation Area, lying only 17 miles from Steamboat Springs, consists of over several thousand acres and includes Stagecoach Reservoir and marina, an abandoned ski area, miles of recreational trails and Forest Service Access to recreation land. The Flattop Wilderness Area, home to one of the largest elk herds in the USA, lies only a few miles further south, as do the villages of Oak Creek, Phippsburg, Yampa and Toponas.
Subdivisions in the Stagecoach area include Eagles Watch, Meadowgreen, Morningside, Horseback, Blackhorse, Sky Hitch, South Station, High Cross, Overland and South Shore. The latter of which is “off grid” and has over 20 homes, most with year ‘round residents. Lot sizes in Stagecoach range from one-third of an acre to over 35 acres, and cabins could be located on Morrison or Sarvis Creek, or even Stagecoach Reservoir. The Stagecoach Property Owners Association (SPOA) manages the architectural control over the subdivisions within this area.
Western Routt County When heading west, one goes further away from the Continental Divide and also lower in elevation. This provides a drier climate and less vegetation. Both north and south of the towns of Milner (11 miles) and Hayden (21 miles) provide a myriad of land parcels for cabins. Subdivisions with larger parcels are more common in this direction from Steamboat Springs. Canyon Valley Ranch, 880 Ranch, Quaker Mountain Ranch, Johnson Ranch and Saddle Mountain Ranch all have lots with a minimum size of 5 acres, but the majority are greater than 35 acres. Larger ranches have also been split into non-conventional subdivisions in this area where more hunting-type cabins exist.
There’s nothing more enjoyable than living in a quaint Rocky Mountain cabin. The smell of fresh pines, sounds of a babbling brook, sleeping in the crisp air or hearing the bugle of a nearby elk replenishes the spirit that is lost in day-to-day routine. Let me know how I can help you capture part of that lifestyle.