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Routt CountyBikers resting in foliage

Routt County is a diverse environment offering breathtaking mountain vistas and picturesque ranch lands. Located in northwest Colorado, the county encompasses 2,231 square miles. Communities include Clark, Hahns Peak, Milner, Phippsburg and Toponas, the towns of Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa, and the city of Steamboat Springs.
About 50% of the land in Routt County is publicly owned. The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest makes up a large portion of the county. This includes the Mt. Zirkel, and Sarvis Creek Wilderness areas. Local State Parks are Stagecoach Reservoir, Steamboat Lake, Elkhead Reservoir and Pearl Lake. These public lands provide residents and visitors with scenic recreational areas for hiking, picnicking, boating, hunting, fishing and waterskiing.
During the winter months the resort town of Steamboat Springs thrives due to a world-class ski resort, while ranching, agriculture, forestry, mining and power generation provide a year-round economy in the surrounding areas. The entire county abounds with a variety of cultural events, outdoor activities and educational facilities, including two community colleges, three public school districts, several private schools and a renowned performing arts summer camp.


The Yampa Valley's hard winters and deep snows made year-round settlement difficult. The area long served as the Ute tribe’s summertime hunting grounds; later, trappers and mountain men pursued small game, selling the hides to the fur industry. James Crawford arrived with his family in 1875 to file a homestead claim and establish what would become the town of Steamboat Springs.

More homesteaders soon followed. Some raised cattle or sheep, while others worked in the county’s gold and coal mines. Still others settled in towns, opening shops, businesses, even “spa” facilities at the mineral springs. Almost everyone relied on skis (then called "snowshoes") for essential wintertime transportation, but with the arrival of famed ski jumper Carl Howelsen in 1912, people started skiing for fun and recreation. Routt County has the West’s longest running Winter Carnival. Traditions such as ranchers bringing in their horses to pull kids on skis down Steamboat Spring’s main street have remained virtually unchanged for nearly a century. These same kids and ranchers gather each August for the Routt County Fair in Hayden.

Since 1915, Howelsen Hill has hosted breathtaking Winter Carnival stunts and competitions. In 1961, the opening of Storm Mountain, later renamed Mt. Werner, attracted skiers from around the world. Residents as well as tourists enjoyed skiing "Ski Town USA" and its trademark champagne powder, and, before long, Steamboat Springs held the record of producing more Olympic athletes than any other town in North America.

The Yampa root was a dietary staple of the local Ute Indians for centuries. Their beloved Bear River was later renamed the Yampa River in their honor and flows through the middle of Steamboat Springs, one of the last of the wild rivers of the American West. This water feeds the irrigated hay meadows of Routt County. For decades, agriculture formed the backbone of the Routt County community. High altitudes, short growing seasons and cool nights make this area ideal for growing greens such as spinach and lettuce and strawberries. South Routt was a major origination point for spinach in the 50s.

The image of a skiing cowboy continues to represent a typical Routt County resident—willing to work hard and enjoy the area’s natural resources through all of the seasons.


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Routt County has a total population of 23,334, a 2% increase from 2008. Its population is 93.6% White, 0.5% African American, 0.8% Asian, and Hispanic or Latino of any race was 6.9% of the population. Females count for 47% of the population, while males make up the remaining 53%. In 2011, the median household income was $64,230, while the median single family home sold for $434,700.


Routt County has an increasing diverse economy. The top three private sector income sectors are construction, healthcare and retail followed by arts, entertainment & recreation, accommodation and food services which support tourism and mining. Routt County has the largest and most productive coal mine in the state, Twentymile by Peabody Energy. The income distribution by IRS income categories reveals the returns between $25,000 and $100,000 accounted for 40% of the returns and 28% of adjusted gross income. This indicates Routt County’s middle class has not benefited proportionally to the overall rising economy.

In Routt County, real estate/leasing, accommodations, food services and construction account for 34% of all private sector jobs. Since the recent economic downturn, construction jobs dropped from 22.3% of total jobs in 2009 to 12% in 2011.

An increasing number of full and part-time residents throughout the county do not depend on the economic activity occurring within the region to make their living. This group has become an economic driver in the valley. The other trend is location neutral employees and business that choose to locate in Routt due to the many natural and cultural amenities. Agriculture’s share of Routt County’s total personal income has gone from almost 5% in 1970 to less than a half of one percent today. However, agriculture has been relatively stable in all three nearby counties over the past 35 years.

Routt County’s economy is interdependent on neighboring Moffat County; it draws significant employees from the city of Craig, who in turn imported $65 million in wages into their county in 2009, much of which came from employers in Routt and Rio Blanco counties. The workforce migration also impacts transportation, housing and other workforce issues.
Routt County families need income more than three times the federal poverty rate to make ends meet. One adult and 1 preschooler family needs to make $53,560. A family of four with 2 adults, 1 preschooler and 1 school age child needs to make $67,571 to make ends meet.

Health ServicesMtn biking

Yampa Valley Medical Center (YVMC) is a regional medical center and is the only nonprofit, non-tax-supported hospital in Northwest Colorado. With 90 physicians representing 33 specialties, YVMC provides sophisticated medical services to more than 51,000 outpatients annually.

YVMC is an accredited 39-bed acute care hospital providing emergency care, surgical services, and a Family Birth Place with a Special Care Nursery. The emergency department is designated by the State of Colorado as a Level IV Trauma Center.

YVMC provides a range of outpatient services including joint replacement (hip, knee and shoulder), spine surgery, cancer care, pain management, physical therapy and occupational therapy. The Integrated Health department provides mind-body counseling, massage and acupuncture along with meditation, yoga and Qigong classes. Physical therapy services are offered through the Justin Andrew DeSorrento Sports Medicine Center (SportsMed) with locations in Steamboat Springs, Walden and Hayden. Occupational therapy services are provided by YampaWorks, with clinics in Steamboat Springs and Craig.

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), a non-profit agency, inspires healthier lives by providing healthcare for all residents of Routt and Moffat Counties. VNA provides Primary Care, Home Health, Hospice and Palliative Care, Public Health and Wellness and Aging Services. Services are provided in patient’s homes, in the community and in two clinics located in Craig and Steamboat Springs. In addition VNA owns and operates Haven Assisted Living Facility in Hayden. For nearly 50 years VNA has developed innovative methods for creating community health and wellness. Today, the organization is answering the need for accessible, affordable, high-quality health care for all residents of Northwest Colorado, regardless of age, ethnicity or economic circumstance.

Nonprofit OrganizationsFly Fishing

Advocates Building Peaceful Communities


Animal Assistance League of Northwest Colorado

Born Free Wildlife Rehabilitation

Community Agriculture Alliance

Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley

Comunidad Integrada/Integrated Community

Emerald Mountain Partnership

Family Development Center

Habitat For Humanity InterNational Inc

Hayden Town Manager

Healthcare Foundation for the Yampa Valley

Historic Routt County

Horizons Specialized Services, Inc.

Humble Ranch Education and Therapy Center

Integrated Community

Lift-Up of Routt County

Main Street Steamboat Springs Inc

Northwest Colorado Legal Services

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association

Oak Creek Town Board

Partners In Routt County

Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp

Rocky Mountain CASA

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

Routt County Council on Aging

Routt County Department of Social Services

Routt County Habitat For Humanity

Routt County Humane Society

Routt County Search and Rescue Inc

Steamboat Art Museum

Steamboat Dance Theatre

Steamboat Springs Arts Council

Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce

Steamboat Springs City Manager

Steamboat Springs Orchestra

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Steamboat Springs Youth Soccer Association

Strings in the Mountains

The Emerald City Opera

Totally Kids Inc

Tread of Pioneers Museum

United Way of Routt County

Yampa Valley Autism Program

Yampa Valley Community Foundation

Yampa Valley Land Trust, Inc.

Yampa Valley Medical Center