Former luxury resort, The Home Ranch, officially conserved in North Routt

The Home Ranch, a former luxury resort in Clark, has been officially conserved. (Christy Belton/courtesy)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Once a luxury resort, The Home Ranch in Clark has now renewed its legacy to protect hundreds of acres of land in North Routt County.

The well-known ranch sold to the McFarlane family in October 2019 for over $16 million. The new owners then worked with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust to officially conserve 400 acres of the property, located in the Upper Elk River Valley north of Steamboat Springs.

Completion of the conservation project means The Home Ranch property will never be developed and will remain a site for agricultural production in perpetuity.

Following its sale in 2019, the Home Ranch ended its run as a resort and became the McFarlane family’s private home. While no longer fully open to the public, the family plans to keep the ranch’s produce stand and home-cooked dining experiences available, along with new projects in the future.

“We are proud to be partners with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust in this important work and continue what the Stranahans started,” Scott McFarlane said.

The Home Ranch in early summer with snow on the Zirkels. (Christy Belton/courtesy)

Steve Stranahan, former owner of The Home Ranch, maintained a focus on conservation efforts during his lifetime. Owner of multiple properties in addition to the luxury resort, he and his family conserved nearly 2,000 acres in North Routt County. He had long considered entering the property into conservation before he died in 2019, according to the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.

“Steve was one of the first people to consider conservation easements as a viable tool for farming and ranching,” said Jayne Thompson, spokesperson for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. “The McFarlanes have willingly and robustly embraced Stranahan’s conservation ethic. The new owners are not only committed to keeping The Home Ranch’s conservation values alive but to ensuring that the landscape remains open to the community.”

Conservation projects, like The Home Ranch in the Upper Elk River Valley, are crucial to the ecosystem and economy of Routt County, according to Megan Knott, director of stewardship for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.

“The Upper Elk River Valley and The Home Ranch are a testament to the benefits of patience, long-term planning and collaborative partnerships with landowning families,” Knott said. “Properties like The Home Ranch provide more than just food and fiber; they support the local economy, provide fishing and hunting opportunities and provide the pastoral landscapes we all enjoy.”

About 400 acres of The Home Ranch north of Clark has been officially conserved. (Courtesy photo)

The Upper Elk River Valley boasts a vibrant habitat and has long been considered a destination due to its natural beauty. Conserving The Home Ranch land adds to the more than 17,500 acres of ranch land preserved in the valley — an effort to keep land accessible to residents, visitors and wildlife.

“All of that is good news for Clark and good news for all of Colorado,” Thompson said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User