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Discover the Great Northwest: Attractions and Events in Moffat County

The Great American Horse Dive is a major event in Northwest Colorado

The Great American Horse Dive is a major event in Northwest Colorado

Known as “The Great Northwest”, Moffat County encompasses the cities of Maybell, Craig, Maasadona, Lay, and Hamilton. It also sits on two-thirds of the Dinosaur National Monument, a vast protected area on the Colorado-Utah border.

Learn about the attractions and events that make this county a wonderful place to live.

Outdoor attractions

Cedar Mountain

The mountain area brings you 880 acres of public land. Rimmed with juniper and standing 1,000 feet above the ground in scenic Yampa Valley, the horseshoe-shaped mountain has one of the Rampart Range’s lower peaks. However, the summit offers stunning views of Park County’s 77 corridor and Lost Creek Wilderness, and is well worth the climb.

At the peak, you’ll find a rocky cairn and a wooden cross. The red gravel trails are lined with granite outcrops, yucca, purple penstemon, and Ponderosa Pine.

Activities include hiking and biking. Motorized vehicles may be driven in designated areas.

Sand Wash Basin

The Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) encompasses 157,730 acres and is covered in sagebrush, saltbush, bunchgrass, and juniper-pinon woodlands. But the HMA is best known for the herd of wild horses that roams the property. The horses come in a variety of colors, with sorrel and brown being the most common.

Other wildlife in the area include elk, pronghorn, mule deer, sagehen, and white-tailed prairie dogs.

Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge

Located along Green River, the refuge provides shelter to migratory birds as well as various threatened and endangered species. Sightings of elk, mule deer, pronghorn, and moose are common.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing are popular pastimes and help promote wildlife management in the refuge. Guests can also enjoy birding, hiking, and nature photography. To make the most of your visit, join any of the ranger-led programs.

Yampa River State Park

Spend a quiet afternoon beside Yampa River, which offers boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities. The state park also has campsites, recreational vehicle (RV) sites, picnic tables, pet-friendly trails, and a playground. Basic amenities include toilets, bathrooms, and coin-operated washers and dryers.

Cross Mountain

Located east of Dinosaur National Monument, Cross Mountain is Northwest Colorado’s best-kept secret, known only to a small circle of climbers and hikers. It’s better known for whitewater kayaking, with adventure-seekers heading to Cross Mountain Gorge for some action in the water. Yampa River cuts straight into the mountain, which is home to wildlife like deer, elk, bighorn sheep, cougars, and black bears.

Annual events

Colorado’s Great Northwest Summer Kick-Off

The eight-day summer kick-off traditionally takes place in May each year, with athletes of all skill levels competing in fun events like the Dirt Hog Golf Tournament, Where the Hell is Maybell Bike Event, and Colorado Endurance Paddling Challenge.

Moffat County Balloon Festival

The next installment of this colorful event takes place at Loudy Simpson Park on August 1, 2020. Watch some of Colorado’s most skilled hot air balloon pilots take to the sky at 6:30 a.m. You’ll also find plenty of food and crafts vendors at the event.

Sombrero Ranches’ Great American Horse Drive

This Maybell event kicks off with a cowboy dinner and some good old campfire entertainment. The next few days are filled with horseback rides, cookouts, and equestrian workshops. The festivities culminate in the Buckle Ceremony and closing dinner.

Live close to these fantastic attractions and festivals. King Homes and Land Realty can help you find the right home. Contact us today to start the search.