One of the Last Wild Rivers
The Yampa is one of the few rivers in Colorado that remains almost entirely undammed and undiverted. Much as in past centuries, it supports a rich riparian ecosystem along most of its length. People are often surprised to find Wood Ducks on the water, Gray Catbirds singing in the dense undergrowth, and Bobolinks gurgling over the adjacent wet meadows, but these species are regular here due to the valley’s unique hydrology. The resort town of Steamboat Springs is drained by the Yampa, as are the remote peaks of the Zirkel Wilderness and the wild upland parks where some of Colorado’s only breeding Sharp-tailed Grouse and Sandhill Cranes are found. Exploring this watershed is a wonderful way to get to know Colorado up close and personal.