History of Stagecoach

The Early Years

The history of the area that we now know as “Stagecoach Reservoir” started in the 1950’s when the bureau of Reclamation pinpointed the area as a site for the dam and the reservoir.    In 1966 the Upper Yama Valley Conservancy District was formed to develop water conservation.     Even the dam would not be completed until years later in 1988, the Woodmoor Sales office opened to sell lots and townhomes in 1971.     A year later, in 1972, the Stagecoach Ski area was dedicated and the Stagecoach Property Owners Association was chartered.    This celebration would be short lived however as the Woodmoor went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, stalling the development of the area.

Ski Area 1972-1974

The ski area was developed by the Woodmoor Company of Colorado Springs. Although full of great terrain on north-facing slopes, financial problems of the developer halted the project in 1973 and it closed after its second season of skiing in 1974.

Now considered a “lost” ski hill, rumors of Stagecoach reopening are common, but are always denied by the Wittemyer family, who have owned the property for over twenty-five years.

The ski area was a mile south of the present-day Stagecoach Reservoir, with north-facing slopes and three double chairlifts. The vertical drop was 1,700 feet (518 m) with summit elevation of 9,150 feet (2789 m) above sea level and the base at 7,450 feet (2271 m).


Stagecoach Dam Construction


The Stagecoach Dam was built on the Yampa River in late 1988, and its reservoir filled over the next several years. The reservoir now hosts Stagecoach State Park and offers fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and winter cross-country skiing and dog-sledding. The dam is at the northeast end of the reservoir; the water’s surface elevation is 7200 feet (2195 m) above sea level. Originally designed in the 1970s as an earthen dam, it is a roller-compacted concrete (RCC) structure.

Stagecoach State Park

1965 – Today

Originally established in 1965, Stagecoach State Park hosts a great location for recreation in the lush Yampa Valley near Steamboat Springs. Home to a 820 surface acre reservoir, Stagecoach provides renown lake and river fishing.

A year-round destination, the park also makes a great base to explore the variety of sports and attractions of the area. An array of activities await with boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking and camping.​

Stagecoach State Park is a great place to hold base camp when exploring the many outdoor opportunities around the park such as the Flattops Wilderness Area and Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area.

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