Ute Indians summered in this valley along the river, which they called “Yampa” after an edible plant that grew along its banks. In 1861, while surveying for a possible railroad route, engineer and statesman, Captain Edward L. Berthoud named the region Egeria Park. The valley’s many waterways must have inspired the name, which refers to the Roman water nymph, Egeria, deity of clear water and springs.
In 1883, men from the mining camp of Breckenridge, to the southeast, rode into Egeria Park looking for land to settle. When choosing a homestead, the men agreed to play cards to see who should choose first—and so it went until each man had a homestead. The founding of the towns of Yampa and Toponas soon followed. The area remained isolated until the railroad arrived in 1908 and opened agricultural, ranching, and timber markets.
Gateway to the famed Flat Tops Mountains and the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway, Yampa began as a hunting camp in the 1880s. Freight wagons and stagecoaches were prominent in town. Later, agriculture and a booming lumber industry in the forests surrounding Yampa kept life buzzing.
Did you know that you can watch cowboy polo played on a historic downtown street?
In Yampa, our Fourth of July is a hard riding celebration featuring cowboy horse polo—where riders and horses pursue the ball down historic Moffat Avenue.
The Egeria Park region encompasses the town of Yampa, and the community of Toponas to the south. A visit here will take you back in time to a slower paced way of life that endures today as ranching and agriculture continue to be our mainstays.
If you enjoy scenic drives, Yampa is the east portal to the Flat Tops Trail Scenic and Historic Byway, a one-of-a kind “working” byway, where you might find yourself in a herd of cattle or horses, or a flock of sheep as they are moved from pasture to pasture by ranchers and sheepherders.
Did you know that Yampa is the gateway to Flat Tops Scenic and Historic Byway?
In Yampa there is plenty of opportunity to do your “own thing”—whether that’s quiet walks around the historic town or hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing on the trails in the surrounding forests.
- Take I-70 west through the Eisenhower Tunnel to Silverthorne, exit 205.
- Take CO 9 North to Kremmling. Head west on US 40 to the intersection with CO 134.
- Turn left and go over Gore Pass (CO 134).
- At Toponas, take Colorado 131 north to Yampa. Or, take I-70 west (through Vail) to Exit 157. Then take CO 131 North to Yampa
CULTURAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE
Yampa Egeria Museum: Stop by the restored 1904 bank building. Then take a historic walking tour of the old opera house, the 1902 Antlers Hotel and Cafe, the Royal Hotel (home of Rufus the resident ghost) and the jail.
MOUNTAINS & PARKS JOURNEYS
- Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway
- Buffalo Pass Journey
- Hahns Peak Gold Journey
VERY “LOCAL” PLACES
- Montgomery’s General Merchandise, established in 1890, it’s one of the oldest continually-operating general stores in Colorado.
- Antler’s Café, a local gathering place for almost 100 years and it’s on the Register of Historic places.
- The Royal Hotel, built after Teddy Roosevelt, Jr. came to Egeria Park on a hunting trip in 1900 because he wanted to stay in a hunting lodge.
- Yampa-Egeria Museum, originally a bank, it looks much the same today as when it opened for business in 1904.
- Penny’s Diner and The Oak Tree Inn–Open 24 hours a day seven days a week. (Access this modern diner on your schedule—not someone else’s! 970.638.1000)
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