The City of Craig, the most populous municipality of Moffat County, at the confluence of the Yampa River and Fortification Creek, encompassing 5.1 square miles at elevation of 6,198 feet, became the county seat when Moffat County was created out of the western portion of Routt County on February 27, 1911. Craig was founded by William H. Tucker and named for one of the town’s financial backers, Reverend William Bayard Craig. The city of Craig is located in the southeast corner of the Moffat County at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 40 and Colorado Hwy 13, and is the commercial and industrial center of northwest Colorado.
Craig is located just 45 minutes from the Steamboat Springs ski resort and is 2 to 3 hours by car from most of the major Colorado ski areas. The Routt and White River National Forests flow into Moffat County and, combined with nearly 2 million acres of BLM land, provide excellent opportunities to enjoy many outdoor recreation activities.
Moffat County, the second largest in Colorado with an area of 4,743 square miles, is about the same size as the state of Connecticut. Moffat County is rich in western and Indian heritage, including petroglyph sites and historic homesteads.
In Craig, the former stomping grounds of the infamous Wild Bunch outlaws, you’ll find saddles, spurs and stories of Western lore at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, one of the nation’s best collections of cowboy and gunfighter memorabilia.
A popular mountain biking area, the surrounding Yampa Valley and its 85-mile namesake trail, offers fat-tire riding through Craig and all the way into Dinosaur National Monument in the far northwest corner of the state. Access to four-wheeling, fishing, rafting and hiking also abounds. Home to elk, deer, antelope, mountain lions and golden as well as bald eagles, the Yampa Valley is a photographer’s paradise. Nearby, view Ancestral Puebloan rock art at the Sandrocks Nature Trail and Petroglyphs.
Craig’s slow-paced charm is augmented by the fact that it’s just 15 miles from Routt National Forest and is surrounded by quiet Bureau of Land Management land. Elkhead Reservoir, nine miles northeast of town, is a popular swimming, water skiing and boating area during the summer months, and Yampa River State Park just 14 miles away offers fishing, boating and camping.
Craig is home to Grande Olde West Days, Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, and one of North America’s largest elk herds. In the city are the Wyman Living History Museum and The Museum of Northwest Colorado and the Marcia Car, a private railroad car commissioned in 1906 by David Moffat and named “Marcia” after his daughter, is in pristine condition and is a fantastic example of luxury accommodations.
In 2010, CNCC (Colorado Northwestern Community College) built a new campus in Craig that is home to classrooms, laboratories, a virtual library, a Nursing program, Adult Learning ASsistance Center and a student lounge. Adjacent to the building is a career technical center where students can receive training in Cosmetology, Massage Therapy, Mine Safety, and Automotive/Diesel Technology.