Oak Creek, Colorado, incorporated in 1907 as a coal mining town, nestles neatly in about a third of a square mile at 7,400 feet elevation in the fertile Yampa Valley in Routt County, Colorado. Oak Creek is 21 miles southwest of Steamboat Springs, less than a 30 minute drive to the famed Steamboat ski resort.
Immigrants from around the world worked in the coal mines surrounding Oak Creek from the early 1900s. The number of different ethnic groups was unusually high for its population during the 1920s to the 1940s. Today the town embraces its diversity and heritage. Mining success brought the railroad to nearby Phippsburg and the railroad continued through Oak Creek. Coal mining near Oak Creek peaked around 1930 and then declined, leaving behind a legacy of historic buildings, including the former United Mine Workers Hospital, a Mission-Style High School and the Town Hall, erected in 1925. After being replaced by a new building the old Town Hall languished until rehabilitated by citizens, and now functioning as the Tracks and Trails Museum.
The current population of just under 1000 comprises a lively collection of people from local ranching families to folks from all over the country. With activities and attractions from skiing to boating and horseback riding to hiking in the National Forest, we also entertain visitors from all over the world. Many events fill the Oak Creek calendar, chief among them these that receive many visitors from around the state and nation.
Annual Labor Day Celebration – a weekend of events celebrating Oak Creek and South Routt history.
Annual Pumpkin Festival celebrating Halloween
Annual Taste of South Routt festival – food, music, vendors and more
The energetic people of the Historical Society of Oak Creek & Phippsburg (HSOCP), a non-profit entity dedicated to preserving and displaying artifacts, documents, photos, and research pertaining to the history of South Routt County, Colorado, help preserve the history of this area with a longstanding tradition of mining and ranching. The HSOCP is physically based in Oak Creek at the Tracks and Trails Museum. 129 E. Main St.
Oak Creek is well known for its South Routt County Foundation for Senior Citizens’ apartment complex, Aspen View Manor, at 120 Moffat Avenue. With Oak Creek flowing next to the Aspen View, residents can enjoy the creek while barbecuing on the redwood deck. All apartments, unfurnished, include a single bedroom, living room, bath, and kitchen. A bright, sunny, common area is available to all.
Ample outdoor recreation in and around Oak Creek includes the warm weather activities of camping, fishing, hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, with the always available creek for picnics or quiet time in a natural setting. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating in the town rink, and ice fishing in Stagecoach Lake, in nearby Stagecoach State Park. Year-round the Yampa River Valley provides a climate that natives live for and visitors flock to.
There are more than 30 businesses in and around Oak Creek providing a variety of services and retail shopping, and including at least six restaurants.
The recent estimated median house or condo value for Oak Creek, was $195,023, approximately double the value of $97,700 in the year 2000. Median gross rent in the town, in 2012, was $786. Zillow shows 167 properties for sale in and around Oak Creek, ranging from the Lynx BasinRanch, with house and 35 acres of land, at $1,700,000 to a slightly developed lot with studio cottage, on the shore of Stagecoach Lake, for $39,000. Many additional Stagecoach Lake lots are available for purchase.
Schools in the South Routt School District NO. RE 3 serve the community and the southern portion of Routt County. Soroco Middle School and Soroco High School are in Oak Creek, while the elementary school, South Routt Elementary, is in Yampa, 10 miles south of the town of Oak Creek.