Moffat County, Colorado: Economy, Nature, and Community Life


Moffat County, located in the northwest corner of Colorado, spans an impressive 4,751 square miles, making it the second-largest county in the state. With a population of approximately 13,000 residents, Moffat County offers a unique blend of vast open spaces, rich natural resources, and a tight-knit community.

The county’s history is rooted in the energy industry, with coal mining playing a significant role in its economic development. However, as the demand for coal declines, Moffat County is actively working to diversify its economy and create a more resilient future.


  • Moffat County's strategic location in northwest Colorado provides access to abundant natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Energy production, agriculture, and tourism are the primary economic drivers in Moffat County.
  • The county is home to stunning natural landscapes, including parks, reserves, and recreational areas that attract visitors from around the region.

Exploring the Cities and Towns of Moffat County

Craig, the county seat and largest city in Moffat County, serves as the hub of economic and community activity. With a population of around 9,000, Craig offers a variety of local businesses, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities.

Smaller towns like Dinosaur, Maybell, and Hamilton contribute to the county’s rural charm and provide essential services to their local communities. These tight-knit towns foster a strong sense of community and pride among residents.

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Recreation

Moffat County is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, from scenic river valleys to rugged mountain ranges. Visitors and locals alike enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including:

  • Hiking and camping in the Yampa River State Park and Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge
  • Fishing in the Yampa and Green Rivers, known for their excellent trout and pike fishing
  • Hunting for elk, deer, and pronghorn in the county's vast public lands

Conservation efforts play a vital role in preserving Moffat County’s natural heritage for future generations. Local organizations and government agencies work together to protect sensitive habitats and promote responsible outdoor recreation.

Economic Landscape and Key Industries

Historically, energy production has been the backbone of Moffat County’s economy, with coal mining and power generation providing significant jobs and tax revenue. However, as the demand for coal declines, the county is actively working to diversify its economy.

Agriculture, particularly ranching and hay production, remains an important industry in Moffat County. The county’s vast open spaces and abundant water resources support a thriving agricultural sector.

Tourism is an emerging economic driver, with visitors drawn to the county’s natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and unique attractions like the Museum of Northwest Colorado and the Wyman Living History Museum.

Cultural Heritage and Community Events

Moffat County takes pride in its rich cultural heritage, which is celebrated through various museums, historical sites, and community events. The Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig showcases the region’s history, from its prehistoric past to its pioneer era.

Annual events like the Moffat County Fair, Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, and the Colorado State High School Rodeo Finals bring the community together and attract visitors from across the region.

Education and Healthcare in Moffat County

Moffat County School District provides quality education to kindergarten through high school students. The district operates six schools, including Craig Middle School and Moffat County High School.

Colorado Northwestern Community College, with a campus in Craig, offers associate degrees and vocational training programs to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields.

Memorial Regional Health primarily provides healthcare services in Moffat County, which operates a 25-bed hospital in Craig and several clinics throughout the county.

Infrastructure and Transportation

Moffat County’s transportation infrastructure includes a network of highways and county roads that connect its communities and provide access to regional centers like Steamboat Springs and Grand Junction.

The Craig-Moffat Airport, located just north of Craig, serves general aviation needs and provides air ambulance services for the region.

Governance and Civic Engagement

Moffat County is governed by a three-member Board of County Commissioners, elected to four-year terms. The commissioners oversee county operations, set policies, and manage the budget.

Residents of Moffat County have numerous opportunities to engage in local decision-making through public meetings, community forums, and volunteer boards and commissions.

FAQ Section

What are the main attractions in Moffat County?

Some of the main attractions in Moffat County include the Yampa River State Park, Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, the Museum of Northwest Colorado, and the Wyman Living History Museum.

How does Moffat County support its local economy?

Moffat County supports its local economy through a combination of energy production, agriculture, and tourism. The county is actively working to diversify its economy as the demand for coal declines.

What outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Moffat County?

Moffat County offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing in its parks, reserves, and public lands.

What educational opportunities are available in Moffat County?

Moffat County School District operates six schools, providing education from kindergarten through high school. Colorado Northwestern Community College offers associate degrees and vocational training programs.

How can residents get involved in community events and governance?

Residents of Moffat County can get involved in community events and governance by attending public meetings, participating in community forums, and serving on volunteer boards and commissions.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.