One of our most popular “neighbors” and focal points on Marabou Ranch is Sleeping Giant Mountain (Elk Mountain to locals). One of the most iconic peaks in Routt County, he’s well known for his spectacular canvas during a sunset. The Yampa Valley is rich in history and stories from the Utes who lived here before the fur trappers stumbled into the valley. Some say the Giant is responsible for the “Yampa Valley Curse,” which makes people yearn to return to the valley. There are many stories linked to the story of the Sleeping Giant, but here is the one believed to be the real tall tall by long time locals. Rusty De Lucia, a long time local resident believes that the one told to her by Kingo (Charlotte Perry of Perry-Mansfield) as a young girl is the real one.

“The Gentle Giant

Many years ago there lived a gentle friendly giant. He loved life and the people of the Yampa Valley and was always ready to protect anyone who lived here from any danger. The people knew he was their friend and would always take care of them.

As the story goes, the giant was told that he would be granted eternal life and always be allowed to live in the Yampa Valley as long as he never harmed another living thing.

One day a bad giant ogre came to the Valley and started to terrorize the people. The Giant was very worried about their safety and lured the Ogre up to Steamboat Lake where he fell into the quicksand.

The people were relieved and happy that the Bad Ogre was gone and the Giant had saved them.

But – because the Giant had broken his oath not to hurt anyone, even though it was a very bad Ogre, he had to be put to sleep.

The whole valley came out for a ceremony to put the Gentle Giant to rest. They surrounded the base of the giant with rattlesnakes so that he would not be disturbed.

To this day, the giant rests and the rattlesnakes protect his peace.”