US Highway 40 through Maybell
In doing my research about Moffat County, I came across a number of mentions of Maybell. When I finally got a chance to drive through and pay attention, Maybell turned out to be both more and less than I thought. This is big cattle ranching countryside and there's also a lot of hunting area around town. The town seems to be here because just west of the last house is where Colorado 318 splits off the US 40 and heads northwest to the Browns Park area, the Gates of Lodore (at the north end of Dinosaur National Monument), and either Baggs, Wyoming or Dutch John, Utah, while the US 40 continues west to Dinosaur, Colorado and then to Vernal, Utah.
I was here on a Saturday afternoon in late August. The only business I found open was the Maybell General Store: a small gas station and smaller convenience store, but they had plenty of chips and a large Mountain Dew so I was good to go. The top photo on this page was taken out front of the General Store. What you see is the entire downtown section of Maybell. When I got back in the truck I went to the crosswalk you can see and turned right and then immediately left into the Maybell Town Park (those big trees on the right are part of it). There was a fifth-wheel camper and a large RV parked under those trees. The Post Office was across the street to the east, the Maybell Game Processors across US 40 to the south. There were some houses and a couple of other buildings around the park but that was about it. Maybell is also home to the last remaining "one room school" in Colorado.
This area was in the heart of a shooting war in the early 1900's between cattle and sheep ranchers. In the Maybell Park was a large Colorado Historical Society interpretive sign offering photos and information about some of the people involved and events that took place in that war. There was also a section about the women of Brown's Park (so tough they were still splitting their own firewood at 80 years old) and the famous outlaws (Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch among them) and cattle rustlers who hid out there back in the old days. There was a line on the sign, too, about the women being so tough they kept the area pretty safe for everyone, except anyone with a badge (even the women shot at lawmen). As I was headed for the Gates of Lodore, I took that turn and headed out of town for Brown's Park.
This is huge open countryside without many people around. Maybe 10 miles out of Maybell I passed a sign saying "Next services: 50 miles." At about 2.6 people per square mile, Moffat County falls well under the Federal threshold value for "Frontier" (6 people per square mile).
Maybell is also famous for recording the lowest temperature ever recorded in Colorado: -61°F on February 1, 1985.
The Maybell Post Office
Maybell Game Processors
Maybell Town Park
Fast Facts about aybell, Colorado