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Old 09-26-2011, 12:12 AM
 
859 posts, read 1,709,425 times
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why is there so much available and relatively cheap land available there? i've been looking at LandWatch and similar websites, and Westcliffe is all over it.. any reason you know of?
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:55 AM
 
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Altitude? Short growing season? Water?
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Canon City, Colorado
1,331 posts, read 4,414,224 times
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It has one of the most beautiful mountain views ever!!! Breathtaking!!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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This is a very dry region, the whole region, with rainfall of about 13 inches per year, not suitable for farming and very poor for ranching on the sparse vegetation that grows at 8000 feet and 13 inches of rain. Here's the page on the town.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Canon City, Colorado
1,331 posts, read 4,414,224 times
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I know a lot of animal ranchers out there....my husband almost married into one of the families...THE BRAT!!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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I haven't been up there since I heard they closed Celdor Asado. That was a great place to eat, sigh.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:20 AM
 
859 posts, read 1,709,425 times
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thanks for the ideas.. i'm going to research the area more. we're trying to find a spot to put a cabin with year round access and great views, solitude.. vast acreage.. so maybe this area would be ideal. yanno, depending on water access.. i guess that would be the main concern. could care less about electric for what we're thinking. anyone know if there's any environmental concerns like pollution or noise, smell, etc.. or any info on this area would be helpful. always prefer the locals opinion, as opposed to the real estate agent's. i'm going to read up on it a little. thanks a bunch!
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 619,917 times
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I know of someone who has land up there, but was never able to sink a well, despite numerous (and costly) attempts. So, the whole experience was a bust for her. It is gorgeous, though, no doubt about that. Sounds like you're doing your homework. Good Luck!
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:19 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,835,868 times
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Wink Westcliffe

Westcliffe is isolated, and therein lies a large part of your answer.

It is a small town with some tourism, but apparently most focused on serving the daily needs of the ranchers and other locals in the area. Pueblo is about an hour's drive to the east, which necessitates crossing a range of mountains only less high than the Sangre de Cristo. Cañon City would probably make more sense, but something of a drive as well.

The town of Westcliffe resides in the open valley, if more on the sloping flanks of the mountain range to its east. To the west of it is a fairly flat valley of verdant meadow, running more north to south as does the high Sangre de Cristo mountains immediately to the west defining its boundary. Even at this time of year this area provides good pasture, but is unlikely to be inexpensive, as the best watered and valuable land about. It is all fenced into large ranches, parcels.

The less expensive property in the area is likely elsewhere, such as the few houses scattered along CO 96 to the east, in Westcliffe itself, or across the pasture to the west in the lower reaches of the Sangre de Cristo. There are some really nice houses/cabins within the forest in that area, seemingly owned by those wishing the Colorado ideal -- and paying for it with money from elsewhere. If one fits in that category, and is more usually content with the relatively limited services of Westcliffe, then one could realize the beautiful view and better part of their dreams.

It might also be noted that due its isolation, and being off the radar of most, this area has a refreshing lack of traffic and other such activity. Room to breath, in other words. But that wouldn't be for everyone, even if they think so at first.

But a week or so ago the Sangre de Cristo mountains evidenced very little snow remaining in their higher reaches. At a guess less so than any other major mountain range in Colorado. Certainly way less than the peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, which retain a vast amount of snow still in comparison. There is a good reason why there are a number of major rivers, including the Colorado, issuing from RMNP. If envisioning a life near Westcliffe one would be well advised to check their access to water very carefully. There certainly is some there in places, but not as abundant or readily apparent as other mountain locals in Colorado. The town of Crestone, southwest of Westcliffe on the far side of the Sangre de Cristo, might even have better access to water. It is dry there as well, although with natural marshes just west of town.

There appears to be a ski area on the flanks of the Sangre de Cristo, more or less due west of Westcliffe. Or, rather, what once was a ski area. The base area in the woods is now closed to public access, being controlled now by the Hermit Basin Conference Center. No idea why this might be, but it may have to do with relative lack of snow, and skiers.

Wolf Creek Ski Area is enjoying one of its earliest opening seasons, open now with three feet of snow having fallen since thursday. I doubt there is yet any snow in Westcliffe remaining on the ground from this recent storm, save the highest reaches of the Sangre de Cristo.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:18 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,112 posts, read 18,707,927 times
Reputation: 20404
[quote=famlife;21213435we're trying to find a spot to put a cabin[/quote]
Water.
Did I say water.
Nothing else matters.
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