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Old 09-17-2012, 09:36 AM
 
4 posts, read 6,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snikt View Post
Lush, no winter, boating

Hawaii
We actually want winter and seasonal changes.

If you remove the proximity to Denver enirely, is there any place that's a better fit for my wish list in Colorado?
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy11 View Post
We actually want winter and seasonal changes.

If you remove the proximity to Denver enirely, is there any place that's a better fit for my wish list in Colorado?
For sure, if money was no object and I wanted picture perfect scenery it's hard to beat Aspen or some of the smaller surrounding cities.

Lots of the mountain towns actually come into play if you're not talking about driving to Denver that often. Breckenridge, Vail, Winter Park/Fraser all would have some options like that.

Estes Park as mentioned previously, is also the closest to the example picture you posted.

Even farther away from things:

Crested Butte, Ouray, Silverton, Ridgway, Cedaredge, Gunnison (pretty cold, but next to a HUGE reservoir for boating)
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy11 View Post
Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. I think they definitely gave me a good "reality check". I'm not sure I'll be able to get what I want without some pretty serious trade-offs. Namely, getting a more "green and lush" experience without being pounded by a long and brutal winter. The large amount of dead trees and dry, brown landscape also makes me think twice.
Yes, this isn't the Pacific Northwest in the Cascades or New England.

Even if you have money to burn and price is no object, and it still interests you, #1 I would visit and travel the area extensively in the mountains west of Denver. And #2 if you do decide you like it, rent for 6 months to a year and see if you really like it and what it is like living almost 2 miles above sea level.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy11 View Post
We actually want winter and seasonal changes.

If you remove the proximity to Denver enirely, is there any place that's a better fit for my wish list in Colorado?
What exactly is your budget in millions?

To get decent forest with pines and maybe aspens, you will need to be over 8000 ft and that will limit your options. In these areas, winter like weather can pop up in Sept and winter is in from late October, with the last winter weather in May.

To get longer spring, summer and fall, you'll be living in high desert, which is mostly what Colorado is anyways.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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It's also worth noting that the north facing slopes are lusher (and cheaper). But you'd be shivering all winter in the shadows. I'd never consider anything other than a southern exposure.

Twin lakes is a nice area. Buena Vista has the Arkansas river and the beautiful San de Cristo mountains and a relatively mild winter for Colorado. It is not so lush though, more of scrubby landscape.

If you're going to build, be 100% sure there is water on the property and look into the water rights.

Colorado has lots of micro climates, so research specific areas you're interested in.

If money is not an issue, how about this ranch? Comes with it's own lake!

http://www.ranchfarmlandforsale.com/...orse-ranch.pdf
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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I second the suggestion to look at Oregon. You will find more lush landscapes, lakes, as well as big (volcanic) mountains. I'm originally from Colorado and moved to Oregon 4 years ago. It's definitely more lush, even here on the dry side of the Cascades than most places in Colorado.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Smithy11 wrote: Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. I think they definitely gave me a good "reality check". I'm not sure I'll be able to get what I want without some pretty serious trade-offs. Namely, getting a more "green and lush" experience without being pounded by a long and brutal winter. The large amount of dead trees and dry, brown landscape also makes me think twice.

If merely reading this forum is making you think twice, an actual visit to experience the realities of Colorado will probably have you thinking yet a third time.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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"If you're going to build, be 100% sure there is water on the property and look into the water rights."

No reason to build. There are plenty of languishing used-to-be-overpriced mansions up in the "lush" towns of Colorado (Aspen et al) that are now "underpriced". Distressed homeowners, no construction brain damage to incur, just write a check for 1/2 what the distressed homeowner is now listing his home for (after cutting his asking price in half last year), the homes will probably come furnished, piece of cake.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushhournewb View Post
"If you're going to build, be 100% sure there is water on the property and look into the water rights."

No reason to build. There are plenty of languishing used-to-be-overpriced mansions up in the "lush" towns of Colorado (Aspen et al) that are now "underpriced". Distressed homeowners, no construction brain damage to incur, just write a check for 1/2 what the distressed homeowner is now listing his home for (after cutting his asking price in half last year), the homes will probably come furnished, piece of cake.
Yep that is more or less what we did with our current home (brand new house and we payed 60% of what it cost buy the land and build the house). Having said that it seems to me that anything close to the resorts is still very pricy. We're 45 mins from a major ski resort, but 1/2 that distance and you're looking at 4 to 5 times the cost. Who needs a resort when you can do powder runs all day with portable ski lift (aka a snowmobile).

...anyway I just mentioned the water issue as the OP mentioned building

Quote:
We want to buy some land and build a cozy mountain cabin in a wooded area]
...but as others have said, there are probably much better places to buy than Colorado if you're into boating.

Dillon dam is pretty freaking huge if you want to live in summit county
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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Wink Aspects of green, Colorado & elsewhere

Yes, the better place in Colorado would possibly be in the Pacific Northwest. West of the Cascade Mountains both Washington and Oregon are quite green and lush year-round. As with California, they tend to dry out with near perfect summers, and the lawns even need watering—yet appreciably more green than Colorado. That area does experience four seasons, with only brief snows in the lowlands, but a LOT of it in the mountains.

Yet there is winter, and then winter, or how one defines that. In Seattle, WA for instance, or decidedly out in the woods near it, winter temperatures hover around 45 and do not much budge from it night or day; temperatures below freezing are relatively rare. Even up in the mountains it can be milder, without the severe cold places in Colorado or the Midwest will experience. All is also lower. Colorado is laid out like an island of high elevation compared to all else. The Cascades are wonderfully beautiful mountains, and quite lush in comparison, seemingly as high, yet not. The top of Snoqualmie Pass, which the major route of I-90 crosses, is only 3,022 feet; contrast that with the Eisenhower Tunnel that I-70 passes through (as on the way to Summit County from Denver), at 11,158 feet. And that is lower than nearby Loveland Pass that it was built to circumvent. From sea level in Puget Sound the Olympic Mountains are high and imposing, yet the tallest peak among them, Mt. Olympus, is but 7,980 feet. Of course that is near eight thousand feet up from where one is likely standing. Colorado's mountains have the disadvantage of their prospective viewers already being many thousands of feet high, even if with a plethora of 14,000 foot plus mountains in residence.

But back to the topic of winter weather. One reason so many prefer a Colorado winter is because it often doesn't seem all that cold. This has in large part to do with the dry air and predilection of the sun to often be out. Contrast that with a good many places where more overcast, and likely humid as well, and it makes a difference. You may never have much occasion to look at your thermometer in the Pacific Northwest, but it takes a certain sort to like overcast days as a regular feature for months at a time, with brief glimpses of sun always a notable feature. Add in an often drizzling mist of rain much of the time for effect. Then top if off with a good dose of humidity, and perhaps the feeling that 40 sure never felt that cold in Colorado. Because it doesn't. Although a good chance you will not have icicles hanging off your nose, either.

So it all depends. But if wishing lush that is a good place to find it. One could be so out in the thick woods as perhaps with little light—when and if the sun comes out—and yet surprisingly close to a big city. Only plot course and location carefully, because one sure doesn't want to end up on I-5 in the wrong place at the wrong time of day.

I would note for the record that Estes Park has an elevation of but 7,522 feet. That makes it even lower than Nederland, at 8,228 feet, it being roughly just west of Boulder. While true that there are plenty of pine trees in Estes Park, with a different type of forest than Grand Lake on the west side of RMNP, there are other trees present as well. In fact one might reside even lower than Estes Park and be surrounded by douglas fir, spruce, aspen, and in short a seemingly quite green and lush forest (by Colorado standards). Factor in a little northern exposure, and it is all the more lush, with green mosses and their like near water and so forth.

Indeed the Front Range mountains are as popular not only because most everyone lives near them, but as resplendent in their own right. The higher peaks are well above timberline and the equal in majesty to any other in Colorado. Within RMNP itself, not only many high and beautiful mountains but also enough real snow to make it the epicenter and source of a number of major rivers, such as the Colorado. Between this crest and the plains fronting them there are a number of different ecosystems and appearances. One need not reside in the true high country to enjoy verdant forests, and may even enjoy those of a lower elevation more. Moreover the geography is different, with many of the geologic features and rocks of the Front Range mountains superb, distinctly different than other areas of the state. Naturally that holds true elsewhere, and one would find that the San Juan and the high mountains surrounding Ouray of their own beautiful and unique nature.

It might also bear mentioning that one reason most of Colorado's population resides along the Front Range is because it is arguably the most temperate area in the state. Yes, this last summer saw Denver break a record for the number of days above 90, but one will not be shoveling out their driveway when someone even nearby in the mountains will be.

All of which suggests a reconnaissance in person. There are many beautiful areas in this state, but that seen from a postcard may seem different in person, and certainly will in a different and perhaps less pleasing season. No matter where one settles on this planet there are tradeoffs; only some time spent in Colorado may inform if those encountered here all more than worth it.

Last edited by Idunn; 09-17-2012 at 01:23 PM..
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