01/23/2023 Wolf Creek Snow Report

Happy Monday to everyone! Here is today’s snow report for Wolf Creek:

In the last 48 hours, they received 2″ of snow.

This most recent snowfall, combined with the 2″, brings the 7-day total to 46″.

The snowfall year-to-date is 235″.

The midway depth 98″ and the summit depth 107″.Screenshot_20221207_103332

It is currently overcast with light snow.

The surface conditions remain powder/packed powder with excellent conditions and extensive grooming throughout the mountain.

The pick of the hill today is Orion’s Beltway.

Lift tickets are at regular rates: $85 for adults, $54 for seniors and $42 for children.

The forecast shows a chance of snow showers today, tomorrow and Wednesday.

For the most up-to-date information call 1-800-SKI-WOLF

Road conditions and restrictions in the area may be found by visiting COTrip.org

1/19/23 Wolf Creek Snow Report

Happy Thursday! We’ve had quite the week of snowstorms! Let’s take a look at Wolf Creek’s current conditions:

The mountain received a total of 56″ of snow from this latest storm!

The total snowfall year-to-date is 223″.

The midway depth is 106″ and the summit depth is 115″.

The surface conditions are powder/packed powder with excellent conditions and extensive grooming throughout the mountain. Screenshot_20221111_103051

The Pick of the Hill today is Orion’s Beltway.

Lift tickets are at Regular Rates: $85 for Adults, $54 for Seniors and $42 for Children.

This Sunday, January 22nd, Wolf Creek will be having a Fun Race! Race your friends or just challenge your own fastest time. Free and open to skiers and boarders of all ages and abilities. Sign up is from 9:30am-10:30am in the Raven’s Nest building and the race is from 11am to 1pm on Charisma run.

Tuesday, January 24th, is a Tuesday Turns and Technique Clinic. Skiers and boarders can purchase a lift ticket for $62 ($43 for Seniors) and a 2-hour morning lesson for any ability for just $45.

The current road conditions are plowed and sanded with Winter driving conditions!

The forecast shows more snow showers tomorrow (Friday) with a break on Saturday and then a few more days of potential snow showers beginning on Sunday.

For the most up-to-date information call 1-800-SKI-WOLF

Road conditions and restrictions in the area may be found by visiting COTrip.org

Talk about an epic storm! Keep them coming! We’d love to see pictures of y’all enjoying the mountain! Stay tuned and have a fantastic weekend!

Wolf Creek Ski Report 12/13/2022

Screenshot_20221213_112412Happy Tuesday! Finally, we got some serious snow!!! 

Wolf Creek received 12″ in the last 24 hours, bringing the 7-day total to 26″! The snowfall year-to-date is now 90″!

The midway depth is 50″ and the summit depth is 55″.

The surface conditions are still powder/packed powder with excellent early season conditions and unmarked obstacles.

The pick of the hill today is Tranquility.

Lift tickets are at regular rates: $85 for adults, $54 for seniors and $42 for children.

The Ski School, Ski and Snowboard Rentals, Treasure Sports, Pathfinder Bar, Base Camp, Prospector Grill, Alberta Grill, Continental Espresso Bar, Raven’s Nest Pizzaria and the Wolf Creek Lodge are all open! Be sure to check them out!

Expect very low temperatures in the next week.

Snow is in the forecast on Thursday and Friday!

For the most up-to-date information call 1-800-SKI-WOLF

Road conditions and restrictions in the area may be found by visiting COTrip.org

Have a great week! As always, I will keep you posted!

 

Safety before fun

Closing Day for Wolf Creek Ski resort has been announced! April 17th will be the last day you can get your turns in using the ski lifts…but not the last day you can enjoy the snow before it melts away. Here are some notes from our local resort:

  •  Wolf Creek Ski Area is 100% open, 7-days a week, with lifts operating from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wolf Creek is extending 7-day a week operations to Sunday, April 17th!
    • Lift tickets are at Regular rates today, $82 for Adults, $51 for Seniors and $41 for Children.
    • The Upper Lodge, Prospector Grill, Raven’s Roost, Continental, Pathfinder Bar and Base Camp are all open.
    • Smokey Bear is visiting Wolf Creek Today, Thursday, March 24th. Smokey will be speaking with skiers and snowboarders about the Forest Service, their partnership with the ski area and, of course, wildfire prevention.
    • Group Lessons are available for pre-purchase online at shop.wolfcreekski.com. Lessons must be purchased more than 2 days in advance of the lesson date.
    • Uphill travel is permitted during operating hours only, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
    • The Meadow Loop and the Lake Spur of the Nordic Track were groomed and track-set on March 22nd.
    • Face coverings are recommended in all indoor public settings. A full 2021-22 COVID-19 Operating Plan can be found at WolfCreekSki.com.
    • Visit wolfcreekski.com or call 1-800-SKI-WOLF for the most up-to-date information.

Did you read the italicized line? You read that correct. Smokey Bear is visiting Wolf Creek today! You’re never too old to learn how to prevent forest fires. Find out how to keep our beautiful mountains safe from harm in the warmer months



https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/prescribed-fire-science-why-its-needed-now-more-ever

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Exploring the National Forest

What to Bring on your Adventure in the Woods

The National Forest around Pagosa Springs is a big space… and we mean big! With over 3 million acres of wilderness and national forest surrounding the town, there is plenty of space to explore! If you want to go exploring in the San Juan National Forest or the Weminuche Wilderness, you should prepare for a variety of weather, terrain, and wildlife interactions! This post should outline the basic gear you should bring when exploring anywhere in the United States; and some essentials specific to this area. Let’s get into it!

Exploring
Photo Courtesy: Gavin Kiker Photography
  1. Water – Water is at the top of this list for a reason. Water is important no matter where you are or what you are doing. It becomes more important as you gain altitude because it helps combat the headaches and dizziness associated with altitude sickness. I try to carry at least 2- 32oz Nalgene bottles for a day in the forest so I know I have enough!
  2. Shoes & Clothing – The weather in this part of the country can change drastically in a matter of a couple hours. In July it can be 90 degrees at Noon and 55 degrees and pouring rain by 3pm! This makes it extra important to wear layers and pack the appropriate clothing for the conditions. I try to always bring a jacket and rain poncho or full rain suit when I want to spend more than an hour or two in the woods. As far as footwear goes I highly recommend wearing boots that provide good ankle support. These kinds of boots can prevent ankle sprains; a big deal when you are alone and away from civilization! Waterproof boots are also a good choice if you like exploring in the rain. Waterproof boots will be warmer due to lack of ventilation; something to consider if your feet tend to get hot.
  3. Cutting Tool – A cutting tool in the woods has a million uses. Whether you need to get a splinter out of your finger, cut a string from your shirt, or cut a tree branch to fashion a splint, a good pocket knife or multitool is essential in an outdoor emergency. I never go exploring without one! A multitool has the advantage over a normal pocket knife because they usually have several different tools and even a pair of pliers built in! I personally carry and recommend Leatherman multitools.
  4. Map & Compass – While you don’t necessarily need a map and compass to start exploring, it’s a good idea to bring them along! A map and compass can help you find your bearings if you find yourself lost. You can also use them to mark landmarks that you want to visit again later! A simple compass can be bought for $15-20 and is light enough to always bring with you. As far as maps go, I recommend going into the Forest Service office and asking for maps for the specific areas you want to explore! They will even have topo maps that show elevation so you can see how steep your route will be.
  5. Food – You need energy to explore and food gives you energy! I always try to bring high-energy snacks to keep me going throughout the day. Protein bars, trail mix, jerky, fruit, etc are all great, compact snacks that will keep you up in energy. Be sure to bring a ziplock bag or similar to keep your trash in until you can properly dispose of it. Do not litter!!
  6. Fire – It can get cold at night in this part of the country, even in the middle of summer. If you get lost or injured in the woods and have to spend the night you are going to want some way to build a fire! I think a Bic or similar rugged lighter is the bare minimum you should bring on your outdoor adventures. These are pressurized so they work outdoors and they rarely leak fuel. If you have a little more room for gear, I would also bring a flint and steel in addition to the lighter. This leaves you with two viable options for starting an emergency fire. Be sure you know how to properly build a fire before heading out!
  7. First Aid – The San Juan and Weminuche Wilderness is a rugged terrain with some extremely remote areas. If you get hurt way up in the woods it can be nearly impossible for help to make it to you! Carrying a well-equipped first aid kit can allow you to take care of minor injuries by yourself until you are able to make it to civilization! It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of the components of your first aid kit and how they work. You can even print instructions to keep in the kit! I recommend Adventure Medical Kits if you are wanting a good pre-built first aid kit.
  8. Sun Protection – Pagosa Springs and surrounding wilderness areas are very high in elevation compared to most of the United States. Pagosa Springs is sitting at 7,126ft above sea level and most of the places you’ll be exploring will be higher. Being higher than sea level also means you are closer to the sun and sunburn can be a serious issue! If you know you are going to be in the sun a lot I would recommend wearing long shirts and pants or using a good sunscreen. It’s no fun wearing a hiking backpack with burnt shoulders… trust me!

These are some of the most important pieces of gear that you should carry with you in the woods! Whether you are running out for an hour in the woods or planning a weeklong excursion, these will help you make it home safely! If all this talk of exploring is too exciting to ignore, give us a call at 970.507.8655 and we can help you find a place to stay in Southwest Colorado!

Spring Break

Spring Break in Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs has become a very popular vacation spot in recent years, and for good reason! With stunning views around every corner and friendly people in every store, it really is a great place to go and relax. With spring break fast approaching; we decided to put together a list of some of the best activities available to do in Pagosa! If you don’t see your favorite Pagosa Springs activity on this list let us know so we can add it to the next one!

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: wolfcreekski.com
  • Ski/Snowboard Wolf Creek – Wolf Creek Ski Area is a 1,600 acre ski area located just 20 miles from Pagosa Springs. Wolf Creek is well known among avid skiers and snowboarders for the deep powder snow it gets every year. The mountain gets more snow than any other ski resort in Colorado, topping out at 430 inches per year! With 10 lifts, including 2 conveyor lifts, there is something for skiers of all skill levels! If skiing isn’t your thing, there are popular sledding hills less than a mile from the resort at the entrance to Lobo Overlook!

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Gavin Kiker
  • Drive To Williams Creek Reservoir – Williams Creek Reservoir is a large reservoir located approximately 23 miles from town. Take Piedra Road (CR 600) and enjoy views of mountains, large valleys, and wildlife on your way to the lake! Once you have arrived there are opportunities to hike, camp, and fish! Ice fishing for trout and salmon is very popular at Williams; you can call the forest service to see what lures or bait have been working for local anglers. If you plan on spending the day, be sure to pack food and water as the general store near the lake is closed during the winter months.

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Albuquerque Journal
  • Soak In The Hot Springs – Pagosa Springs is know for it’s hot springs above all else. The “mother spring” located behind The Springs Resort, is the deepest geothermal hot spring in the world; so deep that the measuring equipment maxed out at 1,002 feet! The geothermal water is believed to have healing properties that can help with many different conditions. People come from around the world to soak in the hot springs. There are several places in town that offer soaking tubs for a small fee. The Springs Resort offers many pools with different temperatures and sizes right on the San Juan river. Healing Waters, across the street from The Springs, is smaller but offers a geothermally heated swimming pool! Lastly, the Overlook, located on Main Street, offers rooftop pools with a view of downtown Pagosa! You can’t go wrong with any of these options for a relaxing evening after skiing! If you want to save a little money, ask a local to point you towards the Hippie Dip; a small natural hot spring located right on the San Juan River! This is a popular spot for locals to take a quick dip!
Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Salida Daily Post
  • Have a beer & listen to live music – While Pagosa Springs is known mainly for the hot springs and it’s plethora of outdoor activities, music is also a huge part of the culture! If you walk through downtown Pagosa on a Friday night you are bound to hear live music echoing out from the restaurants. Go to Riff Raff On The Rio to see musicians playing by the river or up to Pagosa Brewing to listen to local bands jamming under the tent. Pagosa Springs is full of talented musicians who like sharing their music. If you like beer, there are many local brews available at most restaurants and bars in town! Both Riff Raff Brewing and Pagosa Brewing have won several awards for their beers! If you find a beer you love, you can buy a metal growler to take home as a souvenir from your spring break adventure!

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: visitpagosasprings.com
  • Shop On Main Street – Need a break from skiing or soaking in the springs? Shopping Main St. is a fun way to burn some time! Pagosa Springs’ Main Street is full of shops; from rock shops, to the local bookstore Bookends, to The Lost Cajun restaurant, there is plenty to explore! We recommend starting by The Malt Shoppe and working your way all the down to Memory Lane Antiques. Definitely stop at Pagosa Baking Company for a fresh baked treat! During the busy season parking can be hard to find. Luckily, there are larger parking lots located on either end of Main Street.
Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: tripadvisor.com
  • Satisfy Your Sweet-Tooth at The Choke Cherry Tree – If you grew up in Pagosa, or have visited before, you probably know about The Choke Cherry Tree! This awesome business opened in Pagosa Springs in 1999 and has been a favorite ever since! The Choke Cherry Tree is known for their choke cherry jams and amazing homemade caramel, but that isn’t all they do! They make candies, caramels, infused oils, every sauce you can think of, and more! I personally love their salted caramels and pickled okra. If your mouth is watering like mine is and you can’t wait for spring break, just order online and have these delicious treats shipped to your door! They even offer gift baskets!

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Gavin Kiker
  • Search For Your Own Vacation Home – If a week during Spring Break isn’t enough time in Pagosa Springs for you, you may want to consider finding a vacation home here! There is so much to do here throughout the year that owning a home can be extremely advantageous! Here at NextHome we manage several vacation rental homes; you can use your home whenever you want and we can rent it out the rest of the time! This means you can actually make some extra income by owning a home in Pagosa Springs! If you would like to learn more, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can talk you through our rental options!

We hope this blog post gave you some ideas for your spring break trip! If you have any questions, let us know! We would be happy to help. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to keep up to date on what’s happening here at NextHome!

Sledding In Pagosa

Get Your Sled On This Winter!

With snow falling every other day, and many businesses still closed due to Covid-19, it’s a great time to get some sledding or tubing in! If you are in Pagosa Springs, or are planning a trip up, sledding is a fun way to pass the time!  Sledding involves a lot of time rolling around in the snow; so you really need good waterproof snow gear including gloves and a warm hat. We also recommend proper snow boots, no one wants wet feet! As far as sleds go, there are several styles to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with one or another!

Sledding
Photo Courtesy: Popular Mechanics

Below is a quick rundown of the sled types and how they function:

  • The Toboggan – Toboggans were originally made from wooden slats with a rope handle. Modern toboggans are made from plastic so they are easy to carry, and some are made to fit more than one person. The main advantage of these sleds over others is the extra capacity and the ability to steer by leaning to one side or the other. This toboggan is highly rated on amazon and can be found in stores in Pagosa!
  • The Sledge – The sledge is what many consider the classic snow sled. Constructed from steel and wood planks, this sled is fast, has a high weight capacity, and is steerable! The main con for this type of sled is the weight; it weighs in around 15lbs! This sled has narrow steel runners, rather than a flat plastic bottom like more modern sleds. This means the sled is not ideal for powder conditions. These sleds have been in production since 1889 and still do great!
  • The Saucer – The saucer is a favorite for many reasons. This disc shaped sled is lightweight and easy to carry, will fit most people, and can reach some impressive speeds in the right conditions! Best of all, they are super cheap to buy! Here is one of the highest rated on amazon. The main con with a saucer sled is the lack of steering control. We recommend these for open areas, not hills with multiple obstacles.
  • The Snow Tube – Snow tubes have gotten popular lately, and for good reason! These tubes are inflatable, so they take up less room than traditional sleds. They are also smoother going down hills than other stiff sleds. We recommend finding one with good handles so you aren’t bounced off the sled at speed! The main disadvantage with these is they aren’t as durable as other sleds; so they aren’t recommended for rougher terrain.

The Best Sledding Hills

We have compiled a small list of the best public spots in Pagosa Springs to go sledding! If you don’t see your favorite spot, reach out to us and we will add it to the list!

  • Reservoir Hill – Located right downtown across from The Springs and behind the Post Office; Reservoir Hill is an awesome place to sled! With multiple short runs to choose from, this spot is perfect for all experience levels. If sledding isn’t your speed, you can snowshoe the trails on Reservoir Hill instead!
  • Lobo Overlook – Lobo Overlook is located right before Wolf Creek Pass if you are coming from Pagosa Springs. While the overlook itself isn’t easily accessible in the winter, the hill next to the parking lot sure is! This spot is super popular due to it’s close proximity to Wolf Creek and the clear steep hill that is accessed easily right from the parking area! Be sure to bring a snack and water, otherwise you will have to wait until you get back into town to find food.
  • National Forest… All 1.8 Million Acres! – Pagosa Springs is blessed to be surrounded by almost 2 MILLION acres of National Forest! This forest is free to access and use, provided you respect the environment and don’t leave messes behind. What this means is you can drive down any forest road and find a spot to sled! Just beware, some private land is mixed in with the public, so be sure you are in the public areas! Most of the forest roads near Pagosa partially close for the winter months, so some walking may be required to find the perfect sledding spot. You can view the current road closures here.

Pagosa Springs is like a snowy wonderland. You could spend all winter sledding, snowboarding or skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and more! Hopefully this post has given you a good idea of where to start! If you are looking for a vacation rental, or something more permanent, give us a call at (970) 507-8655! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for NextHome RMR updates and virtual open house videos! Humans Over Houses is our motto.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas Trees in The National Forest

For many people, going out to cut down a Christmas Tree is a valued family tradition passed down from generation to generation. It is a great way to bond as a family in our beautiful National Forests. Pagosa Springs has an abundance of tree-cutting areas and opportunity, so you are sure to find the perfect tree for you and your family! The Forest Service provides some excellent guides for identifying trees and cutting them:

Christmas Tree Cutting1024_1Christmas Tree Cutting1024_2 Christmas Tree ID1024_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The San Juan National Forest offers permits (priced at $8) to go out and find the perfect tree for your family! Not only will you get a Christmas Tree for the year, but you are also contributing to the conservation of our forests, and fire mitigation as well! If you are unsure where to find a tree, you can contact the Forest Service here and they will answer any questions you may have! *Permits will go on sale November 12, 2020.

Southwest Colorado is a great place to enjoy a snowy Christmas. Give us a call today at (970) 507-8655! We would love to help you find your Next Home!

Wildfire Defensible Space

Wildfire Defensible Buffer Zones

wildfires

Wildfire Buffer Zones can be used to reduce fire damage to buildings and sensitive areas in landscapes prone to wildfire. This guide from the USDA National Agroforestry Center shows what you can do to to increase the defensible space around your home and property. If you have any additional questions regarding wildfire safety, see the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control’s website here.

Zone 1. A minimum of 30 feet is needed for firefighters to protect a structure from wildfire. On a slope, increase the distance to 100 feet downhill of the structure. Use low growing and low flammability plants, spaced apart from each other. Remove dead material.

Zone 2. Deciduous trees and shrubs and widely-spaced conifers may be used in Zone 2. Remove branches within 8 feet of the ground (but no more than 30 percent of the height of the tree) and space trees so that crowns remain at least 10 feet apart at maturity. Remove ladder fuels which are tree limbs and other materials that allow fire to burn into the tree crown.

Zone 3. Manage this zone to maintain forest stand health and other landowner objectives. Limit number of dead trees or snags but save some for wildlife (1 to 2 snags/acre). Check with your local forester for additional guidelines.

Characteristics of Low Flammability Plants

• Supple moist leaves and water-like, thin sap

• Little or no accumulation of dead vegetation on the plant

• Open and loose branching structure

Source: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nac/buffers/guidelines/5_protection/11.html

If you liked this post be sure to check our others out here! We would love to help you find your Next Home. Give us a call at (970) 507-8655 to talk to a Southwest Colorado expert! You can view our current featured listings here.

Healthier Mountain Living

Why Living In The Mountains Is Healthier

It’s easy to fall in love with the mountains. Fresh air is abundant, the weather is fairly temperate, and the views are some of the best mother nature has to offer. Living in the mountains can actually be healthier for you too, believe it or not. If you don’t believe me, here are a few facts to convince you!

Healthier
Lake San Cristobal – Photo By: Gavin Kiker

 

  • Inspiration To Be Active  The rocky mountains are inspirational simply by nature. The peaks tower over everything else, begging to be seen. When you are surrounded by views as beautiful as the rocky mountains, you are sure to become inspired to explore and be active!
  • Altitude Burns Calories – Studies have proven that the human body burns more calories while expending energy at high altitude than it does while at lower altitudes. This means that a mile hike in the mountains will burn more calories than the same hike down lower; plus you get to enjoy the mountain views!
  • Clean Air – There’s nothing better than taking a deep breath of fresh mountain air. Less pollution at higher altitudes can directly improve asthma symptoms and other acute respiratory symptoms. The smell of pine, which is especially common in the rockies, has been proven to help alleviate stress and depression. If you have trouble sleeping, try to find some lavender at the base of the pines. It can help you fall asleep!
  • Less Risk Of Heart Disease – Studies have shown that people who live at higher altitudes can have a certain gene activated that significantly decreases the risk of dying from ischemic heart disease. When your body has to work harder every day to take in oxygen, it automatically improves your cardiovascular fitness! This makes your heart stronger and more resilient to rough conditions.
  • Statistically Longer Life Span – Researchers have found that the 10 million people who live over 4,900ft above sea level typically live one to three years longer than people living closer to sea level. This is just another benefit of living at high altitude!

Thanks for reading through today’s post! If you have any questions, or if you would like to talk with a NextHomie, give us a call at (970) 507-8655. To view our current listings, see our featured homes page here. We can’t wait to help you find your Next Home.