Liven Up Your Lawn

Liven Up Your Lawn

Image Courtesy of: Pexels

Resources to Help You Liven Up Your Lawn

Is your lawn looking shabby or is it the envy of the neighborhood? If it’s more on the shabby side and could use a little TLC, you can create that carpet of green you’re dreaming of without a full-time service. The following resources will guide you through the tools, tips and techniques you need for a luscious lawn and landscape.

Grow Great Grass

A beautiful lawn begins with healthy grass. With the right TLC, your lawn will flourish!

 

Hone in on Hardscaping

Hardscaping provides functionality as well as aesthetically pleasing structure. Make the most of your yard with great hardscaping.

 

 

Reap Big Benefits

A thriving lawn is more than just a beauty to behold. It can benefit your life in many key ways.

 

Are you ready to liven up your lawn? From your pavement to your grass to your toolshed, the resources listed here will help you do just that!

Are you planning a move to the Colorado mountains? Then turn to the expert services of NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals. Reach out today to find out more! 970-507-8655

This article was guest written by Tina Martin, Author of Ideaspired. Don’t forget to check her website out here!

Tubing The San Juan River

Float The River This Summer!

Pagosa Springs is known by many as a summer vacation hotspot. Between the world’s deepest Hot Spring, millions of acres of National Forest to explore, and the abundance of local shops, restaurants, and breweries, there is plenty of fun to be had! If you are looking for a way to relax and cool down on a hot and sunny day, tubing might be for you! The San Juan River winds through downtown Pagosa, making for a fun float through the town! The town of Pagosa Springs even does some river restoration, making the tubing route safe and fun for all ages!

Tubing

Tube rentals are available at Pagosa Outside, located on the main strip next to The Peak Deli. The cost ranges from $15-50 depending on the type of tube and length of rental. They also have a shuttle bus that will drop you off and pick you up; so you don’t have to walk through downtown with a tube on your back! No permits or paperwork are needed to privately tube on the San Juan River, so if you have your own tubes you can go out for free; you just have to do more walking!

If you have any questions about tubing the San Juan River, give Pagosa Outside a call, they are the local experts! If you want to tube in Pagosa, but don’t have a place to stay, give us a call at 970.507.8655 and we can help you find your NextHome!

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.

Driving In The Snow

Driving Safely This Winter

If you live in an area where it snows, you have probably seen someone who has slid off the road. Maybe you have yourself! Winter driving can be tricky, but with the proper knowledge you can significantly reduce the amount of mistakes you make the next time you find yourself in a slick situation!

Driving
Ken Block Goes Airborne In The Snow – Photo Courtesy: Hoonigan

Here are some tips that we think will help you drive safely this winter:

Drive Smoothly! – This first step is a simple one. Driving smoothly and deliberately will reduce your risk of losing traction. Jerky movements of the steering wheel, gas pedal, or brakes can be enough to break your tires free of traction; causing serious problems. Drive like you have a bowl of hot soup filled to the brim on your dashboard!

Stay Back – The less traction you have, the harder it is to stop! If you are driving around other cars you need to stay further back then you would in normal conditions. You need to give yourself enough space to make an emergency stop if needed. The rule of thumb for this is to double your following distance in wet conditions, triple it in snow, and at least triple your distance in icy conditions! This will also give you more time to slow down for turns, which need to be taken extra slow in these conditions.

Watch Your Instrument Cluster! – If you aren’t already in the habit of keeping an eye on your instrument cluster, you should be! There are several important warnings that can show up here. The one we are focusing on however, is the Stability Control Light. This handy little amber light will flash anytime your wheels lose traction, notifying you that you should probably let off the gas or ease up on the brakes! If you accelerate hard, you will probably see this light, indicating that your wheels are spinning. It is very important when driving in the snow that you ease onto the gas when accelerating from a stop.

Look Where You Want To Go – This one is important! If you feel your car beginning to slide, NEVER look in the direction it’s sliding! You always want look in the direction you want to go. Most of the time, you will end up where you are looking. This is a rule that even race-car drivers follow to pull out of a skid!

These are just a few of the best tips for driving in winter weather conditions! We hope you have enjoyed this blog. If you’ve followed all the advice in this post and still find yourself stuck in the snow, check out our post on getting unstuck here! If you enjoyed this post and want more NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals content, like us on Facebook!

 

Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek Ski 2021

The New Year has been a sunny one in Pagosa Springs so far. One great place to enjoy the sun is on Wolf Creek! Every trail is open and there is snow in the forecast for this weekend. If you don’t have a pass already, they are available on Wolf Creek’s website here or in-person on the mountain! Season Passes are available as well as day passes. If you want to scope things out before heading up the pass, check out the Wolf Creek Live Webcams. They offer multiple angles of the ski area!

Wolf Creek

Don’t forget to wear layers and bring food and water with you, they’re are especially important at higher elevations. If you need snow gear, both Ski & Bow Rack and Summit Ski & Sports offer deals on tons of sport and outdoor equipment! If Wolf Creek has you hooked on this area, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can help you find your dream property!

 

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!

Fall Colors

The Best Drives For Fall Colors

Fall is here, and fall colors aren’t far behind! You can find beautiful scenery just about everywhere in this state, but the roads listed below are some of the best to see the bright yellows and oranges of autumn!

Fall Colors
Photo By: Gavin Kiker 
  1. San Juan Skyway – The San Juan Skyway is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the country. This 232 mile loop will take you through two National Forests, four mountain passes, and nine historic Colorado mountain towns. It takes roughly 7 hours to drive the loop all the way through, but we recommend taking your time and exploring along the way! Even if you choose to tackle just one section of the loop, you are sure to find large swathes of fall colors and beautiful scenery. Most of this drive is 2wd-friendly, but some parts may require higher clearance. If you are scared of heights, be warned there are some steep drop-offs as well as sections of road without guardrails in several spots on this drive.
  2. Boreas Pass – Boreas Pass Road stretches the 20 miles between Como and Breckenridge. This easily-accessible mountain road reaches 11,493 feet above sea level and eventually crosses the Continental Divide! This wonderful road has less traffic than others during the fall, making it a great area to see the colors change without crowds. The aspens on this road may form a tunnel in certain spots, making for a truly amazing view. This road is easily accessible by 2wd vehicles with low ground clearance.
  3. Kebler Pass – Kebler Pass is an awesome high-mountain pass connecting Crested Butte with Paonia to the West. This pass reaches 10,007 feet above sea level at it’s summit in the Gunnison National Forest. This drive takes you through one of the largest aspen groves in the United States, in the West Elk Mountains. You will travel West from Crested Butte to Highway 133, just north of the tiny mining village of Somerset. The road is accessible by low-clearance 2wd vehicles and takes roughly 2 hours to drive through. It is open seasonally, May through November.
  4. Trail Ridge Road – Trail Ridge Road is a stretch of US Hwy 34 that takes you from the East side of Estes Park to Grand Lake, CO in the West. It is the highest paved through road in Colorado, peaking at 12,183 feet above sea level. 11 miles of this road are above the tree line, making for great, almost aerial views of the autumn colors below. Driving straight through takes roughly 2 hours, but there are enough pull-outs, scenic overlooks, and side trails to make this drive a full daytrip!
  5. Last Dollar Road – Last Dollar Road is an unpaved, seasonal (Summer & Fall) route that takes you from Ridgeway, CO to Telluride, CO. This trail gives you fully unobstructed views of Wilson Peak and the Sneffels Mountain Range. The fall colors will really start to show around mid-September, making Last Dollar Road a great destination for photographers.
  6. Independence Pass – Independence Pass, the highest paved pass in the United States, passes over the Continental Divide between Leadville and Aspen. This pass is 32 miles long and summits at 12,095 feet above sea level. There are many places to stop and take in the views along this road. Roaring Fork River hugs the road for several miles and there are also several great aspen grove views along the way.
  7. Alpine Loop – Alpine Loop is a circular route that takes you over Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass. It connects Lake City with Ouray and Silverton. The loop is 65 miles long and can be completed in as little as 7 hours. There are several abandoned mining and old west features along the trail that you can explore; they make for interesting foregrounds in your fall color photos!
  8. Pikes Peak Highway – Pikes Peak Highway is 19 miles each way and takes about 2 hours round trip to drive. Once to the top, you are greeted with 360 degree views of the mountains, including the front range. Pikes Peak highway is a great place for large panoramas of the changing fall colors!
  9. Bachelor Loop Tour –  The Bachelor Loop Tour is a 17 mile loop that takes you through the historic mining district above Creede, CO. This 4wd-accessible road takes you through several ghost towns from the mining boom, some of which once rivaled Creede in size! There are many photo opportunities along this loop so be sure to bring your camera. High clearance vehicles are recommended for the best experience.

These are just a handful of the hundreds of places to see the Fall colors Colorado is so known for. If you are wanting to plan a trip, but can’t decide when, the Forest Service has a regularly updated Fall Color Report that tells you what stage the leaves are at! If all this talk about Colorado has made you want a home of your own here, you can view our featured listings or give us a call at (970) 507-8655!

Off to the Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Sometimes staying in the same place for too long can be tiring, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Luckily, Southern Colorado is full of places to explore! If you are having trouble deciding where to go or just looking for somewhere to escape for the day, Great Sand Dunes National Park is a great place to start!

Topping out at around 755 feet high, these impressive sand dunes are the tallest in North America. The dunes are surrounded by the 14,000 ft. peaks of the Sangre De Cristo mountain range, the Southernmost range of the Rocky Mountains. The contrast between the light sand of the dunes and the dark greens and blues of the mountains makes for a truly stunning view. If you like taking photos, you are sure to enjoy this area!

Sand Dunes
Photo By: Gavin Kiker

In addition to taking in the views, visitors to the Great Sand Dunes can enjoy hiking and camping all throughout the park, splashing in Medano Creek when it’s flowing, and even sand-boarding and sledding. (Think snowboarding but with sand.) Sand toys are available to rent right before entering the park.

If driving slow offroad is more your speed, the Medano Pass Primitive Road may be for you! This 22 mile 4wd-only trail connects the Great Sand Dunes with Wet Mountain Valley and Colorado State Highway 69. The trail crosses Medano Creek nine times, and also takes you through some deep sand and even Bighorn Sheep habitat at the higher elevations.

Whether you want to backpack in and spend the night, or just pack a picnic and take some photos, Great Sand Dunes National Park makes for a wonderful Southern Colorado day trip! If you would like to see our featured homes in the area, click here. Don’t forget to like NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals on Facebook for weekly virtual open houses and more!

Scenic Drives In Pagosa

The Best Scenic Drives For Your Colorado Vacation

Pagosa Springs is home to some of the best scenic roads in Colorado. With more than 3 million acres of National Forest and wilderness areas, you are almost guaranteed to fall in love with these views as you head down the road. Below is a list of some of the best scenic drives Pagosa has to offer:

  1. Mill Creek Road – Turn off of Hwy 84 onto Mill Creek Road, next to the county fairgrounds. At 32 miles round trip, this road provides great panoramic views of Squaretop Mountain, as well as the upper San Juan Valley and the Blanco Basin. All but the last mile or so is accessible with any conventional vehicle, however 4wd is recommended if it has been raining. The road dead-ends, so you must return via the same route.
  2. Blanco Basin Road – Head south down Hwy 84 to the Blanco Basin Turnoff (CR 326) for amazing views of the Continental Divide, Squaretop Mountain, and Oil Mountain. If you have time for a  quick (6 mile) side trip, I recommend taking a right turn onto Castle Creek Road (FS 660) across the Rio Blanco to Fish Creek. These roads dead-end and are approximately 40mi round trip.
  3. Lobo Overlook – Accessible from June to September, this spectacular overlook is located on the summit of Wolf Creek Pass on the North side of the road. With restrooms and a picnic area at the top, this is a great place to stop for a quick photo-shoot or just a lunch break! Accessible by conventional vehicles.
  4. Plumtaw/Piedra Loop –  This 35 mile long Forest Service Access road begins in town as Four Mile Road and soon transitions into one of the highest forest roads in the area; making for great vistas and fall foliage opportunities. As Plumtaw transitions into Piedra Road (CR600,) you will cross over the Piedra River, and pass by the beautiful Piedra Gorge. This dirt road is accessible by all vehicles in the summer and fall months.
  5. East Fork – Located 10 miles down Hwy 160 on the right, East Fork provides incredible scenic views of “beehive” rock formations, as well as many valley and river views. The drive includes 2 river crossings, as well as some technical terrain so 4 wheel drive and high clearance is required. At the upper end of the valley there is a fork; going left will take you over Elwood Pass all the way to Summitville.

These are just a few of the many scenic drives Pagosa has to offer. It is recommended to check road conditions and closings here ahead of time so your drive goes as smoothly as possible. Drive Safe and don’t be afraid to explore!Scenic Roads