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

Fire Ban Lifted

Campfires Now Legal

With monsoon season now upon us, the San Juan National Forest’s fire danger level has finally dipped down to moderate level. This means you can now have a campfire on your next outdoor adventure. Campfires are a great way to spend a warm summer night in Pagosa Springs, and in order to continue enjoying them,  we’ve put together some general guidelines to follow:

  • Clear 3 feet of ground down to dirt surrounding your campfire.
  • Bring a shovel and water with you, just in case.
  • Keep campfires small; they are much easier to control & put out.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Insure your campfire is completely out before leaving. If the coals are too hot for you to touch, you shouldn’t leave!

If you would like to see the current fire danger and restrictions, click here.

Following these easy guidelines helps to keep our forests open and healthy!

Campfire
Photo By: Gavin Kiker

 

Free Fishing Weekend – June 6 to June 7, 2020

 

 

Free Fishing Weekend – June 6 to June 7, 2020

                  A great time to try fishing in Colorado!

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The fish are starting to bite at waters all around the state. To give everyone an opportunity to get out and get some hits, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting resident and nonresident anglers of all ages to participate in its annual Free Fishing Weekend on June 6 to 7. The free fishing weekend is a great way to get outside with family and friends and take advantage of Colorado’s extensive opportunities to fish for a myriad of cold and warm water fish species.

Tips & Hotspots

There are many resources that Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers to help those interested in fishing throughout the state:

  • Fishing Report– This report offers a weekly fishing report from lakes all around Colorado
  • Fishing Atlas– This is an interactive map that shows the many waters people can fish in Colorado
  • 101 Places to Take a Kid Fishing– this webpage has an interactive map showing all of the possible places to take a kid fishing
  • Stocking Report– The stocking report shows lakes, ponds, and rivers that have been stocked with catchable (9 to 12 inch) trout in Colorado.

https://cpw.state.co.us/free-fishing-weekend

SUMMER TIME~ PAGOSA STYLE

Well it is official, PAGOSA SPRINGS IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!

2020.6.3 river

The weather is beautiful & there is plenty of water in the San Juan River to go rafting.  As we all start to get outside more and realize how much we have missed nature. Lets take this to time to EMBRACE LIFE ~ enjoy everyday, tell the ones you care about that you care, do the things that you have longed to do. Enjoy everyday and be thankful for this day.

If you are in need of a vacation rental while in Pagosa Springs, CO or maybe you are moving to Pagosa Springs- or maybe you are looking to BUY in Pagosa Springs, CO – YOU ARE IN LUCK !  We can assist you with all of that, WE have Short term & Long term rentals as well as a experienced & talented Real Estate Agents.

please visit our website at nexthomermr.com or call us at 970-507-8655.

 

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Wolf Creek ~Fresh Powder~Slope time

Welcome to Pagosa Springs, CO ! One of our main activities when the snow falls is skiing, snow boarding, and sledding or maybe just building the cutest snowman ever. Wolf Creek is one of the best places to play in the snow.  Wolf Creek was able to open on October 13, 2019 this was the second earliest in Wolf Creek history!

Courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Wolf Creek is excited to announce the opening of the upper mountain this weekend with Treasure Stoke, Bonanza, Elma, Nova, Lynx and the Magic Carpet lifts operating from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.!  The mountain will now be open 7 days a week starting this Saturday, November 23rd!  The ski area will be closed tomorrow, Friday, November 22nd.

****Snow report for Thursday, November 21st, 2019*****

Summit Base Depth: 18″

Midway Base Depth: 18″

New Snow (24 Hours): 12″

New Snow (48 Hours): 12″

New Snow (72 Hours): 12″

New Snow (7 Days): 12″

Latest Storm Total: 12″

Year-to-Date:  34″

  • Wolf Creek will be open 7 days a week for the season beginning Saturday, November 23rd.
  • Wolf Creek will be closed tomorrow, Friday, November 22nd.
  • To celebrate the opening of the upper mountain, Wolf Creek will be offering the Local Appreciation Rate until further notice.  Local appreciation rates are $54 for adults, $36 for seniors and $29 for children.
  • The Ski School will be available for both adults and children, including the Wolf Pup Program.  The Ski Rental and Boarder Dome will also be open, as well as Treasure Sports.
  • The Wolf Creek Lodge will be open this weekend with a full menu as well as the Prospector Grill, the Continental Espresso Bar and Base Camp, Wolf Creek’s Picnic Building.
  • There will be entertainment in the Main Day Lodge this weekend with Christof the One Man Band from Taos.
  • Check WolfCreekSki.com or 1-800-SKI-WOLF for the most up-to-date information.

With the new snow fall skiing or snowboarding  conditions perfect for your Thanksgiving holiday! There will be plenty of fresh powder when doing big air jumps or if you are more of a novice and biffs are your thing then you are in luck! Check out the rentals tab if you are in need of a short term rental.