I am thinking about purchasing some raw land in Northern New Mexico or Colorado. I wanted to hear any opinions of where you guys would buy. I live in Texas and plan on spending about 4 weeks a year in Colorado until I retire (15 years) and then spending 3-4 months after. Wife has vetoed a move due to cold.
Factors to consider:
1. Fishing most important
2. Activities near for none fishers (wife, inlaws, guests etc)
3. Winter access - not 100% required if low price
4. Near ski valley - If property has winter access, a ski valley within an hours drive would be nice.
5. Price - always a factor
What factors would you consider? Where would you look? Am I crazy? I am thinking around Durango. But I am wide open. This would be an investment that I may never build on but in the event I do would like to make a sound decision.
Most folks that know me know that the Durango area may be my favorite fishing destination. You have many small mountain streams that are dry fly heaven. You have the Animas River that is loaded with big browns. One hour south of Durango is the San Juan River which is arguably the best rainbow water in the United States.
Durango has many activities for the non fisher. That's why I like to take my family there. The property is expensive and it gets mighty cold in the winter... but it would be my choice area for a vacation home.
I am jennifer.I live in colorado.I am planning to come to mexico with my wife the next week.I know that Mexico is famous for Fishing.I am planning for coldwater flyfishing there.
jennifer New Mexico Drug Addiction
Durango would definately be a good choice. I love that area of Colorado! Some very nice choices for fishing nearby and they have a ski resort just north of town. I've never priced property down there but my guess it's going to be EXPENSIVE, unless your willing to live a ways out of town. I've fished the San Juan 4-5 times over the years and love that fishery. Its your typical tailwater, where the fishing can be very technical but the rewards are amazing.
I floated the Colorado River a couple of weeks ago. We were west of Glenwood Springs (another beautiful area, but very expensive), we floated from New Castle to Silt. About half way through the float on the south side of the river they are putting in a new housing development. I ask the guy that was fishing with us (he was local) how much the lots were selling for, he told me they start at $136,000. Now mind you this is 20 minutes out of Glenwood Springs in the middle of no where!
My son's mother-in-law lives just outside of Carbondale, CO, up on a ridge, with breath taking views. The road up off the valley floor is paved but you still need four wheel drive in the winter to get to her place. She has a self built home sitting on 5 acres (the house is nothing fancy, but very functional with a one car garage). They had it appraised last year and I think they told me it was $565K.
When I was in CO they had a special 1 day license that was cheap something like $5 so if you go NM you can always travel and not spend much on a license. Now I was in south central CO and down there, wasnít much for large trout. I found some ponds but often the DNR comes and takes the larger fish out. They use them as grow up ponds that people can come fish or hunt on. The place is closed down in the spring and summer to let the birds nest. Heading west up into the mountains the Rio Grand can be good at times. Didnít fish it much due to the water level swings. The Rio has a dam up in Creed that often messes with the fishing around the South Fork area. Most reports were late spring were best since the water was starting to drop and the current wasnít as strong. Most people used nymphs and lot of weight to get down behind the big rocks. I fished the south branch of the rio and the beaver creak areas. Lots of fish but 15" was the biggest. It was hard at times to figure out what they were browns or rainbows. Kinda hard when the fish are all pail in color. I also had heard that below Durango on the San Juan River can be good but I never ventured there since it took 2 hours to get over the mountains to it. There was a river that my buddy and me started fishing my last spring down there. The Conejos. It was a better river with lots of browns in that 10"-15" range. Lost of area that is fly only. Prob is that you are limited to how far up you can go until May 31. They got parts of the road closed off. I was told that there can be come really good fishing up there. Also there are a few camp grounds down there that buy their own fish for staking and dont like out side people coming in. Oh I guess I havnt said where I was, it was down in Alamosa. They have an airport with flights to Denver so that was nice. I didnt do much fishing out side of there.
If you are serious about property.....let me know. We have river property on the San Juan that is for sale. This is prime water.....dry fly heaven! You've never had dry fly fishing this great!!!.....if you have....Welcome Back!!!
Just a few more thoughts about this area.......
a) Best rainbow fishery in the west...BAR NONE !!!!
b)Just below New Mexico's 2nd largest lake....northern pike,smallmouth,largemouth,rainbow & brown trout....plus kokanee salmon......
not to mention all the summer lake recreations & water sports
c)Local Aztec Indian ruins for sightseeing
d)Colorado's best snow skiing within 2 hours.....Durango Mountain Resort 1hr 15min.....Wolf Creek 2hrs
e)Aztec NM 20min.....Farmington NM 35min.....Durango CO 50min....Pagosa Springs CO 90min for shopping
f)Las Vegas casino style gambling in Farmington NM & Ignacio CO both 35min
Don't forget about the thousands of rainbow,brown & cutthroat spotted friends waiting to meet you & your family!!!
I grew up in New Mexico, and have lived all over the West and Alaska. I always gravitate back to NM. I love southern Colorado, but hate the crowds and foo-foo atmosphere that have negatively impacted this area. Real estate prices have taken off all around Durango, Pagosa Springs, and anywhere within a 1 hour drive of a ski area. For New Mexico, I would consider:
1. Four corners area as mentioned above. The San Juan river is great if you don't mind the crowds and you are also close to the streams of SW Colorado. You can ski at Purgatory outside Durango or at Wolf Creek near Pagosa. The area around Farmington and Aztec is economically depressed, and you may not find the cultural amenities you like. It is a long drive to the nearest decent-sized city, and specialty medical care. This is arid, high plateau country with pinyon-juniper and sagebrush that still gets pretty cold in the winter.
2. Santa Fe or Taos. Talk about pricey real estate! But, lots of cultural stuff, museums, art galleries, and espresso shops if that is what you like. Not too far to Albuquerque (Santa Fe) and a real airport. Both are within 1 hour of some very good trout fishing with lots of variety--- small mountain streams to tailwater fisheries and even lakes. Specialty fly shops. Several guide services. Skiing would include Santa Fe ski area which isn't bad and about a 30 minute drive from downtown, and Taos which is one of the better areas in the west, IMHO.
3. Los Alamos/White Rock area. This would be a sleeper, and I don't know about real estate prices. Basically, surrounded by national forest at about 7,000-8,000 feet of elevation. Los Alamos has a strange "X-files" vibe to it, but the surrounding landscape is beautiful. Many nice streams withing a 20-30 minute drive, but this area gets hard-hit by Albuquerque weekenders since it is so close. Nevertheless, very good and consistent fishing for 7-15" mostly Brown trout that will hit just about anything in the surrounding Jemez mountains streams.
4. Southern NM (Silver City, or if you like tiny towns and remote, Reserve). You didn't mention this area, and the closest skiing would be in SE Arizona near Show Low, which wouldn't be a long drive. BUT--- This is a remnant of the old west, and in my opinion, one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of NM. As far as fishing, several small streams in the Gila Mountains some of which contain Gila trout, the rarest of the trout species. This is marginal trout habitat due to the southern latitude, but you will likely never see another fly fisherman on any of the rivers. Smallmouth bass are a possibility here, and a lot of fun on a flyrod. Several nice smaller lakes. There are real estate bargains to be had, especially if you want enough land to really spreadout a little.
You are going to have to just come out and take a look. Hope this is helpful.