Think Snowshoe, Sledding or Hiking

Let’s go Hiking!  (or Snowshoeing or Sledding)

Let’s go Hiking!  (or Snowshoeing or Sledding)

Looking for a close in Front Range hike all within 10-15 minutes from Conifer, Evergreen or Pine?  Look no further than the vast Jefferson County Open Space Trail System.  With beginner and intermediate trails varying from .8 miles-6.5 miles, everyone will find something that works for them.  Best part is these parks are so close you can hike before work or after work or get a group of Mom’s and toddlers and hit the trails with your strollers.  What a great way to spend the morning or afternoon with your family.  Fresh air, Colorado landscape and of course an occasional deer of elk sighting.  Welcome home to your Home at Elevation in Jefferson County.  Looking for more real estate information about our mountain communities?  Call or text Diane Danek with RE/MAX Alliance at 303-519-1232. Jeffco Open Space & Staunton State ParkBelow is a partial list of Parks, for a full list please visit:  http://www.gohikecolorado.com/jefferson-county-open-space.html

Aldefer-Three Sisters Park                                           Clear Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park                                               Elk Meadow Park

Flying J Ranch                                                                  Lair o the Bear Park

Meyer Ranch                                                                    Mt. Falcon Park

Pine Valley Ranch Park                                                  Reynolds Park

Market Insights April 2020

landscape nature night relaxation
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com



                          2019                                                                 2020

New Listings Castle Rock

2,622                                                                2,648

Number of Units Sold Castle Rock

2,119                                                                2,171

Average Days on Market

19                                                                       19

% of Closed Price to List Price 

99.6%                                                               99.6%

Median April Closed Price

$455,000                                                              $459,900


While the COVID-19 crisis did affect some market areas in the Denver Metro area the data above suggests at least for the Castle Rock market, there was no adverse trends.  New listings are slightly higher in April 2020 as well as number of homes that closed is higher.  Average days on market remains consistent at 19.  In addition home sellers are getting a consistent 99.6% of list price.  Finally the median April closed price is slightly higher than 2019 at $459,900.

Six Important Things to Know about Mountain Lions

  1. There are estimates that roughly 3,000-7,000 mountain lions live in Colorado.  That is more than 6 per 100 square miles.  It is difficult to pinpoint an exact number as they are very elusive.
  2. Mountain lions are skittish, but as development encroaches into once wilderness type areas, mountain lion sightings have increased. Some are growing bolder as they become use to seeing humans.  They usually will target small humans who are also alone.
  3. Lions hunt big game, deer, elk, livestock and domestic animals like dogs and cats. They use their powerful bite to break the neck of their prey.
  4. Mountain lions are typically loners who mark their territory with piles of dirt and sticks. Their territory can range from 10 miles to 370 miles.
  5. Mountain lions are big averaging about 8’ in length and weighing an average of 150 lbs. Males usually are larger and can weigh as much as 200 lbs.
  6. Mountain lions are very athletic and have a reputation of being excellent jumpers. They can jump as high as 15 feet and as far as 40 feet.  Thus, they are very effective hunters.

When in the mountains, keep all your family together.  Don’t let children wander ahead or lag behind on your hikes.  Don’t wear ear buds and listen to music, you’ll want to be aware of your surroundings.  Do not run if you see a mountain lion.  Wave your hands, make yourself seem big.  For further information see : Colorado Division of Wildlife


Hiking near Denver

While numerous hiking opportunities abound near Denver, in this piece I’d like to focus on the Hermans Gulch Hike.  The Herman Gulch Trailhead is located about 20 miles west of Idaho Springs via I-70. From Denver, it’s about a 60-minute drive from Denver.  The trailhead is located right off Exit 218 by taking a right onto Watrous Way. There are restrooms available at the trailhead. As with all trailheads, but especially those right off the interstate, be sure that your valuables are out of site and locked up. The trail is located in the middle of the parking area, just to the left of the restroom.

The beginning of the hike features a steep rise in elevation as you listen to the cascading falls of the creek you’ll feel transported away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  The best time to hike to enjoy the wildflower experience is mid July to early August.  If you go prior to that point, be prepared to encounter some snow.  As always best to get an early start to beat the crowds and avoid those early afternoon thunderstorms.  You do not want to be on this trail during a lightening storm.  Prepare with layers, plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray and a lunch!  After the initial ascent, the trail levels out into a series of beautiful meadows highlighted by the abundance of wildflowers, water and occasional big horn sheep sighting.  Near the end of the trail there will be another incline to peak at the lake.  You’ll be mesmerized by the mountain views in all directions but truly the highlight here in the summer are the abundance of wildflowers.  A memorable and special hike you should put on your summer to do list!  For other sources of hikes check out dayhikesneardenver.com .

Fishing Season is Approaching


We here in the mountain communities of Conifer,Pine,Bailey and Evergreen are blessed to live in such close proximity to Gold Medal Waters for fishing.  What are Gold Medal Waters?  These are rivers,lakes and streams that are the highest quality cold-water habitats which have the capability of producing many quality size ( 14″ or longer trout).

Colorado Parks & Wildlife actively manages and establishes criteria to support the public interest in angling,observing and protecting these significant cold-water fishery resources.  A river or lake that produces a standing stock of at least 60 pounds per acre and at least 12 trout that are 14″ or longer per acrew on a sustained bases qualifies as Gold Medal Waters.

A river segment must be a minimum of 2 miles in length and lakes must be a minimum of 50 acres.  The following list will present your best chance for trophy trout fishing:

Gold Medal Streams

Animas River: From Lightner Creek to Rivera Crossing bridge
Arkansas River: From the confluence with the Lake Fork of the Arkansas, near Leadville, downstream to Parkdale at the Highway 50 bridge, crossing above the Royal Gorge.
Blue River: From Dillon Reservoir dam to Green Mountain Reservoir inlet; also from Green Mountain Reservoir dam to Colorado River.
Colorado River: From Fraser River to Troublesome Creek.
Fryingpan River: From Ruedi Reservoir dam to the Roaring Fork River.
Gore Creek: From Red Sandstone Creek to Eagle River.
Gunnison River: From 200 yards downstream of Crystal Reservoir dam to the North Fork of the Gunnison
North Platte River: From the south boundary of Routt National Forest to Wyoming (Northgate Canyon)
Rio Grande: From the Highway 149 bridge at South Fork downstream to the Rio Grande canal diversion structure
Roaring Fork River: From the Fryingpan River to the Colorado River.
South Platte River: 

  • From the confluence of the middle and south forks to Spinney Mountain Reservoir inlet.
  • From Spinney Mountain Reservoir outlet to Eleven Mile Reservoir inlet.
  • From Cheesman Reservoir dam to the south boundary of the Wigwam Club property.
  • From the north boundary of the Wigwam Club property to Scraggy View picnic ground.
  • Middle fore, from the Highway 9 bridge to the south fork confluence.

Gold Medal Lakes

North Delaney Butte Lake in Jackson County
Spinney Mountain Reservoirin Park County
Steamboat Lake in Routt County

Of course if you want to stay closer to home and you have small children, I highly recommend the Davis Ponds at Staunton State Park.  Here you can enjoy fishing from the ponds edge and catch some 6-10″ trout and watch your children/grandchildren’s eyes light up.  To them, that is a trophy!  If you want to know more about living in a home at elevation, visit http://www.homesatelevation.  I’d love to help you achieve your dream of living closer to all the amenities our mountains have to offer!

Volunteer this new year!



We serve our clients, we serve our patrons and of course we serve our families throughout the year.  If you’d like to find a way to give back to your community as we start the new year of 2018 I’ve summarized some ways to get started.  Whether you have 30 minutes or a half a day to invest you’ll be rewarded in so many ways.  A friendly smile, a pat on the back, a hot meal will make someone’s day or week.  Check out these sites:





One of the best experiences I’ve ever had was working on a home for Habitat for Humanity in the Atlanta area when we lived there.  Include your teenage children or other family members, it will be a bonding moment you won’t forget.  Homes at Elevation is going to make a commitment to volunteer this year and I’ll post a blog about my experience in the near future. Pick a cause you are passionate about and share your experiences on my facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/homesatelevation/


December Holiday Happenings

Hudson Gardens December

December Holiday Happenings

One of the most special things about the Holiday season isn’t the presents but the time you spend with your family and those you love. Creating memories together are the most precious things we have to share and be grateful for. Here are a couple of ideas as you plan some Holiday events with your family and friends:
A Hudson Christmas
Hudson Event Center 6115 S Santa Fe Drive
Dec 1-3, 8-10 and 15-31 from 5 – 8 p.m.
Admission $6-$9 (under 4 are free)
A premium holiday light show with thousands of twinkling lights in majestic trees and visits with Santa. Stoll along a festively decorated outdoor walking path and enjoy hot cider.

Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light

Open now through 1-1-18 5-9 p.m.
Admission $15-20 (under 2 are free)
Annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms the York Street location gardens into a twinkling winter wonderland featuring a large batch of sound-reactive, animated LED lights along with holiday treats and warm drinks.

Santa’s Village @ Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Location

8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton
Open Now through December 24 4:30-8:30
Admission $15-20
Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting Santa’s Village this holiday season. Meet Mrs. Claus, Santa and his reindeer while walking through colorful holiday lights. Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s cinema.