Land for Sale in Colorado
Many people associate the state of Colorado with the Rocky Mountains, and they are perfectly justified in doing so. The highest peak in the entire Rocky Mountain range, Mt. Elbert, whose height is a stunning 14,433 feet above sea level, is located in Colorado. However, the truth is that Colorado is a vast and diverse state, reaching across 104,100 square miles of terrain that varies from plateaus and valleys to the lowlands that make this unique state a member of the Great Plains states. Only 32 percent of Colorado’s land is covered with dense forests, making greenery relatively sparse in many regions of the state.
Colorado was named after the “color red” of the muddy Colorado River, the principal river of seven southwestern United States and two Mexican states. The state is home to three other major rivers: The Rio Grande, the Arkansas River, and the South Platte River run through the state, as well. The continental divide runs through Colorado, causing some of its rivers to flow to the Pacific Ocean while others head south to the Gulf of Mexico.
Colorado was once home to native peoples, who hunted the buffalo herds that grazed in the lowlands. When gold was discovered in the Rockies, however, a tide of settlers forced the indigenous tribes to relocate, many of them out of state, to reservations. Some of the state’s heritage has been preserved in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado’s southwest corner, where visitors can see Pueblo cliff dwellings in a preserved setting.
Colorado is divided into several distinct regions separated by industry, climate and population. Though 36 percent of the state is government-owned, plenty of Colorado land parcels are available for investors from less than $1,000 per acre, but high-end lots go for upwards of $200,000 per acre.
The high Rockies, in the northwestern corner of Colorado, is a region where the headwaters of the Colorado River meet red-rock mesas and the snow-capped mountains of the Rockies. Colorado’s mean elevation is the highest of any state in the nation, thanks to the more than 1,000 mountains whose peaks climb to elevations of more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Fifty-four of these peaks are called “fourteeners” by Coloradans because they soar over 14,000 feet. Understandably, this is an ideal location for some of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts, including Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail.
The mountains are rich in minerals, but they have created a difficult terrain for settlement and development. Cities in this region are few and far between, nestled within the valleys between the peaks. Few inhabitants live within most of these cities. Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado, boasting a population of only 58,500 residents. It is situated in the Grand Valley alongside the Colorado River, surrounded by mesas that rise out of the desert. Grand Junction and Palisade produce a large amount of Colorado’s wine. While many people are unfamiliar with the Colorado wine industry, the state offers a unique advantage to vinification. Because of the high altitudes of High Rockies vineyards, fewer pesticides are needed to control insect populations. Also, the grapes grown here are much less susceptible to blight or mildew.
North of Grand Junction, Mount Garfield and the Bookcliff Bluffs are located just east of the largest flat-top mountain in the world: the Grand Mesa. South of the city, the Colorado National Monument is punctuated with formations of red sandstone, painting the great canyon with vibrant color. Pinnacles and monoliths create a breathtaking panorama that more than 275,000 visitors flock to witness each year.
Real estate in the high Rockies region ranges from less than $250 per acre to more than $5,000 per acre according to its terrain and vicinity to the nearest city. Lots may feature wooded hills, sprawling plains or soaring peaks in this diverse location.
Colorado Front Range
In the center of northern Colorado, the Front Range divides the eastern plains from the Rocky Mountains. This is a picturesque mountain range, where the peaks are not quite as high as they are further west in Colorado. The Colorado Piedmont, a hilly valley at the base of the Front Range, is situated at a lower elevation than both the mountains and the eastern plains.
The majority of the state’s 4.3 million residents call the Front Range region and the Colorado Piedmont their home. The major cities of Denver, Aurora, Fort Collins and Lakewood are all situated within the Front Range. The two largest universities in the state Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder are also within this area, making it a lively hub with plenty of entertainment.
The people living in the Front Range region enjoy being outside. From the majestic peaks of the mountains to the west to the valleys below, the terrain of the Front Range is suited to outdoor adventure. Camping, fishing, hiking, backpacking and rock climbing are popular activities in the summer months, especially in popular destinations like The Rocky Mountain National Park, Routt National Forest and Arapahoe Roosevelt National Forest. Hunting is also popular in this region. In the winter, the Front Range comes to life. It is home to some of Colorado’s best-loved ski resorts, including Winter Park and Eldora, where winter sports enthusiasts enjoy some of the finest white powder in the United States.
Denver, the “Mile-high City,” is aptly named. At precisely 5,280 feet above sea level, this city offers all of the amenities of much larger cities. It is a popular destination for sports, cultural attractions, theme parks and dining for visitors from around the entire world. Denver is home to more than 600,000 people, but the sprawling metropolitan area encompasses most of the Front Range region. Denver is known for being an environmentally conscious city: Green initiatives drive the community. It is home to more than 200 lush parks, where residents can enjoy the outdoors within the city limits. Museums, botanical gardens and a sizable zoo are also popular attractions.
Understandably, land in the Front Range is at a premium. In the far reaches of the region, it is possible to find parcels at less than $1,000 per acre, but typical prices hover between $3,000 and $5,000 per acre. Near the cities, a single acre can command upwards of $200,000.
The south-central region of Colorado is in the center of the state and is sandwiched between the other regions. However, it has an identity all its own. Natural and man-made attractions mingle in this vibrant region, which stretches from the San Juan Mountains at the New Mexico border up to the base of the Rocky Mountains near Denver.
South-central Colorado may be the most diverse region in the state when it comes to its terrain. Mountains, high plains, valleys and forests capture the eye and the wonder of those who behold this unique location. Ancient pine and spruce forests, alpine lakes and tundra, wetlands and grasslands, can all be found here. Pike’s Peak, the most famous of Colorado’s “fourteeners,” is found in the south-central region and is the most visited mountain in all of North America. It is near to Green Mountain Falls and the majestic red rock pillars at the Garden of the Gods Park.
Colorado Springs, the second-largest city in the state, is the jewel of this region. The city is rich with historical interest, with museums and landmarks recounting its history. There is also a wide selection of modern-day amenities, including shopping boutiques. Colorado Springs is also home to Colorado College and the United States Air Force Academy. Nearby Wolf Creek, Aspen and Vail offer skiers the thrill of Rocky Mountain winter sports.
Investors can expect the price per acre to fluctuate widely for land in the south-central region, depending on a number of factors.
The mountains of southwestern Colorado are known for their beauty. There is an abundance of unique and spectacular natural landmarks, in this area, which are preserved by the protection of the Rocky Mountains. There are few people living in this region, so the splendor of the gorges, canyons and mesas are easily accessible. The Continental Divide runs through this region, running between the Uncomahgre and Colorado plateaus. The southwest corner of Colorado is a part of the “Four Corners:” the only place in the nation where four state lines meet. Visitors can simply turn their bodies and visit Arizona, New Mexico and Utah without stepping foot out of Colorado.
The southwest mountains are home to the West Elks American Viticulture Area, where a large share of the state’s wine production vineyards dot the landscape, particularly near Montrose. The Million Dollar Highway twists and turns through the San Juan mountains along a number of towns that were once home to mineral mines. Today, these towns are home to world-class ski resorts, including Silverton and Telluride.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the parks in the southwest, including Gunnison National Park. The twelve-mile gorge is a great destination for rock climbing, fishing, horseback riding and fishing. Expert kayakers can even paddle the river at the bottom of the Canyon. The southwest region is an excellent retreat for those looking to connect with nature.
Real estate in the southwest region is available from $500 per acre. Near the resort cities, investors can expect to pay much more, but most of this area hovers around $2,000 per acre.
Colorado’s eastern plains span from the borders of Nebraska and Kansas, to the Colorado Piedmont and south-central Colorado. This region is a part of the High Plains, the westernmost portion of the Great Plains, which extends from Wyoming to the Texas Panhandle. Despite the fact that this is Colorado’s largest region, it is the least densely populated of any in the state. The principal city in the area is Pueblo, which boasts a population of only 106,500.
The terrain in eastern Colorado is low and vast, but it is not completely flat. The elevations of the plains vary from 3,500 to 6,000 above sea level, with scattered buttes and ravines creating a picturesque landscape. Though steppe and shortgrass prairie are the most predominant vegetation in the plains, pinyon pine and juniper trees are not uncommon. Throughout the region are natural lakes and rivers that divide the plains and provide lush oases in which flora and fauna, including the American bison, thrive. In the valleys and canyons, scattered deciduous forests of elm, cottonwood and willow can be found.
The splendor of the Great Plains is preserved at both the Pawnee and Comanche National Grasslands Preserves, where visitors can enjoy the serenity of days far in our past, from the Overland Trail to the Pony Express. There are even fossilized dinosaur tracks through the plains, revealing a unique glimpse of prehistoric Colorado. The Royal Gorge Bridge spans one-quarter mile across the Arkansas River at 1053 feet and is the world’s highest suspension bridge. It is located near Cañon City, and there is a theme park situated near this landmark.
Residents of the area use the land for farming, but the arid climate requires irrigation systems. Additionally, the region is vulnerable to thunderstorms, tornadoes and landspouts. There are large parcels available for purchase here. Investors can expect to pay between $500 and $5000 per acre for real estate in the eastern plains region of Colorado, depending on its vicinity and features.
Colorado is home to a wide range of both growing and established industries. It is an operational hub for business and industry in the Rocky Mountains and its success can be traced to its emphasis on higher education and strong partnerships between the private and public sectors. Colorado’s business economy is one of the strongest in the nation. Aerospace technology, telecommunications, biotechnology and research are popular modern industries, while the tried and true trades of mining and agriculture still thrive. Wheat, cattle and sheep are major exports from the field, and the mountains hold a wealth of silver and gold.