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Rocky Mountain National Park is fondly regarded, both near and far, as one of the American West's must-see places in the United States. Some will believe that by simply driving the Trail Ridge Road, they've have seen the most that the park has to offer - but it simply isn't true! Taking in those sights is in fact fantastic, but it's merely a scratch on the surface of everything else that's hidden deeper in the parks.

With 355 miles of hiking trails, 150 mountain lakes, and 60 peaks higher over 12,000 feet, there are many overlooked, underrated and solitary places for the outdoor-lover to explore. Though some of them may be more difficult to reach than others, we've compiled a list of 5 hidden gems within Rocky Mountain National Park to check off your list this summer....

 

Lake Verna

Imagine being surrounded by forest that is also surrounded by distant granite walls, standing at the edge of a jewel-like lake - alone. This is the sort of experience that Lake Verna offers. You can reach it by heading 7 miles up the East Inlet Trail Head from Adam Falls, headed to Lake Verna and Spirit Lake. It is a strenuous hike (and a MAJOR calf-burning workout) at 7 miles one-way and roughly 2,000 feet in elevation gain. But the sights you'll be greeted with make it well worth the effort! There are several back country campsites you can stay at, making it the perfect base camp for additional day hikes, fishing or spending the weekend.

 

(Photo Credit: Ian Glass)

 

Coyote Valley Trail

This particular spot is best enjoyed during the sunset hours, well after the swarms of day-trippers have come and gone. In the summer months during the twilight hours, the birds, moose and elk are most active, which can make for great viewing - if you're relatively still and quiet! It is an easy hike that's just short of a mile, with very minimal gain in elevation.

 

(Photo Credit: Grand Lake Chamber)

 

Timber Lake

Timber Lake is mostly free of obstacles and provides beautiful scenery and the opportunity to spot wildlife. The trailhead is located further up Trail Ridge Road and is just short of the first hairpin curve. If visitors continue to climb steadily through the forest, the trail will lead you to an open alpine basin underneath Mount Ida. Many backcountry camping sites area available for campers, making it a great getaway spot to view the starry skies - and maybe even catch a meteor shower! You're likely to be greeted by wildflowers along Timber Lake's banks the next morning.

 

 

Lion Lakes via Wild Basin Trailhead

Lion Lake #1 and Lion Lake #2 are truly hidden gems. Following the path, you'll continue along the North St. Vrain Creek for much of the way as it winds through deep forest and past several waterfalls and cascades. It doesn't take long before you find yourself in open meadows with views of the jagged peaks belonging to Mount Alice. You can expect exceptional alpine landscapes if you journey to either of the Lion Lakes. 

 

 

Lake Nanita

If escaping the crowds is your main priority, Lake Nanita via the North Inlet Trail Head may be just the thing for you. This is not an easy hike - at 21.6 miles round trip, it does take a certain level of commitment and time to complete. The nearest campsite from the lake is almost 3 miles down the trail, and therefor it does not get many visitors. As a result, the area is pristine and kept in it's beautiful, natural condition. Both Ptarmigan Mountain and Andrews Peak are visible lake-side, painting a mountain scene that simply cannot be rivaled.

 

 

Motivational Monday - Taking to the Sky

by Cory Dudley

 

 

Everyone's had that dream about soaring through the clouds. Maybe you look over and discover you've sprouted feathers, or perhaps you remain human but somehow are able to remain in-flight... No matter the details, people dream (and daydream) about taking to the sky. To start this week off, we'd like to indulge in that fantasy and share with you some Go Pro video footage of eagles in flight, along with inspiring quotes and poems about flying.

 

“Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace,
The soul that knows it not, knows no release,
From little things;
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.”

- Amelia Earhart

 

(Filmed in the French Alps, Chamonix)

 

Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.

- Socrates

 

(Filmed in Mt. Favre, Italy)

 

The bluebird carries the sky on his back...

- Henry David Thoreau

 

(Filmed over Mont-Blanc)

 

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.

- Victor Hugo

 

HOT PICK of the week!

by Cory Dudley

 

This week's HOT PICK is a light-filled 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom ranch in the Park Ridge subdivision of Longmont!

(Listed by RE/MAX Alliance on Walnut)

 

The home has a detached 2 car garage, and many recent replacements within the last 2 years, including: a new roof, a new electrical panel, a new furnace and a new hot water heater.

It also has all updated light fixtures and windows!

The location is wonderfully central in a quiet neighborhood near Clark Centennial Park, Centennial Park and the YMCA!

Get in touch with us today if you're interested in seeing this home or any others like it...

 

Longmont's Water Among the Best in Colorado

by Cory Dudley

What makes Longmont's water so special, and why does it taste so good? It's all centered around the fact that the water in Longmont comes from one of two sources, both of which flow straight from mountain snow melt and is all surface water.

 

 

"The water comes from wildland areas and not industrial ones, so we have a pretty good fresh source to start of with," Bob Allen, the operations manager for Longmont Public Works, says. "It's not exposed to industry or commercial area and it doesn't run trough big rivers that tend to warm up over time, so the water stays fresh and cold."

Longmont has the ability to access water rights from one of two sources, depending on the time of year; the St. Vrain during the winter months and via the Colorado Big Thompson Project during the summer. It takes 21 miles of pipeline to transfer the raw water to one of Longmont's water plants to run through six different filters, before adding in chlorine and flouride. "Longmont and it's raw water supply is a leader in Colorado because we have solid water rights in areas with good water quality," Allen states. "We're unique in that Longmont has had a plan for water supply for a long time and continues to modify that plan."

 

 

Water Facts 2015

(Taken from the 2015 Longmontworks Report)

 

 

But it isn't just the Longmont residents that praise the city for it's water quality - the beer industry has it's share of brewers who will say the same for it as well. Traditionally speaking, the best breweries are located next to good water sources, and Joe Schiraldi, the vice president of brewing operations at Left Hand Brewery, say that their address is no coincidence.

 

 

"The two founders of the brewery located it here in Longmont because of the water quality and the water quantity. Honestly, with an brewer here on the Front Range, it would be inaccurate if they try to put forth that the water is not a factor in the location," says Schiradli.

 

 

As the largest ingredient in any beer, quality water is an essential factor to breweries throughout Colorado. Water influences a beer's mineral content, how the materials in the beer interact with one another and even plays a role in hop efficiencies. Longmont water is a blank slate, chemically speaking, thanks to the six filters it passes through before being distributed. Contaminants that are removed include:

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which come from wildlife, sewage treatment plants, septic systems and livestock operations
  • Radioactive contaminants, which are not to be concerned over - they can be naturally occurring or the result of oil and gas production
  • Inorganic contaminants, such as metals and salts, which can be results from urban runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, farming or naturally occurring
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which come from both residential and other sources, such as agriculture and urban storm water runoff
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including volatile organic chemicals and synthetic ones. They are often by-products of industrial processes

 

Thanks to Longmont's superior water quality, the town has become a desirable  location to brewers and the water a pleasant perk for residents.

 

Bike to Work Day 2016

by Cory Dudley

 

 

Whether you bike to work normally, ride to save money and time, take the initiative in honor of your health and environment or enjoy the mode of transportation over other options, National Bike Month is your opportunity to celebrate the many reasons why we ride!

Though the "National Bike to Work Day" was May 20th, Colorado has taken an approach all it's own. Thanks to the beautiful weather, especially in the mountains, the state legislature moved it to June! Even if you don't usually hop onto your bike all that often, Wednesday, June 22nd is the time to give it a go.. Afterall, over 30,000 people participated last year!

 

How did "Bike to Work Day" even come to be?

It is a Colorado tradition. The City of Boulder celebrated it's first "Bike to Work Day" more than 25 years ago. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) began promoting it statewide and in 1995, the Denver Regional Council began aiding various cities and counties in linking smaller versions of the event together. Now it is celebrated in many communities along the Front Range.

 

 

So, why bike?

The real question is.. Why NOT? AAA states that anyone who lives 5 miles away from their office can save almost $6 for the day by riding a bike versus climbing in their car.

Not only will you save money, but it could help to save your life - According to Bicycling.com, someone who weighs 150 pounds and rides at the moderate pace of 10-12 MPH will burn 170 calories within 25 minutes!

 

I haven't been on my bike in a while.. How should I prepare?

Take a look at your bike for any obvious issues. Tires should be adequately inflated, the seat should fit your body nicely and the brakes and chains should be in working order. It's always a great idea to bring a flat tire repair kit, too! Also - don't forget your bike lock!

 

Is the weather good enough for biking tomorrow?

Right now the forecast is calling for a high that could reach 87 degrees, so make sure you wear sunscreen, light clothing and bring lots of water for the ride. There is a chance for storms but you should expect sunshine.

 

 

What sort of route should I take for my ride?

Often times we deal with roadside construction on our usual trek to work, which will now throw a wrench in your plans. Click here to find current road closures and by clicking here you can access a map that will give you routes from your house to work and back home again!

 

I might be too tired to bike home after working all day... How do I get home if I don't have my car or someone to pick me up?

If you can find the motivation and time to bike to work but not back home, RTD will allow people to bring their clean bikes onto light rails and commuter rails (buses are already equipped with racks.)

 

But I don't  enjoy riding my bike alone....

You're not alone in that! If you'd rather ride with a group, click here to check out a complete Colorado list of groups and get involved.

 

 

It can be difficult to have an appetite worked up early in the morning, but eating a powerhouse breakfast is essential to having a positive and productive day. To help you out, here's a list of breakfast stations all across Colorado. They all offer different types of food and at different times. Some are even hosting Bike Parties or are simple refreshment stations, so be sure to pick the best fit along your route.

 

 

 

You Want Your Dream House? No Problem!

by Cory Dudley

 

Cory Dudley and The Winning Team Real Estate Group has helped put another buyer under contract on their dream home! And wow- this one truly is a dream come true....

Check out these fantastic views!

 

 

 

 

Cory is super excited for his friends!

 

 

 

In all my years as a REALTOR® in Boulder County, I'm going to go on record and say that this lot is in the Top 3 "Best Of Boulder County" locations!

 

It is truly an honor to be involved in a dream come true...

 

 

Cory feels blessed and honored to be a top producing, full-time real estate broker and business owner in  beautiful Colorado. He gives everything he has to fulfilling his client’s dreams of home ownership - and it’s a privilege he doesn’t take lightly. His family includes his wife and daughter, and they feel fortunate to call Longmont their home.

Cory can be reached by mobile at 303.641.8597 or email at cory@justlistedcolo.com.

Call us if you want a 'SOLD' sign in your yard!

 

 

 

Motivational Monday - Shane Black Photography Time Lapse

by Cory Dudley

 

Our 5 minutes of Monday Motivation comes from Shane Black, owner of Shane Black Photography, in the form of a fantastic time lapse video. If you were ever looking for inspiration to hike trails, walk across deserts and camp beneath the stars, this is it!

 

(Photo Credit: Shane Black Photography)

 

He was born and raised in Ohio and is currently 'living on the road for a while,' and is known as a self described professional landscape, time lapse and astrophotographer.

Scenes in the video below come from various locations, all the way from Half Dome to Crater Lake.

 

 

The Effects of Limited Housing on Today's Market

by Cory Dudley

 

Maybe it’s because I’m in the industry, but I truly feel that it’s more than my circle talking about the housing shortage in Colorado. Even family from out-of-state want to know what’s happening. They all think it’s because of the marijuana laws. There’s a little to that, but mostly it’s because Colorado is an amazing state with so much to offer and so much opportunity; a booming tech sector, incredible outdoor activities (the list is long) - people want to be here! Specifically, on the Front Range, close to the Denver Metro Area.

But, sadly, we don’t have enough available housing for everyone to live – and – the rent is too high for an average family to pay and allow for other necessary expenses.

 

 

According to researchers, Colorado is ranked the 8th most expensive in the nation for rent in non-metro areas and 11th for overall costliness! Unfortunately, our wages haven’t caught up to this status, and to be able to afford an “average” apartment, it would require a wage of $21.12 or the equivalent of three, full-time, minimum wage jobs! Therefore, the recommended 1/3 of earnings going towards housing is no longer applicable, and there is limited ability to save money or put money towards other products and services.

So, that’s all pretty Debbie Downer (if you don’t know her from Saturday Night Live - she’s wonderful;)

 

 

Some folks are thinking outside the box and finding opportunity in all this craziness. According to a study on the Finder.com, there are currently close to 800,000 “spare bedrooms” available for rent. Often, these are rented by empty nesters or older residents. There are plenty of single renters that would jump at that opportunity!

However, folks considering renting need to make sure their municipal zoning laws are in cahoots with their plans… Rules/concerns about the number of unrelated individuals living together, mobile homes on properties, the concern over adequate parking, property values... All of these are valid points, but we need to be creative and allow for more amazing people to call themselves Coloradans!

We can accommodate, but communities will need to be creative and work to find equal ground. Colorado is my home - I’m fortunate to be here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I want anyone with the hope of living in this great state to have the same opportunity that I did 7 years ago.

In order to give buyers the best chance at success in finding a new home in colorful Colorado, whether it's a new start or just a move across town, you'll need an expert in your corner. Even in a buyer's market, there are so many benefits to working with a specialist who can aid you through the process - whether you're dealing with VA loans, FSBO's (For Sale by Owner), Foreclosures or FHA loans. Our team is equipped to guide you every step of the way!

We'd love to hear from you,

 

 

Christa is a Licensed REALTOR for The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate in beautiful Longmont, Colorado. Christa is The Winning Team's Buyer's Specialist. Her business background gives her the experience and expertise a Buyer needs and wants in today's competitive market. Christa lives with her contractor husband, Guy, and their two pups Bubba and Whim in the foothills of North Boulder. Christa can be found spending her free time mountain biking, skiing, running and enjoying her home and property. It's all that Colorado has to offer that keeps Christa and Guy happy, healthy and enjoying life to it's fullest.

Christa can be contacted via email christa@justlistedcolo.com  or mobile 303.913.9698.

Can't Beat the Heat At Our Office!

by Cory Dudley

 

Christa Kenny, Buyer's Specialist at The Winning Team Real Estate Group, has helped our first-time home buyers find their dream home.

 

 

Congratulations!

 

We can't wait to see what this young, industrious duo makes of this blank slate... So excited!

 

 

Christa is a Licensed REALTOR for The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate in beautiful Longmont, Colorado. Christa is The Winning Team's Buyer's Specialist. Her business background gives her the experience and expertise a Buyer needs and wants in today's competitive market. Christa lives with her contractor husband, Guy, and their two pups Bubba and Whim in the foothills of North Boulder. Christa can be found spending her free time mountain biking, skiing, running and enjoying her home and property. It's all that Colorado has to offer that keeps Christa and Guy happy, healthy and enjoying life to it's fullest.

Christa can be contacted via email christa@justlistedcolo.com  or mobile 303.913.9698.

 

A Day with Mike Lewis of Colorado Mountain School

by Cory Dudley

 

Our principal broker, Cory Dudley, is a Colorado-loving, adventure-seeking guy that is constantly aiming to push his limits and set his sights higher. Between friendly competitions with our Buyer's Specialist, Christa Kenny, and reaching to beat his own personal records and goals, it was no surprise when he decided to expand his knowledge of mountaineering by committing to a 9 hour trek up, through and over Colorado mountains. 

He was looking for a 'refresher course' of sorts - something to build upon the Intro to Mountaineering program that he'd already taken. When one of your upcoming goals is to put together an independent team and hike Denali in 2018, it makes sense that you'd prepare!

The best company to help him was the Colorado Mountain School. They took the time to evaluate Cory's needs and partner him with the right guide for his goals - Mike Lewis.

 

 

Mike is an AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide, and has been instructing since he was 19 years old. He's pursued guiding and instructing in his career ever since then, and his desire to create customized trips for individuals and groups of friends alike made him a great fit. After discussing the details and piecing together a combination of skill learning and hands-on testing, they convened at the Bear Lake trailhead at 4:30am.

 

 

The goal for the day was to focus on snow craft, which included reading snow conditions, patterns, assessing dangers and anchoring. Cory focused on learning how to self-arrest; a movement used by a climber who has fallen and is sliding down a snow or ice-covered slope. They stop the slide by themselves without recourse to a rope, or any other belay system.

 

 

Next, they hiked to Odessa Lake en route to Notchtop Spire Couloir. Timing and sliding ability are the keys to success in this particular 'no-fall terrain', and it requires expertise in judging snow stability.

 

 

They continued their journey by climbing Ptarmigan Fingers, and eventually topped at Flattop Mountain Trail, where they summitted Hallet's Peak. From there they went down Hallet's Ridge and through Ryndall Gorge To Emerald Lake.

 

 

 

If you want to customize your own adventure and hire a guide, get in touch with the Colorado Mountain School!  They offer private guiding 365 days a year and encourage anyone to customize their own experience.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 19

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