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Come Visit Westcliffe!
The Wet Mountain Valley in south central Colorado lies between the Wet Mountains to the east and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range to the west. The towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff sit at an elevation of 7800', and look up to nearby peaks of 14,000' and beyond. The Sangre de cristo mountains receive the bulk of the area's snowfall, and the runoff results in vast mountainside forests of aspen, evergreens and wildflowers along with the lushness of the valley floor.
Though access is not difficult, Westcliffe is certainly off the beaten path. Via paved state roads which tie into US 50 and I-25, Denver is only 3 hours away, Colorado Springs 1 and 1/2 hours to the northeast, and Pueblo only one hour to the east. Most county roads are dirt and gravel, and maintained for year round access.
Westcliffe is not really a "resort" town, but essentially a ranching and farming community. Production of livestock and grains generate most of the valley's revenues. However, a substantial number of Westcliffe residences are seasonal or recereational. Although sparsely populated, the community offers a library, public school system and cultural events from rodeos to Jazz, art shows to live theater. There is a wide range of social, civic, and church groups in which to participate as a resident or as a visitor to Westcliffe.
Recreational opportunities abound due to the natural topography and pleasant climate: camping and hiking the hundreds miles of trails in the National Forests, including the Rainbow Trail and its offshoots; fishing the numerous pristine mountain creeks and lakes; water sports at Lake DeWeese in town or on the Arkansas River nearby; hunting large and small game throughout the area; mountain climbing; a day at St. Andrews public golf course; horsebackriding on your own or with one of the area outfitters; winter snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Not too far away you can find hot springs or enjoy alpine skiing at some of the nation's most well known resorts.
To those who live here or just visit, Westcliffe is a special place indeed. The unspoiled beauty, friendly rural atmosphere, dry and sunny climate, numerous recreational opportunities and rich history combine to make a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle which draws and holds those who appreciate an alternative to city living.