Vacation Homes: Southwest Colorado

Feb 16, 2010
Outside Magazine
San Juans, Southwest Colorado

The San Juans in Southwest Colorado   

If your favorite gear includes avalanche beacons or fat tires, this is your place. While the four counties of Montezuma, Dolores, La Plata, and San Juan make up a tiny slice of the state, they're packed with some of its best adventures: guided backcountry skiing at Silverton, backcountry ski touring along the San Juan Hut System, and epic mountain biking all over. "My friends in Moab come here to ride," says Chris Strouthopoulos, a Durango resident and an assistant professor at San Juan College, in Farmington, New Mexico. "That says a lot." Second-home options range from modern houses on the periphery of larger towns to true ranches reached by dusty dirt roads. Still, you're never far from outposts like Durango, Telluride, and Montrose.
NUMBERS: Three-bedroom places on 40 to 100 acres start at $500K; rustic homes on smaller lots abound at $200K-plus.
INTEL: The best deals, biggest acreages, and most seclusion are in western Montezuma and Dolores counties, near the Utah state line.
ACCESS: Durango (south) and Montrose (north) both have decent small airports that put you within two hours of most of the region.