Westcliffe, Colorado, is located in the heart of the Wet Mountain Valley which is flanked on both sides by two different mountain ranges. To the east are the impressive Wet Mountains, a large part of which is National Forest. And to the west, the snow-capped Sangre de Cristo Mountains dominate the scenery and form a spectacular backdrop for a panoramic mountain view that stretches as far as the eye can see. Custer County is one of the most beautiful spots in the country and is an outdoor lover's dream. Camping, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, four-wheeling, and hunting are among the many activities to be enjoyed. Fifty high mountain lakes, nearby Lake DeWeese, and the Arkansas River 25 minutes away offer great fishing, boating, and white water rafting. Monarch Ski Resort is an hour and a half drive from Westcliffe. Five 14,000 foot peaks in the immediate area challenge mountain and rock climbers. Wildlife is abundant with elk, deer, antelope, wild turkey, eagles, mountain sheep, cougar and bear.
A quaint, friendly, little Western town, Westcliffe is the county seat of Custer County, and along with its sister town of Silver Cliff, is home to about 700 people. Only about 3700 people live full-time in Custer County. Custer County School enrolls around 500 students each year, K-12, and the school week is only four days long. The county supports a medical clinic and ambulance service, a volunteer fire department, and an excellent library. Other amenities include shops of all kinds, a bowling alley and arcade, a health club with indoor pool, several art galleries, a variety of restaurants and churches, and a theatre which shows first run movies and many live performances from visiting artists, community theatre, and the school drama club
The valley floor consists mainly of large hay and cattle ranches that boast high quality crops. Westcliffe is a very rural part of Colorado where people come to enjoy the peace and quiet of the country. Much of the county is designated National Forest or Federal Wilderness Area, and the famous Rainbow Trail runs the length of the county along the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Visitors who've discovered the "best kept secret in Colorado" come back again and again.
A surprising number of events and club activities are also available for both residents and visitors with varied interests: gardening, shooting, quilting, horseback riding, 4H, history, chess, and many more. Westcliffe hosts an annual jazz festival, blue grass festival, classic car show, rodeo and county fair, Labor Day Western Days, and a Christmas Parade of Lights. A Fourth of July fireworks display over the lake gets oohs and aahs froom residents and visitors alike.
Colorado Springs is 75 miles away, Denver is 120 miles away. The climate is semi-arid with an average of 16-19 inches of precipitation annually. Because of the low humidity and an average 320 days of sunshine per year, the summers are pleasantly cool and the winters are milder than those in northern Colorado. Autumn foliage is gorgeous with aspen, gamble oak, willows, and cottonwood trees coloring the landscape. In spring, fields of wildflowers dot the valley and hillsides.
So come and take a look for yourself at our corner of Colorado. You might find that this is where you want to be.