Westcliffe is located in the Heart of the Wet Mountain Valley, between the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the West; and the Sierra Mojada, or Wet Mountains to the East, Westcliffe lies at an elevation of 7,888 feet.
The regional weather is pleasant with over 320 days of sunshine and average precipitation averaging 16.5 inches per year. With the low humidity, this semi-arid climate is similar to northern New Mexico.
Locals cherish the unspoiled natural beauty of the valley. Conservation groups and business owners work together in harmony to preserve the unspoiled vistas and wide open spaces, while sharing this truly unique part of Colorado with tourists, friends and families. Cultural non-profit groups like the High Mountain Hay Fever Blue Grass Festival, Wet Mountain Western Days and Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts sponsor exceptional events and draw audiences from near and far. The community features an outstanding medical clinic, local dental services and pre-school through grade 12 education. Recreational opportunities abound in the regions National Forests and federally protected wilderness area. Nearby Monarch Snow & Ski area offers downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities in addition to the miles of trails available locally for snow shoeing, Nordic skiing and snowmobiling. Wildlife is abundant including bear, cougar, deer, elk, big horn sheep, and turkey. The Property fronts Colorado Highway 69 at Hermit Road, located approximately ½ mile south of the County Courthouse.
Westcliffe is located in Custer County, Colorado, approximately 52 miles west of Pueblo on State Highway 96, 65 miles North West of Walsenburg on State Highway 69. The town is located in the Wet Mountain Valley, named so for the mountain range to the valley's east, a part of the San Isabel National Forest. To the West lies the Sangre de Cristo Range. The property elevation is 7,897.
The Wet Mountain Valley is bordered by the 14,000 foot peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range to the west, and to the east, the Wet Mountain Range which consists of 200,000 acres of the San Isabel National Forest. State land includes the 450 acre Lake DeWeese Reservoir and Grape Creek Canyon. Elevations begin around 7,800 feet and rise to 14,000 plus feet. The valley is surrounded by two federal wilderness areas, the beautiful, quarter million acre Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area and the 22,000 acre Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness Area. The valley offers an abundance of attractions and activities. The average winter temperature is 40 degrees daytime; the average snowfall is 100 inches. The average summer high is 80 to 85 degrees and the humidity is low. Average evening temperature in the summer is 55 degrees.
Custer County is close to several Front Range metro communities, but the county remains rural. Agriculture is the county's economic base, primarily in the hay and cattle industries. Tourism is also a significant industry in the community, which begins in early May and runs through hunting season, typically early November. As the county has many second homes and is becoming a retirement community for many, construction plays a large role in the economy as well. - Source: Custer County Visitor's Guide.
Custer County began like many Colorado communities, a pristine wilderness that provided Native Americans with a pleasant existence for centuries. By 1550, the Spanish Conquistadors had arrived in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to conquer lands, find riches, trade with Indians and convert them to Christianity. Then came the great explorers: Lieutenant Zebulon Pike in 1806 and Lieutenant John Fremont with renowned Scout Kit Carson in 1845. Soon mountain men and fur trappers followed, lured by the abundant trading posts, but no permanent settlement was attempted. Custer County History