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Winter Access on Mountain Ranches

Winter DrivingRanches in the Rocky Mountain West are often times located at high enough elevations where snow accumulation can make vehicular access a real challenge during winter months. For those properties that are off the beaten track or not directly on a plowed county road, many times owners are left to their own devices to keep their roads open. Plowing private mountain roads during winter is a big undertaking, so many landowners and managers will hire local contractors to keep roads cleared. Depending on how much plowing is necessary, it can quickly become economically unreasonable to conduct continuous plowing, and in this case, many ranches shut down through winter and are forced to become seasonal properties. This circumstance is unfortunate as landowners do not get to enjoy their property year-round and the seasonal limitation can have an adverse impact on market value when compared to similar properties with good vehicular access throughout the winter. Landowners have attempted to utilize many different snow going vehicles, from snowmobiles to snow cats, but for varying reasons these vehicles have not been practical or successful in keeping access open in places with considerable snowfall.

Singing Elk Ranch located between Steamboat Springs and Vail Valley has figured out a solution to this problem. After trying many other options, the owner, in cooperation with several other nearby owners, recently purchased a revolutionary vehicle that is specialized for easy operation over snow. This unique snow coach is a modified full size Dodge Ram pickup truck equipped with four independent tracks (similar to snowmobile tracks) in the place of traditional wheels. This technology, called “Mattrax” has been perfected over the last decade and transports passengers and cargo very reliably and comfortably at speeds up to 35 MPH, carrying up to four passengers. Not only does this vehicle realistically open up the property for winter visitation, but it’s also a fun way to get there.

Mattrax truckThe road leading to Singing Elk Ranch is plowed by Routt County for most of the way, but the last few miles are not because there are so few residents in this private area of the valley. As a result, from roughly late November until mid April (when snow melts) this final section of the road is buried in snow. Singing Elk Ranch’s manager maintains and drives the snow vehicle and coordinates its usage with owners so it is easy for them to get in and out during winter. Visitors simply drive to where the plowing stops on the gravel road and securely park their cars, transfer into the Mattrax vehicle with all their cargo and enjoy the approximately 30 minute ride to the ranch.

This arrangement will transfer to new ownership of the ranch and will allow a buyer to continue to enjoy the incredible year round recreation that Singing Elk Ranch offers. Winter showings utilizing the snow coach can be arranged for qualified buyers. For more details please contact listing broker.Mattrax truck on Singing Elk Ranch

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