More than a century ago, miners hungry for their chance to strike it rich staked their claims at Lucky Camp near Hahn's Peak.
Visitors today, though not looking for gold, are buying lots and staking their claims on the area's breathtaking views of Steamboat Lake as well as the area's boundless recreation opportunities.
Remaining lots in the Lucky Camp at Steamboat Lake subdivision, on a portion of the original mining subdivision, offer the best views of the lake, Realtor Doug Button said.
"These are probably, in my opinion, some of he best lots around the lake," said Button of Button Realty Company.
Button owned five lots -- ranging between 35 and 40 acres -- in the subdivision, which sits partially on a ridge overlooking Steamboat Lake State Park. Two of the lots sold after the subdivision was put on the market last summer.
Button relisted the lots about three months ago, after installing phone lines and underground power, as well as roads and driveways to the properties. With one lot back on the market, four are available. Button raised the price of the properties about 10 percent, putting the lots in the $369,000 to $439,000 price range.
The building sites are several acres each and face southwest, toward the lake. Button didn't just "stumble across the sites" but chose the building areas carefully to maximize views of the lake and surrounding mountains but not of other homes, he said.
Button also chose building sites to allow future owners to drill wells in the lowest areas of the properties, where they may access a water table that should be fairly high, Button said.
Because the land is zoned for agriculture, horses are allowed on the lots. Button now grazes cattle on them.
The subdivision's covenants -- which include stipulations for using nonreflective building materials and limiting outside storage to outbuildings -- are designed to preserve the natural setting, as well as peace and quiet, Button said.
"I brought 26 years of experience in 12 different projects to this," he said, explaining his development history in the Steamboat Lake area.
Button began developing land around the lake in 1978 while working for a Florida lending company that foreclosed on a deed of trust for more than 6,000 acres of land in the area.
He developed the majority of the land until 1992, when he purchased the remaining 190 acres and ventured out on his own. He is selling the land to help downsize his overall inventory of properties.
Until about two weeks ago, interest in the subdivision was moderate, but this is the time of year when buyers typically start to make decisions on land they have considered throughout the summer, Button said.
Lucky Camp's location, about 25 miles north of Steamboat, may deter some buyers concerned about commuting to town, but that's ultimately what makes the area so desirable, Button said.
"The reason it stays so beautiful is because it's not for everybody," he said, noting that Routt County's snowplowing capabilities have made living in the area easier.
"There's no downside to living up there. ... It's just the way you structure your life," Button said.
For more information or to arrange for a tour of the Lucky Camp lots, call Button at 879-3945.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org