Silver Lake, Winterland, CO
Silver Lake, Winterland – Colorado

The St. Mary’s Glacier neighborhood is named after the Glacier, and hiking destination, that sits on a mountain top at the northern border.

The neighborhood has different names and different phases/parts. It goes by St. Mary’s (for short), Alice, Winterland and Idaho Springs (mailing address).  Alice dates back to its mining origin.  Idaho Springs is in the address despite the proper town of Idaho Springs being a 25-minute drive to the southeast – This is because the Idaho Springs postal service handles the mail for the community. A St. Mary’s resident maintains a PO Box set up in the town of Idaho Springs to receive mail since mail is not delivered directly to the neighborhood due to occasional winter access challenges within certain parts of the community. Winterland is a subdivision at the northern part of the neighborhood. 

The way it looks on maps now, the development is composed of two subdivisions, the southern subdivision is St. Mary’s and the northern subdivision is Winterland; I haven’t found any clear physical markers as to where the one ends, and the other begins – it requires looking at a county plat map.

Mountain Home in St. Mary's
Mountain Home in St.Mary’s, Idaho Springs

While it is isolated it is still just a 25 to 30-minute drive to services and shopping in Idaho Springs and about 50-minute drive to reach the metropolitan Denver areas down off the mountain foothills; as well as Georgetown and Evergreen is less time. These subdivisions sit within a bowl created by mountain slopes except for the southern portion, which is open to distant views. The elevation gradually increases from south to north. St. Mary’s Glacier is perched above the northern extreme above Winterland and Silver Lake, which is a popular hiking destination.

Recreation abounds outside one’s door here; where one is immersed in a very special mountain environment and high altitude residential alcove.  Besides a variety of hiking, and ATV venues in and around this community, Silver Lake and Lake Quivira are both stocked fishing venues for the exclusive use by residents of this community.

One of the most surprising things to me, for a relatively isolated mountain community, is a community water and sewer system serves most properties here and the roads are maintained by a POA (Property Owner’s Association); namely, the St. Mary’s Property Owners Association; which is at this website: http://www.stmarysglacier.com

It’s a plus knowing the community water and sewer system removes the higher up-front cost of putting in a Well and Septic system and eliminates the risk of drilling a dry well.

Saint Mary's Satellite photo

A typical Well and Septic system in the mountains could easily cost about $40,000.  In contrast, depending on how close one’s home is to a water/sewer main connect here in St.Mary’s, it may only be about $18,000 or so to get water and sewer to a new home.  The roads inside these subdivisions are all dirt and gravel except the main ingress/egress road named Fall River Road, which takes one right up to Silver Lake in Winterland.

My finding is, those that live here year-round are inclined to help each other when needed. It is a community where most everyone is working together to make it the best it can be. There are the absentee owners too, who come here mostly just for a summer get-away since the winters are harsh and it takes a rather hearty individual to adapt to the winter weather and snowfall amounts. For those planning on living here year round, one must be able to handle high altitude living; the southern portion starts at close to 10,000 feet in elevation and rises to about 10,400 around Silver Lake in the northern Winterland subdivision and 10,600 feet as a maximum along the slope-side roads mostly located on a mountainside at the western side of St. Mary’s. 

The POA is responsive to the snow plowing needs of individual property owners, so if one is building a home or living by a street with no other homes or residents, or one is moving in as a year-round resident, the POA will adapt their snow plowing schedule to keep the roads clean to these inhabited homes and residents. The other situation that arises is when absentee owners come up a certain time during the winter, and their home is on a road that isn’t normally plowed due to no year-round residents. The owners know to contact the POA in advance to make them aware when they are visiting their property so the road(s) will be plowed when they visit.  Since Fall River Road is the only ingress and egress to the St. Mary’s neighborhood for residents and emergency response, it is plowed and maintained aggressively by Clear Creek County throughout the year.

St. Mary’s – “Hidden Pond” & Mountain View

If you wish to consider purchasing an existing home, land or building a new home here, it has many advantages for the hearty and intrepid in spirit. Asking the right questions and getting the correct answers are essential to making a purchase decision and undertaking proper due diligence. Please consider my help!

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