TINY CABIN on TREED ACREAGETucked away in the tall timber is a 200 sq. ft. unfinished cabin, a place where one can take a much needed break. The sellers have drilled a good water well and the pump is installed and wired for use. The electric power has been brought to within yards of the tidy camping cabin, and the 5.83 acres are semi-steep and covered with tall Ponderosa Pine and some Aspen. Enter by way of a represent driveway winding through the trees where the land opens up to reveal the cabin, well, electric and a tree swing. Views from the land are to the east and south overlooking the rolling Wet Mountains and the quaint mountain town of Westcliffe is approximately 20 minutes away on county maintained roads. Westcliffe, Colorado is a place where one can live quietly, enjoying long summer days in the cool, high mountains. The weather and its many friendly residents are quite agreeable. Westcliffe is adjacent to the historic, mining town of Silver Cliff. Westcliffe and Silver Cliff are located in the Wet Mountain Valley, Custer County, at approximately 8000 feet. The two towns are bordered on the west by the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains that ascend to 14,000 feet on some peaks, and the rolling Wet Mountains to the east. The Collegiate Peaks can be seen in the north along with Pikes Peak, and the Spanish Peaks can be seen to the south. The Wet Mountain Valley is famous for its unparalleled views, rural-ranching lifestyle, and endless miles of wilderness hiking trails through high-mountain meadows bursting with wildflowers and over 40 high-mountain lakes for fly-fishing.The Ute Indians were attracted to the Wet Mountain Valley by the plentiful water and abundant game. In the mid 1500’s Spanish explorers entered the western edge of Custer County in search of gold, silver and the fountain of youth. Over three hundred years later Europeans finally found the precious metals they sought, however, we are still looking for the fountain of youth.In 1807, the Zebulon Pike expedition was arranged to explore the Rocky Mountain area. Pike and his men followed the Grape Creek tributary of the Arkansas River and discovered the Wet Mountain Valley at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Their expedition camped for a time in the valley and then moved south where they were captured by the Mexican army. Hunters and trappers such as Kit Carson and George Fremont followed Pike into the valley in search of the abundant wild game the Valley is still famous for.Gold and Silver are what put Custer County and the Wet Mountain Valley on the map! The first discoveries in the Hardscrabble area in 1863 were followed by rich finds in Rosita, Querida and Silver Cliff. The mine in Rosita attracted over 1500 residents by 1870 only to be played out by 1875. That same year the notorious swindler Walter C. Sheridan stole all the money from the Rosita Bank and the miners moved north to work in the nearby Querida mine. Searching for new sources of silver, the miners migrated to Silver Cliff as the mining in Querida played out. Three very prosperous mines, The Guyser, The Bassick and The Bull Domingo, continued to produce into the early 1900’s. At its height in 1880, Silver Cliff joined Denver and Leadville as one of the three fastest growing cities, boasting a population of over 5,000.With the discovery of gold and silver the railroad was not far behind and in 1881 The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad completed their line to the area, following the same path Zebulon Pike had, seventy-five years earlier. The D&RG terminated west of Silver Cliff creating a new town and by 1890 much of the ore had played out in Silver Cliff and the town declined. Westcliffe continued to prosper due to the Denver & Rio Grande and was eventually named the Custer County seat.The rest of the story of Custer County began in 1870 with the arrival of a large group of German immigrants who had originally settled in Chicago, but were convinced to leave their factory jobs there to settle the Wet Mountain Valley as farmers. Lack of experience caused many of the farms to fail, but in the same year Edwin Beckwith purchased land and brought over 1500 head of cattle from Texas. The fine grazing land and the ability to raise high-quality hay began an agricultural business which continues in the Valley today. By 1880, Mr. Beckwith had over 13,000 head of cattle and was elected State Senator.Custer County was formed in 1877 and is the 10th smallest of the 64 counties in Colorado. Its tranquil valley, spectacular mountains and thousands of acres of National Forest make the County a magnet for hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. The Wet Mountain Valley reminds visitors of what Colorado once was, and Custer County still is.Westcliffe is an easy 3-hour drive from Denver, 11/2 hour drive from Colorado Springs, and 45 minutes from Canon City and Pueblo.