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Posts Tagged ‘South Rim’

BackCountry’s Run Wild 5k

by | May 9th, 2017

The Second Annual Run Wild 5K was a success! BackCountry families enjoyed a morning run on the South Rim trails right here in BackCountry. After the run everyone enjoyed a pancake breakfast from Flippin’ Flapjacks.

Good stuff for guys at BackCountry

by | October 29th, 2015

Ok, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way. BackCountry is wonderful for both genders. And of course, men and women like plenty of the same things. But are there aspects to BackCountry that men seem particularly to like? Definitely.

Hop onto one of BackCountry’s trails and you’ll probably run into several of the community’s very active bikers. The in-neighborhood trails connect to trails within the South Rim, the community’s private wilderness of 467 acres, and then to 26 miles of challenging trails within the greater acres of the Backcountry Wilderness Area. Bikers never get bored here. As resident Craig Wilmes says, the trail systems “are very well-maintained and offer various degrees of difficulty from ‘not-too-bad’ to ‘that was really hard.’” An avid biker, Craig hosted a community bike clinic in August and encourages fellow bikers to join him and a group of fellow riders each Saturday during seasonable months.

BackCountry Colorado south rim

And while we’re on the topic of the Backcountry, some residents have enjoyed taking advantage of the Highlands Ranch-organized activities there, such as archery, camping, and hunting deer, elk, and wild turkey. Best of all, these activities, like the Backcountry Wilderness Area itself, are limited to Highlands Ranch residents to prevent overuse.

Six years ago, BackCountry resident David Angard organized the very first BackCountry Golf Tournament as a way for residents to get to know each other. This annual charity fundraiser, held at the Highlands Ranch Golf Course, is still going strong. Prizes, lunch, and game rehashing are always part of the fun.

Another resident, Doug Teague, put together a basketball team, the BackCountry Coyotes, that plays in the Highlands Ranch Men’s Sunday Night 35+ League. Doug says he’s met a “ton of great people from BackCountry” and is “always looking for good players and beer drinkers to join the team.” If you’re interested, contact Doug at

BackCountry biking Colorado

Two other man-friendly options are monthly Cigar Nights and Poker Nights. Cigar Nights typically rotate between host homes, and include cigars, drinks, food, and conversation (women and non-smokers attend too, by the way). For more information, contact Tommy Yionoulis at Poker Nights are just getting off the ground, so contact Howard Wolsky at if you’re interested.

Gents, here’s the bottom line: between the abundant, outdoor activities and active, highly social residents, BackCountry is an excellent place to be—dude or not.  

Raise your hiking safety IQ

by | July 21st, 2014

In Colorado, hiking is skiing’s warm-weather cousin. Both provide fresh air, breathtaking scenery, exercise…and the attentions of a search and rescue team, should you go off half-cocked.

Because hiking involves nature, things simply aren’t as predictable as they are on the gym treadmill. So it’s a smart idea to have some basic hiking know-how before you undertake your first fourteener—or even head out to our nearby open spaces.

If you live at BackCountry, you’re probably already familiar with the trails in the Backcountry Wilderness Area next door—a conservation zone that stretches across 8,200 acres (and 467 acres of that is set aside for the private use of BackCountry residents). Veteran or beginner hikers alike should check out these basics to stay healthy, safe, and savvy about wilderness etiquette.

Plan ahead
Use a guidebook, call a park ranger, talk to the smart and friendly people at REI. You want to choose a destination that is full of beauty, not surprises like flooded trails and mountain lions. Get your permits, if needed. Check the weather before you go. Plan on hiking no more than 5 to 7 miles a day. Let someone at home know your plans, and stick to your route so you’ll be easy to find if necessary.
Hiker couple hiking in forest

Take someone with you
Solitude is a beautiful thing when you’re hiking, so use your head on this one. No worries if you’re just going for a stroll on a nearby trail where you’re likely to occasionally cross paths with some other humans. But if you plan to visit to rarely-traveled wild spaces, take someone with you. People in pairs are less prone to panic and can help each other (or go find help) in case of injury. Stay together!

Pack some essentials
On a serious hike, be sure to take a map, compass, or less reliably, a GPS device, which may or may not have service. Bring a flashlight, lighter, and/or matches (but be sure to keep them dry). A knife can come in handy in infinite ways. Pack a simple first aid kit with gauze and bandages, anti-bacterial cream, and aspirin. Don’t forget the toilet paper and sunscreen, SPF 30 or 45, reapplied every two hours or so. Remember, those burns happen faster at higher altitude.
family walking

Keep hunger and thirst at bay
Avoid dehydration, which quickly saps strength, by bringing plenty of water. Two quarts per person, per day is recommended. (Water weighs about 8 lbs per gallon, so no need to overdo it.) Drinking out of streams is not a good idea, unless you want to boil it or use water purification tablets (another conversation with the REI folks). People can do well with about 1 lb. of food per day. Grab some trail mix, dried fruit, energy bars, or jerky for snacks.

Dress for hiking success
Since weather can change quickly here in Colorado, wear layers. Breathable wind and rain gear are good to have too, depending on the forecast. Prevent blisters and all the attendant agony of hiking in bad footwear (shudder! See details in Wild by author Cheryl Strayed) by getting lightweight boots that are slightly larger than your street shoes and wearing breathable hiking socks.

Detail of man hiking
Be a nice guest

Realize that you’re in Mother Nature’s home, and that other hikers will want to discover a setting as pristine as the one you found. Don’t pick the flowers, be careful with fire and whatever you pack in, pack it out. Check out the Leave No Trace Seven Principles here.

Want more tips about hiking? The USDA Forest Service’s Trail Tips for Hikers and Backpackers is a great place to start.

Hitting the trails, your way.

by | April 10th, 2014

BackCountry South Rim
The perfect remedy for a long winter is a long, spring walk. Or bike ride. Either way, it’s definitely time to get out, stretch your legs and marvel at the season’s most welcome changes—like greened-up grasses, budding plants, and a new generation of wildlife.

BackCountry residents have countless miles of trails to enjoy. And always in a way that suits their lifestyles.

If you have a young family and need a low-key outing, keep to the trails that are delightfully close to home. Take the stroller-friendly Grand Loop from your home to one of the parks for some active playtime, or to the Sundial House for one of its many family-friendly activities. (Later in the season, you can stop by the pool.) If you want to venture a little further, hop on the Sundial Loop (either its .74- or 2.4-mile version), which takes you into the beautiful South Rim area, accessible only to BackCountry residents.

Maybe your kids are a little older, or it’s just the perfect day for a nice, scenic run or bike ride with a friend. Meet up near the Sundial House and take the BackCountry Loop, which takes you deeper into the 467-acre, private South Rim. Enjoy the hills and valleys. Scrub oak and pines. Birds and bunnies. You’ll have plenty of natural beauty to savor on the 3.5- or 2.1-mile path on this loop—which, again, is open only to BackCountry residents.

When you really want to make a day of it, venture off the BackCountry Trail to the Douglas County Regional Trail, which meanders through the Backcountry Wilderness Area—almost 13 square miles of pristine, conserved open space. Relish the great mountain vistas, pine forests, and rolling, oak-covered hills and grasslands that provide habitats for elk, mule deer, foxes, antelope, porcupines, eagles, and many other birds.

And while we’re on that topic, get a bird’s eye view of the trail system here.

BackCountry Hike at South Rim

by | September 18th, 2013

BackCountry families enjoyed a hike on the South Rim trails lead by Highlands Ranch park ranger and outdoor education specialist, Laura Lacerte. Face painting for the kids and an evening concert with live music by “Cut to the Chase” rounded out the perfect day at BackCountry.

True Colorado Wildlife Right Outside Your New BackCountry Back Door!

by | April 9th, 2012

For most of us Coloradoans, the idea of wildlife consists of our backyard pets, a pair of rambunctious squirrels, a smattering of robins and wrens and what we see on Friday nights at the local pub. If we’re lucky, we might spot an occasional coyote, pronghorn or falcon, but sightings are rare and usually distant. But those of us who are wild at heart crave something more from our Colorado living experience. Indeed, what we really want is to live as more of a participant in nature rather than just an observer of it. So then, where ought we to live? How about BackCountry in Highlands Ranch, Colorado’s 2011 Community of the Year, where true Colorado wildlife can be found every day, right outside your back door?

Perfectly situated at the gateway to 8,200 acres of Highlands Ranch’s exclusive Backcountry Wilderness Area—467 breathtaking acres of which are set aside for the private use of community residents–the BackCountry luxury home community is a nature-lover’s dream.

Residents of BackCountry take easy advantage of an extensive network of trails, parks, waterways and 240 acres of in-community open space to take in a wide variety of wildlife, including small mammals like White-tailed Jackrabbits, squirrels and chipmunks, water fowl and other indigenous birdlife such as Peregrine Falcons, American Kestrels, Western Bluebirds, Mountain Chickadees, and Colorado’s state bird, the Lark Bunting.

For the more adventurous nature seeker, the 467-acre private South Rim open space and the Backcountry Wilderness area beyond—accessible to BackCountry community residents via an extensive 7-mile trail system–offer a bounty of the wildlife any true Colorado resident would hope to enjoy. Although it’s not unusual to see them wandering or grazing within the community itself, the South Rim and Backcountry Wilderness Area are home to all the species mentioned earlier, as well as plentiful elk, deer, antelope, Red Fox, badgers, porcupines, wild turkeys and the captivating songbird known as the Western Meadowlark. To top it all off, there is nothing quite like watching a pair of majestic Bald Eagles soaring overhead on a balmy Saturday afternoon.

Set against the stunning backdrop that is the Rocky Mountain Front Range–where America the Beautiful’s phrase, “Purple Mountain Majesty” was first coined–BackCountry’s setting, amenities and nature-complimenting design makes living there a delight, especially for those who want to experience all that Colorado nature has to offer without having to drive away from the city to get it.

About BackCountry in Highlands Ranch – Colorado’s Community of the Year: With such stunning surroundings, BackCountry was planned to let the natural world influence the design of the homes and the community. From the community’s use of water management, preservation of open space and wildlife habitats, to the trail connections throughout, people who move to BackCountry move here to see nature, so that is exactly what the community provides. Although over 300 families call BackCountry home, when complete, approximately 1,250 will fill the community, as will 16 miles of trails and six parks. Currently eight distinct collections of homes are available including Richmond American’s from the $300s; Shea Homes from the mid $400s-$700s; Toll Brothers from the upper $500s; Paragon Homes’ semi-custom Sanctuary Collection from the $1 millions, and; the Custom Collection beginning from $1.2 million. BackCountry? Naturally!

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