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Discussion Starter #1
Owning undeveloped land has been a dream of mine since high school. The time has come to invest, but I am having trouble sorting out where.

The reason I am posting on this forum is because now that I have a horse, I'd love to trailer her to whatever property I purchase. I do not anticipate living on the land full time (not even after retirement), but I will camp for two weeks to two months at a time in summer. I also want the option to have a hobby farm should I change my mind.

The areas in which I am looking are quite different. The Nevada land is near Ely and Great Basin National Park. There is some juniper and pinion trees, but mostly the ground is covered with native grasses and sage brush. The Wyoming land is between Kemmerer and Yellowstone Park. There is forest, sage brush and native grasses. Ideally I want some forest, which makes me lean toward WY, however, I'd also like somewhere to which I can escape in the dead of winter, which is why NV is appealing.

I would love to hear from folks who live and ride in these areas. Please share your perspective on living and riding in each of these areas.

Thanks!
 

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I live a couple hours north of Ely but from my time working down there I can tell you, depending exactly where the property is, I doubt you'll be escaping there in the winter unfortunately.
Elevation of the Great Basin National Park is 6,500-10,000 ft. Looking at the local weather it was 12* there this morning. Ely is at 6500ft and has tougher winters than we do. And a lot of northern Nevadans call our town "Little Siberia". LOL.

I think if you're looking to escape winter you'll have to go even farther south. But the country you picked is beautiful.
 

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@COWCHICK77, thank you for your input. I'm in SLC, UT so I'm used to cold winters. What I'd actually like to escape is the inversion (pollution). There's no guarantee I'd go in the winter, just want the option.

I'm thinking about [re]adding Arizona to the list. The property I'm considering there is my absolute favorite. It's also the best per-acre deal of the three I'm considering. I only ruled it out because it's a day's drive. So, I wouldn't use it as a weekend getaway, more like someplace to spend a week or more during school breaks. In truth, I wouldn't likely visit a NV or WY any more frequently since there are always weekend activities like my son's soccer games, horse shows, etc.
 

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@COWCHICK77, thank you for your input. I'm in SLC, UT so I'm used to cold winters. What I'd actually like to escape is the inversion (pollution). There's no guarantee I'd go in the winter, just want the option.

I'm thinking about [re]adding Arizona to the list. The property I'm considering there is my absolute favorite. It's also the best per-acre deal of the three I'm considering. I only ruled it out because it's a day's drive. So, I wouldn't use it as a weekend getaway, more like someplace to spend a week or more during school breaks. In truth, I wouldn't likely visit a NV or WY any more frequently since there are always weekend activities like my son's soccer games, horse shows, etc.
I wouldn't vote for either the NV or WY properties because I hate cold & snow.

Where in AZ?
 

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@COWCHICK77, thank you for your input. I'm in SLC, UT so I'm used to cold winters. What I'd actually like to escape is the inversion (pollution). There's no guarantee I'd go in the winter, just want the option.

I'm thinking about [re]adding Arizona to the list. The property I'm considering there is my absolute favorite. It's also the best per-acre deal of the three I'm considering. I only ruled it out because it's a day's drive. So, I wouldn't use it as a weekend getaway, more like someplace to spend a week or more during school breaks. In truth, I wouldn't likely visit a NV or WY any more frequently since there are always weekend activities like my son's soccer games, horse shows, etc.
If you live in SLC you know the cold too! LOL!
And if you're just wanting to get away from the inversion, heck why Not? Plus it's not that far of a drive like you said.
Have looked around Panaca or Caliente?

We went to AZ this winter to look at north of Prescott, Chino Valley, Seligman. I just didn't fall in love with it like I love Nevada. I am a desert rat all the way through..Lol. I need to see for a long ways.
However I wouldn't mind going to Wickenburg for a couple months out of the winter to rope and play in the sun!

Have you made the drive to any of these places to see if you fall in love with it?
 
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@COWCHICK77, I looked in Caliente but didn't see anything I liked. As much as I like Nevada (I lived in Vegas for a while), I'm a forest-meadow lover. I could get by with the desert trees, but I'd much rather have real timber.

@Dreamcatcher Arabians, Further east. The closest town is St. John's at about 17 miles sw of the parcels.
 

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Beautiful. Just be careful of the water situation in any of those states and look at the acreage/horse requirements too.
Thanks. I have seen the NV land, and can't get to the WY property until the road dries up a bit (strike 2). I am in the process of making arrangements to see the land in AZ.

For some reason, ever since I started looking at property in the west, my mind keeps going to the movie, Mad Max: Thunderdome. LOL
 

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I live near Show Low, Arizona. I'm not as familiar with St. Johns, but I think it's more prairie-like than we are. One thing I would warn you about, although I LOVE this area, is we are in an incredible drought and this past winter has been super dry. We are all worried about forest fires.

We had to evacuate during the the huge Rodeo/Chediski Fire about 17 years ago and there have been several big fires in the general area since. So it is not just a hypothetical problem, it's a real one. Also, some of our trees are giving up the ghost, even though we've had them thinned more than once. And you might be able to pick a particular tree or two to water, but you can't water acreage. So we have quite a few dying trees. :frown_color:

On the plus side, we are very near national forest and have unlimited riding! Some of our neighbors even border the forest, so you can ride right out your back door. It's beautiful up here, and I love it. But we think about forest fires every year now, and especially after such a dry winter.

You might want to double check that the St. John's area has actual trees. They may be just scrub juniper. Although the way the pine trees are dying, that may be the only thing left standing after a while.

PS. I read somewhere that the reason it is called the "White Mountains" isn't for the snow, it's because of the smoke from the fires that burned through every summer. Now way back when, that wasn't such a big deal because there was moisture and the fires burned the grass and brush and not the actual trees. But it isn't that way anymore. Now the fires can be catastrophic. But yes, it's gorgeous here with lots of riding. And I suspect most of the West in a severe drought, not just us.

PSS. Dreamcatcher, I don't think Show Low is super expensive compared to the rest of Arizona. There are definitely some expensive homes and properties here, but compared with the rest of Arizona, it's not as bad, especially for the more rural areas. We used to live in Phoenix and we couldn't afford horse property there. Especially not anything over an acre. We moved to a rural area outside Show Low and now we have horse property. But that was also 20 some years ago, things always go up. But compared to the Phoenix area, land is cheaper up here, especially rural with no amenities.
 

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@trailhorserider, thank you for giving me the inside scoop. Utah has been incredibly dry too. In fact, there are already talks of a drought. We have had some forest/brush fires since I've lived here, but nothing like what you describe. I have considered the possibility of fires, but your description turns the theoretical into scary. I have heard there are lots of places to ride. All of the parcels I am considering border hundreds of acres of state land trust. One borders BLM as well. I have read a permit is required to ride on BLM land; not sure about state land.

The parcels northeast of St. Johns (at the AZ/NM border) have pines and meadows, while the parcels southeast of the town have dwarf-looking trees (pinion?) and juniper, and "native grasses" (probably scrub brush). The elevations are respectively ~ 6200 and 6400 ft above sea level. Honestly, in the case of a forest fire, would it matter the type of tree/brush? That's not a rhetorical question. As for water, there are two aquifers -- Coconino Sandstone and Bidahochi -- yet I am aware there are many people tapping into both. One of the things I love about taking the Hoover Dam tour is getting the full picture concerning our water resources (four states are tapping into the Colorado). The dam has been well below normal range for nearly a decade.

Coincidentally, I made my flight reservation today. The realtor recommended staying in Show Low Friday night. I'll be there for a hot second, but I'm glad I get to see it as I pass through.

If any of you think of questions related specifically to forest or Arizona territory, please let me know.
 

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PSS. Dreamcatcher, I don't think Show Low is super expensive compared to the rest of Arizona. There are definitely some expensive homes and properties here, but compared with the rest of Arizona, it's not as bad, especially for the more rural areas. We used to live in Phoenix and we couldn't afford horse property there. Especially not anything over an acre. We moved to a rural area outside Show Low and now we have horse property. But that was also 20 some years ago, things always go up. But compared to the Phoenix area, land is cheaper up here, especially rural with no amenities.
It's definitely less than Tucson, Phoenix and all that. We lived up in the Catalinas and looked at Show Low as a possible move, my husband worked up there as a Flight Nurse with Native Air. We loved it. But we didn't see anything remotely close to what we can afford here in OK. I also wasn't crazy about how crowded everything was, so we came back to OK after a couple of years. Who knows, we may find our way back that way again sometime. I do miss riding in the desert and the dry river beds. Not so much missing Monsoon.
 

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I don't know which makes me more nervous: the fires or Monsoon.:???::???:

Aah well, if I were looking back east I'd be paranoid about ticks/Lyme and complaining about humidity.
Monsoon is really a tempest in a tea cup, really. It gets horrendously hot & humid and then it rains, a LOT sometimes but it goes away very quickly.
 
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