Crystal Lakes is a private mountain subdivision located in Larimer County, Colorado near Red Feather Lakes Village approximately 50 miles northwest of Fort Collins, recognized as one of America's top cities by numerous national publications. Established in 1969, Crystal Lakes contains approximately 1,600 lots distributed over more than 4,800 acres surrounded by the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests at elevations ranging from 8,000 to 9,500 feet. The alpine setting of Crystal Lakes blends scenic river valleys with beautiful meadows of wildflowers and native grasses, spectacular rock formations and rugged mountainsides of pine, fir, and aspen to create a perfect environment for both vacation and full-time living. Year around accessibility is provided over well-maintained, all-weather roads. More than 800 dwellings ranging from modest cabins to spacious mountain homes have been built to date. Many other property owners enjoy camping on their property under covenants which permit temporary shelters (trailers and RVs) for up to 5 months per year. Privacy and seclusion have been preserved by lot sizes generally ranging from 1/2 to 10 acres. Approximately 10% of the land area within Crystal Lakes has been set aside as open space for the common enjoyment of property owners, guests and the abundant wildlife inhabiting the area.
Crystal Lake, Lower Lone Pine Lake, Little Lone Pine Lake, the North Fork Cache la Poudre River, Panhandle Creek, Lone Pine Creek, Beartrap Creek and several small ponds offer a variety of fishing experiences for expert and novice alike. Quality fishing is maintained through extensive stocking and stream management programs administered by volunteers and funded by the Crystal Lakes Road and Recreation Association. Other activities enjoyed by Crystal Lakes property owners include hiking, horseback riding, canoeing and boating on Crystal Lake (gasoline motors are prohibited), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and sledding. The area’s extensive network of more than 80 miles of private roads provides an ideal setting for mountain biking enthusiasts. Those in search of adventure will appreciate the many miles of trails and wide range of hunting opportunities available in the surrounding national forest.
Essential community services are provided by the Crystal Lakes Road and Recreation Association and Crystal Lakes Water and Sewer Association. These non-profit corporations are governed by boards of directors elected by Crystal Lakes property owners. Although separately constituted, the Associations work together under a partnership arrangement through which they jointly employ a full time general manager, office staff and maintenance personnel to serve the needs of the community. The Association office is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Association office can be reached by phone at 970-881-2250, fax at 970-881-2085 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about the Association services and activities, governing documents and financial statements can be found on this website.
In addition to managing the extensive open space and common areas, the Crystal Lakes Road and Recreation Association provides road maintenance, snow plowing, trash service (from a central location), fish stocking and coordination of other recreational activities for its members. Property owners are kept informed about important issues and upcoming events by the Wapiti Bugle, an association-sponsored newsletter issued six times per year. The Association’s budget of approximately $850,000 per year is funded primarily by the assessment of annual dues on each property in the subdivision. The CLRRA board of directors meets on the third Saturday of each month, and directors are elected by mail-in ballot sent to all members in March or April each year. The Road and Recreation Association holds its Annual Meeting for members on the second Saturday in June each year.
The Crystal Lakes Water and Sewer Association is responsible for administering the water rights augmentation plan for Crystal Lakes and the surrounding area, which enables property owners to obtain well permits. It also operates year around and seasonal water and sewer systems serving portions of Crystal Lakes and provides water and wastewater hauling services to members who have installed cisterns and sealed vaults. As part of its responsibility to administer the plan, the Water and Sewer Association operates and maintains dams and outlet works for Crystal Lake and Lower Lone Pine Lake. The association has recently received a Section 404 Permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to increase the storage capacity of Lower Line Pine Lake from 10.5 acre feet to 100.5 acre feet, which will increase the lake's surface area from approximately 2 acres to 6.5 acres. The Association's annual budget of $530,000, including funding for the enlargement project, is supported primarily by dues assessments. The five-member Board of Directors meets monthly on the third Saturday of each month, and the annual members’ meeting is held in late May each year.
Fire protection is provided by the Crystal Lakes Fire Protection District, a well-equipped volunteer organization funded by property tax revenues in excess of $85,000 per year. The Fire District has succeeded in obtaining a Category 9 classification for the area, and fire insurance is available through most underwriters at competitive rates.
Protective covenants providing for architectural control, establishing minimum dwelling sizes ranging from 600-900 square feet (footprint area) and limiting certain activities are in place to protect and enhance property values. Travel trailers and R.V.s may be placed on lots for up to five months in any calendar year. Association covenants and architectural guidlines are posted on this website.
Electricity is supplied by Poudre Valley R.E.A., which has extended service throughout most of the subdivision. Costs to connect to existing lines vary depending on distance, terrain and other factors, and specific costs estimates are available from Poudre Valley R.E.A. at (970) 226-1234. Telephone service, including high speed DSL, has been extended into many parts of Crystal Lakes. Information concerning availability of service and installation costs can be obtained from CenturyLink at 1-800-261-7649. Wi-Fi service is available at the community center (Basecamp) as well as other locations in nearby Red Feather Lakes Village.
The Larimer County Planning and Building Department (970-498-7700) regulates the construction of dwellings and other structures in Crystal Lakes. With assistance from the Crystal Lakes Water and Sewer Association, the Larimer County Department of Environmental Health (970-498-6700) regulates the construction of sanitation facilities.
Crystal Lakes property owners enjoy the use of hundreds of acres of open space located throughout the subdivision. Hiking and skiing trails have been developed in many areas. Access to streams and lakes is guaranteed by virtue of their location in greenbelt areas or the designation of fishing easements on subdivision plats. Community restrooms are conveniently located at several places within Crystal Lakes. Property owners may also take advantage of boat and trailer storage facilities maintained by the Associations. Picnic areas, community wells and trailer dump stations are also provided for the convenience of property owners.
The centerpiece of Crystal Lakes is a 6,900 square foot community center known as Basecamp or the Wapiti Center. Purchased by the Road and Recreation Association through a one-time special assessment in 1989, the center houses the Associations’ office area, meeting rooms, community center, restrooms with shower facilities, and laundry. The laundry is open daily year round and the community center is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm. Overlooking the North Fork Cache la Poudre River, Basecamp and the Wapiti Center provide a pleasant setting for group meetings, family reunions, weddings and business retreats for members and their guests.
Special Note: Crystal Lakes is a private community. Access is restricted to property owners and guests with proper identification.
Copyright 1993 by Steven N. Koeckeritz
Information contained herein is subject to change. Revised 11/5/11.