The Crested Butte area, and mining areas such as Irwin, Pitkin, Tincup, and Taylor Park, are filled with mining claims. In many cases, these mining claims are now used by property owners for cabins rather than the minerals under the ground. I’m often asked what’s involved with mining claims as it pertains to real estate.
First off, most mining claims listed for sale for real estate purposes will be patented claims, rather than unpatented ones. Unpatented claims will require that the holder is actively working on a mining operation, while a patented one is quite similar to any other piece of land, and does not require mining activity. Patented claims offer full ownership- it is not a lease from the federal government. County regulations and permits will be required to build on the land. 1 acre is the minimum to have a septic system in Gunnison County.
As one might expect, mining claims are often located high in the mountains, so access is one of the most important factors to consider when looking at a mining claim purchase. Legal access, either through an easement or a public road is an important factor to investigate. Equally important is how rough the road is to get there, and if you hope to use the property in the wintertime, how tough is the snowmobile or cross country ski access?
Depending on your needs, another factor to consider is access to the power grid. Solar panels can be a great way to power a remote cabin, far from power sources. The property’s potential source of water is another important consideration to consider.