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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering making the move to Colorado from New England for health and personal reasons and trying to determine what region I want to explore. There are a few important factors to me including climate and wheeling.

My climate needs are pretty simple: cool and dry. This is related to my health so it's not something I can compromise on.

For wheeling, I enjoy everything from trails that are glorified dirt roads to trails with moderate obstacles. I'm not big on trails that are pure rock crawling.

Based on my research thus far, I think somewhere southwest of Denver would be the right area to look. I'd love some input from the people who actually live there. Any suggestions? Am I way off target?

Thanks!
 

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First we have to ask the personal question. When you say cool and dry, does it have to do anything with lung function.

As you know, Colorado may be dry but we also lack in oxygen. Cool and dry is in the high country. The front range is actually hotter than you think. With many days in the summer well above 90°. The further south you go, the hotter it is. The higher into the mountains the lower the oxygen but cooler.

Areas in southern Colorado like Pagosa Springs and Durango will still get warm, bit less than let's say the Denver area.

My advice it to come visit an area you are interested in and see if YOU are able to handle the altitude.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response! No, this isn't related to lung function. In fact, according to my research, altitude will help with some of my health issues. That's the total opposite of what I was expecting when I looked into it.

I agree completely - I need to get out there and see if I can handle the altitude as well as whether I like the area. The challenge is figuring out where to try out. I know Colorado is pretty big, so I'm trying to kind of nail down an area to begin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll be telecommuting so, as long as there's a decent internet connection, I'm good to go work-wise.
 

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I moved here from Maine back in 2005. We spent a couple of years in the South, NC and GA, but we’re glad to back in Denver. I originally moved to Colorado Springs because that’s where my boss lived. I didn’t change jobs when I moved. I then moved to Denver within a year and liked it better.

I wouldn’t call it cool here but it is dry. A lot of where you will end up depends on what you want to do. Denver is about an hour from the mountains. There are cool areas closer to the mountains if you don’t mind being away from the city. Generally speaking, housing is stupid expensive anywhere in the metro area. The Springs is still more affordable but not by much.

If you’re considering either of these areas and are buying, I can give you names of a terrific realtor in both markets.
 
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We live just south of Colorado Springs outside of Ft Carson. The weather down here is much more mild than Colorado Springs and Denver in the winter. But, we do get severe hail.

It is dry here - many homes have a whole house humidifier hooked up to the furnace. But, it rains here almost every afternoon in the summer. (Monsoon season) The winter snow is so dry that if I had a leaf blower, I'm sure I could clear my driveway with one.

Colorado Springs is growing fast; most north toward Denver, and yes, home prices are up significantly, but entry level new build homes south of the Springs (Fountain, Security and Widefield) are starting in the $200k range.

There are plenty of easy to moderate trails west of town up in to the mountains. FunTreks is a popular book with plenty of trail descriptions, and an online version. I avoid the trails off of Gold Camp Road because I hate that washboard road. ;-)

Politically, this is El Paso County, and I believe it is still the most conservative county in the state. There are 5 military installations around Colorado Springs which adds a certain amount of stability to the economy. Fort Carson has been expanding quite a bit over the past few years, which is probably why this area south of the Springs is growing so fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, guys! This is all very helpful. I like the sound of more mild weather. I'll have to take a look at all of these areas you've mentioned, and I'll definitely get a copy of a Funtreks book.
 

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We live just south of Colorado Springs outside of Ft Carson. The weather down here is much more mild than Colorado Springs and Denver in the winter. But, we do get severe hail.

It is dry here - many homes have a whole house humidifier hooked up to the furnace. But, it rains here almost every afternoon in the summer. (Monsoon season) The winter snow is so dry that if I had a leaf blower, I'm sure I could clear my driveway with one.

Colorado Springs is growing fast; most north toward Denver, and yes, home prices are up significantly, but entry level new build homes south of the Springs (Fountain, Security and Widefield) are starting in the $200k range.

There are plenty of easy to moderate trails west of town up in to the mountains. FunTreks is a popular book with plenty of trail descriptions, and an online version. I avoid the trails off of Gold Camp Road because I hate that washboard road. ;-)

Politically, this is El Paso County, and I believe it is still the most conservative county in the state. There are 5 military installations around Colorado Springs which adds a certain amount of stability to the economy. Fort Carson has been expanding quite a bit over the past few years, which is probably why this area south of the Springs is growing so fast.
We spent our final tour of duty in Ft. Carson and lived in Security for 9 months. We loved it very much despite that years (1981) winter hitting -22. It is so dry, you could (and I did) go outside in short sleeves and we continued to dry our toddlers cloth diapers on the line when it was that cold. When the first first snow hit, I traded my '73 Monte Carlo for a '54 Willis Wagon with a 283 Chevy V-8 motor. I really wish the jeep bug had hit back them and I still had this overlander. It was great. The wife drove a '63 VW Bug and had absolutely no problems with the 12" of snow that winter. I had a blast pulling vehicle out of snow banks with the Willis. We really loved the Security area, but hated Colorado Springs. We are both small town born and raised and 'The Springs' was way too big of a city for us. In 9 months, we visited it ONCE!! But like I said, the Jeep Bug had not bit yet and we didn't do much wheeling. I think I took the Willis off road twice just to make sure everything worked properly. The reason for this long story, -22 below zero was quite interesting for two So. Ca. Desert Rats.
 
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I lived in Littleton for about 5 years before moving to Pine Junction (hwy 285 and CO 126 area). I've lived in Pine Junction since 1996 and still love it. It's definitely much cooler up here than the Denver metro area. We only get a few days that hit 80+ degrees in the summer when Denver is in the upper 90s. We don't even have air conditioning here because it isn't needed as evenings cool into the 50's or 60's nearly every night. Also there have been benefits (that come with trade-offs) for living in Park County - lower property taxes, lower sales taxes and no vehicle emissions testing - but also few government services, like road maintenance, etc. Population density up here is low, but yet you are close enough to a major city to have a decent airport, major league sports teams, concerts and all the other things that come being less than an hour from Denver.
We are close to some decent 4 wheeling trails, gold medal fishing, mountain biking, hiking, etc, but it actually takes longer to get to ski resorts from here than from the Denver area.
There are tons of similar areas that feel very remote, but are still close to Denver in the foothills west, northwest and southwest of Denver that are worth checking out.
 

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Personally I would look at Montrose. The western slope is conservative and lots of jeepers. Montrose gets less rain than the front range and less snow. It can get a little warm in the summer ( mid 90's)but you are within 30 minutes of Ouray for jeeping. You also are within 2.5 hours of Moab. If you love jeeping the western slope has more to offer. I live in Craig on the western slope. Denver area has 2 many people.

Just my 2 bits

Wayne
 

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Welcome to the Forum coloradodude,

I agree that Montrose is a great place to live if you like small towns. Even at 90*, if you're not in the direct sunlight, it can be comfortable because of the dry climate.
I lived in Denver from when I was 32 until I retired at 66. I was single when I moved there and was 49 when I got married. If a guy is single, Denver is a great place to live. Jobs are currently plentiful. The only drawback is it's turning blue and housing is expensive. And TRAFFIC!

BV Jeep, BirchyBoy, NakedJeeper, 87 WhyJay and LJ Dave all offer good places to live for the reasons they state.
Manitou Springs is close to Colorado Springs, closer to the mountains and has a funky atmosphere.

Take a week off in the spring and come on out. I wouldn't wouldn't want to live anywhere else than in Colorado. The indians are still scalping liberals, but if you're a conservative, you'll be safe.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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I live southwest of Denver just south of Morrison behind the "hogback" or first row of foothills. We like it here though it is getting more and more crowded outside our immediate area. Technically it is Littleton. We both work from home now and it would be hard to move anywhere else though I do think about a second home in Bend Oregon or somewhere different from here and closer to the water.
 
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Southwest Colorado sounds like what you are looking for. I lived in Bayfiled at 8k feet for 2 years. It is very dry and the higher the altitude the cooler it is. The highs in the summer would get up to 87 or so but just for a short 4-5 weeks. We loved it there.

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I have been to Colorado the last two summers, absolutely love it and would move out in a heart beat.
last summer I visited Denver, boulder, gunnison, lake city, ouray, Durango, telluride, ridgeway, montrose, grand junction,vail, back to Denver.
i also did a seven day bike packing trip Durango to Moab though the wilderness and two summers ago another 7 day bike packing trip telluride to Moab.
Through my trips, I did not find a single place I wouldn’t want to retire, having the mountains at your doorstep is quite a blessing.
i think I would lean to the Durango area, the winters are much milder than in the mountains.
 
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Just to comment a bit on that last part. Altitude plays a HUGE part in the "mildness " of your winter. Grand Junctuon for instance sits at 4k and averages less than 2 feet of snow each winter despite being much farther north than Duango at 6500 feet. Bayfield and Pagosa Springs at 7k both average 80 inches a year. But if you live 1k higher like I did in the FL neighborhood in bayfield, it makes a big difference. We averaged about 9 feet per winter. Last winter we had 18 feet while downtown Bayfield just 7 minute drive to our south got just over 100 inches. So take that I to account when buying. If you love the view of the house just outside of town, know that view at the higher elevation means more snow.

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