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Old 08-13-2018, 11:05 AM
 
531 posts, read 943,775 times
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Hi all,

After having done some research, Colorado Springs seems like it might be a good fit for me to make a move this fall (from Phoenix). I'm into healthy lifestyle- hiking and whatever winter sports I can learn to keep me outdoors (particularly if it's snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing on nearby trails). I'm interested in hearing about any neighborhoods or surrounding towns that I should check out that would fit the following bill:

1) plentiful hiking trails within 5-10 minute drive, but am a little afraid of fires/flooding potential- how does one know risk level when looking at homes or neighborhoods? Looks like Manitou Springs and Western Colorado Springs might fit the bill for being close to nature, but are these very vulnerable? Or does it have more to do with the particular house and whatever clearing's been done around it?
2) houses within the range of $250K-325K (might be able to pay cash but not sure that's wise in this environment). Would prefer single home, 3 bed/2 bath...1500-1700 sq. ft. I love historic bungalows and ranches, so would prefer to buy a home and update if need be (as long as it's nothing major).
3) not too far from the airport- my job entails 80% travel.
4) not too far from civilization; need to make some trips to grocery store, Home Depot, etc.
5) not so much snow that it will prevent me from getting to the airport/work, but I don't mind a bit snow, as long as it doesn't stick around forever.
6) I get along with almost everyone...have a general live-and-let-live attitude- but don't want to deal with judgmental religious people looking down on me. So, libertarian or socially liberal neighborhoods would probably be better.

Also, any particularly good hikes I can check out while there to give me a taste of what it's like?

PS. Here in Phoenix, even though trails can be crowded on weekends, I've always found the further you're willing to hike into the trails, the less crowded...does Colorado Springs have trails like this where you can get away from it all by hiking deeper into the mountains? Hope so!

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

XicadaSilva
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:43 AM
 
5,003 posts, read 6,678,903 times
Reputation: 4517
It sounds like the southwest/west part of town best fit your interests.

Some of your interests are a bit at odds - to get closer to hiking, you generally need to go further west, which generally puts you into a bit more snow potential, more fire potential, more flash flooding potential. To minimize this, just avoid areas that are near creeks/drainages as much as possible and avoid picking a place in a highly treed/foothill area. Also look for signs of subsidence and avoid it.

I'd advise West Colorado Springs/Old Colorado City area as a place to start. You might also consider the area just north of Fort Carson and west of I-25.

If you're willing to add a few minutes on hiking, your best bet for close proximity to airport is Security/Widefield/Fountain, imho.

I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't pay cash for a house if you could.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:08 PM
 
531 posts, read 943,775 times
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Thanks so much for the advice, otowi...this is exactly what I was looking for.

By the way, I'm guessing the traffic going eastward towards the airport if I did live closer to the mountains/trails might be a little rough...seems like everyone would be trying to get on 1-25. But then again, I could try to work my flight schedules around that to miss the worst of it.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:24 PM
 
20,304 posts, read 37,784,136 times
Reputation: 18081
Not that much traffic here, IMO it's about the least of your worries.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:40 PM
 
531 posts, read 943,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Not that much traffic here, IMO it's about the least of your worries.

Ha- I guess I'm just so used to Phoenix traffic!
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:45 PM
 
20,304 posts, read 37,784,136 times
Reputation: 18081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xica_da_Silva View Post
Ha- I guess I'm just so used to Phoenix traffic!
Gotcha. I'm in upper Peoria, off the 303. Spent 11 years in COLO SPGS, traffic there is easy, except for I-25 to/from Denver.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,668 posts, read 1,666,689 times
Reputation: 2913
1a)Colo Spgs has a significant amount of wild land interface in numerous areas. You do not need to be right up against the mountains to enjoy it. Additionally, a 10 minute drive can get you half away across the city on non-rush hour times, further negating the need to be "right there" to enjoy light hikes and walks. Now, if you mean more intermediate level hiking for a few hours, then yes, you will need to get into the mountains. Within the city limits you can easily spend an hour in Palmer Park, Sonderman, Ute Valley or Pulpit Rock and live a fair ways east of Academy Blvd. But, none of these will be more advanced hikes and are more like challenging walking areas.

1b)The danger of flood, fire, and rock, mud, debris slides varies quite widely, even within the same neighborhood. Be diligent in asking questions of your agent. Do some extra research in real estate listings or ask on here once you have a few neighborhoods in mind. Flood plains are mapped out by most insurance companies as well, so they may know. Also do some digging on the city web site as county and city emergency officials have done a fair amount of mapping already. https://coloradosprings.gov/

1c)Also, FWIW, nature often times comes to you. The city's drainage system is like a wildlife highway system. I live downtown and we regularly see deer, fox, raccoons and have had a moose and a bear within blocks of my house. Deer and mountain lions have been seen in areas off Academy Blvd as well.

2)All three of your housing preferences are available here, but not always in combination together. Historic homes can be found from the west side to downtown. Ranch style fixer uppers may be found in numerous neighborhoods from central to eastern and southern parts of the city to include Widefield, Security and Fountain. There are a few westside ranch style neighborhoods like Pleasant Valley and Holland Park.

3)As MFBE said, driving here isn't troublesome. Even being on the far north side of the city puts you 30 minutes away from the airport most days. I-25 does get busy but rarely gets gridlock and stagnant. Even when its packed, it still moves, albeit a bit slower.

4)No need to go way out of town for what you want.

5) Snow is a big variable. We can go months without it. We can get two blizzards in a week. Snow removal here is done on arterials first, then secondary streets. neighborhoods typically don't get plowed because usually the snow is gone by then. But on those fluke chances we do get back to back blizzards, then the city will put in some effort to get to these third tier streets. We also have a wide range of dates when snow is possible. October to May is a pretty typical range for that.

6) The vast majority of the area, even those that lean more conservatively, tend to be pretty live and let live. The whole area is a bit more fiscally conservative than I'd like to see. The northern end of the city tend to be more politically conservative. Some pockets tend to be a bit more religious than others. Of course we get all the major door to door religious solicitors nearly any place in the city.

Suggested hikes, how much time do you want to spend and how hard do you want to work? Any of the parks mentioned in 1) above are in the city and can be easily done in sneakers. To get to more complex hikes, head up either of Cheyenne Canons, or areas above Manitou. These are just scratching the surface, but we don't want to get you lost while your visiting. Browse around here to find other options; https://www.visitcos.com/
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,454 posts, read 2,079,841 times
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FYI, depending on where you travel, you may find you get better flights out of Denver instead if COS. If you end up on the north side of town, commuting up Hwy 83 to C470 (toll) is pretty easy to get to DIA.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:29 PM
 
531 posts, read 943,775 times
Reputation: 626
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCHP View Post
1a)Colo Spgs has a significant amount of wild land interface in numerous areas. You do not need to be right up against the mountains to enjoy it. Additionally, a 10 minute drive can get you half away across the city on non-rush hour times, further negating the need to be "right there" to enjoy light hikes and walks. Now, if you mean more intermediate level hiking for a few hours, then yes, you will need to get into the mountains. Within the city limits you can easily spend an hour in Palmer Park, Sonderman, Ute Valley or Pulpit Rock and live a fair ways east of Academy Blvd. But, none of these will be more advanced hikes and are more like challenging walking areas.

1b)The danger of flood, fire, and rock, mud, debris slides varies quite widely, even within the same neighborhood. Be diligent in asking questions of your agent. Do some extra research in real estate listings or ask on here once you have a few neighborhoods in mind. Flood plains are mapped out by most insurance companies as well, so they may know. Also do some digging on the city web site as county and city emergency officials have done a fair amount of mapping already. https://coloradosprings.gov/

1c)Also, FWIW, nature often times comes to you. The city's drainage system is like a wildlife highway system. I live downtown and we regularly see deer, fox, raccoons and have had a moose and a bear within blocks of my house. Deer and mountain lions have been seen in areas off Academy Blvd as well.

2)All three of your housing preferences are available here, but not always in combination together. Historic homes can be found from the west side to downtown. Ranch style fixer uppers may be found in numerous neighborhoods from central to eastern and southern parts of the city to include Widefield, Security and Fountain. There are a few westside ranch style neighborhoods like Pleasant Valley and Holland Park.

3)As MFBE said, driving here isn't troublesome. Even being on the far north side of the city puts you 30 minutes away from the airport most days. I-25 does get busy but rarely gets gridlock and stagnant. Even when its packed, it still moves, albeit a bit slower.

4)No need to go way out of town for what you want.

5) Snow is a big variable. We can go months without it. We can get two blizzards in a week. Snow removal here is done on arterials first, then secondary streets. neighborhoods typically don't get plowed because usually the snow is gone by then. But on those fluke chances we do get back to back blizzards, then the city will put in some effort to get to these third tier streets. We also have a wide range of dates when snow is possible. October to May is a pretty typical range for that.

6) The vast majority of the area, even those that lean more conservatively, tend to be pretty live and let live. The whole area is a bit more fiscally conservative than I'd like to see. The northern end of the city tend to be more politically conservative. Some pockets tend to be a bit more religious than others. Of course we get all the major door to door religious solicitors nearly any place in the city.

Suggested hikes, how much time do you want to spend and how hard do you want to work? Any of the parks mentioned in 1) above are in the city and can be easily done in sneakers. To get to more complex hikes, head up either of Cheyenne Canons, or areas above Manitou. These are just scratching the surface, but we don't want to get you lost while your visiting. Browse around here to find other options; https://www.visitcos.com/
This is all excellent advice- thanks so much for taking time to go into detail!

As for hikes, I think what you describe above would work well for me if/when I live there. Sounds like I could do the easier hikes on weekdays when I'm working from home (which is rare! I'm usually traveling). And then on weekends I can do deeper, more strenuous hiking. Here in Phoenix, I can get to a hiking trail in about 5 minutes(driving)...even though they're really more like foothills and not proper mountains per se, one can still get a solid workout on the steeper ones like Camelback Mtn. So, it's quite convenient, but during the summer I get really out-of-shape because I just can't take the heat...dry or not! I can tolerate anything below 100F pretty well, but when it's hotter than that, I just can't enjoy it.

When I visit, I'll probably stick to the easier hikes since I'm a bit out-of-shape- still thin and overall fit, but my cardio needs to improve. I wonder how long it takes to adapt to the altitude there? Whenever I've visited Denver, I do fine with altitude- the only effect seems to be that I fill up on food quickly, even though I might be super hungry! Strange.

Am curious about winter activities- particularly the idea of either cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing. For some reason, both of these appeal to me more than downhill skiing. Can one generally access/use the same trails for these as one would for hiking (assuming higher up in the mountains, to get to more snow), or are there separate places one has to go for this?

Thanks again!
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:32 PM
 
531 posts, read 943,775 times
Reputation: 626
Quote:
Originally Posted by beezle1 View Post
FYI, depending on where you travel, you may find you get better flights out of Denver instead if COS. If you end up on the north side of town, commuting up Hwy 83 to C470 (toll) is pretty easy to get to DIA.

Interesting. That's definitely worth checking out. However, I must say I don't love DIA...it's okay, but so spread out and the oversize luggage always takes such a long time to come out. Delta's my main airline so I'd normally connect through SLC, Detroit, or Atlanta for most flights - whether going out of CoS or Denver (however, I'm sure DIA still offers more flight options...so point well-taken).
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