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Old 03-19-2010, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
33 posts, read 173,964 times
Reputation: 97

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Hi! My husband and I are hoping to move to Colorado and CO Springs has seemed like such a great choice for us so far. However, we lived in Albuquerque, NM before and my husband didn't care for the sandstorms, dry dirt and lack of green growth in the desert. We noticed that in most of the pictures of CO Springs, it looks like the same type of land and Pike's Peak doesn't look like any of the Rocky Mtns, but just a big mound of dirt. So, I just wanted to know if there is a lot of sand and dry dirt there (and sandstorms) and are you able to actually hike up Pike's Peak or just drive? Are there places in CO Springs where you can hike in the Mtns?

Thank you very much!
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:07 AM
 
Location: metro Denver, CO
11,898 posts, read 20,251,492 times
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Mound of dirt? There's trees on the darn thing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,301 posts, read 1,723,080 times
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Yes, Colorado has a dry climate, similar to New Mexico, but we don't have sandstorms. Some years are greener that others, depending on how much rain we get. I would say we are a little less dry and a little greener than New Mexico, but we are still a high-desert climate.

Pikes Peak has lots of trees, but once you get above tree line (on ANY mountain) you will not see trees there. You can drive up it, take a cog railway up it, or hike if you like. They even have a yearly marathon that goes up it.

There are plenty of beautiful places to hike here.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
569 posts, read 1,198,434 times
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Here are a few random pictures from the surrounding area...you be the judge...
Attached Thumbnails
Type of climate & land-06pikespeak03.jpg   Type of climate & land-3400024-pikes_peak_seen_from_garden_of_the_gods-colorado_springs.jpg   Type of climate & land-colorado_rockies1.jpg   Type of climate & land-dscn1164-20-medium-.jpg   Type of climate & land-dscn1214-20-medium-.jpg  

Type of climate & land-pikespeakroaddown-762455.jpg   Type of climate & land-royalgorgepic.jpg  
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
310 posts, read 980,901 times
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I grew up in Abq and lived there 30 years. I have lived in the Springs now for 10. Although it appears drier in Abq. than here because of all the sand, Colo Spgs. has a harsher climate for sure. The winters here are so dry you may need a humidifier. I wake up with sore throats and everyone uses lotion all the time. I think it's the combination of the dryness and the cold here that makes it feel that way. The summers here are way cooler and quite nice, with lots of booming thunderstorms, compared to Albuquerque anyway. Sometimes the summers can get hot and the funny thing is that there's no air conditioning in many homes. For instance I have owned or rented 5 places since I have lived here - all nice and in nice areas. But none had A/C! I was pretty shocked, but many summers there are only a handful of days you need it.

As far as the scenery, it is greener, but there are still the medians/sidewalk areas with sand and weeds. Also you will want if not need a 4WD vehicle. The winters can have as many as 15 or so days where your commute is slick, but some years the snow only falls a few times. It is way way way colder here than in Abq though. And a lot windier too. But the real reason for the 4WD vehicle is the potholes and roads. The changes in temps here create tons of potholes. Ask anyone. I am about to start a thread on here discussing this very problem. I have a nice sports car and every time I take it out I weave through tire-flattening holes. It's really bad.

As far as hiking, that is a strong point for the Springs. Tons of beautiful hiking in the foothills here in town and then there's Woodland Park, Monument, Denver. And half the state is covered with the biggest mountains anyone would ever need. The only drawback for me as far as hiking here is that the trails and the mountains are steeper than those in Abq. But the hiking is much more shady and there are streams, waterfalls, and lakes right around town. It really has some stunning beauty. Try Cheyenne Canyon around Helen Hunt Falls, the Seven Bridges Trail, and Pikes Peak. Oh another drawback to Pike's Peak vs. Sandia Peak is that Pike's Peak is a toll road which will set you back probably $10 per person, whereas Sandia Peak is free to drive up. Also, remember the sunsets in Abq.? They don't happen here at all. But we get some decent sunrises.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
33 posts, read 173,964 times
Reputation: 97
Thank you for your responses so far. I'll have to look closer at the pictures of Pike's Peak that he was looking at because they looked very sandy. He said that people use the dirt roads to race cars. Maybe that was closer to the foothills...
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
553 posts, read 1,313,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire904 View Post
Thank you for your responses so far. I'll have to look closer at the pictures of Pike's Peak that he was looking at because they looked very sandy. He said that people use the dirt roads to race cars. Maybe that was closer to the foothills...
The peak is granite, not sand. The road to the top was dirt, although parts of it have been recently paved. The 'racing cars' thing is the Pikes Peak Hill CLimb. It's a a time-trial type race held annually on the 4th of July (or thereabouts).

I agree with several of the previous posters. Much more mild summer than ABQ. I have central A/C in my home, and rarely, rarely use it. Windy? Yes, frequently. But dust storms? Nope. I also agree with userdavey about Cheyenne Canyon. Right here in town, and spectacular. Add the hike to St Mary's Falls to his list of outstanding in-town ventures.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
33 posts, read 173,964 times
Reputation: 97
Type of climate & land-pikespeakexample.jpg Type of climate & land-pphighway-300x127.jpgType of climate & land-72808_co_pikes_peak12x.jpg

Type of climate & land-72808_co_pikes_peak38x.jpg

These are the pictures that my husband saw and I think he got the impression that the entire mountain is just dirt with no wooded areas and hiking trails. That is what we like to hike through in the mountains.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,298,381 times
Reputation: 690
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire904 View Post
Hi! We noticed that in most of the pictures of CO Springs, it looks like the same type of land and Pike's Peak doesn't look like any of the Rocky Mtns, but just a big mound of dirt.
Pikes Peak and all of the Front Range of Colorado are older mountains than many of them west of us. If you want jagged peaks, you have to go southwest in Colorado.

It's dry here. Semi-arid climate. It's brown from Oct to April, tis life here.

No major sand storms but it can get VERY windy and depending on the winter weather, can get minor ones.

Pikes Peak is over 14,000 ft. Colorado Springs is just about 6,000 ft. That's not a mound of dirt. That's why it's called "America's Mountain". Can't get that anywhere on the Front Range but C Springs...Denver has a pretty crappy view of the mountains. On a clear day you can see to Kansas from the top of Pikes Peak.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,076,479 times
Reputation: 927
Watch if you are in neighborhoods with new construction....then you get some mini sandstorms...I experienced it in Monument.
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