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Old 03-01-2011, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Just an anecdote but one Winter I took a driving tour of Colorado in my Honda Accord. Did fine in the Northern parts of the state and down the Million Dollar Highway to Durango. I actually encountered the worst, blizzard conditions around Hepserus (!) and the road into Mesa Verde was impassible. I doubt though that this is the norm.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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The highway from Hesperus to Mancos area, certainly to Mancos hill, the hill about 5ish miles before Mancos does get nasty in the winter. Mancos Hill/Hesperus especially. We lived past Mancos for several winters and drove that road daily. The good news is that once you get through Mancos, it usually improves and then the roads in Cortez are much better. They really do get a lot less snow over there.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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Wow. I just want to say thank you all very much! I ran across this site by accident and didn't even realize how much insight and advice I would receive! Thank you all so very much for your time and for your knowledge! This is a big decision for me and all your input helps so much!

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
That is one reason why so many people live along Colorado's front range.
Where is Colorado's front range? What towns/cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
If wishing to do without much of the snow that is traditionally measured in feet then one might settle in the foothills. Say possibly along CA 49, which runs north and south through California's old gold country. The small, quaint towns along that road see very little snow in winter, if perhaps a bit warmer than desired in summer.
What cities/towns?

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Old 03-01-2011, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taranicc View Post
Where is Colorado's front range? What towns/cities?
Everything from Fort Collins to Pueblo, including Loveland, Greeley, Boulder, Longmont, the Denver metro area, and Colorado Springs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
That is one reason why so many people live along Colorado's front range. About as temperate as you will find.(SNIP) Many people really like the weather of the front range, so you may as well, or well enough.
IMO temperate isn't the word to describe the climate here. "Temperate" would tend to mean "a climate free of extremes", a la Seattle as you described.

History : Weather Underground

History : Weather Underground

In February, we had temps from -17F to 67F, and everything in between. That's an 84 degree swing in one month! Most places don't have that.

I prefer to call it "wild" with long stretches of mild. The OP should know that we do get big dumps of snow, and we can get very cold temperatures.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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One clue as to the difference in climate over a relatively short change in latitude is the fact that many of the ranchers in that area drove their livestock from the Durango/Cortez area to Northern NM (not exactly Florida) every Winter and then back for the Summer. I posted a story on another thread how Lake Nighthorse put an end to it for one Navajo sheep outfit that had been doing that for the past 100 years .
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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Wink CO front range & CA 49

The front range of Colorado could be roughly described as the area and towns residing near I-25 running from Fort Collins in the north to Pueblo in the south. In other words those more usually on the flat plains but near the mountains that rise abruptly to continue to the west. Trinidad is too far south and removed to be included, and technically neither does Pueblo as the line of mountains cuts back appreciably to the west just south of Colorado Springs.

As far as the many towns included in such a designation would be all the suburban communities of Denver, such as Broomfield or Aurora. Greeley, southeast of Fort Collins, could, even though lying to the east of I-25 and not exactly close to the mountains. A place such as Boulder, that directly abuts the Flat Irons and the abrupt beginning of the Rocky Mountains, certainly qualifies. Towns such as Nederland or Estes Park, which are a bit into the mountains could by some rationale be included, although strictly speaking not as within the mountains rather than near them.

CA 49 runs in a generally north south direction through central California, paralleling the Sierra Nevada mountains to its east, through the foothills at an elevation of roughly 2,000 feet. This usually two-lane and often winding and scenic road begins in Oakhurst to the south, terminating in the north at Vinton at its junction with CA 70 in a large sub-alpine valley near the Nevada state line and US 395. CA 49 may well bear its name due the number of gold camps founded along it by 49'ers, the many hopeful prospectors who flocked to the area beginning in 1849. Although a tad tardy, communication and distance being what it was in that day, as James Marshall had first discovered gold along the South Fork of the American River in 1848.

Some of the iconic towns, still in part picturesque, along CA 49 would be Sonora, Angels Camp (of Mark Twain and his jumping frog), Placerville, Amador City, Mokelumne Hill, and Sutter Creek. Nevada City, farther north, was at one time the most important mining town in the state. All these towns are interesting, particularly from a historical perspective. I've only mentioned some, with others, such as Murphys, particularly quaint. Sutter Creek as well.

Many of the towns along Colorado's front range bear a closer resemblance to each other than most anything else in the state, socially, economically, in weather, etc. The same can be said for the many small former mining towns along CA 49. Neither of these different regions in different states bears much resemblance to the other.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:14 PM
 
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Thank you everybody!
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:14 PM
 
Location: SW New Jersey
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taranic- I've been studying the state for awhile and like you I don't want to be in too much snow or cold. Grand Junction and surrounding areas are at lower elevations and have less snowfall from what I have understood. Not sure if they consider that SW CO. But they also claim the best produce in the state. Hope that helped. Stick with this website and you'll learn so much. There are some great info. givers here. GOD BLESS COLORADO!
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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crisisoul wrote:
Grand Junction and surrounding areas are at lower elevations and have less snowfall from what I have understood. Not sure if they consider that SW CO. But they also claim the best produce in the state. Hope that helped. Stick with this website and you'll learn so much. There are some great info. givers here. GOD BLESS COLORADO!
Some folks might consider the climate of the Grand Junction area to be a mild climate, but I am not one of them. To me, the climate here is a climate of EXTREMES. It gets very cold in the winter with 5 to 10 nights below zero each winter, and very hot in the sumemr with to 10 to 15 days of triple digit highs. In the winter and early spring it can be cloudy for days on end, with little or no precipiation to show for all those cloudy days.

It snows very little in the winter and this is probably what gives Grand Junction its underserved banana belt reputation. However if the snowfall occurrs in December or Januray, three or four measly inches of snow can stay on the ground for a month or two. Snow cover on the ground during those months is usually the catalyst that sets up a temperature inversion, trapping the cold air in the valley. During those frequent inversions, it is not uncommon for the overnight low in Grand Junction to be colder than the overnight lows in the much higher elevations....and it can stay that way for weeks on end.
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