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Old 08-19-2012, 02:02 PM
 
155 posts, read 328,857 times
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I'm a lurker. I've posted a few times awhile back and realized without hesitation that I'm a serious lurker on these forums. Further, I'm one of the zillions of "I wanna move to Colorado" kiddos that just can't help but show some serious love and admiration for the state. Forgive me for worshiping it.

It helps that much of my extended family lives there and our family reunion has been held in and around Canon City multiple times throughout my lifetime.

That being said, I have a job opportunity in Austin, Texas that may open up more opportunities to move around within the company to, you guessed it! Denver or Boulder.

Generally speaking, I'm not super familiar with either, most of my activities have been near Canon City. Though I have visited both at some point in time.

I can say this, a major attraction point for Colorado is hiking. An activity I dearly love that is generally cut short due to heat and lack of well, anything here in East Texas (which is where we currently reside).

Another selling point, for me, would be a slightly lower cost of living (in comparison to major tourist/ski towns). I very much enjoy Canon City and would gladly reside there if the opportunity presented itself.

I've been long winded, I see. So lets make this easy:

If you were a young family consisting of 25 year old husband and wife, no kids (now or immediate future), three great trail dogs, and a hypothetical job opportunity in either Denver or Boulder, where would you prefer to go?
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:36 PM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
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I'd go with Denver for being more affordable than Boulder proper.

IMO Boulder is a bit more of a niche city, where bicycling is a near-religion and heavily influenced by the major university there.

Truth is, both cities are close enough, and transit is good enough, that one could live in many areas along the Hwy 36 corridor and be well served.

For me, Denver gets high marks for having major amounts and diversity of art, culture, festivals, shows, events, plus all five pro sports, excellent hospitals, shopping, eateries, respected colleges and universities, a growing light rail system, and a major airport that will in the foreseeable future connect to the rail system. Boulder has some shows and cultural events, but Denver is the jackpot for sheer quantity compared to any city within 500 miles.

Boulder has hiking at its doorstep, though it's not that far from Denver that you'd have to do without it.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Centennial State
399 posts, read 666,977 times
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I don't like the traffic in downtown Denver. That goes for the US-36 commute during business days, especially rush hour. Other than that, to keep it simple, Boulder has the outdoor feel to it while Denver is the more urban city.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:04 PM
 
2,422 posts, read 3,262,551 times
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With a love of hiking I would choose Denver west or southwest. Lots of open space hiking trails where you often have the trail to yourself. I never once could not find a parking spot.

Hiking in the areas around Boulder is super crowded. Parking lots are full. Sometimes you can't find a place and have to drive to another trail. You constantly see other people. You have to be very vigilent so you can jump off the trail in time. The mountain bikers would rather run you down than apply their brakes. The off leash dogs will run up and get in fights with your dogs while the owners exclaim how poopsy has never done that before.

But, that being said, I love to hike by myself and say only the occasional Hi to other hikers. A perfect hike for me is one where I see no one at all and I often had that in the Denver foothills. In fact it was often so isolated that I got my first dog to keep me company.

Boulder reminds me of hikes I used to do in CA where you had to line up and stand in a queue to go up the steep parts of the trail. Of course the farther out you go, the less people you see but still there are too many people enjoying the Boulder trails for me to really enjoy it.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:28 PM
 
155 posts, read 328,857 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
With a love of hiking I would choose Denver west or southwest. Lots of open space hiking trails where you often have the trail to yourself. I never once could not find a parking spot.

Hiking in the areas around Boulder is super crowded. Parking lots are full. Sometimes you can't find a place and have to drive to another trail. You constantly see other people. You have to be very vigilent so you can jump off the trail in time. The mountain bikers would rather run you down than apply their brakes. The off leash dogs will run up and get in fights with your dogs while the owners exclaim how poopsy has never done that before.

But, that being said, I love to hike by myself and say only the occasional Hi to other hikers. A perfect hike for me is one where I see no one at all and I often had that in the Denver foothills. In fact it was often so isolated that I got my first dog to keep me company.

Boulder reminds me of hikes I used to do in CA where you had to line up and stand in a queue to go up the steep parts of the trail. Of course the farther out you go, the less people you see but still there are too many people enjoying the Boulder trails for me to really enjoy it.
I read in another thread that Boulder had more outdoor activities. I'm not a biker. Erm...I tried to be, once. I grew up in the coastal plains and we rode all over the place, then I went to college in East Texas and the tiniest of hills (if you can even consider them "hills") nearly killed me. A three mile bike ride caused me to black out. That was the last time I rode a bike. Wussy girl. Me.

Speaking of cities in between, are there particular areas that are less crowded? My husband is quite the country man, and would be a bit happier in slightly less crowded conditions. Me? I'm like you, I prefer quiet trails and I absolutely don't want to deal with idiot dog owners if I can help it. I can honestly say that my oldest boy has his CGC, and all three have been in obedience and agility for quite some time. We pride ourselves on well-behaved (and leash trained) pupsters.

That being said, is housing slightly cheapER in those areas? I've resigned myself to the fact that housing in Colorado isn't at all like housing in Texas. A serious trade-off, but one I'm willing to make for the fantastic outdoor activities--less time inside anyway.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:40 PM
 
2,422 posts, read 3,262,551 times
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I'm not sure what cheaper means to you. When I moved to Denver in 1995 I bought a 1970s ranch in the DTC (Denver Tech Center, south of Denver) for $153K. It was 3 bdrm, 2 bath, 2 car garage. I was happy as a clam. I hiked all over the Denver foothills. One of my favorites was Deer Creek Canyon because I could reach it within 30 min. of my house. As a result I could often do it after work in the summer when it stayed light longer. Nowadays that house is worth $300K and there is a lot more traffic on the way to the hikes. That is why I suggested the SW or W side of Denver so your closer to the foothills. If you aim for older, smaller and not up to date you'll find cheaper.

Many, many, many, many people love Boulder. It has lots of outdoor activities. Usually when I eat out there I overhear discussions at the other tables where everyone is comparing their outdoor activities. It sort of sounds like a competition or like they are trying to top each other. The roads are very crowded, the restaurants are crowded, the hiking trails are crowded. I thought I'd really like it but quite honestly I don't. The only thing I really like about it is the attention that is paid to eliminating toxic chemicals and living a more healthy life. I don't like having lot of people around all the time so it isn't really for me. I also don't like runners and bikers running me over if I don't see them in time. Boulder is kind of like NYC where the people kind of retreat into their own little 'me' world because there are too many other people around.

We took a 4 mile walk around our neighborhood this morning, circling a lake, and saw just a few people. That is more my speed. But I'm no longer in a good position for frequent foothills hikes as the Boulder ones are closest to me. For a long time we searched for good areas, hitting all the Boulder ones, one by one, and sort of settled on some national forest west of Loveland but it is quite a drive and we haven't been in years.

I found with the Jefferson County Open Space Trails dog owners were pretty savvy. Most dogs were on leash. Those that were off leash were almost always under voice control and stayed with their owner. I don't think off leash dogs are allowed there so most people would put the leash on when getting back to the parking lots but in general the dogs never were a problem. However if a ranger were to catch you there could be a ticket involved. In Boulder the dogs are often off leash because they aren't leash trained and the owner can't walk them on a leash because they pull too much so they just let them run around while they call frantically as the dogs do what they wish. Boulder has a test for an off leash tag because they have had problems in the past but I didn't see any improvement after it was put in place. In fact a number of dogs in my neighborhood got their tags right away and I know they never listen to their owners in a real world situation so what they are doing with the test isn't really working. Even the owners were pretty astounded that they got the tags. If your dogs are OK with other dogs running up to them then Boulder might be a good choice because your dogs can be legally off leash on many trails as long as they have the tags.

My dogs do great with agility dogs because the agility dogs are so well trained and don't lose their self control when they see another dog. My girl can be off leash, especially in agility training, because I can call her away from another dog, as long as the other dog is not trying to jump on her. But if a dog jumps her she takes it as an attack and the fight is on until the other dog retreats out of leash range. As a result Boulder just doesn't work well for us.

Many of my favorite trails can be found on this list.
Open Space Parks & Maps - Open Space - Jefferson County, CO
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:16 PM
 
155 posts, read 328,857 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
I'm not sure what cheaper means to you. When I moved to Denver in 1995 I bought a 1970s ranch in the DTC (Denver Tech Center, south of Denver) for $153K. It was 3 bdrm, 2 bath, 2 car garage. I was happy as a clam. I hiked all over the Denver foothills. One of my favorites was Deer Creek Canyon because I could reach it within 30 min. of my house. As a result I could often do it after work in the summer when it stayed light longer. Nowadays that house is worth $300K and there is a lot more traffic on the way to the hikes. That is why I suggested the SW or W side of Denver so your closer to the foothills. If you aim for older, smaller and not up to date you'll find cheaper.

Many, many, many, many people love Boulder. It has lots of outdoor activities. Usually when I eat out there I overhear discussions at the other tables where everyone is comparing their outdoor activities. It sort of sounds like a competition or like they are trying to top each other. The roads are very crowded, the restaurants are crowded, the hiking trails are crowded. I thought I'd really like it but quite honestly I don't. The only thing I really like about it is the attention that is paid to eliminating toxic chemicals and living a more healthy life. I don't like having lot of people around all the time so it isn't really for me. I also don't like runners and bikers running me over if I don't see them in time. Boulder is kind of like NYC where the people kind of retreat into their own little 'me' world because there are too many other people around.

We took a 4 mile walk around our neighborhood this morning, circling a lake, and saw just a few people. That is more my speed. But I'm no longer in a good position for frequent foothills hikes as the Boulder ones are closest to me. For a long time we searched for good areas, hitting all the Boulder ones, one by one, and sort of settled on some national forest west of Loveland but it is quite a drive and we haven't been in years.

I found with the Jefferson County Open Space Trails dog owners were pretty savvy. Most dogs were on leash. Those that were off leash were almost always under voice control and stayed with their owner. I don't think off leash dogs are allowed there so most people would put the leash on when getting back to the parking lots but in general the dogs never were a problem. However if a ranger were to catch you there could be a ticket involved. In Boulder the dogs are often off leash because they aren't leash trained and the owner can't walk them on a leash because they pull too much so they just let them run around while they call frantically as the dogs do what they wish. Boulder has a test for an off leash tag because they have had problems in the past but I didn't see any improvement after it was put in place. In fact a number of dogs in my neighborhood got their tags right away and I know they never listen to their owners in a real world situation so what they are doing with the test isn't really working. Even the owners were pretty astounded that they got the tags. If your dogs are OK with other dogs running up to them then Boulder might be a good choice because your dogs can be legally off leash on many trails as long as they have the tags.

My dogs do great with agility dogs because the agility dogs are so well trained and don't lose their self control when they see another dog. My girl can be off leash, especially in agility training, because I can call her away from another dog, as long as the other dog is not trying to jump on her. But if a dog jumps her she takes it as an attack and the fight is on until the other dog retreats out of leash range. As a result Boulder just doesn't work well for us.

Many of my favorite trails can be found on this list.
Open Space Parks & Maps - Open Space - Jefferson County, CO
I greatly appreciate all the input! Although my three are off-leash trained, I only actually trust one of the three to walk without a lead.

Right now we live three miles down a dirt road with hundreds of acres of land behind us. Land where, unless it's hunting season, you WON'T find a car, human, or stray dog. Even then I only allow one of my three dogs off-lead. The other two, despite countless hours of training, agility and obedience, are pretty much unreliable off lead. It bugs me when people expect their dogs to be perfect when they don't put in the time to train them, and even then ignore the fact that their dog is going to hunt, with them or without them. Totally off topic, LOL. In other words, leashes don't bug me.

As for housing, *sigh* let's just say there really is no comparison. I can get an updated (or even new) 1500-2000 sq foot home 3 bed 2 or 3 bath for less than $150K in the small Austin area towns (in some areas they're as cheap as $110). Not going to happen ANYWHERE in Colorado. I'm getting used to that fact. It's just taking time. I would have to resort to a fixer-upper in Denver, maybe I'll eventually embrace it and make it fun.

Again, thanks for the information. Absolutely taking that in consideration in the coming year or two before the move. It'll happen, I'm a big planner, though and like to know my options and why. Any further information is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,965 posts, read 98,814,535 times
Reputation: 31376
Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
I'm not sure what cheaper means to you. When I moved to Denver in 1995 I bought a 1970s ranch in the DTC (Denver Tech Center, south of Denver) for $153K. It was 3 bdrm, 2 bath, 2 car garage. I was happy as a clam. I hiked all over the Denver foothills. One of my favorites was Deer Creek Canyon because I could reach it within 30 min. of my house. As a result I could often do it after work in the summer when it stayed light longer. Nowadays that house is worth $300K and there is a lot more traffic on the way to the hikes. That is why I suggested the SW or W side of Denver so your closer to the foothills. If you aim for older, smaller and not up to date you'll find cheaper.

Many, many, many, many people love Boulder. It has lots of outdoor activities. Usually when I eat out there I overhear discussions at the other tables where everyone is comparing their outdoor activities. It sort of sounds like a competition or like they are trying to top each other. The roads are very crowded, the restaurants are crowded, the hiking trails are crowded. I thought I'd really like it but quite honestly I don't. The only thing I really like about it is the attention that is paid to eliminating toxic chemicals and living a more healthy life. I don't like having lot of people around all the time so it isn't really for me. I also don't like runners and bikers running me over if I don't see them in time. Boulder is kind of like NYC where the people kind of retreat into their own little 'me' world because there are too many other people around.

We took a 4 mile walk around our neighborhood this morning, circling a lake, and saw just a few people. That is more my speed. But I'm no longer in a good position for frequent foothills hikes as the Boulder ones are closest to me. For a long time we searched for good areas, hitting all the Boulder ones, one by one, and sort of settled on some national forest west of Loveland but it is quite a drive and we haven't been in years.

I found with the Jefferson County Open Space Trails dog owners were pretty savvy. Most dogs were on leash. Those that were off leash were almost always under voice control and stayed with their owner. I don't think off leash dogs are allowed there so most people would put the leash on when getting back to the parking lots but in general the dogs never were a problem. However if a ranger were to catch you there could be a ticket involved. In Boulder the dogs are often off leash because they aren't leash trained and the owner can't walk them on a leash because they pull too much so they just let them run around while they call frantically as the dogs do what they wish. Boulder has a test for an off leash tag because they have had problems in the past but I didn't see any improvement after it was put in place. In fact a number of dogs in my neighborhood got their tags right away and I know they never listen to their owners in a real world situation so what they are doing with the test isn't really working. Even the owners were pretty astounded that they got the tags. If your dogs are OK with other dogs running up to them then Boulder might be a good choice because your dogs can be legally off leash on many trails as long as they have the tags.

My dogs do great with agility dogs because the agility dogs are so well trained and don't lose their self control when they see another dog. My girl can be off leash, especially in agility training, because I can call her away from another dog, as long as the other dog is not trying to jump on her. But if a dog jumps her she takes it as an attack and the fight is on until the other dog retreats out of leash range. As a result Boulder just doesn't work well for us.

Many of my favorite trails can be found on this list.
Open Space Parks & Maps - Open Space - Jefferson County, CO
I'll respond to the two sentences in bold. I have lived in Louisville, Boulder County for 30 years. In those 30 years, the rest of Boulder County has become much less dependent on Boulder. Anyway, yes, the conversations about outdoor activities seem like a "keep up with the Joneses" type of thing. Also, Boulder's obsession with what one eats goes a little overboard, IMO.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:06 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 13,167,468 times
Reputation: 6912
Boulder is great but the popularity and media exposure over many decades has tarnished its luster it with too many people; too many people on its trails parsks as others has said. You asked about a town between. The western suburbs of Denver are in between. Arvada is just down the road from Boulder. It has extensive parks and trails and it is open to the foothills; being close to all open space and trails managed by Jefferson County.

Arvada Parks and Recreation Parks and Recreation
Trail Map http://maps.arvada.org/opendata/pdf/Trail_Map.pdf
Parks and Open Space Map http://maps.arvada.org/opendata/pdf/...Open_Space.pdf

Jefferson County Parks and Open Space Open Space - Jefferson County, CO
Jefferson County Open Space and Trails http://jeffco.us/jeffco/openspace_up...ap_outline.pdf

You can find extensive Parks and Trails in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Lakewood--all in the western suburbs. There is extensive Parks in Denver and all the other suburban cities and counties. Boulder does not have the monopoly on outdoor recreation.

Livecontent
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,607 posts, read 20,188,106 times
Reputation: 5311
You mention Canon City. Canon City is nothing like Boulder or Denver. Canon City is very much a rural, redneck town. Denver and Boulder (at least in the center city areas of each) are left-leaning, urban towns. Anyone who would be happy living in Boulder or Denver would probably hate themselves if they had to live in Canon City, and vice versa. If CC is what calls your heart, then utilize your family connections you have there to see if you can get a lead on a job. CC will be a lot cheaper than Denver or Boulder, and with THREE big dogs, you're going to need a house with some land... something that might not be possible in Denver or Boulder without having at least $500k to spend on a house.
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