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Old 08-05-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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The sustained rains are unusual this year. Typical monsoon patterns have the afternoon showers that subside by early evening. The plus side of this year is no big fires!
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
OP, you might check out Taos, NM, which gets a lot less rain than SW CO when monsoon season hits, it's in the mountains and is very scenic, has a great ski area outside of town, and is a small, picturesque town of adobe buildings (not the old Wild West/Gold Rush type architecture of the CO mountain towns, though. Not sure if it matters to you). The mountains aren't as high and dramatic as the ones around Telluride, but there's still some serious elevation and forest to explore. The Rio Grande this far north is in a very deep gorge, and is great for river rafting, too.
Funny you mention the architecture. I am very drawn to the CO mountain town architecture and overall vibe, but it's not top priority. I will definitely take a closer look at Taos.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Bend, OR area might fit your skiing priorities without the monsoonal rains.
Bend is s great town, I've been several times. It's too hot for me in the summers, +90 on a regular basis, and it is getting very crowded. We definitely considered it but didn't make the cut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
The sustained rains are unusual this year. Typical monsoon patterns have the afternoon showers that subside by early evening. The plus side of this year is no big fires!
Good to hear this comment from so many people. Maybe CO won't be completely off the table. My wife comes home from Durango today and I'll hear more about her experience. Hopefully the beauty will out weight the soggy afternoons for her. If we relocate to CO we'll just need to become morning people!

The consensus thus far seems to be that Steamboat being further north may have a little less rain, but all of CO mountains are going to get monsoon rains and you better count on wrapping your day up early in the mountains. I'll have to investigate some areas further north, Jackson, Grand Targhee, Whitefish MT.
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:34 PM
 
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This monsoon season cannot be held as an example of every monsoon season. This one has been wetter than normal. Many areas in the state are reporting record totals for July. Things vary a lot here in CO and next year could be completely different - one never knows.
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:59 PM
 
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Bend's heat is too high for you?

CO gets it, too. The highest elevations towns less so, but most of the state sees 90s fairly often.

Western MT and WY should be on your list of candidates. Cooler temperatures, more snow because they are closer to the PNW winter storms. Fewer people.
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Old 08-05-2017, 04:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Bend's heat is too high for you?

CO gets it, too. The highest elevations towns less so, but most of the state sees 90s fairly often.
Yeah, regular +90 temps is a deal breaker for me. In my utopia it'd never get over 75!

We've been narrowing in on mountain towns due to cooler weather and proximity to recreation, but clearly those places come with more probability of summer monsoon thundershowers.

The summers we have here in WA have set the bar high. I'd stay if it wasn't for those gloomy winters and non-stop rain. My smart neighbors leave in the winter and go chase the sun, but my nest egg won't accommodate such a lifestyle.
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Old 08-05-2017, 04:11 PM
 
3,103 posts, read 2,833,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBUplander View Post
dirt biking
There's not much worse than riding on dry, loose, rocky trails. If you're into dirt biking, you'll learn to love the afternoon rains. It makes the trails, oh so PERFECT.
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Old 08-05-2017, 04:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado^ View Post
There's not much worse than riding on dry, loose, rocky trails. If you're into dirt biking, you'll learn to love the afternoon rains. It makes the trails, oh so PERFECT.
Agreed. This time of year all we have in WA is loose dry dust trails. I'm looking forward to some fall riding and nice tacky trails for both dirt and mountain biking.

Question on that topic: We typically leave the trailhead by 9am and are back at the truck by 3-4pm. Sounds like in CO you're going to get wet in July & Aug with that schedule. Do you just carry rain gear all the time? When do the first snows close down the trails? Is fall a great time in the mountains for all of the above?
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Old 08-05-2017, 04:59 PM
 
21 posts, read 11,667 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Bend's heat is too high for you?

CO gets it, too. The highest elevations towns less so, but most of the state sees 90s fairly often.

Western MT and WY should be on your list of candidates. Cooler temperatures, more snow because they are closer to the PNW winter storms. Fewer people.
Looking at weather history, Steamboat may be out. Record temps in June, July, and Aug are all in the mid 90's. That's too hot for anything but swimming. Looks like Telluride has never been over 80 degrees.
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Old 08-05-2017, 05:12 PM
 
5,308 posts, read 2,754,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBUplander View Post
Agreed. This time of year all we have in WA is loose dry dust trails. I'm looking forward to some fall riding and nice tacky trails for both dirt and mountain biking.

Question on that topic: We typically leave the trailhead by 9am and are back at the truck by 3-4pm. Sounds like in CO you're going to get wet in July & Aug with that schedule. Do you just carry rain gear all the time? When do the first snows close down the trails? Is fall a great time in the mountains for all of the above?
Tacky? Rip your derailleur off gluey is more like it. BTW, despite what the other poster wrote, riding either mtb or dirt bikes in mud is majorly frowned on all around. The mud is NOT AT ALL like PNW mud. The ruts cause longlasting damage.

Same thing for going off-trail even on foot, with few exceptions--that is a huge faux pas in CO.

Snow can fall literally any month in the high country. Whether it is deep enough to make trails impassible is a different story. As with the weather in general, snowfall timing and amount varies tremendously. You are going from a region with extremely predictable weather overall to the opposite.

Yes, if you hike in the stormy season you carry raingear in your pack. Also, learn what to do when lightning is imminent. You rarely get electrical storms in the PNW, and this can be a killer.
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
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If you are like me and want dry, sunny blue skies all day and hate having your day end at 1pm when planning stuff outdoors. If sitting in a tent getting wet and damp while it rains most of the afternoon into the evening when you are camping also isn't for you, then you might want to reconsider Colorado in the summer. The "monsoon season" is real and even if this is a "wetter than usual year" I'm told its more normal than not to have rain every day at some point.

I feel your pain. I came here in mid May to be greeted by a snowstorm which dumped more than a foot of snow in the mountains. I was told how wonderful the summer weather is and how Colorado has "300 Days of Sun" with just a few "brief, refreshing showers in the afternoon to cool things down.". Well, June did indeed deliver. It was beautiful, dry and sunny most of the time with the exception of of a few minutes to less than an hour of rain here and there. Turns out it was an exceptionally dry June and sure enough wildfires started popping up all over. One was literally a few miles from my house! Wildfires are pretty damn awful but a happy medium is good too..

July changed all that! Since July 5, it's literally rained every day here in the mountains from 1-5 hours with the exception of 3 days. Yes, I've counted them. I work outside, I camp, backpack, bike and I hike. I hate camping in constant rain. Until last week when it ONLY rained for a few hours each day, I hadn't camped since July 5! Last year when I camped for 5 months in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas I saw 5 days of rain TOTAL!!

I will say that here in the Rocky mountains the mornings are usually beautiful. It rarely starts out rainy. The skies are blue, the air crisp and clean and it's wonderful. BUT you have to get up early with the sun and get everything done by noon. It can rain anytime after that point and it can last an hour or 5 hours. It usually doesn't rain constantly but it gets damp, humid, chilly and pretty miserable. First the winds pick up, then the temperature drops and then the rain starts. It often doesn't end until dark.

Weather forecasts are useless. Last week we went camping and rafting in Buena Vista and the weather was predicted to be sunny with a "slight" (10-20% chance) of showers. We got a little rain the first evening and the next morning was just perfect for our rafting. But by noon the clouds rolled in, the temperature dropped and we were rafting in hail, thunder and lightning. Then it cleared up for a time. We got back to our camp and it rained AGAIN with 35mph gusts for 4 hours! I'm sorry, some might like all this "excitement" but it's not for me. BTW, we had postponed this rafting trip a week because it poured the week before.

In any case, people get VERY defensive about the weather here! If you claim it rains "every day" (which it does) you practically get your throat ripped out. It seems that if a day has sun more than a half an hour and it doesn't rain more than half the day it's a "sunny" day here in Colorado. By that rationale, then Colorado has 300 rainy or snowy days too!

I myself have given up and don't plan to spend another summer here. I love Colorado. I love the scenery, the culture, the towns but I can't take the weather just being horrible half the time during the summer.

Last year I was in northern California and I saw ONE day of rain in 2 months (August and September). I'm lucky in that I work seasonally (summer and winter) and take spring and fall off now. So I'm now looking at spending next summer in, you guessed it, the Pacific Northwest or somewhere like Montana or Northern Wyoming..all places where the word "monsoon" doesn't exist. I want to be able to take a day and enjoy ALL of it and sleep under the stars like I did in California.

As for winter, I love snow and am really looking forward to a lot of snow here in the Rockies as I will be working in Colorado this winter. Maybe I'll spend fall here but the "mud season" (spring) I'll be heading southwest and the summers I'll be in California, the northwest or the northern Rockies. You might want to look into those options.

BTW, the monsoons COME from the Southwest and if you think it's dry in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico in the summer, think again. It's great in the fall though. I went to Utah and Arizona and New Mexico last October and November and saw rain 5 days. Here in Colorado I haven't seen 3 days without rain in 6 weeks. Not for me. You will have to decide if it's for you.

I'm impressed that your wife hiked the Colorado Trail. It was on my list of things to do but honestly I don't think I could hack all the rain. I'd like to do the Collegiate Loop and/or the JMT in California.

Last edited by Freak On a Leash; 08-05-2017 at 08:11 PM..
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