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Old 08-05-2017, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
Reputation: 78

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And for all the people who are going to jump down my throat for "dissing" the Colorado weather. I'm not the only one who feels this way..

Colorado's Weather | Continental Divide Trail | Travels

And here's the weather forecast I've been looking at for weeks now...
Attached Thumbnails
Telluride vs. Steamboat and the monsoon rains-rain-go-away.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by NBUplander View Post
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.
I feel the same way! And in that respect the mountain towns in the Rockies are great. It rarely gets above 80 here at 9,600 feet and the humidity is low. From 5 am-12 noon and in the evenings. Heat and humidity isn't the problem. But those monsoon showers won't go away....

Quote:
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.
Fortunately I have that lifestyle. No place seems to be perfect year 'round. Dividing up locale seems to be the way to go! I was looking at working a summer job at Crater Lake in Oregon and decided to come to Colorado instead to establish residency and get a winter job. I'm glad I did from a practical viewpoint but my heart breaks when I look at the weather forecast for interior Oregon. I plan to reapply for that job and hopefully spend the summer there next year.

I lived for 30 years on the east coast with rain, humidity and damp and I'm done with that scene. Next year I plan to head to your part of the woods, where the summers ARE dry. You can keep the wet, dreary winters there though. I'll stay in Colorado because I love snow.
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Telluride vs. Steamboat and the monsoon rains-crater-lake.jpg  

Last edited by Freak On a Leash; 08-05-2017 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by NBUplander View Post
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?
Here's an answer to that question. We hiked 14,265 ft Quandary Peak outside Breckenridge a few weeks ago and started at 6:30 am. The first picture was taken early in the morning before 9 am. The next one was around noon. By 2 pm it was pouring rain, thundering and lightning. You have to start at dawn, be down below treeline before noon and if you want to stay dry, be home by 2 pm. I always carry rain gear. And extra clothes. It gets cold too.

It can snow anytime here from September onward and as late as May. I hear the fall is drier but it can get cold. Heck, it's cool at night now! As for the trails, many were impassable here in late May in the high country above 8000 feet. June was a great month. You can go down in elevation to get warmer temps. I personally plan to head southwest in October to Durango, Telluride, etc to do some hiking once things dry out and cool down. Last year I was in southern Utah in October and it was amazing. Dry and warm, with cool nights. Moab is only 100 miles from Grand Junction.
Attached Thumbnails
Telluride vs. Steamboat and the monsoon rains-20155722_682781375250085_6283152451824729098_n.jpg   Telluride vs. Steamboat and the monsoon rains-20156067_682785078583048_8915476108276547202_n.jpg  

Last edited by Freak On a Leash; 08-05-2017 at 08:54 PM..
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
Reputation: 78
Here's your typical 3 pm weather map here in the mountains. And this is what I almost always see between noon-5pm. I usually try and get home and take a nap. Sometimes I have to work in it. Ugh.

I wish someone had clued me in on how often it rains here in the summer. I'll be glad when it snows. I'm a big skier and love to snowshoe.
Attached Thumbnails
Telluride vs. Steamboat and the monsoon rains-20108138_681824755345747_4815280571783674174_n.jpg   Telluride vs. Steamboat and the monsoon rains-20476353_687225834805639_1992582527243295944_n.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:40 PM
 
21 posts, read 11,688 times
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Thanks for your first hand experience Freak on a Leash. My wife started the trail July 5th and came home today. Her experience and yours are one in the same. She said parts of the trail were even more beautiful than the high Sierra in CA, which is a bold statement. She's tough and will put up with a lot of misery with a smile on her face, but despite the glorious landscape said she would have bailed had she not been doing it with two friends. Right after they left Monarch pass it got covered with a blanket of snow! That's some crazy weather.

She did the PCT last year, with little to no rain the whole time, but did have to skip part of the desert north of Tahoe to due extreme heat and Crater Lake due to fires. I asked her which was worse, the hot desert or the rain in CO and she couldn't pick, they were both miserable.

How has Colorado escaped this reputation? Of course people who live there know what's up, but outsiders are clueless on how much rain can foil summer adventure. When we were skiing in Telluride almost all the locals we talked said the winter lured them in but the summer is their favorite time of year. Maybe they are festival goers instead of back country users.

If you're looking for a good summer location the Pacifc Northwest is tops, nothing like it. Just make sure you're out of here by October!
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:57 PM
 
21 posts, read 11,688 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak On a Leash View Post
And for all the people who are going to jump down my throat for "dissing" the Colorado weather. I'm not the only one who feels this way..

Colorado's Weather | Continental Divide Trail | Travels

And here's the weather forecast I've been looking at for weeks now...
Haha, that's hilarious.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,954 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by NBUplander View Post
Thanks for your first hand experience Freak on a Leash. My wife started the trail July 5th and came home today. Her experience and yours are one in the same.
Yep. July 5. Before this past Tuesday-Wednesday that was the last time I went on an overnight camping trip. Since then it's been raining every day except for 3 days. She hit the same weather I have here in the mountains. I had to abort one camping trip 2 weeks ago because it rained from 11 am until dusk, complete with lightning and thunder. It wasn't even worth attempting to set up camp. I've stuck to day hikes since then and made sure to be done by noon.

I love camping and especially sleeping under the stars and after being able to do this so much last year it's been rather disappointing that I haven't been able to do much this summer here.

Quote:
She said parts of the trail were even more beautiful than the high Sierra in CA, which is a bold statement. She's tough and will put up with a lot of misery with a smile on her face, but despite the glorious landscape said she would have bailed had she not been doing it with two friends. Right after they left Monarch pass it got covered with a blanket of snow! That's some crazy weather.
Colorado is known for crazy weather. "If you don't like the weather..wait 5 minutes".

Another saying is: Mother Nature claims.. "You can't have 4 seasons in one day." Colorado's response: "Hold my beer!".

The only thing predictable about the weather in Colorado is that it's not predictable.

I will agree that the scenery here is indeed prettier than the High Sierra in many ways. I spent 2 months in northern California and it's no slouch but Colorado has it beat, if only because it IS greener and the crazy weather also makes for spectacular scenery as well. But you do pay the price. Many don't mind or even like the "variable" weather but I personally despise wet, damp weather and go to great lengths to avoid it.

I canceled a trip last summer to Newfoundland because of the amount of rain they get there and instead went to California and the southwest because it's dry and I was well rewarded for that decision with weeks of perfect weather. Now I'm spoiled.

After years of living in the hot, humid, rainy northeast I have little to no patience for "variable" weather. I had no idea that Colorado was this rainy in the summer. I should've have taken a clue last year when I opted to drive through Wyoming in early August because it was rainier in Colorado but I didn't give it much thought. I came here for a number of reasons and it's worked out but I will be spending summers elsewhere.

Quote:
She did the PCT last year, with little to no rain the whole time, but did have to skip part of the desert north of Tahoe to due extreme heat and Crater Lake due to fires. I asked her which was worse, the hot desert or the rain in CO and she couldn't pick, they were both miserable.
Water is a real problem for thru hiking in the Lake Tahoe area. I hike solo and do section hikes so my situation is different. If I don't like my situation I change it. I personally would take the desert over rain. I loved the deserts in the southwest. Yeah, it's dry and hot and dusty but I feel the damp and cold much more. Last summer in mid August, I took a break from the heat and went to the coast and the Redwoods. Then in fall I went out to Yosemite and back to Lake Tahoe before heading southwest for the fall.

Fires are an issue though. I know all about fires in California and we did indeed have a fire a few miles from my house here in Colorado so SOME rain is welcome relief but not every single day!

Quote:
How has Colorado escaped this reputation? Of course people who live there know what's up, but outsiders are clueless on how much rain can foil summer adventure. When we were skiing in Telluride almost all the locals we talked said the winter lured them in but the summer is their favorite time of year. Maybe they are festival goers instead of back country users.
I honestly don't know what's up. I do know that at one time Colorado was actively advertising this "300 days of sun" as an attempt to first get settlers and then tourists to come here. At this point I'd be impressed with 30 days of sun. I'm sorry, but IMO a "sunny day" is a day without rain. I'm not even talking clouds but no precip! Maybe those 65 rainy days are all in July and August?

In a similar thread I was flamed and called crazy for suggesting that too much rain could be a bad thing! Go figure! People seem to think it's okay that most of their day is rained out over and over again but for me, life is short and I have an exaggerated hatred for rainy damp weather bordering on obsession. I cancel trips and change locales because of rain and I've always been like this. Some people hate cold and winter and I love it. I hate rain and dampness. It makes me agitated and depressed. I've tried to talking myself into it. I've tried living with it. I just can't and now I've built a life where I can move around and accommodate myself so that's what I do.

I work in the tourist industry and believe me, the folks from other places are amazed at how the weather changes here and how much it rains but they come from places with worst weather so don't see to mind. I guess it's all about perspective.

As for people who live here..Yep! I've been told how "amazing" the summer weather is and how people came for the winter and wound up loving the summer. I'm still scratching my head about that one. YES, it's beautiful HALF the day but for me the other half is important too! Afternoons are when I like to set up camp, watch the sunset, relax and sleep under the stars. I even sleep cowboy style...No tent, under the stars. This is impossible now. I can't even keep the windows out or take the doors off my Jeep! An occasionally rainy afternoon is nice but not to this degree. I feel like I live in southern Florida without the humidity and heat.

It all depends on what you want. I just wish that people wouldn't get so upset and be open to the idea that many of us who love the outdoors don't want or appreciate the constant downpours day after day in the summer and want more than a few nice weeks to enjoy. So I'll go someplace else for the summer and come back for the fall and winter. . I would recommend that you look elsewhere if summer weather is important to you. If you aren't as obsessed as I am, then invest in good rain gear but go in with you eyes open in any case before you make that move.


Quote:
If you're looking for a good summer location the Pacific Northwest is tops, nothing like it. Just make sure you're out of here by October!
THAT is the plan! I want to work there in the summer. It would start in May and end by the end of September. In October I'll head to the southwest, New Mexico, southern Colorado and be back in the mountains in time for the snow. Works for me! If I don't get the job in Oregon then I'll probably go back to northern Cali.

Last year I left Lake Tahoe the last week in September. Cali has crazy weather too. On the first day of fall it snowed an inch and the following day it was 80 degrees! But I can deal with that. By the time I left in early Oct it was raining and snowing up there. I was down in Utah enjoying 80 degrees in the sun.

Honestly, I don't know of any place that's perfect all year. Even southern Cali has it's rainy season. The only answer seems to either tough it out half the year or move around. I've opted for the latter.

I wish you the best of luck. If I had to make a recommendation I'd say that if you like snow as well as dry, sunny weather, look at the area around Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately it is expensive but Colorado isn't cheap either and the skiing is great as well. And here's the weather there.
Attached Thumbnails
Telluride vs. Steamboat and the monsoon rains-tahoe-weather.jpg  

Last edited by Freak On a Leash; 08-05-2017 at 11:45 PM..
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:29 AM
 
3,103 posts, read 2,834,627 times
Reputation: 4029
Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
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.

Sorry, but you don't know what you're taking about. I live at 10,000ft on a dirt road and have spent 1,000's of hours on the trails here.

Moonsoons don't make the trails muddy. They just give the perfect amount of moisture/grip for the ride the next morning.

The only time the mountains get mud is from snowmelt and/or moisture heavy spring snow in April/May.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:39 AM
 
Location: USA
16,826 posts, read 8,660,562 times
Reputation: 12695
Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Just wait. When I lived in the Front Range foothills, thunderstorms hit almost every afternoon for a couple years. Then the drought came. Even winters were dry; I loved the lack of snow in an especially dry winter but knew it was bad news. Pine beetle, very high risk of wildfire, wells running dry...they all followed.

CO weather is exceptionally variable.
This was my experience when I lived in CO. I also lived on the Front Range/Denver burbs. There were weeks on end when I didn't have to put the top up on my Jeep. However, there was also the occasional drenching down pour. I spent most summer/Fall weekends in my Jeep in the foothills, and mountains. You could count on afternoon thunderstorms, at higher elevations, often pretty violent ones. In general I found the climate pretty dry, and of course very low humidity, but yes the weather can change very quickly, and drastically.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:44 AM
 
3,103 posts, read 2,834,627 times
Reputation: 4029
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?
Our riding season is very short here in the Mountains, since the passes don't melt out until late June and the snow comes in late September or early October.

I like early morning rides to avoid the lightning. "Below tree line by 2:00pm" is for hikers and mtb'ers (I do those as well), so I try to rap things up by noon. 4-5 hours of solid riding (no breaks) on the rocks and both me and the bike are out of gas!

Getting wet isn't a problem, but lightning is a big killer in Colorado.

Last edited by Colorado^; 08-06-2017 at 08:02 AM..
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