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Old 04-11-2010, 08:10 PM
 
14 posts, read 29,896 times
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I have been researching places to live for a long time. I have a unique set of criteria, and colorado seems like more of a match then most states.

All in all, I am interested in a place that has mountains, plenty of trees, and plenty of year-round sunshine. I am also interested in smaller towns.

I am a big mountain nut, and am into scenic mountain photography. I love sunshine as well as clear nights. I will likely be building a passive solar home. However, I also prefer trees and forested environments, not so much the barren desert (although they can be nice to visit).

I dislike bigger cities for a variety of reasons, ranging from feeling claustrophobic to a detest for light pollution. I enjoy the outdoor activities, peace and quiet, and personal freedoms to be found outside of a big city.

I've settled on a few places which might be good matches, but I was curious what any of you might think.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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Am concerned about what you mean when you say "trees and forested environments".

If you're thinking dense green forests of hardwoods, with lush green undergrowth, and spectacular fall colors ... then you won't find that in Colorado's mountains (you'll get the stands of aspen turning in the fall, but it's quick, and not always very colorful ... sometimes you really have to seek out the patches of color in the hillsides). It's a very dry area for much of the year, and it's not especially green for most of that time. Most of the trees in the Colorado forests are non-deciduous, and spaced fairly far apart.

With the recent bark beetle invasion, many areas of Colorado forests are little more than standing firewood right now ... and they're not green.

For the most part, the Front Range of Colorado has too much light pollution for your list. But there's a lot of places with small towns in the Western areas that also have some degree of light pollution, too. How much is acceptable to you? none, slight, or ?
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,521 posts, read 11,628,203 times
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Come visit Ouray, San Juan or San Miguel Counties. Bring a dump truck full of money.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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I'm familiar with the foliage in colorado, and quite like it. No wrong impressions here, I took a tour of the state fairly recently. What I want to avoid is living where there are few trees or only scattered scrub.

Light pollution of a "big city" is what I'm trying to avoid. As long as I have a fairly good view of the stars at night, I'm happy.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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Well most places in Colorado that have decent trees are up above 7500 feet in elevation and ideally more up above 8000 ft which limits your options quite a bit. That also means you can have winter conditions for up to 9 months of the year so you better like winter quite a bit.

Also in that environment there isn't anything I would call a city either. You do have some towns of decent size. Most of those towns are going to either be expensive ski towns or mining towns that saw their best days 130 years ago and that have been going downhill since.

Another issue that is going to have an impact is the pine beetle problem which it appears before long just about every lodgepole pine around will be standing dead.

In regards to building a home, one huge, huge mistake I have seen many from outside the state make when buying property for a house, is that you better have water rights of some kind or some way of getting water for the house.

Probably the best thing I would say is Colorado mountain living is more challenging for many reasons then any other place I have lived, so I would make sure you have budgeted well, have significant income and am prepared for the difficult living conditions at times.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:36 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geefreck View Post
I'm familiar with the foliage in colorado, and quite like it. No wrong impressions here, I took a tour of the state fairly recently. What I want to avoid is living where there are few trees or only scattered scrub.

Light pollution of a "big city" is what I'm trying to avoid. As long as I have a fairly good view of the stars at night, I'm happy.
The aspen trees are awesome but in my experience where those trees are, is either very expensive real estate as in millions of $ or federal or state controlled land. And aspen trees seem to mostly like it above 8500 ft or more which again limits options.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,207 posts, read 4,137,134 times
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Woodland Park and the surrounding area is somewhere you should research. It's a small town of about 8k, in the mountains with lots of trees. It's only 20 minutes out of Colorado Springs.
Monument and Palmer Lake would also fit your criteria.
Right now you could buy a really nice home on 2+ acres for waaaay less than it would cost to build, and basically get the land for free.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,409 posts, read 2,252,996 times
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It sounds like you want to be somewhere in the ponderosa pine forest belt (which is the sunniest forest community in Colorado). The question is, how much winter can you tolerate? 7000 to 7500' is generally the minimum elevation at which you have well-developed ponderosa pine forests in Colorado. There are some exceptions. The pine belt starts a little lower, just west of Boulder (6000 to 6500). One of the best ponderosa pine forests in CO surrounds Estes Park (7500').

Also, a lot of people don't realize that pine forests start at around 5500-6000' in the mountains of Arizona and southern Califorina and the climate is much milder there then at a similar elevation here. So there are some other options if you're not sure about the Colorado highlands.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:25 AM
 
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Ward sounds perfect
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,348,297 times
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One town that might work for is is Beulah. it is located southwest of Pueblo in the foothills. They are over 6,000 feet high with plenty of trees and have cool summers but not as cold as the mountains in the winter because they are at a lower elevation.
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