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Old 11-01-2017, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,642,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treasurevalley92 View Post
I agree with this.

I would also like to mention that Idaho is 60% public lands and has some of the most incredible scenery in the lower 48, yet is even less popular than New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. I think part of this is branding (the majority of people I meet think of Potatoes and Idaho and think it is in the Midwest) but part of it is also that Boise is pretty remote and doesn't have the sort of airport that Denver has. Also, while there is plenty to do right around Boise, the most beautiful parts of the state (Sawtooths in my opinion) are a couple hours away.

I think Colorado has done a really good job marketing themselves and they have Denver which has been an important city for a while. SLC and Boise are just up and coming now and SLC has to deal with (an unfair in my opinion) Mormon stereotype.

Basically I think Colorado has put themselves out there as the mountain west state that liberals from the coasts feel most comfortable in without scaring away mid-westerners looking for mountains.
Idaho seems pretty in the central part. I wasn't wowed by pictures of the southern part where Boise is. I was surprised at how yellow Boise was actually, thought it would be more forested less plains looking. Thought it would look more like Bozeman or something. Then again Denver is also plains so can't argue for that. Colorado doesn't carry a stigma of being a farming and O&G state though it definitely is in the eastern half. I don't know if Idaho has big oil but obviously potatoes so definitely farming. Napoleon Dynamite (Idaho in 1970s) didn't help Idaho look more than just farms either. Idaho is pretty well known in outdoorsy circles for having the most rafting opportunities (best in the entire country by the way), especially rapids, so Idaho does have key selling points even against Colorado here... Idaho does have a bit of an issue with social conservatism from an outsiders perspective here, in regards to racist groups in and around CdA. That was in the news an ancient time ago and that stuck I think. Arizona also has this issue.

A far as the Mormon stereotype for SLC, it has more to do with stringent alcohol laws and social conservatism that is really unappealing. Though economic conservatism for many liberals is unappealing, I think it's more about whether a place is socially conservative or liberal. I'm saying this as a liberal, I care more about social issues than economic. This is why Austin might be booming, even though it's still Texas. Does SLC provide the "social liberal" haven in a red state like Austin does? Possibly, but no one really knows. Austin marketed itself, SLC doesn't seem to be doing it as well. Austin probably appears more socially liberal than SLC so... that's my recommendation to Utah.

Arizona has one of the wonders of the world. There's only seven of those. Still not outshining Colorado in this supposed "outdoor destination" rankings. Tucson has two national parks literally within city limits, and skiing in city limits, on top of one bedrooms being $400/month on average for rent (great for Millennials with lots of college debt), still doesn't outshine Colorado. (Tucson is honestly one of the best kept secrets in this whole country) It's marketing. Arizona chose to make itself known as an anti-Mexican state with an over-controlling maniac sheriff that discriminates against people costing us millions of dollars (thankfully no longer our sheriff but we are still suffering the impacts of him, in terms of perception and lost economic growth because of perception), so we don't make the "social liberal" list that prohibits us from being more like Denver.

If I told you if you could give up the ocean, you could get weather just like Southern California in SE Arizona for houses in the low 100s would you believe it? It's true by the way. Weather is near identical even without ocean, significantly cooler than Phoenix and Tucson and even cheaper than those fireballs. Just look in places like Nogales and Bisbee (Santa Cruz and Cochise counties). Doesn't get higher than 94 down there in Nogales, exact same weather as Los Angeles. Also greener than Los Angeles in Nogales. Bisbee doesn't get higher than 88 degrees. No triple digits at all, and no snow. So why are Nogales and Bisbee some of Arizona's best kept secrets? Because they are not marketed, and they are small towns. Bisbee by the way is super liberal, as liberal as the West Coast if not more. They tried to legalize gay marriage around the same time as Mass did. Yet, Bisbee continues to undergo population decline, partially due to economy, and the fact that it's so wild for people to think they can get California weather and Iowa prices. It does exist, just with no ocean.

Colorado has great mountains, I mean that sincerely. More giant tall mountains than most of us. But there's more to it than pretty mountains. If it was just mountains anyone who has used Google images knows the answer is Alaska. But as someone else said, Alaska is inaccessible, which is part of its charm IMO, so it's again more than mountains if being inaccessible is an issue.

If it was sheer amount of public land, isn't it Nevada or Utah that has the most public land? Still not Colorado so it's not quite that. Public land is great, but if it's restricted for federal reasons (Area 51) it's not that fun. It's marketing + the other things I said. I absolutely agree. If Nevada and Utah being held back is mostly because it's desert, great for than me then. I benefit every day from people being extremely anti-desert.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:38 AM
 
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Much of Arizona is also pretty hot for real exercise, much of the time.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,642,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
I agree with your points here. I think CO hit a home run with the combo of outdoors activity, urban framework, economy, politics... But I guess for this thread I was just concerned with only the outdoor activity section, why is CO better than eastern states in that regard?
I'm really not experienced with the East...

Rockies are rugged, more "tundra" looking as they get taller, and are still ""new"" mountains to most Americans.

When I google pictures of the mountains back East right now, whether the ones near New Hampshire or North Carolina, I don't see the sense of "adventure" with those as I do the ones out by us. The East is older in American history, the East is more "explored". They look less dangerous, they don't give the vibes of a challenge as much as the Rockies do. They can't be as dangerous if their peaks can still grow trees, right?

I think outdoorsy types crave challenges, and conquering new things. Taller, more dangerous mountains (even if just by appearance) are appealing in that regard. The "Wild West" is still considered the new and unexplored part of the country, even though we have things like Google and especially Maps, and I think that's a subconscious benefit towards the Rockies over the mountains back East.

Though in non-mountain areas, the West does seem to have more "hostile" activities in general, which again are appealing for those who like to push themselves. Like doing anything in bone dry Nevada where people die from the heat all the time. If you can hike with little water in Nevada you can do anything I'm sure of it.

Like the Grand Canyon is a class 4 rapid for most of the way (let's not forget how long the Grand Canyon is), one of the hardest to white water raft, and if you're really an avid rafter you do the one that lasts a couple weeks (I think the longest is almost a month, and very pricey) which is both the upper canyon and lower canyon (lower canyon has all the class 5 and is 200 miles long). If you can handle a class 4 for 230 miles (whole length of Grand Canyon) you deserve a gold star.

It's not that the East doesn't have tough areas, it just doesn't carry that perception AS MUCH AS the West does. Whether it's Maine vs. Colorado or Florida vs. Arizona. Florida has swamps with alligators, definitely dangerous. Everglades is a good chunk of Florida. But does it seem more dangerous than endless isolated miles of desert with rattlesnakes and little water? Or 14k footers in Colorado where avalanches can happen? I personally don't think so.

I know there's non mountain activities in Colorado but I can't think of any at the moment. But I still think my point stands.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,642,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
Much of Arizona is also pretty hot for real exercise, much of the time.
Depends where you are, but yes much of it. Personally I don't think New Mexico is, they never seem to triple digit over there, but still faces the "too hot" thing as Arizona, though I strongly disagree.

Colorado isn't the only place in the inland West with good weather though. Like in most places, there are pockets, and that goes for Colorado too.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:02 AM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
2,808 posts, read 1,303,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
Idaho seems pretty in the central part. I wasn't wowed by pictures of the southern part where Boise is. I was surprised at how yellow Boise was actually, thought it would be more forested less plains looking. Thought it would look more like Bozeman or something. Then again Denver is also plains so can't argue for that. Colorado doesn't carry a stigma of being a farming and O&G state though it definitely is in the eastern half. I don't know if Idaho has big oil but obviously potatoes so definitely farming. Napoleon Dynamite (Idaho in 1970s) didn't help Idaho look more than just farms either. Idaho is pretty well known in outdoorsy circles for having the most rafting opportunities (best in the entire country by the way), especially rapids, so Idaho does have key selling points even against Colorado here... Idaho does have a bit of an issue with social conservatism from an outsiders perspective here, in regards to racist groups in and around CdA. That was in the news an ancient time ago and that stuck I think. Arizona also has this issue.
Fun Fact, Napoleon Dynamite is set in the early 2000s in Preston, a small farming community down by the Utah border, although the 70s aesthetics defiantly plays into the joke.

Yeah Boise itself is pretty dry, and at the bottom of a prehistoric lake bed. That seems to surprise alot of people. It only gets 11 inches of precipitation a year, but is right on the border between mountains/desert/ agriculture. It's prettiest when covered in snow or in the spring when it is greenish and the hills have some wild flowers. That said I think the Valley is pretty lush considering how little rain it gets:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6354...!7i8704!8i4352


If you drive 16 miles (45 min) north to Bogus Basin you get 200-250 inches of snow per year and it looks like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.7729...!7i8704!8i4352

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.7637...!7i8704!8i4352

Or just up 55:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.0918...!7i7168!8i3584

Even if you just go south of Boise you run into mountains like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0361...!7i8704!8i4352


Although I agree I think the prettiest parts of the state are in the central and northern parts:

Sawtooths:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.1071...7i12288!8i4060

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.1464...!7i8704!8i4352

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.9383...7i10240!8i5120

And of course Northern Idaho:

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.9520...!7i7168!8i3584


I also think that alot of our outdoors options cater more to the adventurous/ hard core type outdoors people rather than your average national park goer. I remember seeing a post by a lady from LA complaining that there were more outdoors stuff to do in and around LA than Idaho, when pressed all she actually meant was there are no national parks in Idaho, never mind over half the state is public land.

The Frank Church Wilderness area is pretty much unmatched in the lower 48 as rugged untouched wilderness, but that isn't for your casual sandwich in the park gee it would be neat to see some nature type people.

I'm not sure if the social conservatism hurts the state as much as the general lack of knowledge about it does. Most people I meet don't even know that the state has mountains.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:24 AM
 
2,729 posts, read 5,150,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
Idaho seems pretty in the central part. I wasn't wowed by pictures of the southern part where Boise is. I was surprised at how yellow Boise was actually, thought it would be more forested less plains looking. Thought it would look more like Bozeman or something. Then again Denver is also plains so can't argue for that. Colorado doesn't carry a stigma of being a farming and O&G state though it definitely is in the eastern half. I don't know if Idaho has big oil but obviously potatoes so definitely farming. Napoleon Dynamite (Idaho in 1970s) didn't help Idaho look more than just farms either. Idaho is pretty well known in outdoorsy circles for having the most rafting opportunities (best in the entire country by the way), especially rapids, so Idaho does have key selling points even against Colorado here... Idaho does have a bit of an issue with social conservatism from an outsiders perspective here, in regards to racist groups in and around CdA. That was in the news an ancient time ago and that stuck I think. Arizona also has this issue.

A far as the Mormon stereotype for SLC, it has more to do with stringent alcohol laws and social conservatism that is really unappealing. Though economic conservatism for many liberals is unappealing, I think it's more about whether a place is socially conservative or liberal. I'm saying this as a liberal, I care more about social issues than economic. This is why Austin might be booming, even though it's still Texas. Does SLC provide the "social liberal" haven in a red state like Austin does? Possibly, but no one really knows. Austin marketed itself, SLC doesn't seem to be doing it as well. Austin probably appears more socially liberal than SLC so... that's my recommendation to Utah.

Arizona has one of the wonders of the world. There's only seven of those. Still not outshining Colorado in this supposed "outdoor destination" rankings. Tucson has two national parks literally within city limits, and skiing in city limits, on top of one bedrooms being $400/month on average for rent (great for Millennials with lots of college debt), still doesn't outshine Colorado. (Tucson is honestly one of the best kept secrets in this whole country) It's marketing. Arizona chose to make itself known as an anti-Mexican state with an over-controlling maniac sheriff that discriminates against people costing us millions of dollars (thankfully no longer our sheriff but we are still suffering the impacts of him, in terms of perception and lost economic growth because of perception), so we don't make the "social liberal" list that prohibits us from being more like Denver.

If I told you if you could give up the ocean, you could get weather just like Southern California in SE Arizona for houses in the low 100s would you believe it? It's true by the way. Weather is near identical even without ocean, significantly cooler than Phoenix and Tucson and even cheaper than those fireballs. Just look in places like Nogales and Bisbee (Santa Cruz and Cochise counties). Doesn't get higher than 94 down there in Nogales, exact same weather as Los Angeles. Also greener than Los Angeles in Nogales. Bisbee doesn't get higher than 88 degrees. No triple digits at all, and no snow. So why are Nogales and Bisbee some of Arizona's best kept secrets? Because they are not marketed, and they are small towns. Bisbee by the way is super liberal, as liberal as the West Coast if not more. They tried to legalize gay marriage around the same time as Mass did. Yet, Bisbee continues to undergo population decline, partially due to economy, and the fact that it's so wild for people to think they can get California weather and Iowa prices. It does exist, just with no ocean.

Colorado has great mountains, I mean that sincerely. More giant tall mountains than most of us. But there's more to it than pretty mountains. If it was just mountains anyone who has used Google images knows the answer is Alaska. But as someone else said, Alaska is inaccessible, which is part of its charm IMO, so it's again more than mountains if being inaccessible is an issue.

If it was sheer amount of public land, isn't it Nevada or Utah that has the most public land? Still not Colorado so it's not quite that. Public land is great, but if it's restricted for federal reasons (Area 51) it's not that fun. It's marketing + the other things I said. I absolutely agree. If Nevada and Utah being held back is mostly because it's desert, great for than me then. I benefit every day from people being extremely anti-desert.

Southern Idaho is a large area of land and includes river canyons (one of them is the deepest in North America and not far from Boise) , mountains, forests, lava flows and desert. The Island Park area within Southern Idaho is as majestic as any other area in the Rocky Mountains.

Boise yellow? Never heard that one before. The city sits in a river valley and has a rather impressive urban canopy of trees for a dryer western city. The Treasure Valley is a productive agricultural area and is green and fertile during the growing season. A few thousand feet up the dry foothills above the city the pine forests and mountains begin and stretch all of the way up to Canada as well as east and west across Idaho. Boise sits at the base of a huge forested wilderness area that a lot of other western cities of size cannot claim. The largest roadless alpine/mountain wilderness areas in the Lower 48 are in Boise’s backyard. Boise also has a trout river running through it with old growth cottonwoods along its banks. You won’t find that in Denver or Salt Lake.

One major difference Idaho has compared to the rest of the inland western states is that mountains are in view no matter where you are in the state, unlike eastern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.
Idaho is a state of exquisite mountains and some of the most varied and diverse natural areas of any inland western state. The Lost River Range in SE Idaho (the southern part of the state) is one of the finest examples of fault block mountains anywhere.

But you are right about marketing…people in American feed into it and that can be a good and bad thing.

Here is a set of photos online that shows what Boise and its landscape are like:
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=229647
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:33 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Why is Colorado one of the premier outdoor destination states in the US while many other states lag behind?

Most peoples first answer would be the mountains. As a native of the state, I would disagree, I'd say it's the close access of large swaths of public land to major population centers.

Why is that? Except for skiing and hiking 14ers, not many activities actually require a mountain slope. The best mountain biking, ATVing / dirtbiking, hunting, immediate / closeup scenery and wildlife, fishing, camping... are all in the foothills around the mountains, not on the side of the mountains themselves. To top that off, skiing or hiking 14s require public land in order for people to use them as well.

There is something to be said about the views of the mountains which are breathtaking and Colorado's climate facilitating outdoor activities, but CO isn't the only state with hills and a decent climate and scenery... Most of the US outside of the Rocky Mountain rain shadows qualify here. The difference is that in other 'less outdoorsy' states, if you want to do something outdoors it's either a long drive away or on small parcels of land and there's no big trail systems, it's very crowded with people with no wilderness feel, or you see it out of a car window but can't go there yourself.

I think if eastern states had the same amount of public land and trails that were close to big population centers, these states would be much more outdoor friendly. Basically, I don't think it's an issue of topography holding these states back, it's an issue of lacking the resources to have a public land infrastructure like CO has.

Thoughts?
Well you are right, my first answer would be the mountains. That is what Colorado is most known for, at least to this New Yorker. Colorado's old nickname was the Rocky Mountain State, is home to Rocky Mountain National Park and one of its official state songs is "Colorado Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver. And of course Colorado is known for its mountain ski slopes, the Switzerland of America.

But I do agree with you in the comment "as a native of the state". As a local you know things that people outside your state and local area do not, in this case all that public land in Colorado. However, as a native to New York, I can tell you that New York also has a lot of public land, a respectable 37% to Colorado's 43%. And New York has more than its share of both hiking and biking trails.

Similarly, both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are in the respectable teens and also have a lot of hiking trails. Other eastern states like Michigan, Florida and Minnesota are in the 20% range for public land. Not too bad for states located near big population centers lol. Then you have basically every other Western state which have large amounts of public land.

So the point is not necessarily how much public land a state has, its how they use it. Here in New York for instance, the great bulk of the public land is for park/conservation use, in some other states like out West, much of the public land is rented out to private mining/logging and ranches. So I think it is something about the way Colorado uses it land that gives it a reputation that other Western states may not have.

Public and Private Land Percentages by US States : Facts & Information : SummitPost
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
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Washington probably has the least amount of public land in the western US, yet it's still very famous for it's wilderness and that is mainly because of the large stunning mountains such as Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. St Helens, Olympic mountains etc. these mountains are probably some of the most famous in the country.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/p...cLandsMap2.jpg
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:51 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
As another Westerner in a different state I am going to have to disagree. Arizona has lots of public land, tall mountains (though not as many), and offer the same activities as y'all do... Arizona at the end of the day is STILL not as popular as Colorado. Northern New Mexico is in proximity to many of Colorado's outdoor amenities and is not popular either, despite being more politically similar to Colorado and significantly cheaper. Wyoming also being nearby is not as popular either.

Utah may or may not have better mountains than Colorado, or at least a comparable amount, has even more public land and closer mountains to major population centers, but SLC is not as popular as Denver. Denver does better than Salt Lake City because of politics (state level) and less inversions/better weather. For someone who prioritizes outdoor activities and nothing else Denver overall isn't that stellar of a place to look at when comparing Denver to the rest of the inland West.

Now of course in comparison to back East, Denver kills anything back East because of public land. That I agree with.

It's a combination of liberal politics, decent weather, outdoor activities, and a booming urban center with lots of jobs available. Few places offer that in this country.

Even though people say it's the outdoor activities... and just that... I strongly disagree... bring up Utah which is comparable and they'd never consider it because they are afraid of the LDS influence in the politics. So clearly there's more to it than that. Especially in doing a comparison of Denver to SLC or Boise or Western Montana.
This hits the nail on the head.
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