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Old 03-01-2012, 08:33 PM
Location: PNW - Greater Seattle Area
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I guess my question is pretty self-explanatory: which has the best mountain views/access?
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:46 PM
Location: The 719
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Boulder... unless you're military... then I'd say Colorado Springs.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:32 PM
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I'm giving the nod to Colorado Springs. Because on top of Pikes Peak there is the ultimate view-ultimate. Get up there in late Spring-early Summer. On top looking north, Denver and Castle Rock doesn't seem like its that far. So's Greeley. Looking east miles and miles of plains, Limon, Burlington. In back gazing at the rows of mountain ranges to the west and southwest; Sangre De Cristos, the Collegiate Range, South Park and the 14,000 ft. mountains that surround it.

I grew up in the Springs as a kid-loved it! It's been a few decades since I've been on top of that place, I owe myself a trip!
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:28 AM
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Boulder, first then Colorado Springs. Both have excellent access. I think the views from the Boulder/Longmont area are more spectacular than the Springs. I have lived in all the areas you have mentioned and am an avid mountain lover. Pikes Peak is nice and Woodland Park area west of the Springs is very beautiful. But for living and enjoying the daily views, I would pick Boulder. And Boulder is a better place to live, in my opinion, than the Springs, but not better than Fort Collins. However, Fort Collins doesn't have the views that Boulder has, but has equal access. They all have good access, but Boulder area has the best views of the fourteeners and the jagged Rocky Mountain peaks. hope this helps.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:17 AM
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Boulder is the best of the three....Buena Vista is the best in all of Colorado...the name says it all..
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:33 AM
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Also depends on where in the mountains you prefer to visit. If you want to head to the ski areas along the I-70 corridor, or if you enjoy the south-west area, that can help influence your decision.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:57 AM
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Wink 3 different peas in a large pod

Boulder arguably enjoys the best mountain views and access.

While they are all fairly decent for direct access into the mountains, this varies in a number of ways. Of the three, I would rate Fort Collins lowest, but with a caveat. There are any number of places in town where one can enjoy a panoramic view of Longs Peak and the front range mountains. But not as up close and personal as in Boulder or Colorado Springs, so this in part a matter of perspective and personal taste. But as far as access goes it could be considered better than Colorado Springs; it depends on what one wants to access. To the northwest of town at a slight remove is the Cache la Poudre river canyon, although if lovely country greater access as far as towns are concerned limited to Walden in North Park, and a fairly long drive to anywhere beyond. That could be an advantage, or not. Where I would give it a definite nod is in about the best access, to the southwest, to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

With Colorado Springs, on the other hand, one has the massif of Cheyenne mountain and the high ramparts of the front range right at your doorstep. Literally just west of town is that separate in Manitou Springs, just within them. But in passing through there to the west one might question how many obvious recreational opportunities in comparison to other areas. I am not as familiar with this area, so surely there are choices. Nevertheless it seems one may be somewhat limited in this regard unless wishing to take a much longer excursion west on US 50.

Arguably the best access into the mountains, and to where many want to go, is via I-70. So if one wants to throw a fourth town into this mix, Denver has some advantages. Although as slightly removed to the east, nowhere in town with as ready access into some type of mountain territory as the other three.

It will take a bit longer to reach I-70 from Boulder, although it is decidedly closer than the other two of these three choices, who are roughly equidistant, and to north and south both a good drive to that interstate. So there is that, and also directly west of Boulder, Boulder Canyon, which is scenic with some recreational opportunities, and then readily to Nederland and the front range via the Peak to Peak road. Of the three, Boulder surely also has the best municipal hiking trails in the mountains. Ft. Collins has some, such as up to Horsetooth mountain, and I am not entirely sure about Colorado Springs. But from the edge of Boulder one has the option of any number of fine and quite scenic hiking trails, up to and within the Flatirons. The view from the western side of town is intimate, with these beautiful mountains a close companion; at a slight remove in the eastern portion of town one will enjoy a greater panorama, a bit more like Fort Collins, but in no way less than, if not as expansive. For that one will want to move somewhat further east, such as maybe Louisville/Superior.

Even if just making this choice based on no more than this, in view and access, it will still come down to personal preference rather than to any obvious merit of one place over the other. Boulder is a good, solid choice, but one may not want to visit Eldorado Canyon, and will find the hiking trails and Boulder Canyon relatively heavily visited; one will have to go farther, or at least well off road and trail to find serenity. This might be more easily accomplished from Ft. Collins, as access to areas which will not be as heavily frequented. This not necessarily the case in RMNP, with its 3m annual visitors, which both it and Boulder share fairly good access to. But even there it is possible to get lost if one tries. One might find some quiet little places of their liking near Colorado Springs, if bearing in mind that it is a small city, and population will have an influence on such things. However of the three it enjoys the most ready access to greater southwest Colorado, and at a distance a lot of fine and fairly empty country.

So one might just consider Durango.
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