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Thread: Best place to live for hiking

  1. #1
    Member Greenmountaingoat's Avatar
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    Best place to live for hiking

    Recommendations for places to relocate to with my fiancÚe, possibly out West. We are avid day-hikers with mild interest in backpacking but also kayaking, running etc.

    Ideal most important attributes of new locale:

    Lots of great day hiking (not all exposed) within 1-2 hours drive.
    Reasonable to low cost of living
    Lots of great water nearby

    Secondary concerns:

    High end residential design market (my job; I understand this is potentially at odds with #2 above).
    Lots of other great trips 1-2 day drive
    Not yet into true mountaineering and not sure that it's my bag or hers.

    So far, I have Bozeman and Salt Lake City on my list. Not sure where in Colorado I should be considering.

    A move is at this stage a 2 years away or so and more of a dream than a solid reality. I'm not 100% serious yet but want to start researching my options should things start pushing us in that direction.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    NH 31/48 ADK 26/46 NE 65/115

  2. #2
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Portsmouth, NH

  3. #3
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Portland, Oregon. Just spent a few days there in September visiting a friend, and was reminded of how well it meets all of your criteria...

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    So tough to choose just one place. Issaquah.

  5. #5
    Member vinovampire's Avatar
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    I would recommend either Burlington, Vermont or Bend, Oregon. If you want to stay in the east, then Burlington is a great choice. You have the Green Mountains <30 minutes away and the ADK and White Mountains within 2 hours in either direction. There's the great big lake, Lake Champlain, and a variety of rivers. There's a fair amount of new condo and residential home development occurring in the area too. Bend is a great option out west. Tons of amazing hikes in every direction. There's a nice river that runs right through the heart of the town.

    Good luck with your search!

    PS: Oh, just noticed you live in Essex, VT. Why would you ever leave Vermont!?.... :-)

  6. #6
    Junior Member BooZiggy's Avatar
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    Amherst, NH. No more than 2 hours from....Boston, Ocean, White Mountains, Southern Maine, Southern Vermont. Lots of conservation areas and hiking in town and surrounding towns. Nice quality of life.

    And I'm totally biased.

  7. #7
    Member Tuck's Avatar
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    Lincoln, NH, end of list.
    Tuck

  8. #8
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    So tough to choose just one place. Issaquah.
    Yeah, what he said. 'Cept the part about Issaquah. No way does this meet the criterion for "reasonable to low cost of living", given the housing prices in that town: Issaquah market trends

    There are, however, other places in western Washington that meet all of the criteria, in spades. No place mentioned here so far will exceed the outdoor opportunities available there, and some of them are laughably distant from first.

    EDIT: I just centered a circle on the Space Needle with a sixty-mile radius. Within that circle, a person can:

    1. Climb a volcano that is the fifth highest summit in the Lower 48.
    2. Take pictures of orcas from the seat of your kayak.
    3. Take pictures of mountain goats, Roosevelt elk and two species of deer, along with black bears, cougars, marmots, etc., etc.
    4. Drink coffee in the city that got America drinking coffee as a pleasure and not merely a wearisome morning habit.
    5. Eat at a greater variety of dining establishments than you really need to have available.
    6. Ride a bike to work daily with an excellent chance of surviving and even enjoying the experience.
    7. Ski at downhill resorts, Nordic trails … and in backcountry that will do its level best to kill you if you're looking for that sort of thing.
    8. Go on so many dayhikes that you might grow weary of the experience.
    9. Occasionally stand on the crest of the Cascade Mountains range and gaze longingly eastward at a drier climate than you enjoy (sic) on the "wet side" of the mountains.
    10. Eventually complain about all the people from California who have moved into the area.
    Last edited by sardog1; 11-13-2014 at 12:11 PM.
    sardog1

    "┼! kjŠre Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og T°rste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  9. #9
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Salida, CO
    +1 at least in summer/fall
    "I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet, had my head snowed in, and I'm still on my feet, and I'm still,...willin"

  11. #11
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    In a more perfect world I'd spend winter in Florida and the Carribbean, spring somewhere on or near the Colorado Plateau (Santa Fe area would do), summer in the northern Rockies (focal point Jackson, WY) and late summer and fall in northern New England. Some may quarrel with the details of some of those preferences, in which case I would be glad to try their suggestion for a season ... in a more perfect world.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    In a more perfect world I'd spend winter in Florida and the Carribbean, spring somewhere on or near the Colorado Plateau (Santa Fe area would do), summer in the northern Rockies (focal point Jackson, WY) and late summer and fall in northern New England. Some may quarrel with the details of some of those preferences, in which case I would be glad to try their suggestion for a season ... in a more perfect world.
    Our float plane pilot in the Brooks Range flies in the summer in Alaska, and the Winter in Belize. 25 year old kid, and he was my hero.

  13. #13
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Well, Salt Lake City is tough to beat. We have a timeshare out there and go for a week every year. Besides having the Wasatch in your backyard, you are within a five hour drive of some of the greatest national parks in the nation such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Also, the Sawtooth Mts are within the same driving distance.

    Price of housing seems to vary greatly depending on location, as is the case most places, but there is lots of open space and they are building lots of houses.

    www.rugged-rob.smugmug.com

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