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Where would you move?
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By Jon Marek
From SLC
Jan 30, 2012
gossamer

My girlfriend and I are moving this fall, here is our list of places we are considering.

1. Coeur d Alene, Id / Spokane, Wa
2. Bend, Or
3. SLC, Ut
4. Ft. Collins, Co
5. Missoula, Mt
6. Boise, Id

We have only been to and climbed in two of these cities. What would be your order of best to worst? Any of these cities just suck to live in? Any thoughts?


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By Dylan Colon
From Eugene, OR
Jan 30, 2012
Me fishing for gear on an onsight of Mung.  Photo by Gokul Gopal.

While I haven't been to about half of these, I'd think that one of your primary considerations would have to be your personal preference for city size. While some people would find a big city like SLC to be stiflingly large and overwhelming, other people might be bored in a smaller town. It's hard to recommend one of these cities without knowing what your size preference is, considering the pretty large variation in the list you've provided.


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By Mark Wyss
From Denver, CO
Jan 30, 2012
Mt. Baker

Just curious, why would you consider Fort Collins and not Boulder?


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Jan 30, 2012

Is being employed a consideration? If so, wouldn't you look for the job first? If not, congratulations!


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By Forsty
From Fort Collins, CO
Jan 30, 2012

I live in Fort Collins, but have not been to the other places so this may not be of much use. That being said, Fort Collins is a great place to live with climbing easily accessed, although a bit farther than if you were in Boulder. I have been to Boulder many times, and it is not for me. I know many people who love it, but I just cant hop on that train. The Fort is really easy going and has treated me outstandingly well for the couple years I have lived here. Just my 2 cents.


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By Cory
From Boise, ID
Jan 30, 2012
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fun day in the Hills

Moved from LA to Boise about 7 months ago. Loving it so far! Got any more specific questions?


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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Jan 30, 2012
Whaaaat?

I've spent time in each of these places, and my personal preference would be as follows:

1. SLC
2. Spokane
3. Bend
4. Missoula
5. Boise
6. Ft. Collins


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By Nick Votto
Jan 30, 2012
Bolton, VT

Here's some plus's for each of the cities I've been to, great list though.....

1. SLC- world class skiing and climbing right next door and much more within few hours drive, not sure about the party scene but I don't generally like the "rules" in Utah
2. Bend- Great smaller city, good beers and good food...from what I understand its expanding somewhat rapidly....amazing backpacking and hiking in the area but I can't speak for the climbing
3. Missoula- my favorite area of my favorite state, amazing scenery, backpacking, fly fishing, skiing, etc.....from what I understand there's some climbing too, I did some great granite bouldering in the area and saw lots of route potential .....less people and NOT many jobs at all
4. Coeur d Alene- not much in the surrounding areas but lots if you drive a bit, can't speak for the climbing or the scene
5. Boise- heard its a great city, I've climbed at City of Rocks and skied in the Sawtooth backcountry and both were absolutely amazing...
6.Ft Collins- no comments


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By Zirkel
From Bishop, CA
Jan 31, 2012
Owens Gorge.  Mt Tom in background.

Each of the above cities shine in their own set of attributes (with the exception of Spokane), as highlighted above by Nick. I've been through all, and recently spent two years climbing and going to school in SLC - And LOVED it!

From diversity of climbing to jobs to social and cultural amenities to a cheap cost of living, Salt Lake is tough to beat. LCC, BCC, Uintas, American Fork, Maple, Joes, Indian Creek, City of Rocks all lie within a reasonable drive. And I've never before appreciated easy airport access until living in Salt Lake.

The primary downside, I found, was the Winter smog inversion that blanketed the valley. Additionally, the traffic sucked. The LDS influence to my social life was surprisingly minimal.


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By Wade Frank
From Littleton, CO
Jan 31, 2012
Rhys at Lake McConaughy.

Jon Marek wrote:
My girlfriend and I are moving this fall, here is our list of places we are considering. 1. Coeur d Alene, Id / Spokane, Wa 2. Bend, Or 3. SLC, Ut 4. Ft. Collins, Co 5. Missoula, Mt 6. Boise, Id We have only been to and climbed in two of these cities. What would be your order of best to worst? Any of these cities just suck to live in? Any thoughts?



Ft. Collins all the way, you are in your 20's why not live in a sweet college town that is close to any outdoor activity you could possible want to participate in, and you are with a bunch of people that are like minded!!! I'm a Colorado native and I have been to most of the places on your list and while they are awesome places I am always happy to be home in Colorado!


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jan 31, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

Before you go and locate, you might want to consider a road-trip.
It is far easier to find a job in the town you love than build a town you love around a location you have selected.

PS - Fort Collins isn't bad. I don't like Boulder Proper so much, so I live in Erie... 20 minutes away from Boulder, 30 minutes from Bocan, Eldo, The Flat Irons, the St Vrain... 45 min from Table Mountain (as if I liked it... but some do), an hour from Lumpy, RMNP, The Big Thompson Canyon, Clear Creek Canyon, Castlewood Canyon (repeat Table Mountain comment), and the fantasic climbing around Empire (Ra, Halidome). Tack on another 20-40 minutes and I'm anywhere in the South Platte.

Point being, you don't have to live in any "city proper" that you don't like. Any of your other destinations has alternatives as well. I'd have considered Vegas if it were not so damn hot there in the summer.


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By lewisslc
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Jan 31, 2012

SLC is a great place to live, Incredible climbing which ever direction you choose to turn. Like stated, the inversion is terrible and ugly. Cost of living is unbelievable, and the majority of people living in SLC are not LDS (to find that you need to travel to the suburbs, I.E., West valley, West and South Jordan, ect...); city life is suprisingly liberal, and the art scene, if you know where to look, is wonderful. SLC would be a great choice.


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By mozeman
Jan 31, 2012

Coeur d Alene is an awesome central location to access places like index, lavenworth, and the Si's for a weekend (or long day) trip. as well as close(r) access to several places b/c its right off of I-90


Same kind of goes for bozeman (which i prefer over missoula)and has everything you could want, small crags, 3+ season snow sports (if motivated, I knew people who found places to ski in the middle of august), alpine is only a few hours away in every direction, good water, and awesome fly fishing

For climbing specifically tho, there are much better locations


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By jordan cocanower
From The High Country
Jan 31, 2012
A nice little alpine day

1. Ft collins
2. squamish
3. Chatanooga
4. Bend
5.estes park


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By Josh Kornish
Jan 31, 2012
The Roach

Missoula is a great place to live. The job market may not be the greatest but the outdoor opportunities make up for it.

Missoula is actually right in the hub of some great climbing. There are 15 areas all within an hour of Missoula.

Here are some of the best:

1) Blodgett Canyon: Bigwall, Trad, Sport,Bouldering. Exeptional rock quality.

Blodgett Canyon Wikipedia

2) Lost Horse Canyon: Bouldering, Trad. Best bouldering and cracks in the state.

3)Kootenai Creek: Trad, Sport. The most popular area due to it's proximity to Missoula. Great climbing.

4)Lolo Pass: Trad, Sport, Bouldering. A lifetime of rock climbing exists here. It has largely been forgotten due to the destruction and restoration of road. Insane amount of rock.

5) Mill Creek: Bigwall, Trad, Sport, Ticks. Varied rock quality from excellent to decent. Lots of new developement going in.

6) Rattler and Mulkey Gulch: Limestone sport. Pretty fun areas

Others: (all within an hour)

Bass Creek
Bear Creek
Big Creek
Alberton Rest Stop
Sweathouse Creek
Sheafman Creek
Roaring Lion Creek
Lake Como
Skalkao Pass
Canyon Creek
Kim Williams Trail choss pile
Butte Area Climbing (tons)

Despite the common misconception Missoula is home to some great rock climbing. You just need some local info

Spokane is sweet but way overcrowded at the crags


Mill Creek Blog


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By JPVallone
Jan 31, 2012

Europe


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jan 31, 2012

John Rogers wrote:
While not on your list, Grand Junction CO...



+1. I've always been surprised that GJ doesn't make these lists more often. The access to climbing is awesome. When I lived in so-central UT, some coworkers lived in Junction and it seemed perfect to me. You have easy access to Moab/IC, Rifle, the Black, Ouray, the Swell, and multi pitch granite and good sandstone bouldering in Unaweep right outside GJ itself. Worth a look for sure.

Out of your list, other things will come into play, like: Do you ski and/or ice climb? Is fly fishing on the agenda? Etc.


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By martinharris
From Glenwood Springs CO
Jan 31, 2012

There are no jobs in fort Collins so if work is important and you have nothing lined up go elsewhere


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By Jon Marek
From SLC
Jan 31, 2012
gossamer

Thanks for all the responses already.

Grand Junction...we might have to add that to the list, I had a great spring break there several years ago and I am thinking about doing more ice once we move.

We are primarily concerned about climbing (any style, hopefully a lot of everything!) but access to NPS land is important. Access to other outdoor sports is awesome but climbing is numero uno.


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By Chris D
From the couch
Jan 31, 2012
Sign near the Third Flatiron

California.


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By Nick Stayner
From The Magic City
Jan 31, 2012
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.

Just FYI, try searching. This topic has got to be one of the top 10 Mountain Project threads of all time and I'm sure you'll find some useful info on some of these places in older threads.
Good luck! I would suggest Bozeman over Missoula if you have the choice too.


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By David A
From Boulder, CO
Jan 31, 2012
Hanging out after climbing a route in Eldo on a cold day.

Tahoe.


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By Alex Swan
From West
Jan 31, 2012
Rather Grand

Nick Stayner wrote:
Just FYI, try searching. This topic has got to be one of the top 10 Mountain Project threads of all time and I'm sure you'll find some useful info on some of these places in older threads. Good luck! I would suggest Bozeman over Missoula if you have the choice too.



Bozeman may have world class Ice but the rock climbing around Missoula is far superior that coming from a Bozeman native. Bozeman definitely has better ice and skiing though


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By cdelu
From Yucca Valley, Ca
Jan 31, 2012
Jackson and I at Smith Rocks <br />

My husband and I moved to Bend, Oregon for about 9 months. The only work we could find was seasonal answering phones at Christmas, okay if you love sitting for 8 hours a day and burning through your savings. Dry climate but weeks with no sun and highs in the -8 range. Beautiful, great beer, fun bars. Climbing at Smith was beautiful but choss pile, much better trad climbing across the river. Just my opinion.


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By Jon Marek
From SLC
Feb 2, 2012
gossamer

Is there any climbing near Bend other than Smtih Rocks?


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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Feb 2, 2012
me on my redpoint

Will S wrote:
+1. I've always been surprised that GJ doesn't make these lists more often. The access to climbing is awesome. When I lived in so-central UT, some coworkers lived in Junction and it seemed perfect to me. You have easy access to Moab/IC, Rifle, the Black, Ouray, the Swell, and multi pitch granite and good sandstone bouldering in Unaweep right outside GJ itself. Worth a look for sure. Out of your list, other things will come into play, like: Do you ski and/or ice climb? Is fly fishing on the agenda? Etc.



I lived in Boulder for 7 years and I have been in Grand Junction for 6 months now and I am super psyched on it! Within a few hours you have more outdoor fun than anywhere. I was in silverton skiing last thurseday, sat I was in a tshirt in Indian creek, sunday I was ice climbing in ouray. I went for a mountain bike ride monday. Pretty amazing.


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