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Moving to Golden, CO


Original Post
HM333 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

My wife and I are thinking of moving to Golden, CO with our 5-year-old son.

I'll be working downtown but travel regularly and will also be able to work from home 1-2 days per week and so think the commute should be tolerable. We've targeted Golden because we feel like we could have some semblance of smaller, mountain town feel while still being close to Denver.

I haven't yet climbed at Clear Creek but would be psyched to have it as my local crag...

Any current or former residents with thoughts on life in Golden, CO? Schools, neighborhoods, sense of community, city trends/politics, etc...?

Thanks.

OrganicChemistry · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 95

if you can work remotely or have a office in COS, the westside of Colorado Springs would be my suggestion over ";Golder";.
The cost of living is better, better scene and music on a regular basis and GoG would be your backyard.
Golden, Denver and the surrounding areas are busting at the seams.
not really a small mountain town feel like Old Colorado City part of Colorado Springs. Shelf Rd and Eleven Mile are close enough for weekend trips. Manitou Springs is cool.

just my .02

Jeremy Bauman · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 740

My opinion: If you can afford it Golden is awesome. Know that wherever you move in the Denver metro area is going to feel crowded. I live 10 min from Golden and its my favorite area around. Though I don't live there, I get a sense that there is pretty good community etc. Lots of good restraints and breweries. The climbing access is excellent.

Best of luck

Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 86

Getting to Denver is not bad. You could light rail all the way (assuming that is what you meant by downtown). If you drove at least you will not be on I-25 much. If you travel a lot though it is a long way from the airport.

Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55
HM333 wrote:My wife and I are thinking of moving to Golden, CO with our 5-year-old son. I'll be working downtown but travel regularly and will also be able to work from home 1-2 days per week and so think the commute should be tolerable. I haven't yet climbed in Clear Creek but would be pretty psyched to have it as a local crag. We've targeted Golden because we feel like we could have some semblance of smaller, mountain town feel while still being close to Denver. I haven't yet climbed at Clear Creek but would be psyched to have it as my local crag... Any current or former residents with thoughts on life in Golden, CO? Schools, neighborhoods, sense of community, city trends/politics, etc...? Thanks.
Golden has a bit more of a small-town feel compared to Denver and the Springs, but it's doesn't seem to me like it's really a small town anymore. To my knowledge has it ever really been a mountain town, you can see a huge difference compared to Durango, Idaho Springs, Frisco, etc. Rather, it was one of the many mining towns that sprang up in the area, but unlike, say Jefferson (namesake of JeffCo and inspiration for a kiosk in Matthews-Winters Park), it survived.
ClimbandMine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2001 · Points: 895

Golden has outgrown its charm (in my opinion). I lived there until about 2010.

Home prices have shot through the roof - what was a decent $350-400k house is now $500-600k+. My old townhouse would now go for almost $400k. Ridiculous.

mmk · · Golden, CO · Joined May 2012 · Points: 25

I hate to be jaded, but your vision of Golden no longer exists. Golden and the entire front range is extremely crowded and expensive. Clear Creek Canyon used to be a great place to climb, but Hwy 6 is closed regularly due to accidents and the noise from semi-trucks, buses going to Central City packed full of gamblers and just heavy traffic in general make it a bit of a chariot race trying to get to the crags. Often the most dangerous part of a day of climbing is simply navigating Hwy 6 to get to the parking area for the crags. Further, Hwy 93 on the outskirts of Golden is regularly a parking lot. And with statistics suggesting 10,000 people moving to Colorado every month, it is only going to get worse.

If you are looking for a small mountain town feeling, you won't find it in Golden. If you do chose to move to Golden, just come with your eyes wide open.

Tony A. Davis · · Golden, Colorado · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 155

We currently live in Golden, it is crazy expensive and becoming something of a Boulder. Having Clear Creek Canyon nearby is great, good paddling, great rock climbing and ice climbing is minutes away. The American Alpine Club and Mountaineering Center are in town. Like someone said, homes are half a mil. rent can be in the 2K range.

Schools are hit and miss, if you are near town then you will have great schools (Mitchell Elem. 10) (Golden High 7), cross the line south and they drop to 2's. I cannot understand why a progressive state like Colorado can have crappy schools blocks away from great schools, so look around at the zones and ratings. Stay near town if possible, south of town and you enter mobile home parks, bars, liquor stores and a correctional facility along with those that frequent that kind of place. Golden is nice but I believe is very overrated.

HM333 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks for the replies. I may have misspoken a bit in referencing the "small mountain town" thing. I do realize that the growth in the Denver metro has been significant, and that nowhere within striking distance has escaped unscathed.

We were fortunate enough to buy our current home (in Austin, TX) at the bottom of the market in 2009, so we have enough equity to where I think we can afford a good location in Golden (or elsewhere in Denver).

To those who feel that Golden is overrated: are there other outlying towns within commuting distance of Denver that you would find preferable? We are fairly sure we don't want to live in central Denver, though I guess we haven't 100% ruled it out... We are in central Austin now and feel like if we were to leave, we would want to do so for somewhere where we had mountains & climbing & such out our back door - and Golden seemed like it offered that (and seemed topographically separated from Denver such that it wouldn't be swallowed by sprawl).

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts..

jmapping · · Carbondale, co · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 766

Golden is a very good option for that. Boulder, Golden, Morrison, and Idaho Springs are really the best front-range options for running into the hills "out your back door".

Food for Thought:
I live in Lakewood/Edgewater which is awesome because I can ride my bike to downtown Denver in 25 minutes, drive to Morrison boulders in < 15 minutes, Earth Treks Gym in 15 minutes, on I70 in 5 minutes, or the mouth of Clear Creek in about 25 minutes. Housing prices are probably half what they are in Golden. That said everything is changing really fast. We didn't want the flash and frills of the fancy neighborhoods so we live in a pretty normal 'down to earth' neighborhood. Yet despite not having breweries out my back door I can ride my bike to coffee shops, breweries, or the Highlands (fancy neighborhood) in less than 10 minutes. To me the cost of Golden wasn't worth the benefit of 'walking out my back door' to the recreation that is outside of Golden when in reality you will have to get in your car no matter what. It is good enough to me to buy at half the cost (and it was) where I can drive to that same recreation in ~15 minutes. All this said even the "dodgy" neighborhoods around me are changing very fast so take what people say about the suburb communities with a grain of salt because it's likely their perspective is outdated.

... That was a bit rambly but I'd be happy to give you some more beta if you need.

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10
HM333 wrote:Thanks for the replies. I may have misspoken a bit in referencing the "small mountain town" thing. I do realize that the growth in the Denver metro has been significant, and that nowhere within striking distance has escaped unscathed. We were fortunate enough to buy our current home (in Austin, TX) at the bottom of the market in 2009, so we have enough equity to where I think we can afford a good location in Golden (or elsewhere in Denver). To those who feel that Golden is overrated: are there other outlying towns within commuting distance of Denver that you would find preferable? We are fairly sure we don't want to live in central Denver, though I guess we haven't 100% ruled it out... We are in central Austin now and feel like if we were to leave, we would want to do so for somewhere where we had mountains & climbing & such out our back door - and Golden seemed like it offered that (and seemed topographically separated from Denver such that it wouldn't be swallowed by sprawl). Anyway, thanks for the thoughts..
Considering you work In downtown Denver your best bet would probably be to get a place near the Arvada or golden light rail. Note that i70 east of golden/Arvada is slated to be under construction for the next decade or so, so if that would be your main route to town you are screwed. 6th down from golden is horrendous and will get worse once i70 closes so get a place near Light rail.

So See what you can afford that fits your bill, Arvada will be cheaper. In any case you aren't going to have climbing outside your door , whether it golden or Arvada (unless you are thinking n table, which is worse than the gym). Both places lack in diversity and Arvada lacks in character (golden has kinda a bit of character downtown but will be a huge let down compared to Austin) , but they are good places to live and climb.
Cindy · · Lafayette, CO · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 20

Stay to the western edge of the metro area for recreational access.

I suggest checking out western Lakewood, the Green Mountain area. It has amazing access to mtn and road biking, hiking, running trails and paths (all from our door), Earth Treks (10mins) or even downtown Movement (15mins), any climbing in Golden, the South Platte and Eldo are within 15-45mins to many great routes. Definitely suburbia but quick access to city stuff.

We moved to Lakewood last year otherwise Golden, Boulder and Evergreen have been my homes for 27 years. Most in Boulder, but nearly a decade in Golden too. If you want cool vibes and some tourists and "scene" (not in negative context necessarily) do Boulder, Louisville or Golden. Golden has better access to skiing.

Schoolwise, south Boulder and Evergreen would give you topnotch schools K-12. Golden, is less so. The Lakewood area I mentioned has great elementary schools and sort of drops off like Golden does later, they're just okay.

This Green Mtn area has a super lowkey neighborhood vibe and Quite a few of these houses have "million dollar" views for under $500K, right now. This area will explode in value shortly if the current trend continues. Because we arent looking for any city life regularly, this Lakewood area is the best of all the spots I've lived.

Have a great time choosing!

jmapping · · Carbondale, co · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 766

I totally agree with Cindy about the Green Mountain area. It's a good investment in that area as well since houses will be very affordable comparably and will be sure to go up. What I've seen is as Denver got expensive fast all the sudden people started moving out to the suburbs and realizing it has some strong advantages (big yards, access to mountains, quieter, less expensive, ability to raise animals, etc...). The only catch in Green Mountain area is if you want to ride a bike into work. I think it's more like an hour bike ride from there (but I could be wrong).

Another place I would highly recommend is right around Crown Hill Park (especially just south of the park). Crown Hill is probably the best urban park in the Denver area for going on a run, walking your dogs, or getting your kids out to a nice walk/bird sanctuary. The houses and neighborhoods there are really nice and can be charming. A lot of the streets are not through streets so they are quiet and good for your kids to run around. If I moved somewhere else in the front range if would move there despite it only being 1 mile west of my current house.

Kevin Stricker · · Evergreen, CO · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 575

Check out Evergreen before you settle on Golden. Still a small town feel and only 45 minutes from downtown Denver. I've lived here 11 years and wouldn't consider moving back down the hill. Lot's of other smaller mountain communities nearby as well. Property is expensive, but is well worth it in my opinion. Best of luck with your move!

trevor stuart · · Aurora, Colorado · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 105

Golden is where I would live if commuting to work in east Denver wasn't an issue. Close to Boulder, south platte, and getting west is very easy. Seems like the most central climbing location you can find.

Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55

HM333, I would argue against Evergreen if you work downtown. It would be comparable to living in Elgin and working by UT. Lakewood is a decent compromise, both for housing and for driving distances. The Belmar part of Lakewood is kinda like the Domain but more family-oriented.

Natives love to complain about traffic, but really, it's not that bad. It's rarely like Mopac, though I-25 does feel like driving by the Capitol sometimes. Denver didn't plan for this many drivers, but unlike Austin, they didn't actively try to thwart people moving here by under-building infrastructure..

And currently there's 3 Torchy's but little in the way of passable bbq.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,471
Tradgic Yogurt wrote: Natives love to complain about traffic, but really, it's not that bad. It's rarely like Mopac, though I-25 does feel like driving by the Capitol sometimes. Denver didn't plan for this many drivers, but unlike Austin, they didn't actively try to thwart people moving here by under-building infrastructure.. And currently there's 3 Torchy's but little in the way of passable bbq.
Right on the money there. I visited Austin a month ago and was absolutely shocked at how bad the traffic on Mopac and I-35 has become. Yikes. You're a little better off around here.
Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 86
Tradgic Yogurt wrote: And currently there's 3 Torchy's
There are also good tacos if you like those.
doug rouse · · Denver, CO. · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 660

Consider Morrison, Kittredge, or even Evergreen If price isn't a Huge issue. Clear Creek is allright, but has little options for trad climbing. Morrison is a bit futher South (4-5 miles) and does boast a small town feel, with stellar bouldering in town, and 20- minutes to some of the best climbing in the South Platte areas.

Dave Hurst · · somewhat near Boulder CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 5
Kevin Stricker wrote:Check out Evergreen before you settle on Golden. Still a small town feel and only 45 minutes from downtown Denver. I've lived here 11 years and wouldn't consider moving back down the hill. Lot's of other smaller mountain communities nearby as well. Property is expensive, but is well worth it in my opinion. Best of luck with your move!
Man oh man, if you work in Denver and live in Evergreen, Conifer, Idaho Springs, Blackhawk, or any mountain town, you are in for often absolutely epic commutes during winter storms. These places--Evergreen, Idaho Springs, Nederland, etc., all look close on a map, but trust me, they are not--with 60+ mile r/t commutes into Denver, with 3-4k vertical feet each direction, roads full of semis and dreaded ski tourists from out of state, can be treacherous at worst, and problematic at best during winter months. They're great places to live if you don't have to work, or if you work in them or nearby.
Besides, Evergreen?? It has to be the most expensive of the Denver bedroom communities even before you throw in the costs of serious commuting--esp., as the OP said, into downtown Denver.

Golden is great, it's close, good restaurants, not the Boulder scene at all--I lived in the foothills west of and near Boulder for 30+ years, I can say that and mean it--no mountain driving for day to day commuting, and close to good climbing, mountaineering, skiing, etc. Prices are steeper than say, east Aurora or Brighton, but then again, you're not living in Kansas.
ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145

The best thing if you can swing it might be to come spend some time in the area before deciding where to settle. I grew up in Evergreen and lived in Edgewater in the '90s before moving away for several years. When we had the opportunity to return to Co in 2009 we looked at North Denver (close to my work), Evergreen (close to my parents), Green Mtn, Lookout Mtn and Golden.

We decided against Evergreen because we'd have to drive everywhere and it is super expensive. You can find much nicer properties for equivalent money elsewhere. Green Mtn is great - but definitely be aware of the soil issues if you are buying a house. There is a lot of bentonite and several of the houses we looked at had pretty bad structural damage.

We ended up finding a house in Apple Meadows on the North side of Golden and couldn't be happier. It has a rural feel (that's changing) with a lot of open space around us. Less expensive than Golden proper. We hike and mountain bike out the door, pretty much equidistant from CCC and Eldo, easy commute with Hwy 58 - I-70 and 6th Ave right there. It's a short drive to the Golden light rail station which we take to get downtown. I don't have kids, so no idea about the school quality.

That being said, it has exploded in growth over the past 7 years - they keep putting in mc mansion developments, and as someone else said Hwy 93 will back up from Golden to Boulder (not kidding) for evening rush hour. Make sure you look at the future plans for C-470 as it will eventually get built to complete the loop. It might help traffic, but you may not want to live next to a highway.

Good luck!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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