Colorado or Oregon?

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Curiosity question for those who have been in both locations. Possible job opportunity near Portland has come up in my agency. I am contemplating putting in for it but am a bit torn. I love Colorado and definitely love the outdoors here. Feels like my CO bucket list alone is years till complete :D. However, I am curious.... from an outdoors standpoint, what would you think are the pros/cons of staying/moving? I've never been hiking or backpacking up in the Pacific NW so have no idea other than what I see in TRs, images, or websites. So, anyone on here who has an opinion, I would love to hear what you think and which you would pick... stay or try the NW :cool:

Cheers
Nick
 

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#2
Colorado. Oregon rains too much, too many people, very expensive, and parts are geologically unstable (volcanoes and lahars). Colorado is better in terms of central location for getting to places like the Winds, canyon country, etc., and the San Juans are fantastic. If you're on the Front Range, maybe try to move to the W. Slope instead of Oregon. Oregon's beautiful and great to visit, so just vacation there.
 
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#3
I worked in eastern OR (south of John Day) for 6 months and really liked it. Lots to see and do, mountains, rivers, high desert, but I road tripped back to MT during a long weekend. I always found myself thinking of places to go, things to do in the Rockies. My soul is really in the northern and central Rockies. So I returned to MT after the job ended. Same thing for when I lived in CO and spent a couple summers in northern CA and AK. When I retire from job in AK, I'm headed back to MT/WY.
 

Nick

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#6
I'd normally vote Colorado, but I've always wanted to spend 3-5 years living in the PNW, see and do a bunch of stuff, then retreat to the desert long term. Variety can be nice.
 

Titans

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#8
From an "outdoors standpoint" (your question), Colorado. The great weather in CO always makes everyone want to go outside and do "outdoors" stuff:
Denver gets 17" rain per year, Portland gets 43". Denver has 245 sunny days, Portland has 144 sunny days, Denver has 78 precip days, Portland has 154 precip days. https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/oregon/portland

We absolutely loved the WINTERS in Colorado, so many (!) pleasant sunny days, where you can get outside to exercise: run, bike, walk.... Or you can go skiing or snow shoeing in the mountains. Fall in CO is great anywhere for outdoors stuff, spring is awesome too. In the summer you can head into the mountains, when it heats up at lower elevations. Now having said that, ironically, I totally missed rain & the fragrance of rain, when we lived in CO, ha.... and I kind of gave up on anything gardening related (Oregon would be great for that!).

We love our vacations to Oregon along the coast in the summer or fall (and we recently lucked out weather wise for 1 week here in spring)- but it really rains a lot in Oregon during certain months. I do think that a lot of rain limits activities outdoors to some extend. We have lived in many different locations (incl some very rainy ones) and there are great things and less great things about every place. But with respect to being outdoors, it's hard to beat Colorado. Of all the places we have lived, we spent the most time outdoors in Colorado.
 
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#10
I'd normally vote Colorado, but I've always wanted to spend 3-5 years living in the PNW, see and do a bunch of stuff, then retreat to the desert long term. Variety can be nice.
This is pretty much what I did. Grew up in western CO and had never experienced anything else, couldn’t wait to leave and went to Seattle for school, lived up there for 6 or 7 years and couldn’t wait to get back to the CO plateau once I got a little older (that said there’s stuff I can’t believe I didn’t do while I was there). My wife’s fam and my bro are still up there (near Portland) and I love that I get to visit at least once a year but not really interested in moving there (though I’m much more of a canyon/desert guy than a mountain guy).

Portland is really cool. Outdoor stuff near the city is busy but I suppose not much different than the front range in CO.
 
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Ben

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#11
Regarding the outdoors, and things people have hardly mentioned, there's the coast in Oregon. I love it.
Regarding the weather, a lot of people don't realize that summers in the Northwest are pretty sunny. I lived in Olympia and Seattle for a few years, and the rain never bothered me. It does get to some people though. If you really love getting out in the winter there might be slightly less opportunity for that in Oregon just because of differences in the weather.
If you're avid about spending time outdoors, you'll be happy in either location. In my opinion, it mostly comes down to whether you want to experience some thing different. There's no shortage of things to do in the Northwest, but it will be different from the opportunities in Colorado.
 
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#13
I've lived in the PNW for over 20 years--5 of those on the wet side and the rest on the dry side. For my money the wet side has more to do (and we nearly always go to the coast in August when it is hot over here on this side). I love the Oregon Coast and the Olympic Peninsula has got some really nice stuff also. As has already been said summer months there isn't much rain and also (apparently) early-mid October is the best time to visit the Oregon Coast (never tried it as I'm back in school each year at those times--College Professor).
Having said that though... whenever I get the chance I'm in the southwest. Colorado would be closer to that as from where I live (Eastern WA) it's at least a full 12 hr day to where the best southwest stuff is (or longer).
 
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Thread starter #14
Colorado. Oregon rains too much, too many people, very expensive, and parts are geologically unstable (volcanoes and lahars). Colorado is better in terms of central location for getting to places like the Winds, canyon country, etc., and the San Juans are fantastic. If you're on the Front Range, maybe try to move to the W. Slope instead of Oregon. Oregon's beautiful and great to visit, so just vacation there.
With me living right now around Denver, I do not think the costs are too much more. Denver/Fort Collins area has jumped up in cost alot lately. One reason I do not own a home. I have to stay in this area due to the current job so couldn't really move to another area of CO.
 
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Regarding the outdoors, and things people have hardly mentioned, there's the coast in Oregon. I love it.
Regarding the weather, a lot of people don't realize that summers in the Northwest are pretty sunny. I lived in Olympia and Seattle for a few years, and the rain never bothered me. It does get to some people though. If you really love getting out in the winter there might be slightly less opportunity for that in Oregon just because of differences in the weather.
If you're avid about spending time outdoors, you'll be happy in either location. In my opinion, it mostly comes down to whether you want to experience some thing different. There's no shortage of things to do in the Northwest, but it will be different from the opportunities in Colorado.
I do love where I live now in Colorado since I can get to alot... but will admit I am tempted to try something different. From what I have seen of Oregon from my research it does seem like there is a good bit to do... just like you said its different. No more 14ers to climb there. Of course seems like more chance at hiking the coast, or winter mountaineering, etc. Guess it comes down to which I want more for right now.
From a job standpoint and the federal agency I work for, both locations do not have positions come up (at the level I want) too often. So hence my temptation to move to Oregon as it gives me a work promotion and a chance at other outdoor opportunities. Just trying to be sure I would not regret it.
 
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#18
Why would you pick Oregon? Got me curious...
Do you have kids? Are you going to? Do you like dry weather or wet weather? These places are completely different from each other.
I said Oregon because Colorado is getting too crowded.
 
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Do you have kids? Are you going to? Do you like dry weather or wet weather? These places are completely different from each other.
I said Oregon because Colorado is getting too crowded.
I have one kid, but she is in the adult phase of her life and lives on the East coast. No plans on any more either :cool:. I am sure she would visit me from time to time, but otherwise it would be just me moving to Portland area. As far as dry vs wet weather... I do not think I mind either and would just adapt what I do to that the weather is. I've hiked in all seasons so I do not see that stopping me. If I was honest, I would say I would not want it to be too dry. I lived in NM for a while and I did enjoy it but never saw myself staying there long term.
I do agree CO is getting crowded. Here in Fort Collins, I think the influx is the highest it has been in a very long time according to co-workers. I do not mind a bit of that as long as I can get away from it here and there.
 
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#20
OMG, no contest: PacNW, hands down. (Especially Washington from Snoq Pass, north.) Thus, Portland. Great city.

Don't get me wrong, Colorado is great, but for backpacking Colorado's mountains wouldn't even make my top 5 western states. For me, Washington would be #1, Mont / Wyoming battling it out for #2/#3, California #4, Idaho #5, with Colorado maybe edging out Utah for sixth.

While I don't care for Oregon's mountains nearly as much as Washington's, (Wallowas don't count, I think of them as Idaho, since travel-wise they're part of the Boise / Spokane scene), at least in Portland you have decent access within a day's drive to the 'real' Cascades (Wash), plus the redwoods, amazing coasts, Trinity Alps / Marble Mountains, not to mention the gorge, and Eagle Cap. Oh, and the fantastic Olympic peninsula is not far away.

I lived in Denver, and yes I like it there (I almost moved back there last year). I lived 2 decades in Utah too. I know this will incur the wrath of Coloradans, but most Colorado mountains consistently disappoint me compared to North Cascades, Northern Rockies (Wy, Mt, Id), or Sierras. Too rounded, too barren, not enough verticality or granitic jaggedness. (Yes, I know the Needles in the San Juans are that, but they're the exception for Colorado, and you're already driving 5-7 hours to get there from Denver. In the same driving timeframe from Portland / Seattle, you have 20x as much of that available to you.)

And the winter weather in Portland is way better than the front range. I'd move from Denver to Portland in a heartbeat without ever looking back.
 
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