Great places to live for outdoors lovers

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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I love living in Utah. There's a few things I hate about it like the one-sided political system and the crippling air pollution that settles into Salt Lake this time of year, but for outdoor recreation, it's awesome.

But I've been thinking about where the perfect place to live would be away from Salt Lake. We already talked about small towns, but what about bigger ones? As much as I'd love to live in a place like Torrey, its probably not realistic if I also want to have a decent income. This is especially true for my wife who pretty much needs a major medical center or two in the area to be able to have lucrative job opportunities.

So with that said, where would you guys want to live to maximize your outdoors pursuits and still have a big economy around you?

Salt Lake?

St. George?

Las Vegas?

Denver?

As crazy as it sounds, the more I look at Las Vegas, the more promising it seems. 3 hours from Zion, 4-5 hours to the Grand Canyon, 2 hours to Death Valley, 4-5 hours to San Diego, 4-5 hours to the Sierra Nevada Range. That's some diverse landscape! But is the grime of Vegas worth the endless variety in weekend pursuits?

P.S. I don't really care that much for snow sports. :)
 

gnwatts

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Vegas has pretty severe pollution problems too. Maybe not as bad as SLC?
It is pretty centrally located in the scheme of things though.
 

wnorton

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Jul 28, 2012
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St George gets my vote.

1 hour to Zion
5 min to Snow Canyon
20 min to Arizona Strip
45 min to Gold Butte
2 hour to Kanab area
2.5 hours to Toroweap
90 min to closest Grand Canyon
Etc..




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
wnorton @ Southern, UT
 

Nick

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IntrepidXJ

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Grand Junction is similar in size to St. George and bigger if you include the Grand Valley (Fruita, Palisade).

I was going to suggest Durango since I also looked into moving there, but if GJ is too small, then Durango would be, too.
 

gnwatts

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Glenwood Springs has Valley View Hospital, which just finished a major expansion and is affiliated with University Hospital in Denver, and Aspen Valley Hospital is a fine facility. Just sayin'.
 

alene

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Feb 24, 2012
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when you move Nick or make your decision, please convince my husband Tyler as well, someplace closer to the desert spots we love so that every get-away doesn't have a 4or 4+ hour drive
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
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St George gets my vote.

1 hour to Zion
5 min to Snow Canyon
20 min to Arizona Strip
45 min to Gold Butte
2 hour to Kanab area
2.5 hours to Toroweap
90 min to closest Grand Canyon
Etc..




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
wnorton @ Southern, UT


X2

It was my choice to come here and I love it!!
Everything I love is close by and if I had the time I could be outdoors every day and do something different
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
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Jun 7, 2012
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Grand Junction is similar in size to St. George and bigger if you include the Grand Valley (Fruita, Palisade).

I was going to suggest Durango since I also looked into moving there, but if GJ is too small, then Durango would be, too.

I had some friends look into Durango, and the lack of water was concerning. I guess some people truck their water in? That's crazy.

I'm with you Nick, almost too much. I love SLC, but the politics can get annoying, and the air this season is just terrible. My wife too needs a bigger city, so that she can work (she's a nurse).

We've discussed moving, and the only place I've really considered is SW Colorado. We've spent some time in Oregon, but never loved anything enough to live there.

I need the Colorado plateau, so for now, SLC is the best of the state as far as I'm concerned.
 

Nick

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Yeah, St. George is still Utah, politically speaking, so that's not great. But like slc_dan says, I need me lots of Colorado Plateau. Personally, I think western Colorado would be fantastic for many reasons, but I think Audra really wants to live in the desert, and by that I mean some place that stays pretty warm in the winter like St. George or down in the Mojave. And I don't think I'd like it quite a bit myself, especially if I had Zion in my back yard.
 

baltocharlie

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Dec 21, 2012
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I really like Boise, Idaho. Idaho is one of the western states that has a lot of water. I like to paddle and it has its fair share of rivers. Politics, probably similar to SLC though not certain. There is also a funky little town called Wallace in the northern part of the state(near Missoula). Looks like it leans left of center if that is what you seek....but it is tiny. BUT they get 400" of snow in their mnts:) Missoula is very nice as well. A little far from the SW though, college town with lots of young folks out and about.
 

baltocharlie

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Dec 21, 2012
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I remember years ago reading about the AEC and radiation fallout in St. George from the nuclear tests in Nevada:

http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/utah_today/radiationdeathanddeception.html

Growing up in Utah in the early 60's I remember one trip driving through the desert heading to California. Traveling at night(might have been just into Nevada) we experienced an incredible, long lasting bright light. At first we thought it was lightning but then realized that it lasted a too long, it was something else. We spent the night in a small town near the 'light' and the next morning everyone in town was talking about the "light". Years later we realized it must have been the nuclear testing. Pretty scary.
 

pixie1339

Desperately Seeking Sandstone
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Jan 21, 2012
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St. George and Grand Junction have both been tempting options for me. If I were to move away from the Salt Lake area, I'd want to move somewhere a little less populated than Salt Lake, but that still has the conveniences of a city (grocery stores, auto shops, etc.) and decent job opportunities. Rick has tried to convince me that we should move to Vegas (he lived there for a little while), but I don't think I'd be very happy there. Too seedy and too hot in the summer for my taste. I really struggle with the winters in Salt Lake, but it really is a great place to live the rest of the year. I think I'll be sticking around for at least a few more years.
 

Laura

freespirittraveler
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Oct 1, 2012
Messages
957
I'd second Flagstaff if I were looking for someplace outdoorsey with decent employment opportunities. It's only 3 hours or so to Utah in either direction. Pass on Vegas, unless you want to spend ALL your time looking forward to your next opportunity to leave! Personally I'm liking Springdale, it's close enough to the larger cities if you need something (like work), but far enough away to avoid their headaches. If money was no object it'd be Boulder, CO all the way, but that's probably one of the few places more expensive than San Diego.
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
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Jan 17, 2012
Messages
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Air quality looks fantastic out there today. 70 is the high I believe. Sure had fun mountain biking this weekend. Thanks for asking Nick.
 
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