Author Topic: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?  (Read 21655 times)

Jeremy E.

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2016, 02:22:42 PM »
You should check out Sandpoint, Idaho. Schweitzer Mountain is pretty awesome, probably the cheapest place on this thread so far too
Someone else outside the forums mentioned the Sandpoint area and it looks really nice (been there once years ago) so do plan to check it out. Seems forestry with lakes and rivers which is something I like and not too hot/dry in summer.

Anyone know anything about Missoula Montana? Looks, on a map at least, to be a small city surrounded by mountains with skiing a few miles away and a big lake (Flathead lake) somewhat close.  Never been there and might not be a "mountain town" at all but housing prices look very reasonable too although
I don't a lot about Missoula, but if you live in northern Idaho and want to get real everclear that is the closest place to get some.... Good for making apple pie

PencilThinStash

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #51 on: June 13, 2016, 09:56:20 AM »
Posting so I can find this thread again when I start looking for the same thing in the next few years.

If only Breckenridge wasn't so damn expensive...

Jeremy E.

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2016, 11:43:14 AM »
You should check out Sandpoint, Idaho. Schweitzer Mountain is pretty awesome, probably the cheapest place on this thread so far too
Someone else outside the forums mentioned the Sandpoint area and it looks really nice (been there once years ago) so do plan to check it out. Seems forestry with lakes and rivers which is something I like and not too hot/dry in summer.

Anyone know anything about Missoula Montana? Looks, on a map at least, to be a small city surrounded by mountains with skiing a few miles away and a big lake (Flathead lake) somewhat close.  Never been there and might not be a "mountain town" at all but housing prices look very reasonable too although
I don't a lot about Missoula, but if you live in northern Idaho and want to get real everclear that is the closest place to get some.... Good for making apple pie
190 proof apple pie!!! Oh so American ;-)!

So that your polite way of saying Missoula is kind of a redneck Hicksville kind of place? Maybe meth lab central?  I have heard that many lower cost places do have that rep but don't know anything about Montana.
Well, northern Idaho as well as all of Montana are a tad on the redneck side, myself included lol
I don't really think of it as a bad thing, but some people might I suppose, it sucks that some of my friends end up buying brand new big trucks and go in tons of debt, but aside from that I just think we have better hobbies (which I suppose is just a matter of opinion). Lots more fishing, hunting, camping, drinking, etc.

CBnCO

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #53 on: June 15, 2016, 11:05:09 AM »
North Idaho, but keep it on the down low. :)

We've got our eye on Sandpoint. Not exactly dirt cheap; but, has a ski resort, lake, and some of the most beautiful country you are going to find in every direction. Not much there in the way of economy; but, if you are already FI and don't mind being a little off the beaten path (which is pretty much what you must do if you want cheap) then I say check it out.

Beriberi

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #54 on: June 15, 2016, 01:03:48 PM »
I've lived through some miserable summers in St. Louis, and I don't think Boise compares at all on the misery index.  The big difference is that the heat peaks at 6p (in Boise and other high desert cities) and then rapidly drops as it gets dark.  It often gets into the 50s at night, even on days when it has been 100+.  That means that the mornings are pleasant, and you can have a run, and open your windows to let fresh air in.  Nothing at all like a midwest or Southern summer - sticky and hot and you can't be outside for 3 months.

Also, in the mountain west, people leave the cities for the weekend. Going to Stanley, Idaho (3 hours away) - gives you 80 degree days and 30 degree nights. 

Telecaster

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #55 on: June 16, 2016, 12:02:47 AM »
Might want to consider McCall Idaho too.  Right on a lake, and gorgeous. 

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BigHaus89

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #57 on: June 16, 2016, 01:20:03 PM »
You should check out Sandpoint, Idaho. Schweitzer Mountain is pretty awesome, probably the cheapest place on this thread so far too
Someone else outside the forums mentioned the Sandpoint area and it looks really nice (been there once years ago) so do plan to check it out. Seems forestry with lakes and rivers which is something I like and not too hot/dry in summer.

Anyone know anything about Missoula Montana? Looks, on a map at least, to be a small city surrounded by mountains with skiing a few miles away and a big lake (Flathead lake) somewhat close.  Never been there and might not be a "mountain town" at all but housing prices look very reasonable too although

Missoula is a cool college town. I would recommend Kallispell or Whitefish over it though. Those are definitely more mountain/ski towns by the lake and close to Glacier National Park. I enjoy going there a few times a year.

Dicey

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #58 on: June 17, 2016, 12:22:09 AM »
All my family are in that area (mostly Auburn another cute town)...
Lolz, spartana, my sister lives in Auburn! (We were just there Sunday.) They rented in LOP for five years while they searched for the perfect fixer+acreage foreclosure. Now they're along the Wine Trail, off Mt. Vernon. Nice area, nice people, but long, hot summers indeed.
Posting mostly to follow. I'm curious to see where you decide to settle.

Miskatonic

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #59 on: June 17, 2016, 08:14:24 PM »
Another suggestion out of left field: Lutsen, MN. My brother goes every year and loves it, and he's skied at some big mountain resorts in the rockies.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #60 on: June 18, 2016, 11:32:30 AM »
Back to the dependable snow criterion for ski towns, one should know that Mammoth is open until July 4 this season for top to bottom skiing. What other resort in the USA can say that? And the cam views still show great coverage as of 6/18.

But long ski seasons may not be an important criterion for some folks.

usoverseas

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #61 on: June 20, 2016, 09:38:11 AM »
So I'm curious how the town hunting is going so far?  I think you said you were already on the road searching?

MoneyCat

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #62 on: June 20, 2016, 06:51:03 PM »
Ski towns in the Adirondack Mountains of New York are extremely, extremely cheap. Look at places like North Creek (Gore Mountain) or if you want a more Olympic flavor Lake Placid or Saranac Lake (Whiteface Mountain.)

ice_beard

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #63 on: June 20, 2016, 08:50:51 PM »
I lived in South Lake Tahoe for 3 years.  3 of the 4 drought years to be exact, and I am an absolute ski nut.  It was kind of brutal.  But on the other hand, during those winters there was plenty of great mountain biking, trail running and climbing to be had when that stuff wasn't buried under snow. 

This past winter (2015/16) was around average for snowfall, but only above about 7,000'.  The trend the last several winters has been warmer when it does snow and less and less snow below 7k, which is something to think about when deciding where you'll want to ski in the future.  Krikwood has done well with its base elevation above 8k, Homewood, less so. 

South Lake is the cheaper, seedier end of Tahoe as you probably know.  Surprisingly, the California side is considerably cheaper for housing than the Nevada side pretty much all around the lake, especially on the north shore, with perhaps a few exceptions, like some of the older condos along Kingsbury grade on the Nevada side.  The neighborhoods in South Lake are older and usually a little more run down, and each year getting more so.  The entire Tahoe region is bleeding families because there really aren't many jobs outside of low wage service industry.  There are some, but they are few and far between.  The rental market is getting hammered by second home owners renting out on Airbnb instead of doing long term rentals and it's getting difficult for locals to find any reasonable rentals.  The housing market has been on the upswing, paralleling gains in the Bay Area, just at a less steep rise.  It will likely come back down the way it always does, but only when things start to slow down in the Bay. 

Fortunately, South Lake has FINALLY figured out that the future of the town does not lie in the casinos that had their heyday back in the 70s and 80s, but that the regions future is linked to the incredible outdoor recreation and natural beauty that abounds in the area.  There is increasing investment in trails, walkable neighborhoods and non-motorized recreation.  The town has a lot of potential, but most of the leadership is stuck in the 1980s. 

If you can't swing Tahoe itself, I think the towns just down the hill, Reno south to Carson City and Gardnerville are attractive.  Not as hot as say Sacramento, affordable and close to Tahoe.  I just wish I could convince my wife that they are good places to live!! 

Other places...  Bend is cool, checks a lot of boxes but isn't cheap anymore and is HOT in the summer.  Bellingham is very un-cheap.  It probably has the highest ratio of master degree educated baristas in the country.  All the CO towns are played out, "discovered" a long time ago and struggling to maintain something resembling their former selves and not a zombie town full of homes that sit empty 50 weeks out of the year, save for Aspen and maybe Breck.  Unless you are cool with some place like Leadville.  Driggs, ID was affordable not too long ago but the spillover from Jackson is creeping further west each year.  Utah outside of SLC is gonna be unusual if you aren't LDS, that's the unfortunate reality.   I always thought Wenatchee, WA looked cool, check that place out.

There are endless discussions on places to live as a skier on a forum called teton gravity research if you haven't ever checked it out.  I don't recommend starting a new thread, just dig through old posts, tons of unfiltered, useful stuff there, you just gotta dig for it some. 

eminboat

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2016, 12:52:57 PM »
I think you said you've skied Steamboat, have you considered it as a place to live?  I just moved here about 3 years ago and love it.  I definitely wouldn't say it's cheap, but it's much less expensive than a lot of other Colorado resorts - Breckenridge, Vail, etc.  We were able to afford somewhere on the bus route - so it's a 10 min ride on the free bus to slopes - which we certainly couldn't do in most ski towns.  And in the summer there is the most beautiful 3 mile bike path to take you downtown... 

bognish

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2016, 01:01:12 PM »
Durango, CO is a great spot in CO. Pretty far from a big airport, but not as remote (or snobby) as Telluride. Close to Purgatory & Wolf Creek ski areas.

CNM

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2016, 01:04:47 PM »
I'll put a plug in for Taos, NM.  Cheap to live (if you don't live in the actual ski area itself) and consistently good skiing.  Excellent ski school, too.  Taos is relatively close to Albuquerque, which has an airport.

Telluride, as a word of caution, is probably the most expensive ski town I have ever been to! 

tj

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2016, 01:06:42 PM »
Posting so I can find this thread again when I start looking for the same thing in the next few years.

If only Breckenridge wasn't so damn expensive...
I got very excited when I saw a nice apt for rent in Breckenridge for $800/month  on Hotpads today until I realized it was a room for rent. But with studios going for $1800 plus I guess it's a deal.
  https://hotpads.com/201-county-rd-breckenridge-co-80424-1pt8sbf/528/pad

BTW hotpads is a pretty easy site to look for houses, apts or even room mates. I'd seriously consider going the roommate route to live in a place like Breckenridge awhile (and the last photo of the view from the apt is making me consider it) but with a small dog its harder and would want to eventually be able to afford to buy wherever I end up. But still...being single and kidless does open up a lot more affordable options to live in expensive places fairly cheaply.

Where are you seeing the roommate section on Hodpads?

dailycycle

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #68 on: June 22, 2016, 06:26:22 PM »
I was in Boise this Spring.  It has fantastic access to mountain biking/hiking trails, but the trails are in the scrubby foothills.  Like you, I wondered how bad the heat gets in the summer.  What I found out was that, somehow, it felt horribly hot even at 68 or 70 degrees.  The sun was just destroying me.  Tahoe feels fine or even chilly at the same temperature.  And is also 10X more beautiful.  I'd think the main reasons someone might prefer Boise over Tahoe would be: 1) they want a big house cheap, 2) they need a job of the sort which can only be found in a city, 3) they want a non-california feel to the culture. 

A big difference between Whitefish/Kalispell and Missoula is that Missoula is a college town.  It has a reputation for being more "liberal".  I figure the college presence means there will be a number more interesting and free events for a retiree to enjoy.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #69 on: June 23, 2016, 10:46:45 AM »
I was in Boise this Spring.  It has fantastic access to mountain biking/hiking trails, but the trails are in the scrubby foothills.  Like you, I wondered how bad the heat gets in the summer.  What I found out was that, somehow, it felt horribly hot even at 68 or 70 degrees.  The sun was just destroying me.  Tahoe feels fine or even chilly at the same temperature.  And is also 10X more beautiful.  I'd think the main reasons someone might prefer Boise over Tahoe would be: 1) they want a big house cheap, 2) they need a job of the sort which can only be found in a city, 3) they want a non-california feel to the culture. 

A big difference between Whitefish/Kalispell and Missoula is that Missoula is a college town.  It has a reputation for being more "liberal".  I figure the college presence means there will be a number more interesting and free events for a retiree to enjoy.
You seem to be playing this off like it's not a big deal, but price of a house is pretty important, average size houses are much cheaper in Boise as well, but it does get fairly warm in the summer. For some reason you seem to think being a College town is a bonus, so in that respect, another reason Boise could top Tahoe is because it's a major college town.

tj

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #70 on: June 23, 2016, 11:41:44 AM »
All my family are in that area (mostly Auburn another cute town)...
Lolz, spartana, my sister lives in Auburn! (We were just there Sunday.) They rented in LOP for five years while they searched for the perfect fixer+acreage foreclosure. Now they're along the Wine Trail, off Mt. Vernon. Nice area, nice people, but long, hot summers indeed.
Posting mostly to follow. I'm curious to see where you decide to settle.
Yep way too hot and dry for me. But then if you are eventually move to Palm Springs (120 this week I hear) inland NorCal heat probably isn't a big deal. Not sure where I'll end up but house goes on market in July or Aug so no rush in deciding and fun to check out places - and be out of that massive heat in SoCal! Even over 100 near the beach! Just want cooler greener places with trees mountains lakes and rivers. Shouldn't be too hard to find ;-).

I thought you were wanting a small city like Portland ME?

PFHC

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2016, 08:03:04 PM »
Kalispell, MT. I grew up there. Its 30 minutes from Big Mountain (now called Whitefish Mountain) and you can get super cheap, cute, little houses in around 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, ..... avenues and streets. Its an awesome, lively adventure town, the people are friendly, and the snow is world class.

Check it out. So much to do there, as well. An almost infinite number. I spent every weekend and summer of my youth doing something awesome. Backpacking, camping, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, running, swimming, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and on and on. Its a mecca.

Curbside Prophet

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2016, 09:04:16 PM »
Bozeman  > Missoula

Your reasons?

Closer to Big Sky!

Big Sky is amazing, probably my favorite mountain but it's definitely not cheap. 

PFHC

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #73 on: July 08, 2016, 10:06:27 PM »
Bozeman  > Missoula

Your reasons?

Closer to Big Sky!

Big Sky is amazing, probably my favorite mountain but it's definitely not cheap.
I'm a Big Mountain man, all the way. When I was skiing there as a kid, we got better snow, had shorter lines, and the tickets were dirt cheap. Our season pass was only $180!!

MKinVA

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #74 on: July 09, 2016, 08:08:53 AM »
If you want a cheaper ski life than new England or the west coast, look into west virginia. Some of the greatest outdoor fun in  the nation. And much more affordable than the previous mentions. Don't let the jokes fool you. The people up there are great. Welcoming, fun, and small towns affordable.

waltworks

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #75 on: July 09, 2016, 08:28:47 AM »
Spartana, can you clarify if you want a *mountain town* or a *ski town*? I think you mean somewhere where you walk to the lifts, confused Japanese tourists get on the magic carpet thinking it's a moving sidewalk, drunk Russians in fur coats argue loudly in the street, there's at least one crappy restaurant with a German/Black Forest theme (probably an A-frame) etc. Places like Vail, Breck, Jackson, Park City, Tahoe, etc.

A lot of what's being suggested are really *mountain* towns (ie Boise, Durango), where you can indeed get to a ski area pretty fast, but it is going to require some driving. You don't get off the lift and walk across main street to your pad (or your party).

I've lived in or spent significant time in almost all the ski towns in the west and I live in one now. It's great. But ski towns are never going to be cheap. Mountain towns can be.

If you can clear that up, I might be able to offer useful advice. I'm guessing I'm the leading MMM expert on spending too much on housing in ski towns and being a bike/ski bum.

-Walt

snogirl

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #76 on: July 09, 2016, 10:07:11 AM »
Thought I updated this but guess I posted elsewhere.

 Anyways back from my western trip of ski resort hunting and was able to check out a lot of places mentioned here so thanks again for the suggestions. Most places that I really liked (Oh so beautiful, or so expensive Jackson, WY) were fairly expensive for housing if you wanted to live within walking or shuttlebus distance to skiing. Probably could do a small condo but would prefer a little house with yard for dog.

House is up for sale now and so will head to NE  soon to check it out. Might end up at my old town in Big Bear Lake, CA. this winter, at least temporarily if my house sells fast. Bad snow at both resorts much of the year but very affordable, easy walk or shuttle to 2 ski resorts and village easy to get around by bike, daily buses to other mountain towns and big city, XC sking close, dog friendly, nice lake, lots of biking and hiking (including PCT), surrounded by Nat Forest, friends there and close to family and friends in beach areas of SoCal - a 90 minute drive. Around 70 - 75 in summer with night temps around 45.  Otherwise Tahoe is still the winner but still looking!
If you come to Vermont send me a pm to exchange numbers? I live in Burlington & have a place/spend a lot of time in the Northeast Kingdom near Burke Mtn & Kingdom Trails. I grew up near Killington & my best friend works fulltime at Stratton. Most of my free time is hiking or mtn biking in the summer & skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling in the winter.
I love Vermont, grew up here & came back here after retiring with the Army. You can take a bus to Boston & train to Montreal. Be at the ocean in less than 4 hours. Burlington is pricey but the outlying areas affordable. It's also close to Lake Placid, Lake George, the Adirondacks. The White Mtns of NH. There is so much as you already know
 
I prefer the crystal clear lakes, ponds, and rivers of the NEK over Lake Champlain. Unfortunately most of the development & evasive species is killing that Lake :(. 
Going to Quebec or Ontario is also a treat with the exchange rate. I ride a lot up there and love the Gaspe Bay Peninsula. You can saddlebag all around the wilderness & the locals so friendly.  Mont Valin PQ is paradise with fine wine & gourmet food.
Wishing you the best with your choices!

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 10:10:24 AM by snogirl »

SandyBoxx

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #77 on: July 09, 2016, 01:30:18 PM »
Spartana, can you clarify if you want a *mountain town* or a *ski town*? I think you mean somewhere where you walk to the lifts, confused Japanese tourists get on the magic carpet thinking it's a moving sidewalk, drunk Russians in fur coats argue loudly in the street, there's at least one crappy restaurant with a German/Black Forest theme (probably an A-frame) etc. Places like Vail, Breck, Jackson, Park City, Tahoe, etc.

A lot of what's being suggested are really *mountain* towns (ie Boise, Durango), where you can indeed get to a ski area pretty fast, but it is going to require some driving. You don't get off the lift and walk across main street to your pad (or your party).

I've lived in or spent significant time in almost all the ski towns in the west and I live in one now. It's great. But ski towns are never going to be cheap. Mountain towns can be.

If you can clear that up, I might be able to offer useful advice. I'm guessing I'm the leading MMM expert on spending too much on housing in ski towns and being a bike/ski bum.

-Walt
Definitely a ski town (drunken Russians and all). Someplace that is an easy walk or shuttle bus ride to the lifts and town. Someplace like Mammoth but not so isolated - i. e. Far from bigger city. I thought Park City would be pretty ideal but $$$$.  Really like the Sandpoint/Coure Du Lane (sp?) and Whitefish/Kalispell/Bozeman areas too and are fairly affordable but bit further out from skiing. Not that I'm opposed to that, and I really like the small city life  so those kinds of places would be great even if I have to drive a bit and I'm looking at them too, but I'd like to first check out to see if thete are some ski towns that are both affordable with skiing (and other outdoors stuff) right in town but that also have somewhat easy and close access to a bigger city. Near a big lake or water would be great too (why Lake Tahoe is appealing). However, I know that is probably going to he hard to find in mt price range ($200k or under to buy or $1000 to rent) so keeping options open and am very flexible.  So any input you have would be great. Main concern is not gave to do lots of driving to get to good places to ski, hike, bike or town and within an hour or 3 to larger city.

Have you considered anywhere in Canada? 

With the USD to CAD, the town I currently live in sounds like it would be a contender for your price range, as well as many other small towns in the Rockies.  Think Golden (Kicking Horse), Revelstoke, Fernie, and a few others.  You cannot walk to the lifts from town, but all of them are less than 20 minutes from the base of the mountain and the shuttles or a quick thumb out will get you there in a hurry.  Small town living, easily bikeable, short commute to the ski resorts, and unlimited hiking/biking right out your front door...

***Bonus points for there being far less drunk Russians in the streets than Whistler***

waltworks

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #78 on: July 09, 2016, 02:49:46 PM »
Ok, that clears things up a bit.

First, the bad news: your budget basically eliminates buying real estate in a ski town. It doesn't eliminate renting but you'll need to accept living in a small space and/or having roommates.

Assuming you're ok with renting and not having a ton of space, my top 3 choices would be:

-Steamboat. Might be too isolated for you but Denver is <3 hours - albeit via very high elevation and snowy roads, so there are certainly days when it's 6 hours... or not possible at all. Great skiing, not hot at all in the summer, very good mountain biking that is improving rapidly, nice bike path through town along the Yampa. Probably the cheapest real ski town in the west. No lake, though the river is a lot of fun (hot springs!)

-Big Bear. Has a lake, has decent skiing/mountain biking, has enough of a town to feel like town, close to LA (could be good or bad). Very cheap real estate for CA. Snow is hit and miss (mostly miss in the last decade or so), though, and the town vibe is pretty meh if you're looking for european-style village/pubs/main St. Probably the only ski town I can think of that your housing budget works to buy something. Pretty hot in the summer. In the long run climate change probably ends skiing at Big Bear permanently but who knows.

-Park City (where I live). Probably the best 4-season outdoors place available. There's enough variety of elevation and aspect that you can ride mountain bikes right up until ski season starts generally. Excellent nordic skiing and fatbiking if you're into those things, or you have the biggest ski resort in North America out the door. There is a mud season in April that can suck, most of us leave town. The Jordanelle reservoir is fun if you're into SUP or boating but it's not very scenic, so water access is a minus. As you know, housing costs are high, but there are lots of decent apartments/condos under $1k (often the same place would cost $300-400k to buy, not exactly a great landlording market!) Can get into the mid-high 80s in the summer, though.

If you don't care about the town as much, East Burke in VT is cheap and has ok skiing and great mountain biking. It's a LOOONG winter of no sun, though. I'd skip the rest of New England, too much NYC money sloshing around at most of the resorty towns.

It sounds like your best plan going forward might be to travel around and test drive some places - do some 3-6 month rentals and enjoy yourself and see what you fall in love with.

-Walt

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #79 on: July 11, 2016, 11:33:48 AM »
Did you consider McCall ID?  You can't walk to the lifts, but small town on a gorgeous lake, still relatively cheap. 

waltworks

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #80 on: July 11, 2016, 02:40:54 PM »
FWIW, if you're ever back the PC way, look me up (just google my username, I'm easy to find/reach) we can show you around. We're in the 'burbs of PC for school reasons though.

-Walt

waltworks

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #81 on: July 12, 2016, 04:22:44 PM »
The bus system works pretty well for skiing if you ski "normal" hours (ie, go up in the morning, come back in the afternoon). It's very cheap. But keep in mind that SLC is super, super polluted. The winter is gnarly, with PM2.5 concentrations above EPA standards (sometimes way above) probably half the days. Weeks can go by where visibility in the valley is *literally* less than 2 miles - and it's all exhaust and smoke. Yuck.

Cheap, though. And amazing access to PC and the Cottonwoods.

-Walt

Telecaster

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #82 on: July 12, 2016, 05:16:51 PM »
The bus system works pretty well for skiing if you ski "normal" hours (ie, go up in the morning, come back in the afternoon). It's very cheap. But keep in mind that SLC is super, super polluted. The winter is gnarly, with PM2.5 concentrations above EPA standards (sometimes way above) probably half the days. Weeks can go by where visibility in the valley is *literally* less than 2 miles - and it's all exhaust and smoke. Yuck.

Cheap, though. And amazing access to PC and the Cottonwoods.

-Walt
HA! I'm from the LA metro area. You can't scare me with your wimpy Utah smog ;-)!

But seriously, one of the main reasons I want to get out of SoCal (amongst oh so many reasons) is the smog. I live close to the coast so not too much of a problem but I hate, hate, hate that brown dirty layer we get here far too often. Blech. Just can't live somewhere with smog. Also looks like SLC is very hot in summer to so probably have to rule it out.


If you hate smog SLC is not your place.  It is brutal in the winter.  They get inversions for days, sometimes weeks at a time and all the smog gets trapped in the valley.  The bright side, is that when the valley is socked in, it is sunny in the mountains which is extra delightful. 

I can't recall if anyone mentioned Ogden Valley (not Ogden itself).   It is cooler than SLC in the summer (and winter too!) and a couple nearby ski resorts with bus service.  It sort of turned into an uncontrolled sprawl after the 2002 Olympics, but it still has some charm.  Reasonable COL, and you are only 20 min. from Ogden if you need to do city stuff. 

waltworks

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #83 on: July 12, 2016, 06:17:56 PM »
The bus system works pretty well for skiing if you ski "normal" hours (ie, go up in the morning, come back in the afternoon). It's very cheap. But keep in mind that SLC is super, super polluted. The winter is gnarly, with PM2.5 concentrations above EPA standards (sometimes way above) probably half the days. Weeks can go by where visibility in the valley is *literally* less than 2 miles - and it's all exhaust and smoke. Yuck.

Cheap, though. And amazing access to PC and the Cottonwoods.

-Walt
HA! I'm from the LA metro area. You can't scare me with your wimpy Utah smog ;-)!

But seriously, one of the main reasons I want to get out of SoCal (amongst oh so many reasons) is the smog. I live close to the coast so not too much of a problem but I hate, hate, hate that brown dirty layer we get here far too often. Blech. Just can't live somewhere with smog. Also looks like SLC is very hot in summer to so probably have to rule it out.

I was there last month during a heat wave and it was intolerable but thought it was just an occasional thing. Apparently not. High tailed it to PC and stayed a week (and fell in love with the area). To bad I didn't "know" you then as you could have shown me some good bike trail rides (hauling the dog in her bike trailer all around town - you may have seen me). Oh well ... next time. BTW enjoyed your blog on bikes and such.

Yes, we had the hottest June on record. 90 degrees one day, I've never experienced that in PC. Not such great timing for you, sorry about that.

We lived in SLC for a year at one point when my wife was doing a postdoc. The winter is gross, the summer is way hot, but otherwise it's great. If you have the capability to just leave town during 4-6 months of the year, it would work fine. Spring and fall are super nice.

If you saw someone with a goofy neck cape/sun protection dingus attached to his helmet, or a lady pulling a Chariot with a couple of kids in it, that was us. We're over in Jeremy Ranch (burbs) though, so you probably didn't.

Anyway, stop by next year. There's tons of off-the-beaten path riding we can show you, and our kids LOVE dogs (and are gentle/nice with them).

-Walt

MontaniTrout

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #84 on: July 13, 2016, 10:23:27 AM »
If you want a cheaper ski life than new England or the west coast, look into west virginia. Some of the greatest outdoor fun in  the nation. And much more affordable than the previous mentions. Don't let the jokes fool you. The people up there are great. Welcoming, fun, and small towns affordable.


I second West Virginia (I'm a little bias). Snowshoe mountain, Timberline Resort, and Wisp just across the border offer good skiing, affordable prices, and LCOL. I don't ski very often, but I mountain bike and fish across the state a lot. You couldn't force me to move out of this outdoor enthusiast haven. There's a reason it's called Almost Heaven.

tj

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #85 on: August 30, 2016, 01:46:27 PM »
Update. My house hasn't sold yet so decided to move in with friend in North lake side of Lake Tahoe to be fairly close by. She has a big house, cheap rent for me, has a dog who likes my dog and we can pet sit for each other, plus my family is fairly close. Plus she's a cool outdoorsy chick who works ski patrol and plays beach VB (how we know each other) so should be fun. Probably a temp thing until my house sells but who knows. Thanks for all your help everyone. Apppreciate it.

Glad you found something that worked for you, at least for now!

tj

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #86 on: August 30, 2016, 03:14:05 PM »
Update. My house hasn't sold yet so decided to move in with friend in North lake side of Lake Tahoe to be fairly close by. She has a big house, cheap rent for me, has a dog who likes my dog and we can pet sit for each other, plus my family is fairly close. Plus she's a cool outdoorsy chick who works ski patrol and plays beach VB (how we know each other) so should be fun. Probably a temp thing until my house sells but who knows. Thanks for all your help everyone. Apppreciate it.

Glad you found something that worked for you, at least for now!
Thanks. Probably have to reanimated this necrothread at some point in the future once I realize I can't actually afford to live in Tahoe unless it's by renting a room ;-)

There's nothing wrong with renting a room if you get along with the person you're renting it from they like having you around. Probably not a permanent solutino though. I'm planning on AirBNBing it up around the country next year. Maybe I'll discover the next place I want to live. :)

Dicey

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #87 on: August 30, 2016, 11:43:27 PM »
Went to Coeur d'Alene last year and loved it. Inexpensive compared to Bay Area (but then, what isn't?), very walkable, bitchin' new library. People were friendly, which was a big plus. Didn't stay long enough to form any opinions about the weather (family wedding, it was nice while we were there), but we liked it enough to go back. We actually flew up to Seattle and played there for a few days, then drove to Spokane for the wedding, then hung out with family who live in C d'A, then back to Seattle. It was a great trip. Can't wait to see what eventually tugs at your heartstrings.

Case

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #88 on: August 31, 2016, 12:31:56 PM »
Lots of dirt cheap places in Northern Michigan with cool summers and cold snowy winters. Lots of ski resorts too. But they're hills, not mountains. Bonus: there are a ton of great beaches too!
Skiing? In Michigan?????? Didn't know that existed other than X-country. Do know they have great beaches though.

I'm heading back east in a couple of days to first check out east coast areas (as well as to check out some coastal areas and small cities) and then will head to New England and then head to western areas so can check out Michigan too. Not sure it would suit my other outdoorsy  needs (climbing, mountain biking, trail running and hiking) but you never know! My sister lived in Luddington for a while and said there is a ton of recreational opportunities for all that stuff close by.

ETA Anyone know about mid Atlantic ski towns in places like NC and West Virginia? I'm heading to coastal NC and wondered if it's worth doing the extra drive to check them out or best to stay on the coast and meander north that way? I've been to the mnt areas there (and all up the Blue Ridge Parkway) and its lovely but am more in the town/city looking mode on this trip.

Skiing in Michigan is ok for newbies like me, but for anyone at intermediate or higher levels it's going ot get boring.  Check the vertical drops; MI doesn't have mountains, it has hills.  The funny thing is that the lift tickets at Boyne/etc... are comparable to that of west coast skiing.

GreenEggs

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #89 on: August 31, 2016, 12:51:13 PM »
Good thread.

I'd like to spend so time in ski country when we FIRE.  I'm really more into off road motorcycle riding, but it's all in the same areas.  Presently we live in the NC mountains near a ski slope, but rarely find time to ski.  Weekends are too crowded & $$ and we never think about night skiing. 

 

PFHC

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Re: Best (and cheapest) mountain/ski towns to move to after FIRE?
« Reply #90 on: September 01, 2016, 09:33:38 PM »
Went to Coeur d'Alene last year and loved it. Inexpensive compared to Bay Area (but then, what isn't?), very walkable, bitchin' new library. People were friendly, which was a big plus. Didn't stay long enough to form any opinions about the weather (family wedding, it was nice while we were there), but we liked it enough to go back. We actually flew up to Seattle and played there for a few days, then drove to Spokane for the wedding, then hung out with family who live in C d'A, then back to Seattle. It was a great trip. Can't wait to see what eventually tugs at your heartstrings.
I really liked Couer d Alene also as well as Sandpoint.  Very beautiful and very inexpensive compared to California (well that's almost everywhere. ;-)). Same with the Whitefish/ Kalispel area.  I'd like to spend some time in both areas to really check them out. Tahoe is great but probably not as a long term option at this time but who knows. Got an inexpensive place to stay so will take advantage of it.  Once the house sells I'll be freer to go wherever.
Kalispell! That place rocks! Some place like this place would be great. Its an awesome, quaint, older part of town. Super cute houses, good neighbors, and within walking distance from everything but the mountain.

Whitefish is awesome, but MUCH more expensive.