Moving to Utah vs Colorado: 17 Pros and Cons

No state is perfect, but they all have beautiful qualities. Utah and Colorado, neighboring states, have similar qualities that are viewed by the locals as good and bad. This article will compare the pros and cons of each state. We’ll discuss the positive first and then look at some of the least desirable qualities.

Colorado Pros

1. Medical Care

Receiving medical care in Colorado is one of the best places you can go. The accessibility to a clinic is only a short distance away from where you may be. Even the waiting times are shorter! But even better than shorter waiting times is the quality care that you get. Colorado has some of the lowest numbers when it comes to people suffering from diabetes. It has been ranked the 7th best in the country for health care.

2. Skiing

Winter is one of the best times to be in Colorado because of the snow. It is always in abundance which means that the skiing there is perfect. It is best to wait until February because then the trails are fully open and the mountains have the most snowfall, making the powdery trails fun to fly down. A full-day pass is around $140, but it is worth it for the freedom the trails give you.

3. Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for over 20 years now. The government has put laws in place to make sure that residents are safe. For example, it is illegal to buy or sell marijuana under the age of 21.

When buying, you need to have a valid ID and it should be bought from licensed retail stores. You can use it at your residence, but you need to make sure that you check the laws before using it anywhere else. This legalization, especially with the introduction of medical marijuana, has helped residents with long-term illnesses.

4. Scenery

One of the features that draw people the most to Colorado is the scenery. Hiking to the top of the mountain provides breathtaking views. Because Colorado has an abundance of mountain trails and cliff faces, those who love to rock-climb have plenty of places to choose from. The Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the top places to climb as is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Even for those who don’t like to climb, the national parks offer trails and sights that are easily accessible.

Utah Pros

5. Seasonal Change

One of the best things about Utah is the seasonal change. Summer brings a lot of water fun and fireworks. Being able to see the leaves turn to a golden yellow in the mountains is one of the most amazing sights. Winter drapes its white coat over the ground (sometimes) and the trees are nicely frosted. Spring breaks through that thaw and the world begins to live again. The seasonal changes make a nice variation throughout the year.

6. National Parks

During the summer and fall, it’s great to go explore the National Parks that are scattered around Utah. If you’re willing to take a bit of a drive, Capitol Reef provides a landscape full of wonder. The red rock and trails provide breathtaking views. Drive a bit further and you’ll discover Goblin Valley. These rock formations have been shaped by the wind into some cool designs. Of course, stopping in Moab is a must to enjoy Arches National Park.

7. Primary Children’s Hospital

Utah has one of the best hospitals for children: Primary Children’s Hospital.

Due to the advanced treatments and techniques implemented there, families from around the world travel to receive treatment. They have treatments in over 60 categories ranging from transplants to cardiac treatment. The doctors that work there are highly trained and experienced. The treatment provided is filled with concern and care for each individual.

8. Grid System

Navigation through Utah can be difficult at first, but the grid system is easy to master. It starts at the beginning of the city and increases from there. The cardinal points (north, east, west, south) are based on the relativity to the center of the grid. N/S going streets have E/W next to the directional number. It may take some time to get used to this, but once mastered it makes getting to any location so much simpler.

9. Public Transport

One of the best parts about Utah is public transportation. The FrontRunner spans an impressive length of 89 miles. You can travel from Pleasant View up to Provo, with 16 stops along the way. In addition to having the FrontRunner, the UTA bus stops are in conjunction with the stops the FrontRunner makes. Downtown Salt Lake also provides motorized scooters to get about to help reduce air pollution.

Colorado Cons

10. Unwelcoming Neighbors

Whenever people move to a new state, they will always feel like outsiders. After a time they become integrated into the community and are viewed as natives to the state. In Colorado, this process is extremely slow. In rural communities, it speeds up because each family has to take care of the land that they live on. The urbanized parts of Colorado are a different story. Natives tend to blame those moving into the city for the high housing prices, and lack of available housing. This leads to unwelcome attention and attitudes for newcomers.

11. Housing

Housing is one of the worst things about Colorado. Currently, the average median for houses is $300,00-$320,000. However, in Colorado, the average median is almost $500,000. This means that median starting prices for houses are $350,000-$400,000. For low-income families, this makes it difficult to find affordable housing. And looking at the past ten years in housing for Colorado indicates that house prices will only continue to rise.

12. Sundown History

Most states have a past with sundown towns. These towns are known for their extreme discrimination against African Americans. After sundown, African Americans were at risk of being mugged, beaten, or shot. Although a majority of these towns no longer practice this way of living, it has had effects on the settlement in Colorado. Colorado has one of the highest populations of Caucasians. Over 80% of those who live within Colorado are white. The African American population accounts for less than 3% of the total population.

13. Low Vaccination Rates

The topic of vaccinations is always controversial. Even though scientists have discovered no correlation or causation between vaccinations and autism, it remains an area in which some parents choose to not have their children vaccinated. This is becoming a big issue. For children starting kindergarten, boosters are a big part of keeping them and others healthy.

However, in Colorado, the population consistently falls below the 95% vaccinated mark. Without proper information, this can seem like it isn’t an issue. For a population to gain “herd immunity”, 95% of the population must have vaccinations that protect them from those diseases.

When the numbers fall below 95%, the chances of contracting measles rise. If it falls lower, the chances of contracting polio increase. Although this only talks about kindergartners, it does reflect the way many in Colorado think about the efficacy of vaccinations.

Utah Cons

14. LDS Population

Because Utah was settled by the Latter-day Saint pioneers, the majority of the population belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This can create conflicts for those who are not members. Issues among the Church’s policies and those who are same-sex can become an area of conflict for members and non-members. A feeling of exclusionism can also result for those who live in highly religious neighborhoods.

15. Air Pollution

One of the worst things about living in Utah is air pollution. It has some of the worst air quality throughout the country. Even during the summer, when brisk winds help to move the pollution out of the valley, a layer is always at the base of the mountains. As the cold sets in, the air becomes even worse. Since Utah is surrounded by mountain ranges on all four sides, the air has no way to escape. This creates a dangerous living situation for those with asthma or other respiratory concerns.

16. Mental Health

Mental Health care is perhaps one of the weakest areas in Utah. In a national ranking, Utah is rated at 50 which indicates that it has a high prevalence that residents will develop or deal with a mental illness. This is based on statistics for adult prevalence.

For youth, the prevalence is slightly lower but still at a concerning high of 41. Although there is access to mental health resources, less than half of those suffering from a mental condition receive help. Additionally, the number of therapists for youth is inefficient. For every six youth therapists, there are 100,000 children needing help.

17. Drivers

Utah drivers are among the most aggressive and rude drivers throughout the state. In areas where the speed limit is 45, it is not uncommon to see drivers going 10-15 miles over that. Those speeds increase on Utah highways. In addition to driving at a reckless speed, it is common to be cut off deliberately or tailgated. This aggressive approach to driving is one of the leading factors to the 6 million car crashes that occur every year.

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Cameron Freeman

Hey, I'm Cameron! I enjoy learning about language and technology. I have lived in quite a few US cities and I write about them here!

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