Colorado vs. Utah: Which State is the Best?

Colorado vs. Utah: Which State is the Best?

Colorado vs. Utah: Which State is the Best?

Whether you’re dreaming of living in the wild west or you already do, you’ve probably wondered which state is the best. And the fight of Colorado vs. Utah is perhaps the most famous of the western states. Winter or summer, long-term or vacation- which state wins? Read on to find out…

The ultimate battle is here: Colorado vs. Utah! The race is close in terms of natural beauty and adventure activities, but somebody has to pull ahead. Colorado brings microbreweries, a free-spirited culture, and a perfect vacation atmosphere to the table. Utah counteracts with a smaller population, closer mountains, and (debatably) better national parks. So, which state should you choose?

Colorado Vs. Utah: The Big Picture

Both Colorado and Utah have amazing opportunities for vacations, outdoor recreation, and raising a family. Short or long-term, both states offer a fantastic quality of life for outdoor lovers. The average household income, housing prices, and cost of living are similar but Utah is slightly less crowded than Colorado.

However, this might be explained by the fact that Colorado has better skiing, mountains, and a killer social scene. Colorado education also ranks higher. And there are more vacation options for the whole family. Anybody who enjoys the taste of a microbrew after a Sunday football game or hike might consider Colorado over Utah because Utah’s state-controlled alcohol sales can make it difficult to enjoy a drink or two when you want. While most Coloradans can tell you which state they prefer, there’s a lot more than pure fun that goes into the debate between Colorado vs. Utah.

Living in Colorado vs. Utah

The perks: living in Colorado

Colorado is home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains and some of the most popular and quality ski areas in the world. And even if you aren't into hiking, rock climbing or the countless other door activities that Colorado is known for, just taking your dog for a walk will have you greeted by many Colorodans stopping, smiling and petting your pup. Colorado is one of the most “pet-friendly” states in the country. So, if your furry friend is important to you, you’ll enjoy being able to take them almost anywhere in the Centennial State.

A craft beer protege, Colorado is one of the original beer states. With impressive metrics across the board, (3rd in total breweries, 5th in breweries per capita, 6th in economic impact, 3rd in barrels produced) Colorado is synonymous with craft beer. There are also several events throughout the year that are a beer-lover's dream. Most notably, the Great American Beer Festival.

Speaking of festivals, the social scene is much more developed in Colorado. This state is home to some of the best professional sports teams in the country. Football? They have the Broncos. Baseball? The Rockies. Hockey? The Avalanches. Basketball? The Nuggets. Name your sport- Colorado has a good team for you to cheer on.

When it comes to hitting the books, Colorado and Utah both rank in the top ten states for public education in the US. However, Colorado slides in at 5th while Utah barely makes the cut at 10th. In Denver, the city spends more per student compared to Salt Lake and there are 25% less students per teacher. 

The cons: Living in Colorado

With all of those Colorado perks, it can be hard to think of any reason why it wouldn't be a good idea to pack up your suitcase and move there right now. 

Well, it turns out that a lot of people are thinking the same thing. According to the 2018 US census, Colorado is home to 5.7 million people with another 70,000 moving to the state each year. The typical hour and a half drive to the mountains from Denver can take upwards of three over the weekend. However,  solitude can still be easily found in the less-populated southwest corner of Colorado.

The perks: Living in Utah

Utah has some of the healthiest residents in the country thanks to the breathtaking environment and endless opportunities for recreational activities. The mountains are also slightly more accessible from Salt Lake than the mountains from Denver, with drives to most ski resorts in Utah lasting only 25-30 minutes. Utah is also home to some of the best National Parks in the west- Canyonlands and Arches. If you love sandstone and warm desert temperatures even in winter, Utah might be your cup of tea.

The cons: Living in Utah

Although Utah has countless national parks and natural places to explore, the state itself isn’t always in favor of protecting them. If you feel strongly about protecting natural places, it can be hard to feel like your voice is heard in the state of Utah. And Utah isn’t immune to the traffic of Colorado, either. If you live in Salt Lake City, be prepared for long rush hours every weekday, and heavy traffic on the weekends, too. 

Colorado vs. Utah: Which state is better for a vacation?

Colorado vs. Utah for summer vacations

This is another category where Colorado and Utah are tough competitors. And picking the winner really depends on what you are looking for. In the summer and winter months, Colorado comes out on top because the state has undeniably bigger and better mountains. Places like Rocky Mountain National Park have amazing hikes, restaurants, scenic stays, and adventures for the whole family. 

Due to the breathtaking beauty of the state, Colorado has become a popular place for tourists of all sorts. This means that there is a large tourism industry that is tailored to your needs. However, it can become a bit crowded during the peak season, which can take away from your experience.

If you are looking to visit somewhere that is less crowded, Utah is the place to go. Utah  is also quite a bit warmer than Colorado. So it’s a better state to visit in the fall and spring, before it gets too hot to enjoy. It also has some incredible state and national parks, and towns. You won’t want to miss the desert town of Moab, or Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Parks.

Colorado vs. Utah Skiing: Who has the best powder?

Utah does get more snow on average than Colorado. With a total of  14 ski areas, 10 can be accessed within an hour of the Salt Lake airport. However, you can’t ignore the long ski season and high elevation “champagne powder” of the Colorado ski resorts. Colorado has nearly twice as many ski areas as Utah with a ski season that generally runs from October to June- thanks to the Colorado treasure, Arapahoe Basin

Is it cheaper to ski in Colorado or Utah?

Both states have resorts where you can pick and choose your price range. However, if you decide to go with a conglomerate pass like the Epic or Ikon, Colorado is the place to be. There are twice the number of resorts in Colorado, which means you’ll have more variety and options for every skill level.

We might be biased, but we know that Colorado vs. Utah isn’t even a fair fight- nothing can compare to the Centennial State! Join us in showing your Colorado pride with colorful Colorado apparel and gear.

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