Mountain West is the BEST

There has been a lot of comments flying around from the yakezie group on a few posts that financial samurai put up recently.  One was called East Coast Living: Is It Really That Bad? and the other was called West Coast Living – Yes, It Really Is That Much Better? I figured I’d chime in with my own post about the region where I live (which is the Mountain West, and includes the states Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho).  On Wednesday, Red posted why she thinks the south is the best

This, My Friends, Is Why The Mountain West is the Best!

Tetons at Sunrise (2008)

  1. We are the least obese region in the country, with all of our 3 the five states in the region being the healthiest in the country, and the other 2 being one step above of that (lets not get into the fact that you can go across the country and find consistently at *at least* 1 of every 4/5 people is obese).  Lets face it, better looking people have more fun :) (check this data map for the last 20 year obesity rates).
  2. The National Parks.  The south may have the most visited National Park, but we have the first and they are by far the most scenic are out here.  The first National Park (Yellowstone) is in Wyoming, along with the First National Monument (Devils Tower) and so is Grand Teton National Park.  Along with these, we have Rocky Mountain, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Mesa Verde National Parks (CO), Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Zion National Parks(UT), Craters of the Moon National Monument (ID) and Glacier National Park (MT).  That is a lot of scenery, and I can personally attest to the beauty of all but 3 of them (in bold).  I wont bore you with pictures or anything, but they help make this region what it is.
  3. If it wasn’t for the West, One of the greatest presidents in the history of this country may never have been president. Yes, It has often been said that without going to the west, Teddy Roosevelt would never have amounted to what he did.  Here he ran 2 ranches, spent much of his time tending his heard, and turned from a sickly, ashmatic waif of a boy to the barrel chested man that we know him as.
  4. On Highways throughout the west the speed limit is 75.  The best part about that is, you can actually do that (and a little more, if inclined).  There are rarely cars on the highway, and you will arrive at your destination faster.  It’s not like Los Angeles or Washington, DC where you sit in traffic all morning.  Let me give you an example.  I drive 50 miles (1 way) to work, yet I spend around 40 minuets in the car during my commute.  People in larger cities spend more time than this going half the distance.
  5. Sunshine.  Each state in the Mountain west can claim more than 310 days of sunshine per year.  I know California is sunny, but personally I’ve been to both coasts on trips for 3 days each, and never once saw the sun in either place.  Boy, was it good to be back where you could see the sun.  *I’m not saying is does not get cold here* because it does, but even then, the sun is out.
  6. The Snow.  I know that Financial Samurai thinks that California has some good snow (they do) but he has probably never skiied one of the many resorts in Colorado or Utah.  There is a resort in colorado that has trademarked the name Champagne Powder because of how light, fluffy and plentiful the powder.  It makes Heavenly in Tahoe feel like you’re riding through play-dough.
  7. Like the South, we have a “work to live” mentality, but we dont dress up for it!  One guy I know who works out here recently shared a picture of himself in a business suit.  He said “don’t tell anyone I own this.” So I didnt.  We dont really wear formal clothing around here, and it’s great.  Who doesnt want comfort?
  8. The Wild, Wild West. Have you ever heard of the “Wild, Wild East”?  No.  That’s because it never existed.  When the west was being setteled in the 1800s and early 1900s, crime was rampant in cities and out.  Legends were made, trains were robbed, cattle were rustled (that means stolen) and the west was well on its way to earning a name for itself.  It’s even home to Butch Cassidy, Jesse James, and famous gangs like the Daltons and The Hole in the Wall Gang
  9. Cheap Cost of Living.  If I were to move, to one of the coasts, I’d need my salary doubled to maintain my current standard of living, which is not high.  ’nuff said.
  10. Everyone is friendly here.  When I thought I was having some trouble with my car about 7 months ago, I pulled off the highway to check it out and 2 people had stopped within 10 minutes.  They’ll do that for everyone who is having trouble around here.  It makes friends easy to come by.
  11. We are huge energy exporters.  Those lights you’ve got on right now?  They very well could be provided by coal from Wyomings Powder River Basin.  Please use wisely!
  12. It hardly ever rains.  This place is considered “aird high plains” but what that really means is that if it were not for snow around here, it’d be a desert!

I think I’ll stop there.  So what do you readers think?  Is there any one place you’d prefer over the other?
To you other Yakezie Bloggers: Is there anyone from the Plains (Kansas, No Dakota, So Dakota) The Midwest, or The Southwest (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma)?  We’d love to include your post!

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About Jeff

Jeff is the founder of sustainable life blog and has been interested in sustainability for most of his life. After realizing in 2007 that his finances were a total wreck, he started reading financial blogs and quickly realized that what is best for your wallet is typically better for the earth, and is usually healthier. On sustainable life blog Jeff shares his journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. For updates, subscribe by email or like us on facebook.


  1. Thanks for the link! It sounds like the Mountain West is a great place to live – at least better than the east and west coasts! I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying it’s better than the south, but you made some great points here. ;-)

  2. Ha, it is pretty awesome out here. The one thing we dont really have much of that much of is whiskey. I cant say that it’s better than the south, as the only “southern” states I’ve been to are Kentucky (which you didnt count) and Florida, which doesnt count. It is a great place to live.

  3. Nice list, but pretty shallow to say that you guys have fitter people! ha. I really donno about that if you come to California. There are a lot of fit people here.

    I’ve snowboarded the back bowls of Vail and they are GREAT! So yes, having the backbowls gives you guys one up on Tahoe.

    But what about career opportunities in the MidWest? What is a person to do? What is the most famous school, entrepreneur, invention, etc? Would love to know!



  4. Good questions Sam. I can give you a few things off of the top of my head, and I’ll look up some stuff as well.
    There is what some call a mini silicon valley in boulder, Colorado that has a lot of programming companies that have been successful (keyhole, the precursor to google earth, was started in boulder). There is a lot of Mapping based companies in along the colorado front range as well, and CH2M Hill is headquarter in Colorado. In Wyoming, there is a lot of employment in the extraction industries (typically coal, oil or gas, but there is others as well). Some areas, as you can imagine, are also heavily dependent on tourism.

    CHARLES W. ERGEN is the founder and current CEO of Echostar Communications (Now dish network), PHILIP F. ANSCHUTZ is the founder of Quest Communications. There is Tim Gill, founder of Quark, Jared Polis (Now Rep. Jared Polis) Founder of Blue Mountain and finally, John Malone, founder of Liberty Media.

    The Most Famous School would probably be the University of Colorado – Boulder (disclosure: I’m an alumni).

    As for the best invention to come out of the west, it was probably the Jump Shot (no joke). Kenny Sailors invented it in the 40s when playing hoops with his brother.

  5. Thanks for the feedback! Never heard of those guys, but I guess I’ve heard of their companies.

    Jump shot, nice! Although, that’s like claiming someone invented the jumping jacks. Hard to prove!

  6. Ahh you make me want to move back to Colorado so badly!

    And I know which resort you are talking about- Steamboat!! I lived there and there is NOTHING like that snow. ;) Great post!

  7. I don’t think Mountain West would attract me over the West Coast but definitely over the East coast. I think the East Coast.

    • Ah, another west coast fan….sigh…. Just kidding. There’s plenty of things I like a lot about the west coast, and I’d like to visit again. But I just cant not live in this area.

  8. I agree! Growing up on the east side of Washington state (Spokane)…There is something to be said for the rugged West.

    • Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. I’ve never been to eastern Washington (only Seattle) but I can imagine that it’s great out there. Much like the parts in Idaho I’ve been to. The west just has a gritty feel to it at times, and I like it.

  9. I’m from Colorado and I love this post.


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