Moving to Colorado: State Relocation Guide

Have you ever wondered what Katherine Lee Bates was looking at when she wrote, “America the Beautiful?” The spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountains described in the song were inspired by looking at Pike’s Peak in Colorado.

For nearly 150 years, Colorado has garnered national attention for its astounding beauty and gorgeous weather. The state life caters to a lifestyle that involves full enjoyment of the outdoors and spending time in nature.

If you think you fall into this category, you’ve probably thought about moving to Colorado at least a few times. But with so much information on the internet about everything you need to know, it can be overwhelming to find information to help you decide whether it’s the right move for you.

Use this guide to inform your decision about moving to Colorado. This guide focuses on the climate, taxes, job market, healthcare, education, and the best places to live.

Colorado Climate

Overall, Colorado has some beautiful weather. However, because the state rests on a continental divide, there are drastic differences in temperature and precipitation throughout the state.



Northwest This area of Colorado gets the most precipitation in the state. Between the warm Pacific air coming from the coast and the Rocky Mountains to the east, the humid air condenses and creates plenty of snow in the winter.

You can expect 25-40 inches of precipitation, but some years bring as much as 60 inches.

Northeast Across the Rocky Mountains, precipitation decreases as the elevation decreases.

The closer you get to Kansas and the plains, you’ll experience more of the state’s average 17 inches of precipitation.

Southeast This corner of the state is the driest. If you live in the southeast corner of Colorado, you can expect 7 inches of precipitation.
Southwest Since this region sits between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, there is more precipitation in this area than east of the Continental Divide.


If and when you decide to move to Colorado, you must understand the differences in precipitation and elevation.

Colorado’s elevation ranges from below 4,000ft to over 14,000ft. This wide margin creates various weather conditions.

Colorado State Relocation Guide

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With a better understanding of the elevation and precipitation before moving to Colorado, you can choose your new home’s location to fit your lifestyle and personal preferences.


Similar to precipitation, differences in the state’s topography affects the temperature. Additionally, Colorado is not humid, so the air doesn’t retain any of the sun’s radiation. This means that you can expect temperature swings of over 30℉ in a single day since the earth and air won’t retain much of the heat. 

The temperatures in the morning are cool, and as the sun reaches its peak in the afternoon, you can expect the temperature to rise drastically. You will also experience this type of temperature swing in-between seasons.

When transitioning from cold to warm seasons, or vice-versa, there can be as much as a 40-55℉ swing.

Once you better understand the variations in temperature and precipitation in the state, you can decide which region works best for you.

Taxes in Colorado

When moving to a new state, it’s essential to look at vital information like taxes. This information will give you an idea of what to expect during tax season, but it also helps you determine how taxes will affect your paycheck differently.

For example, if you are moving to Colorado from Texas, state income tax won’t be on your list of usual payouts. But when you move to Colorado, there is a 4.55% state income tax you’ll need to account for. Although Colorado’s taxes are higher than Texas’s, it still ranks as one of the lowest states in the nation.
Colorado State Relocation Guide
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Additionally, if you’re looking to move to the Mountain Time time zone, Colorado is your best bet. Other than Wyoming, you’ll have the lowest income tax in the area if you live in Colorado.

Regarding sales tax, the state requires only 2.9%. But, the local tax can add over 4.87%, adding up to a total of 7.77%.
Colorado State Relocation Guide
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Although this tax percentage is significantly higher than the income tax, it’s right on par with the nearby states.

Taxes are a part of life, so you will have to pay some portion of your income to taxes regardless of where you end up moving. But knowing what to expect when you move somewhere can save you from frustrations in the long run.

Job Opportunities and Costs in Colorado

The job market in Colorado is one of the best in the nation. The average salary in America is $31,177, but the average salary in Colorado is $34,845. Most industries in Colorado pay more than the national average.
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Experiencing an instant pay increase is a nice perk of moving to a new state. But it shouldn’t surprise you, considering Colorado’s job market.
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Colorado’s economy is number two in the nation because of its excellent business environment, high employment rates, and job growth. People are flocking to Colorado because its economy is strong, and there is plenty of room to grow professionally.

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The cost of living in Colorado is significantly higher than the national average–rated at 121.1 overall.

The biggest reason for this increase in living costs is primarily housing costs. The median home in America costs $291,700, but the median home in Colorado costs $488,600.

One saving grace for living costs in Colorado is that every other expense is close to the national average, if not below it. Knowing this ahead of time can help you allocate your finances for a mortgage or rent.

Colorado Healthcare

One of the best aspects of Colorado is the healthcare system. You get access to a top 10 healthcare system if you move to Colorado.

Colorado State Relocation Guide
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Although health care access is in the middle of the pack, compared to national rankings, the quality of care is top-tier. With 213 physicians for every 100,000 residents, Colorado is slightly above average in this category.

Additionally, Colorado residents tend to spend more time outdoors, given the state’s active lifestyle activities and options. The activity level and healthier lifestyle of many residents lead to better outcomes overall.

In general, the public health in Colorado is some of the best in the country. The obesity rate is nearly 10% lower than the national average. And there are almost 2,000 fewer preventible hospital visits per 100,000 people each year. 

In other words, people in Colorado tend to live healthier lives which keeps them out of hospitals and urgent care facilities. So, they don’t have to use their health insurance as often as residents of other states.

Overall, if you decide to move to Colorado, you have access to affordable healthcare and year-round activities to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Colorado Education

Education is an important consideration when deciding where to move. Whether you’re looking to go back to school one day or have children who need a sound school system, it’s essential to do your research beforehand.

This guide will cover some of the best Pre-K–12 districts in the state and the best collegiate schools.


The search for a suitable school district can be a challenge when you’re brand new to an area, so here is a list of some of the best districts in the state.

Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12

Located in Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12 is the best district in the state.

With over 5,300 students, this Colorado Springs district provides excellent academics, clubs, and athletics to help your children prepare for the next step–college or the workforce.

Aspen School District No. 1

Aspen School District No. 1 is the third best district in the state. 

This district is smaller, with only 1,300 students and a 13:1 student to teacher ratio. And it’s located in one of Colorado’s most popular ski towns: Aspen.

Boulder Valley School District

This school district ranks #4 on the list. This district, located in the Boulder area, is the largest one on the list thus far. Boulder Valley School District serves over 31,000 students in 56 schools.

Cherry Creek School District

Rated as the fifth-best district in the state and the second-best in the populous city of Denver, Cherry Creek has a lot of upside for new families.

This district offers a close commute to the city as well as excellent academic and athletic opportunities.

In the grand scheme of things, you can’t go wrong with your choice when you pick a school from a state with the 7th best Pre-K–12 programs.
Colorado State Relocation Guide
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But for many students, a high school degree is not enough. They want to attend one of Colorado’s prestigious universities.

Secondary Education

After receiving their high school diploma, many Colorado graduates are looking forward to stepping into the professional world of college.

Colorado has four schools in the top 150 national universities: Colorado School of Mines (#83), University of Denver (#93), University of Colorado Boulder (#99), and Colorado State University (#148).

Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO With an undergraduate class of 5,200+ students, you can attend one of the best schools for mining and metallurgy.
University of Denver Denver, CO DU boasts 11:1 class sizes, with many classrooms not exceeding 20 students. Students who attend DU can expect specialized teaching and get to know their professors.
University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO The University of Colorado Boulder is the largest school in the state, with over 30,000 students. Students who attend this school are often interested in the sciences, marketing, and business.
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO Reasonably close in size to UC, Colorado State University offers its students several classes in the arts and veterinary sciences.


No matter where you move to in Colorado, you will find excellent school districts and access to some of the best collegiate programs in the country.

Notable Highlights

When you move to a new state, you must learn everything about finances, housing, and the job market. But there is more to life than work — it’s essential to enjoy your new home.

Colorado is full of history and serves as the gateway to the west. Here are some interesting facts to learn about your new home.

  • Colorado’s nickname is the Centennial State because it became a state in 1876, 100 years after the United States declared independence in 1776.
  • If you visit the Four Corners Monument, you can stand in four states — Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.
  • Denver, the capital city, sits precisely one mile above sea level, so it’s called the Mile High City.
  • Support the local sports teams, like the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Colorado Avalanche, and the Denver Nuggets.

Best Places to Live in Colorado

Over the last several sections, you’ve read over everything from taxes to education, but one of the essential pieces of information is where to live.

Colorado has a lot to offer new residents, but you need to find a living situation conducive to your lifestyle. 

Before we get into the best places to live, here are some helpful tips to get ready for your move.

  • Pack for cold weather. Even though you may not live in an area with a lot of precipitation, you will experience several days of freezing temperatures, so you want to stay warm and pack thermals.
  • Most of Colorado is at a higher elevation than you’re probably used to, so it will take some time to acclimate to the air density and life at a higher altitude. 
  • Always hold onto your important documents, like driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration, and social security card.
  • Wherever you’re moving from, you may not be used to driving through the mountains. While you’re excited about your move, you might be nervous about driving your car. At Guardian Auto Transport, we offer state-to-state car shipping, so you don’t have to worry about driving your car yourself. We will meet you at your new home.

Now that we have that covered let’s look at some of the best places to live in Colorado.

Fort Collins

Fort Collins is the best place to live in Colorado because of its affordability, safety, and the job market. Additionally, the housing market is significantly cheaper here, and if you decide to live in Fort Collins, your children have access to excellent Pre-K–12 schools, and CSU is right down the street.


The capital of Colorado is booming in population growth and popularity. At an altitude of 5,280ft, you can experience over 300 days of sunshine in Denver in the average year. This weather makes it the perfect place for people who love outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, disc golfing, and other outdoor adventures.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is the perfect place for people who like an urban lifestyle without traffic and noise. Additionally, The Springs is much cheaper than Denver yet has many of the same amenities.

There are so many great places to live in Colorado. So, Colorado is the right choice if you’re looking for a place to get outside and enjoy your surroundings.


There’s a reason that people are moving to Colorado in droves–it’s beautiful and fits their outdoorsy lifestyle.

After the pandemic, many people reconnected with the outdoors and their love for an active lifestyle. Colorado naturally caters to these types of people, so it’s no wonder that outdoor enthusiasts are calling Colorado home.

Living in Colorado means low-income tax, excellent education systems, and top-tier healthcare.

If you’re ready to pack your bags and head to your new home, let Guardian Auto Transport help you out.

We can ship your car to Colorado or any U.S. state. Get an instant quote today.

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