How to live in the mountains

What can one expect?
How to live in the mountains

Every year, people dream of packing up and moving to the mountains. The mountains offer fresh air, spectacular scenery, uncrowded living, and limitless year-round recreational opportunities.

Before packing up and heading to the mountains for that Shangri-La, there are some questions one needs to ask oneself to comprehend if mountain living is a realistic option. One can then know what they’ll be giving up and what they’ll be getting in return.


Step 1


Mountain living offers many opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and snowsports. If the great outdoors and the sounds of nature are appealing, mountain living may be for you. Many professional athletes live in the mountains to naturally increase their red blood cell count and improve their performance.

Step 2


Finding full-time year-round employment within a mountain community is often very challenging. Members of the travel, recreation, and leisure industries will find plenty of seasonal employment opportunities in summer and winter. As these positions offer minimum wages, you’ll need several to meet the higher cost of living in the mountains. Higher paying positions can be found in real estate and entrepeneurial activities.

Step 3

Cost of living

Mountain living in many areas of the USA brings a higher cost of living. Housing, heating, and transportation costs add up as the location becomes more remote from population centers. Determine what income you’ll need to cover all your expenses.

Step 4

Know the local mountain culture

Mountain culture can vary from region to region. Mountain people in general tend to very self-reliant, extremely independent, and like their sometimes eccentric lifestyles. Those looking for new cultures and different lifestyles will blend right into mountain living.

Be aware that mountain customs can be very different than suburban customs. Conflicts between the two cultures can happen when one dosen’t understand the other or know the laws. Investigate the area that you are interested in moving to and learn about the local gun laws, hunting, taxes, and government.

Step 5

Know the neighbors

Mountain residents often rely on neighbors for help in an emergency. You never know when a snowstorm could drop 12 feet of snow in a week. In sparsely populated areas, a neighbor with a snowplow is often a welcome sight.

Step 6


Living in the mountains means adjusting the ways that one is accustomed to living so that conflict with wildlife is minimized. Mountain living often means having bears, snakes, mountain lions, elk, and moose as neighbors. One can encounter them while out hiking or at home.

Bears are extremely smart and will open car doors, house doors, and garbage cans in search of food. Many mountain communities have strict laws to help prevent bear conflicts.

Learn about the local wildlife in the moutain area you’re considering moving to. If you do happen to encounter it, you and your family members will know how to react.

Step 7


Due to higher elevations and localized weather patterns, mountains can have unpredictable weather. It can be sunny and warm in the morning and snowing in the evening. Be prepared for any weather at home and while out enjoying the great outdoors.

Step 8

Mountain driving

Acquiring mountain driving skills comes with experience. You’ll quickly learn to gear down on steep grades and watch out for wildlife on the road. In winter, just slow down and you’ll do fine.

Step 9

Natural disasters

Forget hurricanes and tornados. One great thing about most mountain living is that there are very few natural disasters. The only real hazard that one needs to prepare for are forest fires. A few mountain areas do have rock and mud slides during wet weather.

Step 10


The best part about mountain living is the scenery and relaxed lifestyle. Just sit back and enjoy life or go out and enjoy nature to its fullest. Live every day to its highest potential. You’ll soon have a group of new mountain friends.

Things Needed
• mountains
• suitable mountain culture
• mountain residence
• reliable vehicle
• money
• income
• tolerance for local wildlife

Tips & Warnings
• Mountain living isn’t for everyone. Winters come early and stay late.
• High altitude mountain living isn’t possible for those with certain health conditions.
• Mountain people live on a different time schedule. Their priorities may not match yours.
• Most mountain areas in the United States have higher costs of living.


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