What is Northern Colorado? 

Northern Colorado is a term that is often used by locals to describe the Northern Front Range towns that are north of Denver and east of the Rocky Mountains.

Now, you may hear weather forecasters use Northern Colorado as a blanket term to cover the northern latitudes of the state. They are, obviously, accurate with that. If you cut the state in half, Denver is in the northern half.

However, if you hear it in day to day language or see it in ads or articles, when we say Northern Colorado, we are talking about an area exclusive from Denver, and apart from the mountain towns to the west, like Steamboat, Breckenridge and Vail.

The Northern Front Range = Northern Colorado

Northern Colorado          Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Longmont, Berthoud, Wellington, Timnath, Severance, Mead, Johnstown, Estes Park, Firestone, Frederick, et al. Some lists include Broomfield and Brighton.

Being a longtime Fort Collins resident. I frequently visit Loveland, Windsor, Timnath and Johnstown. I consider Saddleback Golf Course in Firestone one of my favorite local courses. I know plenty of people who work in Loveland, and live in Fort Collins, and vice versa.

The important part to understand in getting this local lingo is that it indicates a separate and different market than Denver. There is Northern Colorado, and there is Denver. There are a lot of similarities. We mix with one another well, but we are separate. That said, there is no official line where Northern Colorado starts and the Denver area ends.

Now, even though Denver is in the northern half of the state, we still refer to the towns north of, and possibly including, Longmont, that are near I-25, as “Northern Colorado.” We refer to the towns south of Longmont as “the Denver area”. Sometimes it’s referred to as “Denver/Boulder” or “the Denver/Boulder area”.

Boulder and Denver are about 30 miles apart. It’s all metropolis between them, and Boulder blends into Longmont, Louisville (pronounced with the ‘s’ around here), Lyons and others. Once you move north of this area, the land starts to stretch into farms and fields, dotted by little towns and hamlets. On it goes, towns amongst fields and hills and farms, as you head north and east, until you come to Fort Collins and Wellington. After that, the next stop is Cheyenne, Wyoming.

On the west side of Northern Colorado, the population subsides as the mountains rise. There are a few towns, including Estes Park and Nederland. Much of the area west of the Northern Front Range is Rocky Mountain National Park, which covers a huge expanse of land. Other spots to our west are not protected lands, perse, like the national park, but are rugged, so there are less people than there are in the foothills and high plains.

So, Northern Colorado is a colloquialism that we use to describe the area north of Denver, along I-25, including towns east and west of that highway, and stretching a little ways into the mountains.

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What do you think?

Leave a comment below, or on my Facebook page. I asked folks what they thought. Here are a few replies.



So, if this blog post helps you understand this area better, I think it will be in understanding that though Colorado Springs, Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and other towns within a certain area of Interstate 25 and the mountains are along the same mountain range and highway, they are different and somewhat separate from each other to those who live here.

Is Boulder part of the area known as ‘Northern Colorado’?

You might hear different answers to this question, but to me, Boulder is not part of the commonly used term “Northern Colorado.” Boulder is just Boulder. If you’ve spent much time in Boulder, you probably understand that this place is unique unto itself. Boulder is its own animal, and it has the social policies and real estate prices to prove it.

$840,000 for a three bedroom home? Yep, that’s Boulder!

Just look at the average sale price, and that is for a three bedroom home! Whoa! This comes from a lot of factors, but Boulder is in and of itself. Even calling the area “Denver/Boulder” is a bit misleading in my opinion. While some of the attitudes may overlap, the two have little else that links them besides proximity and the way the metro area has grown. However, they are lumped together in many ways, including calculations of things like ratings for radio stations.

There is one thing that most towns along the Front Range have in common—they are well loved by those who live here because they are pretty fabulous! If I can help you claim a little piece of this area for your very own through buying some real estate, please contact me. I have time for you, and I look forward to getting to know what you want so I can help you find it. I have loved my life here since I arrived 20 years ago, and would love to help you experience the same!

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