The Colorado towns of Eagle, Gypsum and Wolcott constitute what is commonly called “Down Valley” by locals and tourists in the know. These towns are, indeed, where many locals live. As far as buying power goes, you can get more home for the money Down Valley: think single-family homes with yards, spacious duplexes and plenty of parks and bike paths for families to tool around on. The Down Valley towns of Eagle and Gypsum are very family friendly, a little slice of suburbia Colorado style. Visit these towns, and you’ll see dads hiking with kids, moms pulling bike trailers loaded with tikes and kids as young as 3 (honest!) pedaling bikes around town and hitting the BMX track.
Eagle, CO, is the county seat and has been since 1921. Situated at 6,600 feet above sea level, it’s quite a bit lower than Vail and Beaver Creek. The longer summers and milder winters reflect this, and the baby boomers that have been flocking to the town love it. Gypsum, CO, is 6 miles west of Eagle and is also very family friendly with a modern recreation center, outdoor pool and many parks sprinkled throughout the town. Wolcott, CO, used to be a thriving town, back when the railroad ran through town. Now, it’s barely a dot on the map. It does have a post office and has since 1889. There are a couple of golf clubs, a dinosaur camp, masonry business, trails and undeveloped camping areas. There is a restaurant but it’s not consistently open. However, when it is open, it’s a favorite stop for road bikers, motorcyclists and live-music lovers.
Eagle and Gypsum: Vibrant Communities
Although Gypsum and Eagle are about 30 miles from the resorts, they have a unique vibe, are family friendly and have become very popular places for tourists to visit and locals to live.
The towns host numerous events throughout the year including the high school mountain bike championships, hockey tournaments, the best little 4th of July bike parade you ever did see, outdoor concerts, plays, Gypsum Daze and Christmas on Broadway complete with Santa on a fire engine. It feels like a total slice of Americana and almost unreal.
Where the rest of the world struggles with getting enough time outdoors, kids in Eagle and Gypsum get to spend hours outside every day, biking to and from school, playing at the parks, running on singletrack sidewalks that were created by an enthusiastic group of parents and kids as an easy and fun way to get to school. The bottom line: Make sure you work a visit in to Eagle, Wolcott and Gypsum while you are in the Vail valley. The sunny days and welcoming people will make it well worth your time.