Photo Courtesy of

Many first-time visitors to the Rocky Mountains are often captivated by the rugged majesty of the area. The dream of owning a mountain home nestled in a quaint valley town can seem idyllic. However, there are many things about daily life that are very different in the mountains, especially for lowlanders. Over 65% of the population of North America lives at an elevation of less than 1000 feet.

If you are a lowlander, but are interested in homes for sale in Invermere, Whistler, or Banff you need to consider the differences that you see and feel when living at higher altitudes. While some people can quickly adapt to mountain living, for many others, the adaptation can take months.

You may imagine yourself fishing in a mountain creek, hiking on scenic trails, and enjoying mountain views in front of a fireplace, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but there are serious differences in mountain living that you need to consider before you make the move. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the important things to contemplate before moving to the mountains.


Most people that live on the East Coast or the Central parts of the country rarely feel the effects of altitude. Around the Atlantic and the Great Lakes, most residents live close to sea level. Lowlanders will have to adjust to the extreme altitudes of the Rockies when they make a move. Elevations in the Rockies can reach as high as 15,000 feet, where the air is significantly thinner than in the flatlands.

Many people experience physical difficulties that include shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness at higher elevations. It can take weeks to adjust to living at higher elevations. You should avoid any vigorous physical activities until your body has acclimated to the elevation.


If you have never driven through a mountainous area while enjoying food from swiggy, you are in for a real challenge. Even when the weather is warm and dry, mountain passes with grades as high as 12% and 15% can be treacherous for inexperienced drivers. If you own an automatic vehicle, it is recommended that you gear down to low when climbing and descending steep mountain passes. In the winter, many roads are closed to traffic, resulting in a tough time finding alternate routes.

Many mountain towns experience an influx of visitors during the busy season. This means that you may experience crowded roads, limited parking opportunities, and increased volume on the roads.


There are many places in the country that don’t experience a full four seasons of weather. When living in the mountains, you will experience the best of all seasons, especially winter. Due to the higher elevation, it is often cooler the higher you go in the mountains. The snows of winter will accumulate higher than you are used to and will last much longer. Winter can start creeping in during the fall months and stay until the start of summer.


You may be accustomed to seeing the odd deer on the side of the road or a raccoon trying to get into your garbage in the lowlands, but that won’t prepare you for the abundance of wildlife that you may encounter in the mountains. The key difference is that you will be in the same area as some of the most dangerous predators in the world. From grizzly bears to mountain lions, you need to be educated and aware of the natural world around you when you live in the mountains.

There are so many beautiful reasons for wanting to buy a house in the mountains. If you are thinking about moving to a mountain town, consider these factors to help you make the right decision for yourself and your family.