The Most Dangerous Cities In Colorado: 2022's Ultimate List

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

In recent years, the state of Colorado has seen a major uptick in families that wanted to move to the state. Whether it’s the so-called “Green Rush,” an interest in the state’s hip restaurant scene, or just a new interest in starting a business remains to be seen. All we can say for sure is that Colorado has been getting a huge boost in traffic. Unfortunately, not all cities in Colorado are worth visiting.

Colorado’s new business scene is booming, but that doesn’t mean that all of Colorado is worth visiting or moving to. There are some cities that just aren’t passing muster when it comes to their quality of life, crime levels, or other aspects of life. If you ask any Colorado native, these cities probably shouldn’t be on the top of your moving list…

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How We Figured Out The Worst Cities In Colorado

A bad city comes with many different connotations, all of which have to be taken into account during this article. When it comes to determining what a “bad city” involves, we took in a bunch of different factors. These factors included crime, the price of rent, as well as issues like traffic.

Is Colorado Safe?

Living in Colorado is generally a smart idea. Compared to many other states, Colorado generally boasts a low crime rate as well as relatively safe schools. While the towns featured in this article aren’t ideal places to live, it’s important to remember that they are the exceptions rather than the rule.

How Can You Stay Safe While Living In A Dangerous City?

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t live in a dangerous city at all. Unfortunately, there are tons of people who have no choice in the matter. If you find yourself in a dangerous city in Colorado, these tips can help:

  • Don’t go out alone at night. This is a fast way to become a victim of violent crime or theft.
  • Install a reliable security system at home. We suggest getting a home alarm system (like ADT) as well as a Ring doorbell to make sure you’re good to go.
  • Make sure to install security systems on your car, too. A wheel bar can help deter carjackers that would not be afraid of a regular alarm.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. If you see trouble, avoid it. If trouble finds you, then do what you can to limit the problem by calling the police.
  • Carry pepper spray on you and learn self-defense. Self-defense is always a wise skill to learn.

Most Dangerous Cities In Colorado

Overall, Colorado is a great state to live in. Even if you live in a “bad city” in this state, chances are that you are going to enjoy your life there. It’s considered to be one of the best states to move to. Even so, these cities below are often considered to be the worst Colorado cities for people to live in.

#10: Grand Junction

Though this city of 60,000 people is a pretty sight, the truth is that looks alone don’t carry much weight when it comes to your day to day life. Grand Junction has a fairly low quality of life for everyone who lives within the city limits. One might blame the unusually high crime rates, but it’s actually a mix of other factors as well.

Grand Junction is known for having poorly funded schools, a high unemployment rate, as well as rent rates that don’t quite match the low life standards that people have to deal with here. High unemployment tends to plague the adults, while a school system that doesn’t care happens to be the biggest issue for the youth. No wonder people are moving out in droves!

  • Violent Crime: 437
  • Property Crime: 4,340
  • Murder: 4.8
  • Rape: 90.5
  • Robbery: 27
  • Assault: 314.4
  • Burglary: 462.1
  • Theft: 3,623.7
  • Vehicle Theft: 254.1

#9: Federal Heights

Federal Heights might be a smaller city, but that doesn’t mean that it’s immune to big-city problems. For many locals, the biggest issue that they have with the town deals with a high crime rate. Those who aren’t worried about violent crime or property crime tend to have another bone to pick with this place—the boredom.

Like other cities on this list, Federal Heights doesn’t have much going for it in terms of education or entertainment. Even the restaurant scene here is lacking in variety. Maybe that’s why crime is on the upswing here. Well, whatever the reason, it’s generally assumed that living here probably isn’t the best thing for any family to experience.

Recently, Federal Heights was named one of the most affordable places to live in Colorado. Of course, it’s affordable. No one wants to live there.

  • Violent Crime: 665
  • Property Crime: 4,285
  • Murder: 15.5
  • Rape: 69.6
  • Robbery: 92.8
  • Assault: 487.3
  • Burglary: 502.7
  • Theft: 2,885.0
  • Vehicle Theft: 897.2

#8: Trinidad

Unlike most other towns and cities on this list, Trinidad doesn’t have a high crime rate compared to its population. Unfortunately, that’s basically the only thing that we can say that’s even remotely nice about this town. Among white people, Trinidad is regarded as a place that has low wages and almost nothing to do. Among non-whites, this town is known for racism.

Known for being a former “sundown town,” Trinidad has an unusually high amount of racism-related incidences that occur within its limits. Pairing that with the fact that it has a Ku Klux Klan chapter, and it’s easy to see why people who want to have a diversity-friendly place to live avoid this town like the plague.

  • Violent Crime: 541
  • Property Crime: 4,278
  • Murder: 0
  • Rape: 62.9
  • Robbery: 62.9
  • Assault: 415.3
  • Burglary: 918.6
  • Theft: 3,108.1
  • Vehicle Theft: 251.7

#7: Sheridan

Among people who are local to Colorado, saying that you’re from Sheridan is not a bragging right. In fact, it’s something that is often met with pitying looks. Sadly, that reputation for being a bad town is quite well-earned. Despite being a petite town, Sheridan earned a claim to fame as the second-most crime-ridden town in the entire state.

It’s hard to say why the crime in Sheridan is so high. Could it be that the low wages of local jobs have something to do with it? Possibly. Could it be the lack of entertainment? Possibly. Despite being only eight miles away from Denver, this town remains lacking in major amenities. As a result, it’s best not to come here if you can avoid it.

  • Violent Crime: 884
  • Property Crime: 8,816
  • Murder: 0
  • Rape: 113.7
  • Robbery: 178.6
  • Assault: 552
  • Burglary: 763.1
  • Theft: 6,884.2
  • Vehicle Theft: 1,169

#6: Glendale

Glendale, in and of itself, has the potential to be a great city. It has decent restaurants, a good arts scene, and some of the schools there are fairly admirable. Unfortunately, that’s where the goodness stops happening. Glendale is one of the worst cities in Colorado when it comes to crime. Currently, it’s considered to be the most dangerous city in Colorado due to its high violent crime rates.

Moving to Glendale means that you have a 1 in 115 chance of being a victim of violent crime, and if you’re talking about property crime, the number climbs even higher. This city has a higher chance of being a victim of carjacking, theft, vandalism, and assault than any other city in the state. Due to the sheer risk alone, Glendale earned its way into the worst cities in Colorado.

  • Violent Crime: 869
  • Property Crime: 15,832
  • Murder: 0
  • Rape: 151.1
  • Robbery: 113.4
  • Assault: 604.6
  • Burglary: 623.5
  • Theft: 14,018.5
  • Vehicle Theft: 1,190

#5: Pueblo

Though Pueblo is considered to be a “City of Excellence,” the city itself is a far cry from the excellence it touts. A sky-high crime rate, a high unemployment rate, and bad schools make this a tough place to live—even if you are just starting out. Just about everyone who’s lived here has a complaint or two about life in Pueblo.

A typical person has a 1 in 18 chance of being a victim of a property crime within the city limits, which means that there’s a fair chance of having your stuff stolen on a regular day. Families who want to ensure that their child doesn’t live a disadvantaged life would be wise to steer clear of this town.

  • Violent Crime: 993
  • Property Crime: 5,576
  • Murder: 8.1
  • Rape: 165.5
  • Robbery: 196.9
  • Assault: 622.8
  • Burglary: 1095.2
  • Theft: 3,531.8
  • Vehicle Theft: 948.5

#4: Delta

Though not a city in the most common sense of the word, Delta still managed to get a place on our list of worst places to live in Colorado. This 6,000-person town is out in the middle of nowhere, and there’s just nothing to do for indoor entertainment. So, even if you’re just going for a visit, there’s not much appeal in going to Delta.

For people who are looking for a new home, this town offers up even less appeal. Delta has some of the poorest school funding in the state as well as some of the highest unemployment rates. Unless you’re a huge outdoor person, Delta doesn’t offer much for you or anyone you know.

  • Violent Crime: 215
  • Property Crime: 4,706
  • Murder: 0
  • Rape: 34
  • Robbery: 22.7
  • Assault: 158.7
  • Burglary: 895.8
  • Theft: 3,526.5
  • Vehicle Theft: 283.5

#3: Alamosa

Among locals, it’s a known fact that Alamosa is kind of a mess right now. It’s not even an open secret; it’s just acknowledged as a bad place to be. Alamosa’s high crime rates, low educational standards, poor recreational opportunities, and lackadaisical police force make it a city that people tend to avoid whenever possible. Even the weather here is poor, with bitter cold and extreme heat being the norm.

Home values are way below Colorado’s average here, which is basically the only perk that you can enjoy here. Between housing a major jail, the fact that unemployment is high, and the general quality of life plummeting, there’s really no reason to want to live in Alamosa. It’s just…not good.

  • Violent Crime: 563
  • Property Crime: 5,545
  • Murder: 0
  • Rape: 120.5
  • Robbery: 90.4
  • Assault: 351.6
  • Burglary: 793.6
  • Theft: 4,520.3
  • Vehicle Theft: 231

#2: La Junta

Colorado’s real estate market is booming, with much thanks to the Green Rush that is currently blessing the state. So, when you hear about a town where home prices are falling and the population is shrinking, you know that something isn’t right. Such is the case with La Junta, a town that’s been dealing with major population decline since the early 2000s.

The good news is that you will be able to score a great deal on real estate here. The bad news is that there’s almost nothing to do here, that your children will have a subpar education, and that you also might find yourself stuck with bad employment opportunities. So, it’s not a good place to live regardless of what you’re looking for.

  • Violent Crime: 495
  • Property Crime: 4,776
  • Murder: 0
  • Rape: 174.7
  • Robbery: 14.6
  • Assault: 305.8
  • Burglary: 1,208.7
  • Theft: 3,305.7
  • Vehicle Theft: 262.1

#1: Aurora

This is one Colorado city that doesn’t need much introduction. Even if you’re from out of state, you probably have heard of Aurora from the sheer numbers of violent crime and mass shootings that have occurred within the city’s limits. Sadly, those crimes aren’t an exception to the rule. They’re par for the course here.

How bad is the crime in this city? Well, it seems to be bad enough to garner national attention and not just from the mass shooting. The FBI recently rated Aurora as the second most violent city in Colorado, where it tied with Denver. This might come as a shock to people who enjoy Aurora’s many attractions, but for locals, that’s life.

Aurora’s issue isn’t just relegated to violent crime. There are a slew of social problems involved here, including a pervasive feeling of isolation as well as poor school funding. Racism, though not extremely common, still remains a notable issue here in many neighborhoods. The bad press that this city gets is only icing on the cake.

  • Violent Crime: 728
  • Property Crime: 2,983
  • Murder: 4.6
  • Rape: 103.8
  • Robbery: 169.2
  • Assault: 450.9
  • Burglary: 462.1
  • Theft: 1,928.3
  • Vehicle Theft: 592.8

Crime Rates In Colorado Cities For 2020

RankNameProperty Crime (Per 100,000)Violent Crime (Per 100,000)
10Grand Junction4,340437
9Federal Heights4,285665
2La Junta4,776495

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Related Questions

What are the best places to live in Colorado?

There are several cities that scored high marks as great places to live within the state. Some of the most popular places to live include Boulder, Denver, and Aspen. Colorado Springs is also considered to be a great place to live and visit.

Is it expensive to live in Colorado?

When compared to the national average, Colorado is almost entirely average–though it is slightly more expensive when it comes to real estate. The quality of life in Colorado is generally high. So, if you’re looking for a state that will offer decent perk at a fairly reasonable price,  then choosing to move to Colorado is a smart choice.

Where does South Park take place?

South Park takes place in South Park, Colorado. (Yes, it’s a real town!)

What is considered to be a living wage in Denver?

If you have no children and are living alone, you should be able to skate by on $14.26 per hour, which is relatively close to the minimum wage in Colorado. If you are single and have two children, then the living wage will be $34.59. So, while it can be affordable, it’s important to realize that you may still struggle if you have kids.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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