3 States That May or May Not Stack Up – Alaska, Idaho and Missouri

The search for a good piece of property continues. If you found this post and don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read why I want to live off the grid here.

I’m looking for that perfect property based on some criteria I developed. Read more about the criteria I’ve chosen in Where to Live Off the Grid – Which States Are the Best?

Before this post, I looked at minimum winter temperatures and placed the states into three categories.

  1. No interest in living there.
  2. Maybe there is a chance.
  3. These states are in the running.

As I do more research, the states are ranked from ideal to not a chance.

The ideal states are places where I’ll first look for a piece of land.

My research found that Alaska, Idaho, and Missouri have limited areas based on my minimum winter temperature criteria.

Will Alaska, Idaho, and Missouri meet my other criteria for a place to build an off-the-grid homestead?

As much as I find high mountain lakes beautiful, and 30 years ago, I would’ve jumped at the chance to live in such a place, cold weather is no longer something I want to tolerate.

Freezing temperatures are one thing, but when it dips below 20 degrees for extended periods, that is where I draw the line.

So Why is Missouri on the List?

Truthfully, I’m not sure what Missouri has to offer. According to my temperature research, Missouri is within temperature zones 6 & 7, which is ideal for me. I’m not sure what the state offers me with rainfall and topography, so I didn’t add the state to the top list. If future research shows Missouri has what I’m looking for, I’ll move it up the list.

Let’s take a closer look at Missouri.

Missouri Precipitation

As previously mentioned, I know little about Missouri, only that the Mississippi River is nearby. Not even sure if it flows through the state or only along the border. But that is why we do research.

I’ve watched a few YouTube Homestead channels live in Missouri, and the terrain looks interesting in the Ozark area.

Even though Missouri wasn’t on my radar as a state to live in, the winter temperatures are ideal, at least in the southern part.

Let’s take a look at the precipitation map.

Missouri rainfall

A review of the map below shows that all but the northwestern portion of the state receives more than 36 inches of rainfall. The range I’m looking for is between 35- and 50-inches of precipitation, and 90% of the state falls into that range.

Since Missouri is within my temperature and precipitation criteria, I will change its status and add it to the ideal list.

Idaho Precipitation

As a geologist, I needed to take a field-based course to graduate. I chose to attend Idaho State University’s 6-week field camp course based in the Snake River Plain and Sawtooth Mountain Range.

I know that state has a lot of what I’m looking for in a place to live, but I also know it is broken up into desert-like areas and high-elevation areas with cold temperatures.

The question is, does Idaho have enough rainfall and vegetation with the temperate climate I’m looking for?

Let’s look at the state’s average precipitation amounts and go from there.

Idaho rainfall

As you can see, a large portion of Idaho is much drier than I hoped. The portion of the state I visited, the central to the west-central area, is much too dry. But the southern part of the neck or handle (not sure what Idahoans call it) receives a perfect amount of precipitation between 40- and 50-inches.

I also know that Idaho is mountainous and might be too cold, so I’ll need to compare a better minimum temperature map and compare it to the precipitation map.

idaho plant climate zones

After viewing the maps, a few counties get enough rainfall and have zone 5 and 6 temperatures (similar to where I live now).

I’ve learned from reading other blogs and books that Idaho has many other criteria on my list.

I’m not sure I want to live that far west, but I’ll add it to the Ideal list for now. I like that the ideal area is relatively small, which will search for a piece of property much easier.

Alaska Precipitation

Alaska is beautiful in my eyes. I wish I had moved there many decades ago. But I didn’t, and now everyone lives on the country’s eastern side.

I’m not sure I want to move that far west. Of course, there is a chance my daughters may move away from the east coast, but I think that is a long shot.

Still, Alaska is where adventurers that want to live in the states go. Unfortunately, the climate is too cold for me now, and only the southeastern portion of the state has warmer winter temperatures.

Below are maps showing the precipitation and minimum winter temperatures. You can click on the images to make them bigger.

alaska rainfallalaska plant zones


As you can see, the Alaskan warmer areas receive a ton of rain, up to 280 inches!

Most areas in the warmer zones receive well over 100 inches. As wonderful as that is for plant growth, it won’t do much for my mood.

I enjoy the sun and crave its energy.

Alaska is beautiful but must be moved to the Not a Chance list.


After reviewing annual precipitation that falls on Alaska, Idaho, and Missouri and taking a closer look at temperatures, I’ll add Missouri to the ideal states.

Idaho has a couple of counties that are warm enough and receive a good amount of rainfall, though most of the state is too dry.

Alaska, without a doubt, has all the views and the type of land I’d love to build on, but the areas with moderate rainfall are too cold, and the warmer areas are too wet. For those reasons, Alaska will be moved to the list of states that don’t meet my criteria.

Drop Me a Comment

If you live or previously lived in any of these three states, drop me an email telling me about your experience. I’d love to hear from you. My email is [email protected].

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