19 Best Mountain Towns In Colorado

12 mins read
Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
By Alex Holt / unsplash Copyrights 2022

The best mountain towns in Colorado define the State as much as the Rocky Mountain National Park. Many quaint villages and towns in Colorado nestle comfortably in the Rockies and have their charm and magic.

These mountain towns are good getaways for adventure seekers. They enthrall them with various activities, history, and nature, and not to forget some of the amazing mountain towns and villages.


Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
By Kate Darmody / unsplash
Copyrights 2021

Colorado is in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Known for the Rocky Mountains, this State is known for its various adventure activities, culture, history, and mountain towns.

There are fantastic things to see in Colorado, and it is a fine blend of mountainscapes, urban sophistication, art galleries, culture, food, a rich Western history, and music which makes it a perfect state in the United States to visit if you are planning a break in any season of the year.

Best Mountain Towns in Colorado

Some of the best mountain towns in Colorado are incredibly beautiful, and these charming mountain towns attract visitors from all over the country and other countries. Visiting Colorado will be incomplete if you do not make a trip to one of these historic mountain towns and experience what they offer to the discerning traveler.

The best mountain towns in Colorado are ideal hotspots for travelers looking for wellness, nature, and adventure. The natural beauty of these Colorado mountain towns will give you good insights into the State, its wild west, and other interesting areas that make it a place worthy of visiting.

1. Aspen

Exhilarating hiking trails, winter sports, amazing ski slopes, and restaurants are the best way to define Aspen, one of the best mountain towns in Colorado. Millions of tourists flock to this Colorado mountain town every year to enjoy the beauty of the place. Aspen is also famous for its fall season, and the fall foliage here is captivating.

There are luxury boutiques, fancy shops, and unique dining experiences that add to the stunning views of this mountain town. Maroon Bells have catapulted this mountain town to popularity, and taking a Maroon Bells trail is a must for all adventure seekers.

Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
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Copyrights 2018

Aspen, the county seat of Pitkin County, shot up to fame during the time of silver mining and was once the silver mining town in Colorado. Since the town was built in the 1870s, there are historic buildings, and the Opera House is one of the oldest buildings in the town. Located 8000 feet above sea level, winters attract a lot of tourists to the ski slopes for winter sports and activities.

2. Breckenridge

Though Breckenridge has a rich gold mining history, it is known for its ski hills and ski resorts and is known as the Skiing Capital of Colorado State. This National Historic District gets crowded when the ski hills open.

If you are planning a mountain getaway weekend, this alpine ski resort in the Western United States is a great choice, as many summer and winter activities make this town vibrant and lively. The Breckenridge Gondola provides a scenic gondola ride and is a must-do if visiting this mountain town.

The town of Breckenridge is the most populous municipality in Summit County, Colorado. Apart from being popular for its skiing but was originally a historic mining town. This mountain town in Colorado is also home to some amazing hiking and biking trails.

Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
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Copyrights 2018

3. Buena Vista

The Arkansas River, numerous Rocky Mountains, and picturesque landscape makes this mountain town one of the best mountain towns in Colorado. There are a lot of activities that can be done here, and visitors will not run out of summer activities to do here in this mountain town.

Buena Vista is one of the biggest whitewater rafting in the country and is a Statutory Town located in Chaffee County, Colorado.

4. Crested Butte

Once a coal mining town, Crested Butte, Colorado, is now known as the ‘last great Colorado ski town’ and attracts all those who enjoy the mountains and ski slopes. The setting of Colorado Crested Butte is unconventional and if you visit Colorado, visit Crested Butte to enjoy one of the great mountain towns of the region.

The profusion of wildflowers during the spring and summer seasons adds to the scenic beauty of Crested Butte, the Colorado mountain town. Also known as the wildflower capital of the world, Crested Butte hosts the annual weeklong wildflower festival. Planning a trip during this time is the best way to soak in the colors and hues of exotic wildflowers.

This small town of Crested Butte is in the Gunnison County of Colorado State, and it is a perfect place to plan your vacation. Every twist and turn has a creek, a river, or a lake. Go on biking trails, camping, fly fishing, hiking trails, horseback riding, golfing, dining out, and make your holiday memorable.

5. Colorado Springs

Looking for a weekend or romantic getaway to one of the best mountain towns in Colorado? Colorado Springs is a good choice to visit, and this mountain village at the foothills of Pike’s Peak and the Rocky Mountains is wonderful regarding landscapes and the outdoors. The fresh mountain air and the rock formations in shades of orange and red make this gorgeous town worth a visit if you are looking for the best Colorado mountain towns.

6. Durango

Snuggled cosily under the San Juan Mountains, Durango is famous because of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The incredible train ride takes you through the picturesque valleys up to the historic Silverton mining town. Apart from this steam-powered engine train ride, this mountain town has restaurants, galleries, bars, and boutiques, making it one of the best mountain towns in Colorado and worth a trip.

Durango is the most populous municipality of La Planta County, Colorado, and you can soak in the abundant natural beauty of the place while visiting this Colorado mountain town. Durango is the closest to Mesa Verde National Park, and you can stay here if you are not camping there.

Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
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Copyrights 2021

7. Estes Park

One of the best mountain towns in Colorado, Estes Park is home to Rocky Mountain National Park. The Riverwalk is a popular activity here for tourists, and it runs through the downtown area. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of the place, and Estes Park is also famous for its elk herds.

Going on an exciting ride over Trail Ridge Road, you can reach the west side of the Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake. If you are looking for one of the best mountain towns in Colorado, a visit to Estes Park is the right choice.

Estes Park is a small town in Larimer County, Colorado, and a vacation here is highly recommended if you are looking for some fun and adventure. Experience the magic of this Rocky Mountain state by taking guided tours to explore camping, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The Alpine Trails here capture the region’s scenic beauty and are the best way to experience some of the best Colorado Mountain towns.

Stanley Hotel is a good hotel to stay in if you are in Estes Park, and the parking lot for the Emerald Lake Trail, which is at the end of Bear Lake, is a short drive from Estes Park. Downtown Estes Park also has exclusive boutiques and art galleries for shoppers and art lovers. Stanley Hotel is popular and is said to have inspired The Shining by Stephen King.

8. Glenwood Springs

If you are planning a trip to Colorado and want to visit one of the best mountain towns in Colorado, Glenwood Springs is a good choice. Hanging Lake is the most famous attraction of Glenwood Springs, and a hike to this Lake is worth the trip if you want to do unique things on your trip.

The Hanging Lake is a fine example of a travertine geological formation, and this National Natural Landmark will leave you awestruck with its waterfalls and scenery. Hot springs, caverns, and rivers make this mountain town an interesting place to visit.

If you are looking for wellness and healing, a trip to this Colorado mountain town is perfect because of its natural hot springs. The largest mineral pool is at Glenwood Springs, and the Yampah Spring is the source of the mineral water at Glenwood Springs. This mountain town is also known for Glenwood hot springs pool, one of the hottest in Colorado. Take time off and enjoy a therapeutic spa at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs, located on the banks of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs.

9. Idaho Springs

Snuggled in the Clear Creek Canyon, this mountain village is one of the top mountain towns in Colorado and is said to be where the Gold Rush started. There is a lot of experience here, camping, hiking, biking, rafting, zip lining, museums, and historic buildings. Take a break from your monotonous and routine city lives and plan a trip to enjoy Idaho Springs during all seasons.

10. Leadville

Being near Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, two of the highest peaks in Colorado and some of the best 14ers near Denver, Leadville is one of the best mountain towns in Colorado. It is also the highest incorporated city in Colorado, with an elevation of 10,152 feet. There are a lot of mountain passes in this region. This is the perfect place for adventure seekers to camp, hike, go mountain biking, picnicking, horseback riding, and other adventurous outdoor activities.

Step into the Wild West history in this mountain town and learn about the Old West history of the place. The town is also famous for the unsinkable Molly Brown associated with the Titanic. There are historic buildings, and you can also take the Route of the Silver Kings to get to know more about the mining history of the place.

The other famous places to visit in Leadville are the Healy House Museum, the National Mining Hall of Fame Museum, and the Heritage Museum. Leadville is the only incorporated municipality in Lake County, Colorado, and one of the good Colorado mountain towns you can visit if you are in that area.

11. Nederland

Nicknamed Ned, Nederland is one of the best mountain towns in Colorado to visit if you are looking for excitement and fun. This mountain town is the gateway to the Continental Divide and Eldora Mountain Resort, and the popular Frozen Dead Guy Days festival happens here every year. This mining town in Colorado is near Barker Meadow Reservoir in the foothills of Boulder County, Colorado.

Nederland has something to offer every tourist visiting the place. You get extensive views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and the town has a lot of other interesting things to do, making it one of the best Colorado Mountain towns to visit if you are visiting Colorado.

12. Manitou Springs

Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
By Mikey Frost / unsplash
Copyrights 2019

This is a quintessential mountain town in Colorado, and it is located between the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. If you are looking for some incredible hikes and trails, then this is one of the best mountain towns in Colorado to visit and spend some time with family and friends.

The waters of Manitou Springs are said to be healing, and many of the town’s mineral springs still function. The fresh mountain air, Manitou Incline, Miramont Castle built by a French priest, Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway are some of the fascinating things that can be done during your stay here.

13. Ouray

Known as the ‘Switzerland of America, Ouray is alluring with its mountains, caves, waterfalls, and hot springs. This is one of the best mountain towns in Colorado, and you get to experience the splendour of the fall season to the fullest if you are visiting during the Fall season. The Ouray Ice Park and the Box Canyon Falls are two of the famous attractions in this mountain town.

Ouray Ice Park is an artificial ice climbing park, and it is just walking distance from the city of Ouray. It is a free public park and has more than 150 named ice and mixed climbs within two miles of the Uncompahgre Gorge. The Box Canyon Falls is an 85-foot waterfall that tumbles down Canyon Creek and is the town’s main attraction apart from the ice park.

14. Salida

Home to the Riverside Park, Salida is a must-visit mountain town if you are planning a trip to a Colorado mountain town. There are some fine historic buildings here, and it is a wonderful and artistic mountain town surrounded by the Arkansas River, Monarch Mountain, and the Sawatch Range. You can go hiking in the Sawatch Mountains, go for spas in the hot springs, and make cross-country and snowshoe trails. The Rotary Amphitheater in Riverside Park and the Steamplant Event Center will entertain music lovers if you are planning to travel there during the summer.

15. Silverton

Once a happening mining town, Silverton is now a National Historic Landmark District snuggled high in the San Juan Mountains. Go back in time and enjoy the San Juan County Historical Society, Old Hundred Gold Mine, Mayflower Gold Mill National Historical site, and the Victorian Grand Imperial Hotel.

There are many trails that can be done here to soak in the beauty of San Juan Mountain. You can have excellent craft beer and pizzas at the Golden Block Brewery after a day of sightseeing in Silverton.

Silverton is just 50 miles away from Durango, and you can combine these two mountain towns in Colorado while visiting there. This statutory former mining town is the only incorporated municipality in San Juan County.

16. Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs was originally a summer resort that came to be known as a Ski Town in the United States at a later stage. There are valleys and mountains, and rivers and lakes run through this mountain town, making it one of the best mountain towns in Colorado. From being a Ski Town in winter, Steamboat Springs has transformed into a Bike Town with innumerable biking trails, backpacking, and other summer activities.

The city of Steamboat Springs is the most populous municipality of Routt County, Colorado, and also the homeland of the Ute indigenous tribes. Explore this mountain town and experience nature at the closest.

17. Telluride

Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
By Cole Marshall / unsplash
Copyrights 2021

Located against the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains, Telluride is one of the best mountain towns in Colorado to visit if you are planning one while on your visit to Colorado. The Bridal Veil Falls is one of the popular hiking trails here for all adventure seekers, and you can go along the rock faces using cables and iron rungs with Telluride via Ferrata.

It will be a jaw-dropping activity to do while visiting this quaint mountain town. Telluride is also home to many art and music festivals, and a lot of famous artists perform during Plein Air.

Located in San Miguel County, Telluride is one of the most populous towns in Colorado and a former silver mining town in San Miguel in the Southwestern region of Colorado.

18. Tiny Town

Tiny Town is a miniature village that nestles in a mountain canyon 30-minutes from Denver. This is one of the best mountain towns in Colorado you may add to your list while visiting Colorado. This historic town is a perfect place to visit if you are with kids, and there are a lot of things for kids to do while visiting the place.

All the buildings here are 1/6 the size of the original buildings. Get on the Tiny Town Railway train and chug through the village, canyon wall, and a narrow river and have an experience of a lifetime. The uniqueness of this miniature village will leave you amazed and surprised.

19. Vail

Vail can be said to be the best mountain town in Colorado and is located in the Rocky Mountains. It is two hours west of Denver, and there are a lot of activities that make Vail one of the best mountain towns in Colorado. It is known for its world-class skiing and other signature events in summer like Vail Craft Beer and Rocky Mountain Burger Battle.

Vail is a home rule municipality in Eagle County, Colorado, and a perfect mountain town for outdoor enthusiasts. The diverse ski resorts in Vail make it an ideal destination for skiers during the winter season.

Best Mountain Towns in Colorado
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Copyrights 2021

Million Dollar Highway

The Million Dollar Highway is one of the most picturesque highways in the region and stretches for around 25 miles in Western Colorado. It was built in the year 1888, and this road is incredible and different. One of the gorgeous mountain roads in the country, the road is built through the San Juan Mountains and is one of the most used routes in Southwestern Colorado. Driving through this route is an experience of a lifetime, and it is a spectacular ride.

Cottonwood Pass

Like the Million Dollar Highway, the Cottonwood Pass is a delightful drive that is colourful and splendid. It rises over to the West of Buena Vista and passes over the Continental Divide. This road over the Continental Divide is said to be the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide. Enjoy the beauty of the aspen trees and bask in the charm of nature here.

In The End

The many amazing mountain towns in Colorado make this State of the United States unconventional and Avante-Garde for travellers who seek adventure, wellness, and nature.

In case you are planning to make a visit to one of the mountain towns in Colorado, the list mentioned earlier will be a good guide to plan and decide where to visit. Pack your bags, make a list of the things you want to do while on your vacation, bask in the beauty of the mountain town you are visiting, and experience the sights and sounds of the region.

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mamta madhavan

Mamta Madhavan’s body of work includes web content writing, book reviews, interviews, articles, and poetry, mainly free verse. Her works have been published in various reputable journals and magazines worldwide. Living in creatively inspiring India, Mamta incorporates vivid imagery into her writings, influenced by nature, mysticism, and spirituality. Her poetry collection is titled connecting the dots.

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