The Best Mountain Towns In Colorado Come In 9 Different Flavors

These Colorado small towns are filled with everything you would imagine, from historic buildings to art galleries and beautiful mountain scenery. There is something for everyone on our list of the best mountain towns in Colorado.

Telluride

telluride colorado

Telluride is located about six hours from Denver. They do have a small airport so flying into Telluride is also an option.

If you are looking for outdoor activity then Telluride is the place to go. You can ski and golf in one of Colorado’s most picturesque towns. Among other things in Telluride are the Sheridan Opera House (a performing-arts venue) and the Telluride Historical Museum.

If you like national historic sites, take a day trip just a couple hours west to Hovenweep National Monument.

Breckenridge

breckenridge colorado

Breckenridge is located about a ninety minute drive from Denver.

This ski town is one of the most visited towns in all the Colorado mountains and sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains’ Tenmile Range.

Breck as the locals call it has a deep Gold Rush history that comes along with it. The Breckenridge Historical District (mostly along Main Street) is filled with Victorian style buildings. Dating back to the 1880’s these buildings now offer shopping, galleries, coffee shops, restaurants and plenty of watering holes.

Aspen

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Aspen is located about three and a half hours from Denver. Take the turn at Glenwood Springs and you will arrive shortly. There is also a small airport for fly in options.

Aspen has plenty of outdoor recreation year round. Known for its “high-end” lodging and restaurants, it’s not surprising to see celebrities walking the streets.

Just down the road from Aspen are the Maroon Bells.

Crested Butte

crested-butte-colorado

Crested Butte is about a four hour drive from Denver

Outdoor enthusiasts love this town that is tucked away just north of the Gunnison National Park. A mountain bikers paradise Crested Butte is filled with trails and Nordic ski routes around town.

The West Elk Loop scenic byway as well as Kebler Pass are close by for a nice drive.

Cripple Creek

fall colors in cripple creek colorado

Cripple Creek is a quick two and a half hour ride from Denver.

Just a short ride from Cripple Creek is Pikes Peak. One of Colorado’s highest mountains at 14,115 ft.

This former gold mining camp is also just 44 miles from Colorado Springs.

Ouray

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Ouray is about a five and a half hour ride from Denver. These is a small airport in the neighboring town of Montrose for fly in options.

This town is sometimes called the Switzerland of America and if you ever go you’ll know why.

The word Ouray means “The Arrow” and the town was named this because it sites in a narrow valley with steep mountains on three sides.

Estes Park

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Estes Park is about a ninety minute drive from Denver.

Estes Park is home to the Rocky Mountain National Park. A breathtaking ride over Trail Ridge Road will bring you to Grand Lake and the west side of RMNP.

Estes is well known for it’s elk herds and their bugling calls in the fall during mating season.

Leadville

leadville colorado

Leadville is about a two hour ride from Denver.

Plenty of snow and Victorian buildings in this elevated town. At 10,151 ft Leadville sits at the foot of Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, two of Colorado’s highest peaks.

Be sure to bundle up if you visit Leadville in the winter. Temperatures have been known to drop as low as -31 degrees.

Vail

vail village colorado

Vail is about a two hour drive from Denver.

Set within White River National Forest, Vail sits at the base of Vail Mountain. The ski area in Vail is one of the top places to ski in all of North America.

Plenty of summertime activities including golfing, hiking, festivals, farmers markets and concerts in the square.