The state of Colorado is endowed with charming, attractive villages that are encircled by an incomparable nature. There are many remarkable secrets for tourists to discover in the Centennial State, from historic Wild West communities with spectacular cliff settings to picturesque ski slopes adorned with glittering snowfall.
Colorado has stunning beauty throughout the year since it has four distinct seasons. Leadville has a riot of colorful wildflowers in the spring, while Crested Butte is famous for its fall-blooming golden aspens. Enjoy the powdery snow in the winter at ski resorts like Steamboat Springs and Telluride. Also, in Durango in the summer, take in the breathtaking mountain peaks. See our guide for inspiration on where to go on your upcoming family vacation in Colorado’s top little towns.
Continue reading to learn about some of the most adorable places with plenty of charm that you should visit this winter. Note that you can go to all these mountain towns at any season. However, there are preferable seasons depending on the individual.
Best Mountain Towns in Colorado Winter
Colorado mountain towns are undoubtedly adept at putting on a winter show, with their backdrop of the most rugged mountains and snow-covered summits. Such mountain settlements might, however, seem to lose their allure when you include the throngs, congestion, and hassles of some of Colorado’s largest ski resort cities. When it comes to Colorado’s mountain villages in the winter, though, not everything is gilded.
There is a potential capital city for Colorado mountain towns in the winter, around 100 miles from Denver. Although not chosen as the capital, Leadville is however unique due to its 70 square blocks of Victorian structures, most of which are components of the nation’s Tourist Attraction Zone. Among the highest peaks in the Rockies, Leadville is the nation’s highest incorporated Colorado mountain among other towns in winter.
More than 50 structures, some dating back to the 1870s, are spread across 20 square kilometers within the region’s historic mining sector. Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and snowmobiling are all available at Ski Cooper during the winter, making it the ideal time to come. Visitors may take in the sights of the Mosquito and Sawatch ranges from approximately 100 miles of manicured pathways.
(Colorado mountain towns in winter)
Among the most prominent mountain towns in Colorado is Aspen in winter, which is teeming with the rich and famous. In addition to several Hollywood celebrities, including Jack Nicholson and Kevin Costner, who own houses here, Aspen is also home to some of the richest individuals in the world.
Indeed, this isn’t the reason it’s so seductive. Some of the state’s most spectacular mountain landscapes may be found there. Also, it offers top-notch recreation opportunities like four separate ski resorts for winter skiing and hiking. It also offers mountain biking and fishing for summer activities. While in America, the Maroon Bells are the most pictured mountains, and they are only 10 miles distant and accessible throughout the summer.
Where to Stay in Aspen
(Colorado mountain towns in winter)
The 1200 square foot Basic 2 Bedroom Condo is perfect for families or small groups traveling to Colorado for an enjoyable vacation. With convenient access to the slopes, hiking trails, and more, it provides luxurious mountain living all year long. A king-sized bed is in the condo’s main bedroom, while twin beds are in the next room.
An additional sleeper sofa is in the living room for additional visitors, and the suite features a washer and dryer. The Silver Queen Gondola is right near the Aspen Alps Condominiums, which gives visitors easy access to the resort’s various attractions.
Adventurers who want to be in the thick of it should head to Durango. Some of the greatest rafting and kayaking in the state may be found on the Animas River. The Animas River runs directly past the town. In the Rockies, where amazing alpine scenery is available for hiking, skiing, and even ice climbing, it just takes a short trek uphill.
There are almost 1,000 miles of mountain bike routes in and around Durango alone. Also, there’s an additional slot canyon and Anasazi ruins, all of which are accessible to tourists year-round in the lowlands. Throughout the town, Main Street boasts plenty of Wild West character in addition to contemporary conveniences. A vintage steam train, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, will be available for you to board. The trip from Durango to Silverton on this small-gauge railway is among the most beautiful in the nation. It was developed expressly to manage restricted mountain terrain.
#4. Estes Park
Upon this eastern border of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park offers several of the country’s finest breathtaking mountain vistas. There are many activities to do within the town, such as museums and galleries, shopping, and restaurants. There is also a Kids’ Theme Park where people of all ages can go on giant slides. They also race go-karts, play miniature golf, and perhaps even skydive.
Throughout the national park, hundreds and miles of hiking routes are easily accessible and run across verdant valleys, along flowing streams, and past waterfalls, while also offering vistas of jagged mountain peaks that rise more than 14,000 feet into the sky. The Stanley Hotel, a revered structure upon whom author Stephen King drew his novel “The Shining,” too is located in Estes Park. A portion of “The Shining” TV series was also shot onsite.
Located at the foot of the Tenmile Range in the Rocky Rockies is the Colorado town of Breckenridge. It’s famous for all of its ski resorts, year-round alpine sports, and incredible heritage. The Breckenridge National Historic District, largely on High Street, preserves the Victorian center of this old mining town. These freshly colored structures from the 1880s and ’90s now house stores, museums, and eateries.
Top 6 Events During the Winter in Breckenridge
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge Ski Resort provides spectacular skiing and riding for all skill levels. It has five peaks, 2,908 skiable acres, 187 routes, four terrain parks, and the highest chairlift in North America. Breckenridge is among the top ski resorts in Colorado. It distinguishes itself from the competition by fusing its personality with unrivaled terrain and first-rate service.
Nordic & Cross Country Skiing
Five thousand years ago, Scandinavians used long, narrow skis to cross their land on snow, giving rise to the origins of Nordic skiing. Due to the availability of instruction and rentals at two Nordic centers, it is currently a well-liked winter pastime in Breckenridge. The town also offers hundreds of miles of unmaintained paths to explore in addition to more than 50 kilometers of immaculate cross-country skiing and snowshoeing tracks.
Sledding is the ideal pastime for children (and kids at heart). You’ll have to work for your runs by climbing the hill, but in exchange, you’ll get a stunning view and a thrilling ride! Pick up a sled at one of the local supermarkets.
Enroll in a professional snowmobile trip to discover miles of breathtaking trails, discover Breckenridge’s mining past, and discover the area’s fauna. With Good Times Adventures, there are family-friendly and action-packed tours available
Best Mountain Towns in Colorado To Live in the Summer
Wintertime is when everyone travels to Colorado. Ski season is a well-liked occasion to visit the Centennial State, where there are several mountain villages to select from. So rather than fighting the crowds, why not visit your new favorite Colorado mountain town in the summer? Colorado has gorgeous summers with bright, sunny days and crisp, pleasant evenings. The mountainsides will be covered in wildflowers if you arrive at the correct time of year.
#1. Steamboat Springs, Colorado (One Of The Best Mountain Towns in Colorado To Live in the Summer)
Even in the summer, visitors can have a ton of fun at Steamboat Springs, one of Colorado’s most well-liked ski and snowboarding resorts, — particularly if they enjoy cowboy hats. Steamboat Springs’ hills are still very much a part of the Wild West.
In the summer, you may avoid the ski slopes and travel to the campsites to enjoy the breathtaking Yampa River and mountain scenery. Whitewater rafting, using inner tubes, and tubing down the Yampa are just a few of the activities available at Steamboat Springs. The town’s annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park event showcase a diverse variety of balloons, while Strawberry Park Hot Springs gives a private, genuine spring feel.
#2. Ouray, Colorado
This frequently referred to as the Switzerland of America, is another place you just “can’t miss” while on a summer mountain town tour of Colorado. Ouray, which lies a little farther south in the heart of the snow-capped San Juan Mountains, is a perfect location for soaking in the natural hot springs. And or getting up close to some of the stunning waterfalls that are scattered throughout the area.
Only the wildflowers are enough to keep visitors coming back to the little mountain village of a little over a thousand residents. There are several walks you may do, some of which start right outside of town. Visit the Bachelor Syracuse Mine if you’re interested in learning more about the town’s heritage of precious metals like silver and gold.
Ouray features various historic walking tours, several lovely stores on the main strip, and even “a dozen unique places,” according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A small community of about 1,500 people, Crested Butte is well-known for its skiing and hiking. Its location is at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Go exploring on foot or a mountain bike by stopping by the visitor center for a trail map. Between Gunnison and Crested Butte, Taylor Canyon offers a once-in-a-lifetime whitewater rafting excursion. Your pulse rate will increase as you take this Taylor River trip, which will also give you a closer look at what makes this area so well-liked among residents of Colorado.
#4. Palisade (One Of The Best Mountain Towns in Colorado To Live in the Summer)
Western Colorado’s Palisade is a tiny town where a vibrant tourism industry coexists with a long farming background. Except for Pêche, a farm-to-table fast-food restaurant from one of Colorado’s greatest young chefs, Matthew Chasseur, downtown Palisade is already a bustling collection of shops, bakeries, and eateries. Moreover, Palisade is becoming a popular mountain-riding resort. Starting at the peak of Colorado’s Grand Mesa and down towards the hamlet of Palisade, the Palisade Plunge serves as one of the country’s largest singletrack downhill mountain bike paths. After ten years of preparation, building, and substantial financial expenditure, The Plunge finally opened in 2021.
#5. Telluride, Colorado (One Of The Best Mountain Towns in Colorado To Live in the Summer)
A little hamlet encircled by soaring peaks covered in forest, Telluride is removed from metropolitan life. It is well-known for its distinctive Bluegrass Festival in June, which features bluegrass bands and a view of the San Juan Mountains from a ski gondola. The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, which has two sizable exterior swimming pools for sunbathing and relaxing, is the town’s major draw. Throughout the summer, visitors can relax in the natural geothermal steam baths at the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves.
#6. Snowmass Village
Located in the Elk Mountains, Snowmass Town is a picturesque village. Although Snowmass Village offers the atmosphere of a remote mountain hideaway, Aspen, where you can find almost anything, from upscale Japanese restaurants to Italian luxury stores, is only nine miles away.
Nevertheless, to be quite honest, Snowmass Village has a strong sense of what it is. It is one of the Best Mountain Towns in Colorado To Live in the Summer. There isn’t a compelling reason to depart Snowmass Village once you’ve arrived. Beautiful peaks, excellent dining options, the family-friendly Base Village, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, live music events, and some of the most breathtaking backcountry paths in the world can all be found in this town. Be sure to take advantage of the free guided treks through the fields and wildflowers led by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies naturalists.
#7. Dinosaur (One Of The Best Mountain Towns in Colorado To Live in the Summer)
The Dinosaur National Monument, a 200,000-acre nature reserve on the border between Colorado and Utah, lies close by and gave this isolated group of ranchers in northwest Colorado its name.
A 30-minute journey will take you to Dinosaur National Park, which has a network of hiking and bike trails as well as rock art and fossilized dinosaur remains. The dinosaur bones are all on the park’s Utah side, although the Colorado side boasts better views of the canyons and rivers. The majority of the hiking paths begin at the Canyon Visitor Center, which is two miles to the east of Brontosaurus Boulevard after breakfast. Whitewater rafting, stargazing, and taking a picturesque drive along Harpers Corner Road are some of the other local attractions.
What Is the Most Mountainous Place in Colorado?
The largest group of mountains in Colorado is known as the San Juans, and they are located in the state’s southwest. They have 250 of the 637 13ers in the states as well as 14 distinct 14ers. It’s understandable why many people consider the San Juans to be the state’s most magnificent mountain range, given the great variety of mountains that exist there.
What Is the Prettiest Town in Colorado?
Telluride. Several people believe Telluride to be Colorado’s prettiest and most attractive town overall. It has a picture-book atmosphere with streets lined with magnificent Victorian-era houses and is tucked away in a box canyon deep in the San Juan Mountains, affording plenty of peace and privacy.
The bulk of Colorado’s mountain towns were constructed by prospectors hoping to strike it rich more than a century ago. Yet now that the mines are a thing of the past, Colorado has a new reputation as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
Numerous towns in Colorado’s Rockies stand out as being particularly scenic. Furthermore, they are packed with obvious character and embody what it means to be “classic Colorado” among the more than 100 individual towns that make up the region. These Colorado mountain villages are our picks for the most recognizable ones. The state’s most sought-after places to live and travel are these mountain villages. When Colorado’s seasonally accessible mountain highways are open, they are ideal for a summer road vacation.