Colorado is home to some of the best mountain views anywhere in the world. There are 15 primary mountain ranges in Colorado, and there are at least 100 communities we could include in the conversation about towns in the Rocky Mountains.

Below, we narrow down the list by highlighting some of Colorado's best mountain towns that have a little bit of everything to offer.

Get our free mobile app

Colorado Rocky Mountain Living

People have been living in the Rocky Mountains one way or another for more than 10,000 years. Some of the Paleo-Indians are said to have been here 13,000 years ago. The state of Colorado's oldest established community is the city of San Luis, founded in 1851.

The Mining Boom and Colorado Mountain Towns

Colorado is said to have had as many as 600 ghost towns that were once a part of the state's mining history in the many mountain ranges. Some of these communities thrived for a time then disappeared. Others turned into amazing places that attract visitors from all over the world today.

Colorado's Best Mountain Towns

Below you'll find a mix of incredible views, theme parks, and scenic byways that make up some of the best mountain towns Colorado has to offer. Videos and directions make it easy to learn more about these popular destinations we should all visit more often.

- RiverNorthPhotography Getty Images Signature.
- RiverNorthPhotography Getty Images Signature.
loading...
  • Location: Frisco, Colorado
  • County: Summit County
  • Mountain Range: The Ten Mile Range
  • Elevation: 9,097’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: People in Colorado will tell you to skip Breckenridge and Vail and head for the scenic setting of Frisco. Only 90 minutes from Denver, Frisco is close to the incredible Lake Dillon and Frisco Adventure Park. You’ll have a blast spending a weekend in the mountains here.

RiverNorthPhotograpy Getty Images Signature/Canva Pro.
RiverNorthPhotograpy Getty Images Signature/Canva Pro.
loading...
  • Location: Estes Park, Colorado
  • County: Larimer County
  • Elevation: 7,522’
  • Mountain Range: The Front Range
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps
  • Things To See: There is nothing like Estes Park in the summer months. It’s one of Colorado’s most visited towns. The creepy Stanley Hotel from the film the Shining is located here along with tons of craft breweries, and the famous fall Elk Fest is a great reason to head to the Front Range for the fall color change.

DougBerry from Getty Images Signature
DougBerry from Getty Images Signature
loading...
  • Location: Gunnison, Colorado
  • County: Gunnison County
  • Mountain Range: West Elk Mountain
  • Elevation: 7,703’
  • Directions: Click here for directions via Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Gunnison, Colorado is one of many spectacular stops along Highway 50 over the Continental Divide. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison might take your whole life to explore but is well worth a weekend. The Curecanti National Rec Area and Blue Mesa are a mountain paradise all to themselves.

Charles Baden Getty Images
Charles Baden Getty Images
loading...
  • Location: Silverton, Colorado
  • County: San Juan County
  • Elevation: 9,318’
  • Mountain Range: The San Juan Mountains
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google maps.
  • Things To See: When visiting Silverton, Colorado, you have a chance to ride on the historic Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Tours through the underground mines are a fun adventure and you’ll love your trip down Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway. Colorado’s Epic Ice Lake Trail can be found near Silverton as well.

tupungato Getty Images
tupungato Getty Images
loading...
  • Location: Granby, Colorado
  • County: Grand County
  • Mountain Range: Continental Divide
  • Elevation: 7,935’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Sunshine and Grandy are a match made in heaven. This mountain town has so many summertime options that it is a shame to miss out during the warmer months. Lake Granby is the 3rd largest in the state and you’ll have a blast boating and fishing here. Find Monarch Lake trail nearby for a journey into the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

chapin31 Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
chapin31 Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
loading...
  • Location: Leadville, Colorado
  • County: Lake Country
  • Elevation: 10,151’
  • Mountain Range: Sawatch Mountain Range
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps
  • Things To See: In Leadville, you will find the National Mining Hall of Fame, Cooper Ski Resort, and even paddleboarding and kayaking nearby in Twin Lakes. The following 14er mountains are all within an hour of Leadville: Huron Peak (14,003′), La Plata Peak (14,336′), Southwest Ridge, Missouri Mountain (14,067′), Mt. Antero (14,269′), Mt. Belford (14,197′), Mt. Columbia (14,073′), Mt. Harvard (14,420′), Mt. Oxford (14,153′).

Kruck 20 Getty Images
Kruck 20 Getty Images
loading...
  • Location: Vail, Colorado
  • County: Eagle County
  • Mountain Range: The Gore Range
  • Elevation: 8,150’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Crafted in a Bavarian-style, Vail, Colorado is yet another epic winter wonderland in Colorado that also has an amazing summer experience to offer. You can get on the Blue River for a rafting adventure or hike to Booth Falls. Hot Air Balloon rides are a popular attraction here as well.

DougBerry Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
DougBerry Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
loading...
  • Location: Telluride, Colorado
  • County: San Miguel County
  • Elevation: 8,750’
  • Mountain Range: San Miguel/San Juan Mountains
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps
  • Things To See: Famous for Alpine Skiing Snowboarding and so much more, Telluride is a must-see destination when discussing Colorado’s mountain towns. Make time to see Bridal Veil Falls in the warmer months or watch climbers attempt to ascend the falls when they turn to ice. The incredible Via Ferrata climbing experience found here is one of Colorado’s coolest climbs.

peeterv Getty Images Signature
peeterv Getty Images Signature
loading...
  • Location: Idaho Springs, Colorado
  • County: Clear Creek County
  • Mountain Range: Front Range
  • Elevation: 7,526’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: People in Denver say Idaho Springs is one of the best day trips on the Front Range. This old mining town includes some pretty neat tours that take you down into the mountain tunnels nearby. The Argo Mill and the many breweries here are great places to visit and if you are looking for area hikes check out Herman Gulch or the Mount Evans Scenic Byway.

attachment-Aspen, Colorado - njmcdaniel Getty Images
loading...
  • Location: Aspen, Colorado
  • County: Pitkin County
  • Elevation: 8,000’
  • Mountain Range: Elk Mountain Range
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Extravagance in the mountains to say the least. World-class skiing is paired with fine dining, high-end shopping, museums, Alpine trails, music festivals, celebrity guests, and more! The Maroon Bells seen from Aspen is one of Colorado’s most photographed places. Aspen is also a beautiful place to see the fall color change.

pick-uppath Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
pick-uppath Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
loading...
  • Location: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
  • County: Garfield County
  • Elevation: 5,761’
  • Mountain Range: Flat Tops/ Elk Mountains
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Colorado’s incredible Hanging Lake Park and hiking trail is something we hope can regain access to this year. Wildfires and mudslides have closed the trail over the past year but we hope to see it reopen soon. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Hot Springs, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, or Penny Hot Springs.

beklaus Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
beklaus Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
loading...
  • Location: Crested Butte, Colorado
  • County: Gunnison County
  • Elevation: 8,909’
  • Mountain Range: Elk Mountains
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps
  • Things To See: Crested Butte shows off the beautiful west end of the Elk Range with skiing and mountain biking trails, the West Elk Scenic Byway, and the Kebler Pass is known for the incredible fall colors that can be seen there. The views here are incredible but the town can be a challenge to get to especially in the winter months. In the summer, Colorado heads to Crested Butte for the Wildflower Festival in July.

swkrullImaging from Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
swkrullImaging from Getty Images SignatureCanva Pro
loading...
  • Location: Buena Vista, Colorado
  • County: Chaffee County
  • Elevation: 7,965’
  • Mountain Range: Sawatch Range
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Hike up to the top of Mount Princeton, raft the Arkansas River, see the Collegiate Peaks or soak in the hot springs. Buena Vista is a great place to escape to the mountains for a few days. You’ll find high-end and plenty of affordable stays here.

Adventure_Photo from Getty Images
Adventure_Photo from Getty Images
loading...
  • Location: Keystone, Colorado
  • County: Summit County
  • Elevation: 10,804’
  • Mountain Range: Continental Divide
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps
  • Things To See: Keystone is a resort village with amazing winter skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and ice skating at Keystone Lake. In the summer Moose sightings are common here. Check out the Keystone Bike Park or take the kids to Kidtopia!

Richard Brittles from Getty Images Signature
Richard Brittles from Getty Images Signature
loading...
  • Location: Ouray, Colorado
  • County: Ouray County
  • Mountain Range: San Juan Mountains
  • Elevation: 7,792’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: The Switzerland of America, Ouray needs to be on your Colorado bucket list. Ice Climbers will amaze you in the winters, and the Orvis hot springs here will warm your bones after a weekend at play. The Million Dollar Highway through the San Juans is worth the trip.

ThePalmer from Getty Images Signature
ThePalmer from Getty Images Signature
loading...
  • Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • County: Routt County
  • Mountain Range: The Gore Range
  • Elevation: 6,732’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Get ready for some incredible Colorado fishing in the Steamboat Springs area. Of course, you’ll find skiing and snowboarding here, but you’ll also be close to mountain biking and tons of trails that show off the features of the Gore Mountains. Strawberry Park Hot Springs, the Pioneers Museum, and the Steamboat Symphony are all popular things to see here.

JRLPhotographer from Getty Images
JRLPhotographer from Getty Images
loading...
  • Location: Georgetown, Colorado
  • County: Clear Creek County
  • Mountain Range: Front Range
  • Elevation: 8,530’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: All aboard to Georgetown and the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Georgetown Lake, and the amazing Guanella Pass over the Colorado Aspens. Kayaking in the summer months at Georgetown Lake is a great way to spend a weekend.

chapin31 Getty Images Signature
chapin31 Getty Images Signature
loading...
  • Location: Creede, Colorado
  • County: Mineral County
  • Mountain Range: San Juan Mountains
  • Elevation: 8,799’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Creede is a beautiful mountain town that is remote enough it doesn’t get nearly as crowded as some of the other destinations on our list. Head down to Colorado 149 for a guided tour of the Underground Mining Museum or visit the Rio Grande National Forest. The Last Chance Mine and the North Clear Creek Falls are great activities here as well.

ArtBoyMB Getty Images Signature
ArtBoyMB Getty Images Signature
loading...
  • Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
  • County: Summit County
  • Mountain Range: Ten Mile Range
  • Elevation: 9,600’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: Tour the town's old Gold Mine or stroll historic Main Street during your visit to the Breck. The nearby Sapphire Point Overlook, The Peak 8 Fun Park, Goodtimes Dog Sled Adventures, horseback riding, and lots more are all part of the mountain experience here.

welcomia Canva Pro
welcomia Canva Pro
loading...
  • Location: Durango, Colorado
  • County: La Plata County
  • Mountain Range: La Plata Mountains
  • Elevation: 6,522’
  • Directions: Click here for directions from Google Maps.
  • Things To See: There are tons of places to visit here including the 4 Corners Monument, Mesa Verde, Colorado rafting in the Animas River, and the incredible Purgatory Ski Resort. Soak in the Trimble Hot Springs after all that exploring.

MORE: Colorado Mountain Ranges by Name & Region

Find out more about each one of Colorado's primary mountain ranges, and learn exactly where each one is located in the state.

MORE: These are the Highest Mountain Peaks in All of Colorado

Today we're looking at the true titans of Colorado. Behold the fourteen largest 14ers in the Centennial State.