7 Saloons you can’t miss in rural Colorado

America’s highest saloon can be found in Alma, Colorado. Photo Credit: Katie Rae Bode.

Once the type of drinking establishment reserved for rough and rugged fur trappers, miners, and mountain folk, Colorado has several saloons still thriving around the state. Visit these 7 spots to experience remnants of the Wild West in some of the most rural places around the Centennial State.

1. Highline Cafe and Saloon (Harstel)

Take a pit stop along highway 24 at the only bar in rural Hartsel, population 909. A hangout for locals and an oasis for passersby, the Highline Cafe and Saloon is cozy with a quirky character. Try the tasty bison burger a stone’s throw away from herds of grazing bison in this ranchland town.

2. South Park Saloon (Alma)

The South Park Saloon in Alma, population 268, claims the title of highest saloon in North America (and most likely anywhere else). Enjoy American fare and rustic atmosphere surrounded by several 14,000-foot mountains including Bross, Lincoln, and Democrat.

3. Silver Dollar Saloon (Leadville)

7 Saloons you can’t miss in rural Colorado

James Duke, who calls himself the town greeter, tells stories inside the historic Silver Dollar Saloon in downtown Leadville. Photo Credit: Christian Murdock, the Colorado Springs Gazette

Visit the stomping grounds of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown in Leadville, the highest city in North America at 10,151’. The swinging doors, white oak bar, and diamond dust windows were originally brought to the saloon by train and by covered wagon. Try their chicken-fried yak and watch out for the saloon’s fabled paranormal patrons.

RELATED: Read more about Leadville and the Silver Dollar Saloon

4. Little Bear Saloon (Evergreen)

Check out the live music and special event nights at the Little Bear Saloon, known as the “rowdiest mountain bar” in Colorado. Patrons and visiting musicians have carved their names and hung memorabilia on the walls of this iconic saloon. Just 40 minutes west of Denver, the historic ranching town of Evergreen is an easy escape from the city.

5. Silver Eagle Saloon (Ouray)

In the picturesque mountain town of Ouray, have a night out with the locals at the Silver Eagle Saloon. A hub for live music in the area, this is the perfect hangout spot after a day spent enjoying Ouray’s hiking. We recommend hunting down the trailhead for the Ouray Perimeter Trail for stunning views of the valley.

6. Bucksnort Saloon (Pine)

In the heart of Pike National Forest, stop in at the Bucksnort Saloon in rural Pine, population 3,395. The saloon is celebrating 100 years, housed in a log cabin that was originally a general store along the mountain railway. Sign a dollar and paste it on the wall and try their amber Antler Ale.

7. Minturn Saloon (Minturn)

Dating back to 1901, the Minturn Saloon is known as the most historic restaurant in Eagle county. The town of Minturn, population 1,066, was once a mining town long before the nearby ski resorts Vail and Beaver Creek spurred development in the area. Looking for an apres ski spot? From the top of Vail’s chair 3 and chair 7, you can take the out-of-bounds Minturn Mile straight to the saloon.

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