Colorado is a tourist hotspot, most renowned for its Rocky Mountains, ski resorts, and thousands of trekking and hiking routes. The Centennial State also offers multiple options in the form of small and picturesque towns with populations varying from 1,000 to 20,000 for those who wish to get far away from the madding crowd. After meticulously sifting through thousands of cities and towns, we’ve pooled together some of Colorado’s coziest mountain towns perfect for a beautiful retreat.

1. Durango (pop. 18,503)

Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad - Woody hibbard - Flickr - OutThere Colorado
Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Photo Credit: Woody Hibbard (Flickr).

Situated near the New Mexico border, Durango originated as a silver mining township but now teems with residents and visitors who enjoy hiking, biking, skiing, feasting, and downing bottles of craft beer. If you are planning a visit to this quaint town, put Chaco Canyon, Chimney Rock, and the magnificent Mesa Verde National Park on your must-see list.

2. Cañon City (pop. 16,400)

Shelf Road Climbing OutThere Colorado
Shelf Road, a popular Colorado climbing destination in Cañon City. Photo Credit: Stephen Martin (OutThere Colorado)

If you’re looking to experience the highest bridge in the United States, head to Cañon City. The city is also home to numerous wildlife and nature parks and well-known for water sports thriving on the Arkansas River.

3. Salida (pop. 5,581)

Mount Princeton - OutThere Colorado
Mount Princeton near Salida, Colorado. Photo Credit: jhayes44 (iStock)

Salida is a great mountain town that is usually not on most globetrotters’ itinerary. However, be ready to be blown off your feet when you set foot in the town from where you catch glimpses of the Collegiates, mountain peaks that stand tall at over 14,000 feet. You’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to picking from outdoor activities: skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, skateboarding, kayaking, fishing, camping, biking, and to top it all, a first rate zipline tour.

4. Lyons (pop. 2,148)

Lyons Colorado-Shannon McGee-Flickr
Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado. Photo Credit: Shannon McGee (Flickr)

Lyons, a petite town tucked away to Loveland’s southeast, is where you will get to smack your lips on the frothy Dale’s Pale Ale produced by Oscar Blues Brewery. If you time your visit in June, you’ll be able to catch up with a host of summer festivals.

5. Silverton (pop. 637)

Silverton - OutThere Colorado
Silverton, Colorado is a smaller Colorado town, though a population of over 600 keeps it off of this list. Photo Credit: ArtyAlison (iStock)

You’ll go back in time when you visit Silverton, another mining town. The ‘Million Dollar Highway’ (so named because the vistas are worth a million dollars) runs through the town. Stand amidst the classic redbrick buildings, log cabins, and the beautiful railway station. The town witnesses over 150 inches of snowfall every year!

6. Grand Lake (pop. 495)

Grand Lake Colorado-diosthenese-Flickr
Grand Lake in Grand Lake, Colorado. Photo credit: diosthenese (Flickr)

You’ll have lots to see and do when you are in Grand Lake. You can access Rocky Mountain National Park from the town’s western end. The town is a snowmobiling, skiing, boating and hiking hub.

7. Marble (pop. 136)

Marble, Colorado-Greater Southwestern Exploration Company-Flickr
CredPhoto by: The Greater Southwestern Exploration Company (flickr)

Sandwiched between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, Marble with only 136 residents, is a hamlet, technically speaking. Visit the Crystal Mill and make the most of your leisure time fishing, horseback riding, and hiking. Drop in at the Slow Groovin’ BBQ for tucking into some mouthwatering barbeque.

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