Here’s a fun fact for you: Colorado’s mountain area is six times the size of Switzerland. Yes, six times as big as an entire country!
This pretty much means incredible mountain views are guaranteed no matter where you stand, but there are a few places in particular that are particularly distinguishable when it comes to breathtaking scenery.
If you’re in the planning stages of a trip to Colorado in search of mountain goodness, here are some of the best places in the Centennial State to place on your bucket list for mountain vistas that are guaranteed to leave you in awe.
Where To Go in Colorado For The Most Epic Mountain Views
Telluride is a cozy mountain town set in the heart of the mesmerizing San Juan Mountains. Thanks to its advantageous location, this wonderful alpine locale has plenty of fun activities on offer when it comes to a perfect alpine escape.
Think waterfalls (Bridal Veil Falls is a must-do hike while here), lakes set in dream-like locations, and some of the best hiking trails Colorado has to offer.
Moreover, Telluride is just a stone’s throw away from the exhilarating Telluride Via Ferrata. This hike isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for a heart-pumping adventure, this exciting hike + climbing adventure takes you up into the mountains using cables and a harness through steep cliffs in a quest for the most fabulous vistas in town.
2. Rocky Mountain National Park
Home to dreamy lakes, snow-capped peaks, and stunning alpine scenery all over, it’s no wonder that Rocky Mountain stands high above the crowds when it comes to gorgeous landscapes.
Boasting over a hundred hiking trails, this national park was made to be explored on foot. With so many to offer, choosing a trail isn’t an easy feat, but great ones to get started with are the Emerald Lake trail, Alberta Falls, and Glacier Gorge.
If you aren’t exactly new to hiking in high altitudes, the Bridal Veil Falls, Lake Helene, and Two Rivers Lake trails are amazing options to get your alpine-loving heart pumping.
If you’re not super keen on getting sweaty, though, another great way to see the best Rocky Mountain has to offer is by going on a Colorado scenic drive in search of the best views in the area. With two scenic roads on offer (the Peak to Peak Highway and the Trail Ridge Road), grabbing your car keys and going in search of the best vistas is a real treat here.
Snuggled in the foothills of the Front Range in The Rockies, Boulder is a cozy college city with a ton to offer. While the town itself is worth lingering a while in, the real magic happens in the outskirts of town.
While exploring, you can choose from a range of beautiful hiking trails (Boulder is home to over 200 miles of trails!) and go in search of some of the most beautiful views around.
A few recommended ones include the Green Mountain West Trail, the Chautauqua Trail, and the Araho Pass Trail if you’re keen to put your hiking skills to the test.
4. Crested Butte
Once an important mining center, Crested Butte is now a charming mountain haven set deep inside the ever-alluring Rockies. Famed for its world-class skiing resorts, this cozy little town is both known for its outdoor activities as well as its luxurious feel, offering some of the best mountain views in Colorado.
Even though Crested Butte was made famous for its winter sports, it’s got plenty to offer visitors regardless of the time of the year. If you’re into mountain biking, you’ll love to know that Crested Butte is one of the places that claims to have invented the sport.
Whether the statement is true or not, they sure do know how to live up to their claims with various trails that will leave you gasping (both from the tiredness as well as the beauty around you).
Other activities on offer include kayaking, white water rafting, and four-wheeling offroad. Moreover, while hiking is a treat year-round, summer brings in a collection of wildflowers to the mountains, making the views all that more special!
Featuring breathtaking vistas of the Sawatch Mountains, Salida doesn’t just boast incredible Colorado mountain views, but it also makes sure it’s got plenty of ways to enjoy them.
As expected from a Colorado mountain town, Salida offers tons of fun outdoor activities such as hiking, mountaineering, and even white water rafting, but what brings a little extra magic to the menu is the fact that it’s home to an array of natural hot springs where you’ll love to relax your muscles in.
With an elevation of over 10,000 feet above sea level, Leadville is the tallest town in the United States, which pretty much guarantees epic mountain views just about anywhere you stand.
Moreover, Mount Elbert and Mount Massive, two of Colorado’s mightiest peaks, tower right above it, making Leadville king when it comes to glorious landscapes.
As if that weren’t enough, two of Colorado’s largest glacial lakes, Twin Lakes are just a stone’s throw away, and you can get up and personal with them by renting a kayak or taking a guided boat tour.
If you’re up for something a lil’ different, mountain biking is huge in Leadville, and the trails are guaranteed to leave you drooling with the beauty that surrounds them.
Top Tips For Colorado & Further Reading
Before hitting the road in Colorado you may also want to note:
- Check codot.gov for driving conditions before you set out.
- You can reach some seriously high altitudes in Colorado. Those coming from sea level may experience some altitude sickness.
- Come prepared for sudden changes in weather! Sunny mornings can swiftly turn into downpours and strong winds, always be prepared when hitting the trails.
- Brush up on your winter driving skills before taking on the mountainous climbs in the colder months.
- The Colorado National Monument Annual Park Pass costs $45 for one year, or America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass is $80, covering all US National Parks and recreation sites. This is likely to be a cheaper alternative than paying a $15 entry fee each time if you’re planning an extended trip to the state.
- Check if your family may be eligible for the 4th Grader Every Kids Outdoors Pass!
- Never forget a road trip essential again with our complete family road trip packing list.
What are you waiting for? You can catch many of these destinations on our suggested Breathtaking 7-Day Colorado Itinerary.
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