Six Colorado Places That Could Become Outside Mag's Best Town in America

Page 2 of 2

Gunnison, CO

Population: 5,973
House Price: $216,600

It’s all about proximity in Gunnison, a classic western town. The namesake river offers paddling, rafting, and fishing right in town. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is just an hour west. Crested Butte and Monarch are an hour north and east, respectively. And Five B’s Bar-B-Q is the perfect fuel, no matter where you’re headed.

Head-to-head competition: River versus Portland, OR

Salida, CO

Population: 5,406
House Price: $240,700

This former railroad outpost on the Arkansas River is host to the oldest whitewater festival in the country and has become a stopover for music festivals during the summer, hosting bands like Mumford and Sons and the Flaming Lips. Locals ride the Monarch Crest, an IMBA Epic, and ski offerings during winter are almost unlimited. There’s a reason they call Salida the Heart of the Rockies.

Head-to-head competition: River versus Bend, OR

Steamboat Springs, CO

Population: 12,260
House Price: $450,400

Playing outside is the foundation of Steamboat Springs, home to one of the best ski hills anywhere in winter and, once it warms up, endless trout fishing and mountain bike trails. That’s why outdoor industry heavy hitters like Big Agnes and Moots have made this town home.

Head-to-head competition: Mountains versus Bishop, CA

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts