A brilliant landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, rivers, forests and desert lands make Colorado one of the most desirable states to live and visit. Colorado’s southwest corner borders Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, the only place in America where the corners of four states meet.
Colorado is known all over the country as one of the most active, happy, safe, outdoorsy, and all around naturally beautiful states in the U.S. The Rocky Mountains cut a dramatic trail through the state’s center, there are rivers and lakes so blue they make the sky look washed out, and once you visit some of those unique Colorado cities, you may well just move there.
Colorado is nothing if not real, down to earth, and honest to goodness great place to live. So without further ado, here are the top 12 small cities in Colorado:
There simply is not a nicer town/small city in Colorado than Gunnison. To begin with, it has all the infrastructure required to make a town with a beautiful setting perfectly inhabitable. The states largest tributary to the Colorado River — the Gunnison — runs through town and the county built a whitewater park in the mid-2000s that is as good or better than any other in the state.
For the winters, the municipality of Gunnison built an indoor hockey rink with a refrigeration system that keeps the ice frozen even when the temperatures outside heat up.
Just outside of town is the largest reservoir in the state, Blue Mesa. Blue Mesa holds the record for largest Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Brown Trout. Just six miles from Gunnison is the Taylor River which offers world-class trophy trout fishing as well. The surrounding mountains offer exceptional deer, elk and antelope hunting and south of town is Hartman’s Rocks Recreation Area. Hartman’s offers world renowned mountain biking.
To the north of Gunnison is Crested Butte Ski Area — widely considered to have some of the most extreme skiing of any area in the continental U.S. — and Monarch is to the east. Monarch gets the second most snow of any area in Colorado year after year. The Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge Recreation Areas are to the West and the San Juan Mountains are less than an hour’s drive to the south.
Like Durango, Gunnison has a four year college named Western State. Gunnison is home of the airport on the Western Slope.
Gunnison is the number one town in all of Colorado. While every other town in the top 12 has one or two short-comings — whether it is size or limited recreation opportunities — Gunnison is virtually flawless.