With its sweeping views, stunning natural beauty, and abundance of outdoor activities, the Rocky Mountains are an ideal destination for experienced and novice hikers alike.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best base towns in the mountain range that offer the perfect starting points for your next hiking adventure. Read on to find out which spots should be on your list!
The Rocky Mountains are one of the most iconic mountain ranges in North America. Stretching over 3,000 miles from British Columbia to New Mexico, the Rockies offer an abundance of opportunities for hikers of all levels.
From challenging multi-day backcountry hikes and expansive summiting routes to more mellow day hikes, the Rockies are truly a hiker’s paradise.
The range is also home to some of the most beautiful mountain towns in North America, which make for amazing starting points for any adventure.
Park City, Utah
As one of the most popular ski resorts in the country, Park City is unsurprisingly a great place to base yourself for hikes in the surrounding Rocky Mountains. The town has a wide range of accommodation options, as well as plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained after a day on the trails.
There are dozens of different hiking trails to choose from in the area, so you’re sure to find one that suits your fitness level and interests. If you’re up for a challenge, try summiting Mount Timpanogos – one of the tallest peaks in Utah. For something a little more relaxed, take a stroll through Wasatch Mountain State Park.
Whichever trail you decide to tackle, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of jagged mountain peaks, wildflower-filled meadows and glassy lakes.
Estes Park, Colorado
Estes Park is a popular base town for Rocky Mountain National Park visitors. It’s located just outside the park, so it’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to the action. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants in town, as well as a grocery store and many shops. The closest airport is in Denver, about an hour’s drive away.
If you’re looking for a base town to explore the Rocky Mountains, Estes Park is a great option. It’s conveniently located near Rocky Mountain National Park and has all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. You can find hotels and restaurants, as well as a grocery store and shops. The closest airport is Denver International Airport, which is about an hour away by car.
Jackson, Wyoming is home to some of the best hiking in the Rocky Mountains. With its close proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Jackson is the perfect base town for those exploring the region. There are endless trails to choose from, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. Some of our favorites include:
– The Teton Creek Trail: This easy, 3-mile trail is a great option for those looking for an easy hike with stunning views. The trail follows Teton Creek through meadows and aspen groves before reaching an overlook of Jackson Hole.
– Phelps Lake: This moderate, 8-mile hike takes you through glaciers carved valleys and subalpine forests before arriving at Phelps Lake – one of the most beautiful lakes in the Rockies.
– Cascade Canyon: For those looking for a longer hike, the Cascade Canyon trail is a great option. This strenuous, 12-mile hike takes you through open meadows and alpine forests before reaching several waterfalls and ending at Inspiration Point – where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Grand Teton National Park.
Durango, Colorado is one of the best base towns for hikers exploring the Rocky Mountains. The town is located in southwest Colorado, near the San Juan National Forest. There are many trails in the area, including the Animas River Trail, which runs through town. Durango is also home to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which offers scenic train rides through the mountains.
The city of Durango is full of culture and history, and visitors can explore the downtown area which includes boutiques, restaurants, cafes, galleries, and more. The city also has a number of parks where people can enjoy the outdoors.
Additionally, locals and visitors alike can explore Fort Lewis College campus or take part in winter activities like skiing or snowboarding at Purgatory Resort. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s something to do in Durango!
Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte, Colorado is one of the best base towns for hikers exploring the Rocky Mountains. The town is located in a valley at the base of Crested Butte Mountain, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
There are numerous hiking trails in and around Crested Butte, ranging from easy to strenuous. The town is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as several outdoor activities such as cycling and rafting.
Bozeman is a vibrant college town located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The town is home to Montana State University and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and rugged mountains in North America. Bozeman is the perfect base for hikers who want to explore the Rocky Mountains.
There are numerous trails that crisscross the area, offering incredible views of the surrounding mountains. Bozeman also has a thriving arts and culture scene, with a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. The town is also home to many annual festivals, including the Bozeman Folk Festival and the Bozeman Balloon Festival.
Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO is one of the best places to hike in the Rocky Mountains. There are a variety of trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult. You can also find a trail that is the perfect length for your hike. Whether you want to hike for an hour or all day, there is a trail for you in Steamboat Springs.
In addition to the great hiking trails, Steamboat Springs also offers a variety of other activities. If you are looking for a place to cool off after your hike, you can take a dip in one of the many hot springs in the area. You can also explore the historic downtown area or go fishing in one of the many rivers and lakes in the area.
No matter what your interests are, Steamboat Springs is sure to have something for you. So pack your hiking boots and head to Steamboat Springs for an unforgettable experience in the Rocky Mountains!
Taos, New Mexico
Taos, New Mexico is the perfect base town for hikers looking to explore the Rocky Mountains. With its convenient location, an abundance of outdoor activities, and vibrant culture, Taos has something for everyone.
With miles of trails to explore, Taos is a hiker’s paradise. The area is home to some of the most popular hiking destinations in the country, such as the Painted Hills, Rio Grande Gorge, and Wheeler Peak. Whether you’re looking for an easy day hike or a challenging backpacking trip, you’ll find it all in Taos.
In addition to hiking, Taos offers a variety of other outdoor activities to keep you busy. Whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande, mountain biking in the Rockies, and skiing at nearby Taos Ski Valley are just a few of the many options available.
And don’t forget about exploring Taos’ vibrant culture. From art galleries and museums to restaurants and shops, there’s plenty to see and do in this lively town.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Taos – your adventure awaits!
Breckenridge is a charming town has something for everyone, from great restaurants and bars to excellent hiking trails. The town sits at an elevation of 9,600 feet, meaning there are plenty of hike options that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Breckenridge is also home to the Breckenridge Ski Resort, which offers world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.
Breckenridge, Colorado is one of the best base towns for hikers exploring the Rocky Mountains. The town is located in Summit County, which is home to some of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado.
Breckenridge is also a great place to stay if you want to experience some of the other great outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer, such as mountain biking, fishing, and camping.
There are a number of reasons why Breckenridge makes a great base town for hikers. First, the town is located close to many of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado. There are a number of different trails to choose from, ranging from easy hikes to more challenging ones.
Second, Breckenridge offers a variety of accommodations and amenities that make it a great place to stay while you’re exploring the Rocky Mountains. There are plenty of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast options available, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.
Third, Breckenridge is a great place to experience some of the other outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer. In addition to hiking, you can enjoy mountain biking, fishing, camping, and more.
Telluride, Colorado is one of the best base towns for hikers exploring the Rocky Mountains. The town is located in a beautiful valley with plenty of trails to explore. There are also many restaurants and shops in town, making it a great place to stay while you’re exploring the area.
Telluride, Colorado is a hidden gem in the Rocky Mountains. This quaint mountain town is nestled in a box canyon and is known for its world-class skiing and stunning scenery. In the summer, the town comes alive with tourists who come to hike, bike, and enjoy the outdoors.
There are plenty of trails to explore in the area, and it’s easy to find a trail that suits your abilities. Whether you want to hike to a waterfall or take on a challenging backpacking trip, Telluride is the perfect base camp for your Rocky Mountain adventure.
How To Make The Most Of Your Hiking Trip In The Rocky Mountains
One of the best ways to explore the Rocky Mountains is by hiking. There are countless trails of varying difficulty levels that crisscross the mountains, so there’s something for everyone. If you’re planning a hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains, here are some tips to help you make the most of it:
1. Choose your trail based on your fitness level and experience. There are easy, moderate, and difficult trails throughout the Rockies, so make sure you pick one appropriate for your skill set. If you’re not sure, ask a ranger or fellow hiker for recommendations.
2. Start early in the morning to avoid crowds and heat. The popular trails can get pretty crowded during peak times, so hitting the trail early will help you avoid the masses. Plus, it’s usually cooler in the morning, which makes for more pleasant hiking weather.
3. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Hydration is key when hiking, especially at high altitudes where there is less oxygen in the air. Make sure to bring along enough water to stay hydrated throughout your hike, as well as some high-energy snacks in case you need an energy boost along the way.
4. Dress in layers. The weather can change quickly in the Rocky Mountains, so it’s important to dress in layers that you can add or remove as necessary. A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 10 degrees warmer than the forecast.
5. Be aware of the wildlife and their habitats. The Rockies are home to many different species of wildlife, including grizzly bears, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, and more. Be aware of your surroundings and use caution when exploring the area.
6. Bring a map or GPS device with you. Cell phone service can be spotty in some areas of the Rockies, so it’s good to bring a map or GPS device along for backup in case you get lost or aren’t sure which way to go next.
By following these tips, you can make sure your hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains is safe and enjoyable!
If you are planning a hiking holiday in the Rocky Mountains and need some advice on the best base towns to stay in, then hopefully this article has given you plenty of information to get started. All four of these towns have become well-known for their incredible scenery and outdoor activities, as well as being havens for budget travelers looking for somewhere comfortable yet affordable.
From Banff’s bustling resorts to Jasper’s World Heritage sites – whichever option you choose will surely give you an unforgettable experience exploring one of North America’s most iconic mountain ranges!