Underrated Mountain Towns for New Outdoor Adventures

Mountain towns offer a blend of scenic beauty, outdoor adventure and a relaxed pace of life. While some destinations like Aspen and Lake Tahoe are often featured, there are underrated mountain towns that deserve recognition for their charm. Keep reading to learn more and plan an outdoor adventure.

8 Underrated Mountain Towns to Explore Soon

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McCall, Idaho

Nestled on the shores of Payette Lake and surrounded by Payette National Forest, McCall is a picturesque mountain town that embodies the spirit of the American West. Visitors enjoy skiing and snowboarding at nearby Brundage Mountain in the winter and hiking, fishing, and boating in the summer. The town’s charming downtown area features locally owned shops, restaurants serving up local flair, and a vibrant arts scene.

Taos, New Mexico

Famous for its vibrant arts community and rich Native American heritage, Taos is a hidden gem in the high desert of northern New Mexico. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Taos Ski Valley or hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Art lovers will appreciate the town’s galleries and museums.

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Telluride, Colorado

Surrounded by peaks and steeped in mining history, Telluride is located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. In addition to world-class skiing and snowboarding, Telluride has a thriving arts and cultural scene. In addition, the city hosts festivals and events throughout the year, including the Telluride Film Festival.

North Conway, New Hampshire

Located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, North Conway is a charming mountain town known for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can hike to the summit of Mount Washington, explore the stunning waterfalls of Diana’s Baths, or shop for outdoor gear and locally made crafts in the town’s boutiques.

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Famous for world-class skiing and hot springs, Steamboat Springs is nestled in the Yampa Valley of northwestern Colorado. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors enjoy soaking in the natural hot springs at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Other popular activities include learning about the town’s arts and culture or hiking and mountain biking on nearby trails.

Park City, Utah

Park City is the go-to destination in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. While best known for world-class skiing and snowboarding at Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort, the town does have outdoor activities year-round, including hiking, mountain biking, and fly-fishing. Visitors can also stroll the historic Main Street area, which is lined with shops, galleries, and restaurants housed in preserved Victorian-era buildings. Park City also hosts the famous Sundance Film Festival.

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Bend, Oregon

Bend is a hidden gem in central Oregon surrounded by the peaks of the Cascade Mountains and nestled along Deschutes River. Outdoor enthusiasts will love mountain biking, skiing, and rock climbing in the nearby mountains. For something more low-impact hike miles of scenic trails that wind through the surrounding high desert landscape. Bend also has a well-known craft beer scene, with breweries and brewpubs serving up local beers in a welcoming atmosphere.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg features natural beauty, outdoor adventure and Southern hospitality. Top things to do include hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is home to wildlife, forests, and hiking trails. Afterwards, take a drive along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. For more fun, visit the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and downtown area.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Also known for world-class skiing and snowboarding, Breckenridge is an under-rated mountain town located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. In addition to its legendary slopes, Breckenridge offers outdoor activities year-round, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and golf. Visitors will also rave about the town’s historic district, which showcases preserved Victorian-era buildings, boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.

Why not venture off the beaten path and visit one of these underrated mountain towns on your next getaway?

To stay safe, read about the things to pack before a hiking trip.