One of the perks of living in Denver is that the Rocky Mountains are only a few hours away. However, some Denver area towns are so close to the mountains that a loud shout will echo through the canyons. Here are our top five Denver towns within shouting distance of the Rockies.
Nestled against the sharply-sloping faces of the Flatirons, one of the things Boulder is known for is its diverse population. Walk down Pearl St., and you’ll rub shoulders with students of CU Boulder, artists, professionals, business owners, Eastern monks, and tourists from all over the globe. Keep walking west through the main shopping district, and you’ll find yourself on a gently-rising mountain trail hugged by rocky, wooded slopes.
Boulderites value their city’s unique personality. They support independent businesses, healthy lifestyles, and the environment. It’s also a great place to check out if you’re moving to Denver, but prefer not to own a car. The public transit in Boulder can get you all around town.
Golden’s downtown district plays up its historic connection as an old west supply post for miners and captains of frontier industry. It provides a genuine gold rush, mountain-town feel with modern conveniences. Clear Creek, a (sometimes very rapid) river splashes right through the city. Not far from downtown are comfy neighborhoods full of homes and apartments. Golden is home to the Colorado School of Mines, the Colorado Railroad Museum, and Coors Brewing Co., which provides free tours of their facility, the largest single-site brewery in the world.
About a 25-minute drive from downtown Denver, Golden is especially popular with skiers—there are several slopes just up I-70—and with outdoor enthusiasts who like river sports, such as kayaking and fishing.
Evergreen also has a distinct mountain-town feel—probably because Evergreen is actually in the mountains, with an elevation of 7,220 feet. Only a 30-minute drive from downtown, Evergreen is a popular spot for those moving to Denver who want mountain living with easy access to the big city. It’s tucked right into piney, wooded slopes next to clear streams, blue lakes, and wide grassy plains perfect for picnics and playing with the family. Downtown Evergreen offers rustic restaurants and shopping, and it’s not uncommon to see wildlife such as elk crossing the streets.
The official city of Evergreen is sprawled among the hills and canyons. Homes, schools, and places of worship provide solitude without being isolated, and within easy reach of shopping and entertainment.
Lyons is the smallest town on our list, and it’s also the farthest away from downtown Denver—about an hour—although it’s still in Boulder County. The little town of Lyons crouches among rolling foothills, with sharply cresting peaks not far in the distance. Downtown Lyons features small, independently-owned businesses, quirky antique stores, and coffee shops that are popular with cyclists passing through in the summer.
Lyons is located at the confluence of several main highways in the region, leading to Rocky Mountain National Park and the city of Boulder. That’s why it’s sometimes called the “Double Gateway to the Rockies.”
Longmont is a little farther from the mountains than a shout. It’s about a 15 minute drive, but it made our list because of how modern, convenient, and friendly it is. The city of Longmont is a comfortable suburban community with amenities and outdoor fun around every corner. It takes its name from the mountain Long’s Peak, visible just west of the city. Longmont is a popular spot for families moving to Denver, with single-family homes and apartment buildings sprinkled all throughout the city, as opposed to concentrated in a particular area.
It’s also a popular center for business, with companies like IBM, Seagate, and GE Energy setting up shop within city limits.