Located in southwestern Colorado, Telluride and the towns surrounding it lie in a spectacularly scenic region of forested mountains. In winter, the area attracts visitors for its unparalleled skiing and other winter sports. During the rest of the year, recreational activities include sightseeing, hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, and fishing. Here are some of the top vacation rental locations in and around Telluride.

1. Telluride Town, Colorado

aerial view of a village
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund

Nestled in a box canyon surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful high mountain peaks, vacation rentals in the town of Telluride have access to year-round fun and adventure. During the summer, hike or cycle the many mountain trails, have picnics on the meadows, go fly fishing in the streams, and take a panoramic hot air balloon tour of the surrounding countryside. In winter, go skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, sledding, and ice skating. When you want to relax after your exertions, explore the art galleries, boutiques, historic buildings, and restaurants around town. The bus system that circles the town, known as the Galloping Goose, is free to ride.

2. Mountain Village, Colorado

girl on a snow board
Source: Flickr / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Vacation rentals at Mountain Village lie high above Telluride at 9,500 feet. A free gondola ride connects Telluride and Mountain Village. The spectacular, awe-inspiring trip takes 13 minutes, and it stops midway at St. Sophia Station to drop off passengers at the numerous hiking, cycling, or skiing trails. Once you’re at the top, relax and enjoy the view at one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, or plunge into the many exciting outdoor activities.

3. Silverton, Colorado

town surrounded by mountains
Source: Flickr / Al_HikesAZ

Located southeast of Telluride at an elevation of over 9,300 feet, vacation rentals in the town of Silverton have access to one of the toughest ski runs in Colorado at Silverton Mountain. However, Kendall Mountain offers more family-friendly winter activities, including skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, and tubing. If you enjoy trout fishing, head for nearby Molas Lake Park, but keep in mind that you’ll need to bring your own fishing gear. Formerly a silver mining camp, the Silverton Historic District in downtown Silverton is federally designated as a National Historic Landmark District. To learn about the area’s exciting past, check out the Old Hundred Gold Mine, the Mayflower Gold Mill National Historic Site, and the Mining Heritage Center Museum.

4. Ouray, Colorado

colorful town houses
Source: Flickr / Jerry and Pat Donaho

Situated at the head of a mountain valley surrounded by high peaks, the town of Ouray offers incomparable beauty and unique activities. After skiing, ice-climbing, or hiking, relax and enjoy the view while soaking in Ouray’s famous, natural sulfur-free hot springs. If you want to learn ice climbing, head for the Ouray Ice Park. Admission and ice climbing lessons are free, and the park offers a number of routes for beginners through advanced climbers.

5. Montrose, Colorado

national park
Source: Flickr / Jasperdo

Montrose provides a jumping-off point for the exploration of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This amazing park full of steep cliffs, craggy rock stars, and rushing rivers provides opportunities for hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and kayaking. While you explore the park, keep your eye out for wildlife, such as elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, marmots, and black bears. Overhead, you’ll see golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, and peregrine falcons. Montrose also has local history museums, three 18-hole golf courses, art galleries, and numerous highly acclaimed restaurants.

6. Loghill Village, Colorado

blue lake water
Source: Flickr / J. Stephen Conn

Loghill Village lies north of Telluride near Ridgway State Park. Vacation rentals in Loghill Village have access to six miles of walking trails with spectacular lookout points near the town. Play golf in a scenic setting at Divide Ranch and Club Golf Course. The nearby state park offers hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing in the summer, as well as skiing, snowshoeing, and ice climbing in the winter.

7. Rico, Colorado

pine mountain
Source: Flickr / Vicki Devine

Situated in a mountain town south of Telluride, Rico provides historic small town ambiance in a spectacular setting. The nearby Lizard Head Wilderness has summer trails for hiking, mountain biking, and Jeep drives. In the winter, the back country is perfect for snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Take the family to the Rico Historical Museum and give them a glimpse into local history.

8. Norwood, Colorado

field
Source: Flickr / Michael Pujals

Located northwest of Telluride, Norwood sit on top of the Wright’s Mesa Mountain at an elevation of 7,000 feet. The town’s close proximity to Miramonte Reservoir at Dan Noble State Wildlife Area makes it an ideal base for those interested in fishing, boating, water skiing, and windsurfing. Trails on nearby Lone Cone Mountain reward hikers with magnificent views.

9. Dolores, Colorado

cliff dwelling
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund

The town of Dolores is southwest of Telluride and adjacent to McPhee Reservoir, a large man-made lake, ideal for boating, fishing, and water sports. A few miles south of Dolores is Mesa Verde National Park, an archaeological site with 600 ancient Pueblo Native American cliff dwellings. These include the famous Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House. This town also has a scenic cycling trail that runs alongside the Dolores River.

10. Cortez, Colorado

mountain bike trail
Source: Flickr / TRAILSOURCE.COM

In addition to their proximity to Mesa Verde National Park, vacation rentals in Cortez are also close to the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Explore the 7.4-mile Sand Canyon trail on foot, mountain bike, or horseback and see the lovely wildlife. Visit the Cortez Cultural Center to learn more about Native American dances and artwork. If you’re a mountain biking enthusiast, check out Phil’s World at the edge of town, which includes 60 miles of trails for all levels of cyclists.