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Thursday July 9, 2015

By Chad Sivad

Person enjoying mountain biking in a Colorado mountain town Travel

Colorado is well-known for its luscious forests, world-class ski slopes and vast wilderness of outdoor recreation. If this is the first time you're visiting our state, I 'highly' recommend you make a point to enjoy the many activities the mountains have to offer.

But narrowing down a list of marijuana-friendly mountain towns to just the top three is no easy task. Most towns provide some form of Cannabis-friendly lodging, whether private or public, with recreational dispensaries and other points of interest -- especially if you enjoy mountain sports. With over 50 cities to choose from, I selected three towns from diverse locations where you can enjoy your cannabis along with the scenery, including Aspen, Crested Butte, and Durango.

Please remember that public consumption of marijuana is illegal in the state of Colorado and prohibited on land owned by the state or federal government.


Aspen is one of the most popular mountain towns in Colorado and home to the rich and famous, so don't be surprised if you encounter a celebrity during your visit. The city was founded in 1879 as a gold mining camp before becoming home to the ski resort in the 1930s. While the city is one of the most expensive places to purchase real estate in the United States, it's a must-see for any visitor to the state. Many festivals are held in Aspen and the city is home to the international Aspen Music Festival and School.

Specifically, Aspen is booming with activity during the winter season thanks to the world-class Aspen Ski Resort which offers a multitude of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Last summer I stayed in Aspen for a weekend to bike along its charming streets and mountain bike trails near Snowmass Village. The Roaring Fork River also offers some excellent trout fishing during the summer. Belly Up Aspen is a one of my favorite nightlife destinations since it often hosts special events and live music in a very intimate environment.

Currently, you can purchase recreational marijuana products from several different dispensaries in the city, including Alternative Medical Solutions, Green Dragon Colorado, LEAF Aspen, Native Roots, Silverpeak Apothecary and STASH.


Nestled in Southwestern Colorado with breathtaking scenery and crisp mountain air, Durango is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, river rafting, fishing and hiking. With a plethora of activities to do, regardless of the season, Durango is great stop during your exploration of the Rocky Mountains. Established as a mining town in 1880, Durango is rich with history, much of which is still around today.

Although it is a six hour drive from Denver, this is one mountain town that it worth the trip. With several dispensaries, there will never be any shortage of herb either. There are enough restaurants, bars, and microbreweries to keep even the most avid connoisseurs delighted and entertained. Want music? Countless musicians make the trek to play in this carefree and timeless mountain town, and in the summer many play for free. Check out Durango’s website for a detailed list of upcoming performances.

While Durango boasts excellent daytime activities and nightlife, Mesa Verde National Park and the San Juan National Forest are relatively close and well worth the day trip. Mesa Verde offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from AD 600 to 1300. The San Juan National Forest covers 1.8 million acres and offers breathtaking camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding.

Whatever your looking to get out of a vacation, Durango is a mountain town that won’t disappoint.

Crested Butte

Self described as “authentic, friendly and free of crowds,” Crested Butte is a true Colorado Mountain town. Elk Avenue is the main drag of town and hosts a handful of delightful restaurants, bars, and shops. You won’t find any designer brands or fur coat shops here. That isn’t to say Crested Butte doesn't have class, however. Named one of the Top 12 Small-Town Art Places in America in 2013, the town is host to the six-week Crested Butte Music Festival, free outdoor Alpenglow concerts, ArtWalk evenings, the Crested Butte Arts Festival and so much more. Center for the Arts Crested Butte offers a year-round schedule of performances, classes, and art exhibitions so check out their site out before you arrive.

Without a doubt, the biggest attraction is Crested Butte Mountain Resort which has something for everyone. In the winter, the mountain offers wide-open beginner and intermediate runs, great terrain parks and some of Colorado's best in-bounds extreme terrain. In the summer, it’s time to break out the mountain bikes. Crested Butte, considered the origin of mountain biking, offers some of the best terrain in North America. For a town that lives and breathes the outdoors, the only limits are your own.

Photo Credit: Zach Dischner (license)

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