Favorite Mountain Towns for Winter

There’s so much more than skiing in these alpine retreats.

Aerial view of Truckee, California covered in snow at dusk.
Truckee, California.
Paul Hamill / Tandem Stock

November/December 2022 Issue

Truckee, California, has a small historic street with local shops right across from the train station. It’s a great place to be if you love the outdoors and activities such as skiing, hiking, boating, and simply enjoying being among the trees.” —Keri Cochran

“My favorite mountain town is Graeagle, California, a former mill town from the 1920s that has maintained its Norman Rockwell charm. The location has just enough snowfall to make it a winter wonderland without the burden of having to dig out your car. It’s within an hour of Tahoe, but has a laid-back lifestyle without the crowds and traffic. Plus the hiking is spectacular with the Pacific Crest Trail crossing through the area.” —Bill Meagher

“I’ve had the fortune of living in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and if I had to pick a favorite it would be Mammoth Lakes, California. The town has great skiing, but it’s also a yearround adventure area.” —David Burckhard

“Absolutely, the best has to be Boulder, Utah. Enjoy five-star dining at Hell’s Backbone Grill. Find endless outdoor recreation at Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Boulder Mountain. Stay in welcoming accommodations at Boulder Mountain Lodge or Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch. It’s heaven on earth!” —Jan Harris Smith

Telluride, Colorado, has the beauty and grandeur of the mountains as well as a small town that has proudly maintained its history.” —Greg Fitchet

Historic buildings like the main street in Mariposa, California.
Beautiful town of Mariposa near Yosemite Valley in California.
Jon Chica / Shutterstock

“My favorite mountain town in the West is Mariposa, California. It has the oldest-running courthouse in California, active since 1854. Although small in size, Mariposa has several restaurants, breweries, and shops. The close proximity to Yosemite and other outdoor activities makes this place a good location to visit.” —David Lewis

“Our favorite is McCloud, California. The ski park in Mt. Shasta is close by, as well as waterfalls along the McCloud River. Stay at the McCloud Hotel, where you can walk to tasty eateries and local shops.” —Michelle Robben

“There’s something for everyone in Philipsburg, Montana: Great places to eat, a nice brewery, and fun shopping. Nearby, there is downhill skiing, cross-country skiing trails, summer concerts in the park, and of course beautiful scenery.” —Karol Fetherston


“I always find something new to do in Placerville, California. The town is full of history, and there are several awesome museums to visit: Fountain & Tallman Museum and El Dorado County Historical Museum, for example. Gold Bug Park is a fun place to play; plus it’s a real mining site from the Gold Rush days.” —Johnnie Bean

“Hard to decide, but there are two that I like best. The first is Tahoe City, California, a cute town set right on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, and Truckee, California, with its pretty holiday decorations.” —Terri Miller

“My wife and I love the old western Victorian vibe of Virginia City, Nevada, especially in the winter when the snow is falling.” —Tommy Myers