Conifer is one of the closest mountain towns to Denver, situated just west of the Front Range on Highway 285. It consists mainly of a few commercial strips located on both sides of the highway. Pike National Forest runs right through town, making it a gorgeous spot for outdoor recreation and wildlife spotting. There’s no official downtown Conifer, but you can find everything you need to supply a trip into the mountains.
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Idaho Springs is a popular stop for those traveling on I-70, to and from the mountains. Though the town is known for its hot springs, Idaho Springs has a lot more to offer adventure seekers. Rafting is one of the top summer sports available in town. Clear Creek runs right through town and offers some fierce class IV and V rapids, as well as great fishing. In the winter, skiing is close by at Loveland Ski Area. On the opposite side of Berthoud Pass, you’ll also find the popular resorts of Summit County and Winter Park.
Evergreen is one of the closest mountain towns to the capital. Naturally, many locals commute to the Denver Metro area for work. The historic downtown area sits at an elevation of 7,165 feet and has a charming strip of boutique shops and restaurants. Because of its proximity to both the mountains and Denver, Evergreen is a small but charming hub for any type of person. You can find everything from arts and culture, dining, and sports, to fun annual festivals in this charming town!
Morrison is a quiet town tucked in the foothills of the Front Range. It’s most known for its music venue, Red Rocks, located just up the hillside from downtown. There are several places to eat and shop in this quaint historic area. The town sits at 5,765 feet above sea level in Jefferson County. It has a small population of around 421 people as of 2020, and its motto is “The Nearest Faraway Place.”
John D. Parmalee came to Colorado in 1860 and settled in Mount Vernon. In 1866, he was granted a charter for a toll road between Morrison and Bradford Junction (Conifer); the Denver and Turkey Creek Toll Road opened in 1870. Parmalee also operated sawmills and shingle mills in the area. Indian Hills is an unincorporated town and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by Jefferson County, Colorado. The CDP is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Also referred to as Pine Grove, Pine is a tiny, rustic town tucked away in the foothills south of Highway 285. There are a couple of restaurants and shops in the area that serve up unique food and drinks.
Pine is surrounded by the Pike National Forest in a scenic valley at 6,738 feet of elevation. Lodging comes in the form of quaint B&Bs and lakeside cabins in this Jefferson County town.
Bailey is a small Highway 285 town located about 45 minutes southwest of Denver. There are a few restaurants and shops on the Main Street that winds through town and crosses the highway.
The main part of town resides at the bottom of a steep winding section of the highway through Platte Canyon at an elevation of 7,739 feet. The easternmost Park County community had a population of 9,931 in 2020.
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