Special thanks to Spencer McKee
While it could be argued that many small towns around Colorado should be nationally recognized adventure hubs, there's one mountain town in the San Juans that's hard to beat.
According to USA Today's 2020 ranking of "best small towns for adventure," Telluride, Colorado is one spot that can't be skipped. Nestled between massive mountains and home to one of the country's best ski resorts, it's no surprise that this tiny town of a couple thousand residents earned a top 10 spot on the publication's annual ranking.
What may come as a shock to those that have visited the Telluride area is that the remote mountain paradise barely made the cut, earning the 10th place ranking. It was bested by a number of other American towns, including Savanna, Illinois – which claimed the 4th place spot, in part, due to 60 miles of bike trails. A Telluride local would likely scoff at that number.
The USA Today report provides some insight into why Telluride was featured on the list, including that "no matter the season, there's always something to do outdoors in Telluride." The report goes on to list multiple activities the area is known for including skiing, ice climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, and the adrenaline-inducing via ferrata route.
Telluride is no stranger to getting praise from USA Today. Last year, the town took the top spot on their list of "best small towns to visit" in the country. As far as the 2020 "best small towns for adventure" list goes, Beaufort, North Carolina was ranked number one.