Heading up to see the changing leaves? Catching that first snow on your favorite mountain? Spending a day in the mountains is classic Colorado, as is spending the afternoon or evening at a local bar, brewery, or distillery. Here are five of our favorite mountain bars.
The Jailhouse - Buena Vista
Built in the 1880s jailhouse on the main street of Buena Vista, The Jailhouse is the best craft beer bar in the Colorado Rockies. Owned by two craft beer industry veterans, The Jailhouse is a perfect stop after a soak at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs or a day on Monarch Mountain. 10 rotating taps and delicious house-made snacks, check in year round for limited bottle releases and special kegs.
New Sheridan Historic Bar - Telluride
The Historic Bar at the New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride is the city’s oldest bar. Founded around 1895, visiting the Historic Bar is like taking a step back in time, with many original features, like the “original lead glass divider panels, mahogany wood paneling and filigree light fixtures.” Telluride offers year-round mountain activities, from hiking during the summer (check out Bridal Veil Falls) to skiing in the winter (Telluride is often listed not only as one of the best ski resorts in the US, but internationally as well) to year round festivals. Stay at the New Sheridan Hotel and check out the Historic Bar from happy hour to last call.
Image via New Sheridan Historic Bar
Silver Dollar Saloon - Leadville
Another classic mountain bar with a long history is the Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville. The town of Leadville itself is a slice of classic western mountain history, with a charming mainstreet that spans just a few blocks and is surrounded by mountains. The Silver Dollar Saloon sits on that mainstreet, and features many original pieces from when it was built in the late 1800s. Some noted historical figures who have bent an elbow at this historic bar are Doc Holliday, Titanic survivor and Denver socialite and philanthropist “the Unsinkable” Molly Brown, and even Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. Today, you can visit the saloon and sample Colorado beer and spirits from breweries and distilleries across the state.
Image via Silver Dollar Saloon
Little Bear - Evergreen
A little bit closer to Denver but still maintaining that mountain town vibe is the Little Bear Saloon. Equal parts rowdy and welcoming, the Little Bear is located in downtown Evergreen and is a favorite of “skiers, tourists and locals...during their respective seasons in what the Denver Post has described as ‘popular pandemonium.’” Stop by for live music, their self proclaimed “best burgers in town”, and all the dive-y drafts and drinks you can imagine.
Image via Little Bear Saloon
The Dogwood - Crested Butte
Located in an old miner’s cabin just off of Elk Avenue, The Dogwood serves a wide variety of cocktails featuring house-infused spirits and homemade flavored simple syrups. Perfect after a day spent in the surrounding mountains, or just enjoying the shops on mainstreet. One Crested Butte resident described the Poco Loco cocktail (vodka, pineapple, habanero, lemon, and honey served up) as “THE BEST DRINK THERE IS. IN THE WORLD” (direct quote).
Image via The Dogwood
Colorado is consistently rated as both the fittest state in the country and also one of the booziest, which definitely makes sense based on how many amazing activities and unique bars we have across the state. Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know - we’re always up for checking out a great new spot!