Top 10 Most Affordable Mountain Towns in the U.S.

There are many mountain towns in the U.S. to choose from, including the popular Aspen, Jackson Hole, and Park City. Even though they have a lot of beautiful scenery and other enjoyable features, they aren’t the best for people on a tight budget. If you can do without the glitz and glamour, many mountain towns offer beautiful scenery and a wide range of free activities that will make your trip memorable.


1. Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Stone Mountain is in the middle of Appalachia, above the town of Big Stone Gap. The 20-mile Chief Benge Scout Trail is a popular trail for outdoor enthusiasts, and for those who don’t want to hike, the High Knob observation tower offers a view of five states. The Powell River in Natural Tunnel State Park is a popular spot for fishing and floating, and the Guest River Trail is a great way to bike through beautiful scenery.

In Southwest Virginia Museum State Park, there is a Victorian stone house and a collection of over 60,000 artifacts that can help people who are interested in history learn more about the area. In town, there is a brewery a variety of pizzerias, and other restaurants.

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2. Bisbee, Arizona

Located in the Mule Mountains, Bisbee is a quaint Arizonan town that used to be a mining town but is now a cool place for artists to live. After opening in 1877 and ending in the mid-1970s, its Queen Mine was one of the richest copper mines in history.

Today it’s a famous tourist spot with tours that include putting on a hard hat, slickers, and a headlamp before riding the underground train deep inside the mine. Some people who are brave enough might spend the night at the Bisbee Grand or the Copper Queen in Bisbee, which is known as one of the most haunted places in the country.

3. Republic, Washington

Republic, Washington
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It only takes 45 minutes to drive south to the Canadian border, which is east of the Cascade Mountains and home to many small towns. To the east are the Kettle Mountains and to the west are the Okanagan Highlands.

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The area also has many clear blue lakes and fast-moving rivers that are great for fishing and other water sports. There are a lot of dead towns in the area, and you can even look for fossils at the Stonerose Interpretive Centre. Curlew Lake State Park is a beautiful place to camp that is only a short drive from town.

4. McCall, Idaho

It seems like Sun Valley gets all the attention in Idaho, but McCall is one of the best places to visit in Idaho. It’s a small mountain town that’s much cheaper and doesn’t get a lot of tourists. Along the southern side of Payette Lake, you can swim, kayak, paddleboard, or even float on the Payette River and enjoy the beautiful views of the water and Salmon River Mountain.

You can walk for miles and miles, and in the winter, you can ski at Brundage Mountain. Downtown also has a lot of shops, galleries, museums, a theatre, places to eat, and places to see live music.


5. Lincoln, New Hampshire

With its location in the White Mountains and easy access to some of the best autumn leaves in the country, Lincoln is a beautiful town that has lots to offer all year round. Jump off of heart-pounding ziplines during the warmer months, and explore ionic hiking trails like Georgiana Falls, Lincoln Woods, and Mount Pemigewasset.

Ski mountains also have gondolas and trams that you can take to get to the top of a mountain conveniently. Winter brings hills for skiers of all skill levels, as well as tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice skating. Photo opportunities abound, and the 1871 Flume Covered Bridge is one of them.

6. Kalispell, Montana

Kalispell, Montana
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You can find Kalispell between three mountain ranges. It is close to Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park, two of Montana’s most famous nature sights. A lot of outdoor activities are right outside the door for visitors, such as skiing, camping, paddling, and fly fishing.


There’s also a lot in town. The downtown area has shops, breweries, bars, and restaurants in buildings that are hundreds of years old. The Conrad Mansion Museum and the Northwest Montana Past Museum are great places to learn more about the past of the area.

7. Virginia City, Montana

Virginia City used to be the biggest town in the inland northwest. More than $90 million worth of gold was taken from the area. Now it’s one of the coolest dead towns in America. It used to have about 10,000 people living there, but now there are just over 100. But there are lots of good reasons to see this charming and ancient town in the Rockies.

The town’s old houses and buildings were beautifully restored, keeping the real Old West feel. It has over 100 historic structures with period furniture and artifacts. People can also ride a narrow-gauge train or get on a bus. The famous Virginia City Players put on comedy and vaudeville in the opera house in the evenings, which is the best way to spend an evening.

8. Dahlonega, Georgia

Dahlonega is a cheap mountain town in the Blue Mountains that is surrounded by beautiful scenery. The Chattahoochee National Forest has more than 20 trails that are only a short drive away. These trails are great for day walks and backpacking trips.

There are many tasting rooms here for wine lovers to enjoy, such as the Georgia Winery of Dahlonega Tasting Room, the Crane Creek Dahlonega Tasting Room, and Canvas & Cork. The Dahlonega Gold Museum is a great place for history buffs to learn about the state’s gold rush, which began twenty years before the famous California gold rush of 1849.

9. Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas
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The town of Hot Springs is in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. It is one of the best places to spend the weekend in Arkansas, and people come from all over the world to soak in the naturally warm, healing waters. After a day of climbing or hanging out at one of the many lakes in the area, this is the best place to be.

People like to go on lake cruises, jet ski, water ski, fish, and boat on Lake Hamilton. On the other hand, you can take canoes and boats at Lake Catherine’s marina, and the lake is famous for fishing for rainbow trout, striped bass, largemouth bass, walleye, and catfish. Also, there are a lot in town. There are more music places per person than anywhere else in the state. It’s also a great place to eat, with lots of great local restaurants.

10. Berea, Kentucky

Berea may be the cheapest mountain town in the whole country. It’s also a popular place for Kentucky to spend the weekend. It’s called the “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky,” and it’s a great place for art fans. There are also lots of things to do outside. The Indian Fort Mountain Trail is one of the most famous trails in the area.

It goes through the Berea College Forest and climbs to a point where you can see the town. You can explore on two wheels on many family-friendly bike tracks, such as the three-mile Mayde Beebe White Trail and the paths in Berea City Park. After, if you get hungry, you can eat at the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant, which serves homemade food made with items from the area.

11. Leadville, Colorado

An expensive ski resort like Aspen isn’t too far away, but not many people outside of Colorado have heard of Leadville. If you go there, you’ll find cheaper places to stay, great food, and lots of things to do. Another nearby ski resort, Ski Cooper, has cheap slopes without lift lines, and in the summer, there are hundreds of walks to choose from.

Standing at an elevation of 10,152 feet, it is the country’s highest incorporated town. Seventy square blocks of the downtown area have been named a National Historic Landmark for their Victorian building. You could travel through the Matchless Mine and check out the Heritage Museum, the Healy House, and the Dexter Cabin, among other sites. There are many interesting shops, including antique stores, and you can stand on the stage where Oscar Wilde appeared at the Tabor Opera House.


Q1. What defines a mountain town?

A mountain town typically refers to a community situated in or near mountainous regions. These towns often offer stunning natural landscapes, outdoor recreational activities, and a distinct mountain culture.

Q2. How were these top 10 most affordable mountain towns selected?

These towns were selected based on various factors including the cost of living, median home prices, rental rates, access to amenities, and the overall affordability index compared to other mountain towns across the United States.

Q3. Are these towns suitable for year-round living or just for vacations?

While some of these towns are popular tourist destinations, they are also suitable for year-round living. Many residents enjoy the benefits of living in these towns full-time, with access to outdoor activities, community events, and essential amenities.


  • UW Stephen

    With UW Stephen as your guide, you'll embark on a literary journey that transcends borders, immerses you in different cultures, and fuels your wanderlust for new horizons.

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UW Stephen
UW Stephen
With UW Stephen as your guide, you'll embark on a literary journey that transcends borders, immerses you in different cultures, and fuels your wanderlust for new horizons.

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