Tucked in a canyon near Vail, but definitely set apart from the high-rolling crowds at Vail and Beaver Creek resorts, Red Cliff is a tiny town with a big, historic heart. Once a thriving mining depot, today Red Cliff has shut — but not forgotten — its saloons, brothels, and hotels; its art community prefers instead the quite and beauty of the surrounding mountains.
Cross-country ski trails abound here; try 11-mile (mostly downhill) Shine Pass for a warm-up; drive or mountain bike the lofty road in the summer. Either way, it offers phenomenal views of 14,005-foot, Mount of the Holy Cross.
Those in search of trout fishing will find numerous mountain lakes in the area; Missouri Lake, the closest to Red Cliff, is a three-mile drive and a three-mile hike in, but perfect for a campout. Trail Wise guides downtown can point you in the right direction for any outdoor adventure.