Aerial view of Leadville, Colorado during autumn.

7 Budget-Friendly Towns in The Rockies for Retirees

The Rocky Mountains have some of the most stunning peaks on the planet, captivating countless with their amazing sights.

One problem though; towns in the Rockies can be a little expensive. So, the challenge is finding a town that will not break the bank if you want to retire and live there.

If you are retired and dreaming of spending your golden days surrounded by the grandeur of nature without spending too much, the Rockies have several towns perfect for you.

These seven budget-friendly towns in the Rockies have it all - whether you are after lively cultural events, exciting outdoor activities, or just a quiet spot to live.

Read on to explore the charm and unique advantages each of these towns has to offer.

Laramie, Wyoming

Panoramic view of downtown Laramie, Wyoming, USA, from the intersection of 1st Street and Grand Avenue.

Downtown Laramie, Wyoming, USA. Editorial credit: Nagel Photography /

Right between the Snowy Range and the Laramie Range, this town combines scenic beauty with affordable living.

The typical house in Laramie costs a bit less than the national average, sitting around $375,000. Renting a place is quite budget-friendly, with the average place costing $1,050 every month.

Retirees can get quality care at places like Ivinson Memorial Hospital without paying big-city prices. As well, Wyoming is an excellent choice for retirees since there is no state income tax to worry about. Plus, the property taxes are low as well.

Want to head outdoors in your golden years? Head to the nearby Vedauwoo Recreation Area, famous for its cool and unusual rock formations.

There are some fun cultural spots to enjoy here too. Laramie is famous for hosting the University of Wyoming. It is more than just a school town - it buzzes with cultural happenings and sports.

Montrose, Colorado

Montrose City Hall, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in Montrose, Colorado.

City Hall in Montrose, Colorado. By ChuckCars - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

This town is the kind of option where you do not need to spend a bunch of cash to have fun and live comfortably.

It is a stone's throw away from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, featuring the epic, deep cut of its dramatic cliffsides.

Sure, homes in Montrose might fetch an average price tag of $4350,000, which is a bit above what most places charge across the country, but it is actually reasonable when you stack it against other spots in the Rockies.

If you are a retiree and looking to settle in, this town has charm with your name on it. The locals are all about fostering that tight-kitten sense of community.

Plus, there is no shortage of things designed just for seniors at Montrose Pavilion Senior Center—from classes to feel-good social gatherings—all without asking much from your wallet.

If you want to revel in tales from times long gone, head to the Ute Indian Museum. This place brings history alive with stories and artifacts showcasing life for those who called these lands home way before settlers.

Salmon, Idaho

Downtown Salmon, Idaho.
Downtown Salmon, Idaho. Image credit: Jimmy Emerson DVM via Flickr.

Home to a little over 3,000 people, the rugged wonder of the Rockies and the Salmon-Challis National Forest surrounds this town.

22 percent of the town's population is 65 years or older, so there is a kindred spirit amongst the population. Homes are quite budget-friendly, costing a bit more than $350,000.

It is always good to have dependable healthcare. Steele Memorial Medical Center offers high-quality healthcare services in a modern building.

Idaho is an excellent spot for people to retire because of its friendly tax rules. The state does not tax Social Security benefits and keeps property taxes low.

There are plenty of fun and affordable outdoor activities near Salmon, like fishing and spending nights under the stars. One of the neatest natural features around the town is the Salmon River, called The River of No Return. People love it for having both thrilling white-water rafting and calm fishing areas.

Dillon, Montana

Downtown Dillon, Montana, USA, featuring storefronts and the courthouse.

Downtown Dillon, Montana, USA. Editorial credit: Charles Knowles /

Dillon lies between multiple Rocky Mountain subranges, with the Pioneer Mountains to the northwest and the Ruby Range to the northeast.

Typically, renting a place in Dillon is quite cheap, with the average rent around $950 a month.

Montana does not charge sales tax, meaning you can save quite a bit when buying day-to-day items. Also, the state has special tax relief options for older folks to help lower their property tax bills, which can be one of the big costs for retired people.

There are some cool landmarks to check out while living here, too. The Beaverhead County Museum showcases local history, including Native American culture, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and regional mining and ranching. Another is Clark's Lookout, which has panoramic views and historical insights from 1805.

During winter, the mountains close by are perfect for skiing and riding snowmobiles. Maverick Mountain Ski Area, lets you ski and snowboard, and is great for families.

Hinton, Alberta, Canada

Beaver boardwalk in Hinton, Alberta, Canada.

Beaver Boardwalk in Hinton, Alberta, Canada.

Only a hop away from one of Canada's most famous national parks, Hinton is a cheaper option to settle in close to the Rocky Mountains.

The town sits an hour away from Jasper National Park and is right among stunning nature scenes. This setting gives retirees lots of affordable activities like walking trails, fishing, and enjoying an abundance of wildlife.

The town has a range of healthcare services, including the Hinton Healthcare Centre. Also, it is about 2.5 hours from Edmonton, the provincial capital, so can have access to a wide assortment of health specialists there.

The average home price ranges from $300,000 to $350,000 (USD), so it is a fair price to have the mountains next door.

If you are an active retiree, the Beaver Boardwalk and Athabasca Riverfront Park lend out scenic walks, wildlife observation, and picnic areas. Athabasca Riverfront Park also features unbeatable views of the nearby river.

Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada

Post Office in Cranbrook, British Columbia.

Post Office in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Image Credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM via Flickr.

Head over to Cranbrook, just a short hitch up from the U.S. border, which is found squarely in the Rocky Mountain Trench’s embrace.

Now, for those who have got an eye on their wallets, homes here will not have you digging too deep into your pockets. Houses here are about $350,000 (USD) for a nice place. For renters, a two-bedroom goes for about $1,200 a month.

Good health is priceless, too. The East Kootenay Regional Hospital stands ready to cater to all those wellness needs without trekking miles away.

If outdoor adventures are your thing, there is plenty to keep you busy without splashing out loads of money. Pull on some boots and hit trails like Jimsmith Lake Provincial Park or cruise around by bike near Cranbrook Aquatic Centre.

The Elizabeth Lake Bird Sanctuary is also a small slice of outdoor heaven. Wander its scenic paths or simply kick back beside the lake and soak up nature free of charge.

Leadville, Colorado

City streets of Leadville, Colorado, USA.
City streets of Leadville, Colorado, USA. Editorial credit: Mia2you /

Leadville is at a very high altitude, so it is cooler during the summer months. The fresh air of the mountains and the pretty snowy winters make it a lovely spot to retire.

The average home here is $467,981, so while a bit higher than the state average, it can be cheaper than some other Rocky Mountain options. The town has good healthcare, like St. Vincent Health, a nearby hospital offering various health services.

The Leadville Senior Center has fun and interesting things for retirees to do. There are chances to meet others at social events and enjoy hobbies and learning activities.

The town and region have all sorts of vibrant landmarks to check out. Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado, lends out unbeatable hikes, while Turquoise Lake provides fishing and camping near town. The historic Tabor Opera House, built in 1879, adds cultural charm to this atmospheric mountain town.

Affordable Mountain Living Awaits

So, are you still dreaming of retiring with a backdrop of mountains without emptying your pockets?

Well, these seven cozy towns tucked away in the Rocky Mountains are not so hard on the wallet yet still provide all the beauty and perks of the mountains.

Love hiking or fancy community gatherings? Crave quiet mornings or art-filled afternoons? Each spot has something different up its sleeve for a chill retirement life while still being affordable.

Research the town to discover what suits you best, determine the budget that works for you, and find the place that brings you joy.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 7 Budget-Friendly Towns in The Rockies for Retirees

More in Places