Thinking about moving your family to a mountain town?
You’re in the right spot! These mountain towns have good schools, friendly neighbors, and lots of fun outdoor stuff to do.
1. Asheville, North Carolina
Metro Population: 469,015
Median Home Price: $450,660
Average Annual Salary: $50,865
Asheville, a gem in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, blends the artsy with the adventurous. For those who love hiking, there are plenty of trails varying in difficulty, with the Blue Ridge Parkway serving as a breathtaking backdrop.
The mountains are more than just a pretty view here—they’re a lifestyle. From your home, the iconic Blue Ridge Mountains can often be seen, casting their enchanting blue mist over the city. Despite the slightly elevated cost of living, the cultural richness and a community life make it a great place for families.
2. Park City, Utah
Metro Population: 8,457
Median Home Price: $1,530,937
Average Annual Salary: $65,400
Tucked away in the Wasatch Range, Park City offers a year-round smorgasbord of outdoor activities. The town is synonymous with world-class skiing, but when the snow melts, the mountains become a haven for mountain biking and hiking.
From various points in the town, the snowy peaks are visible, adding a magical quality to everyday life. While the cost of living is on the higher side, it’s balanced by an excellent school system and a range of high-paying job opportunities, especially in tourism and technology.
3. Bend, Oregon
Metro Population: 206,549
Median Home Price: $725,317
Average Annual Salary: $52,960
Nestled against the awe-inspiring Cascade Range, Bend is the epitome of outdoor living. From kayaking on the Deschutes River to hiking in the Three Sisters Wilderness, Bend is a playground for nature lovers.
The jagged peaks of the Cascades serve as a stunning backdrop visible throughout the town. The cost of living is moderate, but the high quality of life and exceptional schools offer families a well-rounded experience that goes beyond the price tag.
4. Bozeman, Montana
Metro Population: 118,960
Median Home Price: $711,136
Average Annual Salary: $52,406
Enveloped by the Rocky Mountains and a stone’s throw from Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman offers families a natural playground like no other. From the city, you can glimpse the towering Bridger Range which serves as a canvas for both summer and winter activities.
The local trail system provides immediate access to the great outdoors, right from the heart of town. Even though Bozeman is a smaller metro area, it’s rapidly growing—especially with families drawn to its high educational standards and the Montana State University influence.
5. Boulder, Colorado
Metro Population: 330,758
Median Home Price: $983,863
Average Annual Salary: $66,328
Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder serves up natural beauty alongside a heavy dose of community spirit. The iconic Flatirons are not just a backdrop but a lifestyle, accessible through a network of hiking and biking trails that start practically at your doorstep.
Despite its higher cost of living, Boulder compensates with high average salaries and top-rated schools. The area has been experiencing consistent growth, partially due to its tech industry and its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Read also: 10 Safest Cities to Live in Colorado
6. Flagstaff, Arizona
Metro Population: 145,101
Median Home Price: $633,425
Average Annual Salary: $59,632
Forget the sun-baked, flat terrains that usually come to mind when you think of Arizona. Flagstaff is a mountain town through and through, ringed by the pine-clad San Francisco Peaks. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or even skiing, Flagstaff offers a variety of outdoor activities year-round.
In contrast to more urban areas, Flagstaff offers a cozy, small-town feel. The local population has been steadily growing, partially due to Northern Arizona University and a variety of scientific and environmental jobs.
Find out: 14 Pros And Cons Of Living In Arizona
7. Truckee, California
Metro Population: 17,200
Median Home Price: $1,082,000
Average Annual Salary: $58,600
Tucked away near the glimmering expanse of Lake Tahoe, Truckee is a small mountain town where alpine splendor meets family-friendly community vibes. The Sierra Nevada mountains serve as your backyard, offering an array of outdoor activities that change with the seasons—from world-class skiing in the winter to boating and hiking in the summer.
The sight of snow-capped peaks or shimmering lake waters is often just a glance away, adding a sense of wonder to the everyday. While the cost of living leans towards the higher end, it’s counterbalanced by excellent schools and a strong sense of community. The town has a smaller population, which contributes to its intimate, neighborly atmosphere.
David Bakke is a personal finance expert and the published author of the book ‘Don’t Be A Mule.’ Specializing in money management, investing, retirement, income generation, and entrepreneurship, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida. David started his own blog, YourFinances101, in 2009. His writing has been featured in Investopedia, Business Insider, US News, and Money Crashers.