Crystal River Valley - Northwest Colorado

Includes Carbondale, Marble, Redstone

Experience The Crystal River Valley: Carbondale, Marble, Redstone - Northwest Colorado

View of Beaver Lake during the Fall along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway, Colorado.
Beaver Lake Fall The West Elk Loop Byway - 205 Miles - Connects Black Canyon National Park to the Crystal River Valley
View of the Crystal River during the winter winding past Marble and Redstone, Colorado.
Photo Courtesy of Marble Mo Creations
Crystal River fed by a Basin Glacier - Rambles by Marble, Redstone and along Highway 133 to Carbondale

Thirty miles from Aspen and twelve miles from Glenwood Springs, THE CRYSTAL RIVER VALLEY is surrounded by the White River National Forest and offers unique charm and secluded vacation destinations with the untouched beauty of Colorado's twin-summit Mount Sopris. The West Elk Loop Scenic Byway starts in Carbondale, the gateway to Highway 133 just off Highway 82, and takes you up and over Mount McClure, summit at 8,763 feet. There are plenty of trailheads along the way: Avalanche Creek Trail, Thomas Lake Trail and Drift Creek Trail. Whether you hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, snowshoe or cross-country ski there is a trail waiting for you.

National Geographic Adventure Magazine offered this insight about Carbondale and the Crystal River Valley: "There is plenty to do including biking, kayaking, and world-class fly-fishing and winter offers excellent cross-country skiing at Spring Gulch."

Cog and stone buildings at Historic Mill Park in Marble, Colorado.
Marble Mill Park - a 25 Acre National Historic Site - See Large Marble Pillars from the Colorado Yule Quarry
Shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market in Carbondale, Colorado.
Carbondale Farmers Market - Small Farms - Local Produce - Indoors Winter - Outdoors in Summer and Fall

If you have visited our Nation's Capital Washington DC, you might have visited the Lincoln Memorial Monument and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; both of these are monuments of American Pride and History and feature white marble from Colorado! The marble was mined here then slowly transported to Washington, DC. The mine was closed during WWII as a non-essential industry, and the train tracks and large equipment was carted away and melted down to support the U.S. war effort. The historic Marble Quarry Trail was washed out in spring 2022 and closed.

The Yule Marble Fabrication Factory in Delta, Colorado uses Colorado Marble to produce tiles, slabs and blocks and is the largest marble finishing factory in the United States of America. You can also see and purchase sculptures in Marble, Colorado by local artisans.

The MARBLE/marble Stone Carving Symposium is the sculpting school in Marble. Whether you are a novice or experienced sculpture the 8 days you spend learning marble carving at the source will bring hours of family fun; it takes place in July and early August annually.

Most folks just drive past REDSTONE NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT; however, if you love alpine villages, fine dining, art galleries, hand-crafted crafts and antiques this is a must stop along the Byway! What will keep you here is the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area with hiking trails that start in town; the wildflowers, solitude, and expansive views in every direction and the sunset photos with capture your heart.

Skate boarder at skate park with Mt. Sopris in the background in Carbondale, Colorado.
Mount Sopris a Twin Peaks Mountain - 12,965 feet - View from Carbondale's 18-Foot Full-Pipe Skateboarding Park
Plaque describing the Coke Ovens in the background at Redstone, Colorado.
Redstone's Coke Ovens Historic District - Near Chair Mountain Stables Road - Built in the 1890s to Purified Coal

CARBONDALE is the halfway point between Glenwood Springs and Aspen Colorado where the Crystal River merges with the Roaring Fork River. PRO TIP: Take an afternoon to walk the self guided historic tour of downtown. Start and finish at Town Hall at the Corner of Colorado Avenue and 4th Street; the entire loop is just over a help mile. My favorite stops along the way the Dinkel Block with a bank safe that survived a fire in 1891, Fatbelly Burgers, Bonfire Coffee, Carbondale Arts' sponsors the Carbondale Mountain Fair in late July Annually.

There are several great Off-Roading Trails in the area with access off Country Roads 344, 117 and C106 with endless backcountry to explore in ever direction. For a retreat even further off the beaten path, try the Redstone-Marble area with its mining past, ghost towns and dramatic mountain scenery. Redstone was founded by John Cleveland Osgood at the turn of the century as a model community to house employees of his coal mines. Although the workers and their families lived in simple cabins, Osgood built the luxurious Cleveholm Castle for himself, furnished with Tiffany chandeliers and Italian paintings. Marble was best known for its quarries, which produced a pure marble that rivaled Italy's Carrera marble. If snowmobiling is your jam, stay in Carbondale where the trails start just a few miles from town.

There are 6 ski resorts in the area however the two closest are Snowmass Ski Area and Buttermilk Ski Resort.

COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL: Accommodations are handled by Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. Please contact your preferred travel agent or airline for flight arrangements. Carbondale is 25 miles northwest on CO Highway 82 and Marble is an additional 28 miles south on CO Highway 133 from the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.

Carbondale, Redstone and Marble, Colorado Location and Driving Directions

LOCATION: The Crystal River Valley is in Northwestern Colorado is 130-155 miles (depending on town) east of the Colorado-Utah Border off I-70 along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. The three main towns of the Valley, Carbondale, Redstone, Marble) are 28 miles apart from north to south. All driving times are based on arriving in Marble. From Grand Junction the Drive should take about 2.25 hours; from Denver 4 hours. from Durango 4.5 hours, and from Colorado Springs or Fort Collins 5 hours.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From Grand Junction take I-70 to exit 227 in Glenwood Springs merge onto CO Highway 82 to Carbondale; or, from Denver head west 170-195 miles on I-70 in Glenwood Springs take exit 227 onto CO Highway 82 to Carbondale. Carbondale is at the junction of Colorado highways 82 and 133; head south on Highway 133 17 miles to Redstone; continue another 11 miles turn left onto County Road 3 the 6 miles drive will take about 12 minutes.

Crystal River Valley is near: Aspen & Snowmass Village, Glenwood Springs & Grand Mesa Area

Featured Crystal River Valley Businesses

Avalanche Outfitters at Redstone Stables
Redstone CO, Ruby of the Rockies! Avalanche Outfitters is a western horseback riding destination: back country trail rides, overnight pack trips, winter sleigh rides. New 2022 horse-drawn carriage dinner rides.

 Reservation link icon Photos on page icon New Colorado business icon Family Friendly Scenic Byways and Drives Horseback Riding, Trail Rides Activities and Fun Things to do Hunting 

Avalanche Ranch: Cabins and Hot Springs Along the Crystal River
Near Redstone, between Aspen and Glenwood, along the Crystal River. 3 hot springs pools! Avalanche Vacation Home. Log Ranch Cabins. Shepherd Wagons. Pet welcome! Winter Skiing! Stocked trout pond.

 Email link icon Photos on page icon Cabins, Glamping and Cottages Vacation Homes Winter Lodging 

Beaver Lake Lodge and Cabins
On Beaver Lake - use our canoes. Historic Lodge and Cabins surrounded by mountain peaks in Marble. WALK TO: trails, river beach, jeep tours, horseback rides, rentals ATV, snowmobile. Evening campfires.

 Web page link icon Cabins, Glamping and Cottages Lodges 

Crystal River Jeep Tours
Experienced guides take you into the Upper Crystal River Valley and White River National Forest. FAMILY FUN, where pavement ends! Sightseeing tours in classic Jeeps: historic Crystal Mill, Lead King Basin.

 Photos on page icon Jeeping and Offroad Vehicles 

Gateway RV Park - Carbondale Recreation
A perfect recreation gateway along the Roaring Fork River in Carbondale. RV sites, group tent camping site, FREE WiFi, hot showers, fire rings, picnic table. DOG FRIENDLY! Boat ramp for float fishermen.

 Reservation link icon RV Parks and Resorts Fishing White-water Rafting and Kayaking 

Marble Crystal River Chamber
Along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway, Marble CO is the gateway to Beaver Lake State Wildlife Area. On the Western slope of the Rocky Mountain between Carbondale and Paonia State Park off Highway 133.

 Web page link icon Scenic Byways and Drives 

For more travel information contact:

Crystal River Valley Activities & Maps

Scenic Byways:
West Elk Loop Scenic Byway

Rafting & Kayaking:
Roaring Fork River Rafting & Kayaking

Ski Areas & Resorts:
Aspen Highlands Ski Resort
Aspen Mountain Ski Resort
Buttermilk Ski Resort
Snowmass Ski Resort
Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort

Carbondale Snowmobile Trails

Local Area Maps:
Aspen & Crystal River Valley Area Map


Places to Stay, Rentals & Amenities
Cabins & Cottages | Motels & Hotels | Lodging & Lodges | Vacation Homes | Condos, Suites & Townhomes | Bed & Breakfast | Tent Camping | RV Parks & Campgrounds | RV Sales, Service & Rentals | Romance Packages | Family Friendly | Pets Welcome | By Water | Swimming Pools | Guest Horses | Groups, Reunions & Retreats | Weddings & Elopements | Winter Lodging

Fun Things to Do
Calendars of Events | National Parks, Monuments & Historic Sites | Scenic Byways & Drives | Fishing & Fly Fishing | Hot Springs | Horse Riding | ATV/UTVing | Jeeping & 4WD | Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking | Attractions | Golfing | Restaurants & Dining | More Fun Stuff | Hunting & Land Leases | Snowmobiling | Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding | Snowshoeing | Cross-Country Skiing

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