Itineraries

Basalt 101

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    Family First

    STAY: The Lodge at River’s Edge is a great getaway just on the outskirts of town, with all the conveniences of an upscale cabin.

    PLAY: Go on the Basalt historical walking tour to learn more about town and the early days of the West. Be sure to stop by the swinging bridge, a cable suspended bridge over the Fryingpan River with great view of trout. In the summer, kids can burn off energy at the town pool by the middle school, or by running around Crown Mountain Park, which has a playground, open fields and activities for kids. Explore by bike with WE-cycle — the bike paths are predominately isolated from road traffic, making it safe for younger riders. A short drive away is Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, a popular year-round mountaintop theme park featuring cave tours, thrill rides, dining, children’s activities, special events, and so much more.

    EAT: In the summer, find delicious local food at the Basalt Sunday Market, including Dustino’s Pizza Strada — brick oven pizza made while you wait. Whole Foods is great for easy grab-and-go breakfast options or grocery shopping if you plan to cook at your home away from home, and Scoops will satisfy any ice cream craving.

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    Couples Escape

    STAY: The Basalt Mountain Inn is in the heart of Downtown Basalt, perfect for strolling around town and exploring.

    PLAY: Great shopping is to be had, making it easy to find something to remember your visit to Basalt. Explore the many art galleries in town — each specializes in a different type of art. On the second Friday of each month, select galleries are open late and The Art Base always debuts a new exhibit. Enjoy live music on Wednesdays during the Summer Concert Series, which rotates between Triangle Park in Willits and Lions Park in Downtown. Weekends in July bring the Bard with Shakespeare in the Park.

    EAT: Visit CC Café for coffee, breakfast or get lunch to go. Heather’s Savory Pies & Tapas Bar offers romantic dining in Basalt, outdoor seating in the summer and live music almost every night. Down the street is the Brick Pony Pub, another great alternative with delicious food and local atmosphere.

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    Adventure Seekers

    STAY: Camp at one of the White River National Forest campgrounds near Ruedi Reservoir. Chapman is a great area because it’s spread out, but there are other options along the Frying Pan Road on the way up Hagerman Pass. More adventure ideas can be found on pages 64 and 66.

    PLAY: Basalt is an outdoor recreation paradise with miles of trails for cycling, hiking and mountain biking that fit any experience level (page 64). See breathtaking views of Mount. Daly and the entire Elk Mountain range on horseback with Snowmass Creek Outfitters. Get in a great post-workout stretch at Vimana Yoga, which offers six different styles of yoga, (heated and unheated). Another option is Fit.Fashion.Face, a one-stop shop for Pilates instruction, vintage Lululemon and facials.

    Eat: Stop by Skip’s Farm to Market for fresh, locally grown picnic items (page 32) for the day’s adventures. After a hard workout, amazing margaritas and Mexican food await you at Hacienda Jalisco or locally crafted beers at Capitol Creek Brewery.

By Way of the Water

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    Family First

    STAY: The Cabin at Ruedi Shores is a diamond in the rough with space for everyone.

    PLAY: If the conditions allow, float the upper Roaring Fork River on a rafting trip with older children and enjoy the ride. Younger children will have fun fishing for monster trout in the kids-only pond at Old Pond Park in Downtown, next to the Roaring Fork Conservancy River Center. While downtown, visit the Basalt Regional Library for story time, then venture outside to find the Story Tree and build fairy houses. ACES atRock Bottom Ranch also has outdoor-focused educational programs for kids interested in nature and science.

    EAT: Riverside dining is possible at The Tipsy Trout (formerly Riverside Grill), where you can eat alongside the Fryingpan on the outdoor patio or venture to Union Kitchen for its weekend brunch. Be sure to try one of the southern favorites — biscuits and gravy or chicken and waffles.

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    Couples Escape

    STAY: For an authentic Basalt river getaway, relax in a cabin the Dallenbach Ranch on the Fryingpan River.

    PLAY: Try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) on Ruedi Reservoir — either rent from Shaboomee or buy from Bristlecone Mountain Sports. Leaf peeping is prime in the fall from mid- September to mid-October and the relaxing drive up the Fryingpan River from downtown offers many views of the changing colors. Keep a lookout for the pumpkins hidden along the drive. Enjoy a twilight float-fishing trip on the Roaring Fork River with Taylor Creek Fly Shops.

    EAT: For a farm-to-table dining experience, try Free Range Kitchen where the ambience is all Colorado and the patrons are seldom children. Pick up a bottle of wine from Jimbo’s Liquors. It has a great selection of beer, wines and spirits, and is easily found in the heart of Downtown.

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    Adventure Seekers

    STAY: Five miles up the Fryingpan River is the dog-friendly Taylor Creek Cabins, owned by the Frying Pan Anglers, a great resource for fly-fishing gear and guided excursions.

    PLAY: Participate in your own Colorado triathlon – see if you can bike, hike and fly fish all in one day (in the winter, swap hiking for skiing). Bike up Frying Pan Road toward Ruedi Reservoir or upvalley on the Rio Grande trail (and take the RFTA bus back when you are done). Hike up Arbaney Kittle or Light Hill for amazing views of the valley, then take advantage of Basalt’s Gold Medal waters by fly fishing. If the weather is less than ideal, try out a class at TAC FITness and Wellness Center.

    EAT: Channel your inner pool shark or catch the game at Stubbie's Sports Bar. If you're craving sushi, check out K’Gen Asian Cuisine to get your fix.

When the Snow Flies

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    Family First

    STAY: Spend the night at the Element Basalt-Aspen hotel, near all the great food and shopping in Willits, and easy RFTA bus access to the mountains.

    PLAY: In addition to skiing and snowboarding at the four Aspen Snowmass resorts (Buttermilk and Snowmass are the most kid-friendly), enjoy the snow in Basalt and go sledding behind the Basalt High School – a popular local spot for some fast-paced sledding. For a milder option, visit Crown Mountain Park. Budding artists can get creative at Wren’s Nest Art Studio. Both kids and adults can choose a pre-painted canvas and add sparkling shards of colored glass to create a work of art.

    EAT: New York Pizza has great kid-friendly options (note it is cash only). For more adventurous eaters, there is El Korita in Willits.

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    Couples Escape

    STAY: Right in the center of Downtown is the Frying Pan Inn (formerly Aspenalt Lodge), with easy access to mountains.

    PLAY: Sightsee on skinny skis or snowshoes, starting at the Basalt High School Rio Grande trailhead parking lot and trek west toward Willits. The smooth grade may be short to the end of the groomed network there, but head back past your car and toward the Roaring Fork Club golf course where you can continue to take in the amazing views of sloping hills and distant snow-capped peaks.

    Eat: Warmth can also be found in Willits at Mezzaluna with its wood-fire oven, and excellent happy hour. The restaurant also features many specials on a nightly basis, including prime rib and oyster nights.

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    Adventure Seekers

    STAY: Off the beaten path, appreciate the beauty of falling snow at Clear Water Cabins.

    PLAY: Discover Aspen Snowmass, and if you are up for the challenge, try out the Cirque or Hanging Valley at Snowmass or hike the Highlands Bowl. The mountains are simply a bus ride away. When you get back to Basalt, treat yourself to a massage, salt yoga or unique float therapy at Fahrenheit Body Spas. Really relax at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, just a short drive away in Glenwood Springs. Sixteen soaking pools await, with temperatures ranging from 98 to 108 degrees, allowing for a progressive soak experience.

    EAT: Get an early start to the slopes by walking to Cassie’s Corner Store for coffee and some treats before making your way to the RFTA bus stop to head to the mountains. Another option is The Biscuit, a food truck, located in El Jebel, and serving until 11 a.m. Après midvalley at Woody Creek Distillers with its rotating menu of season cocktails. Tours are offered by appointment.