One of my favorite Colorado destinations is the picture perfect and historic Redstone, and here are some tips for planning your road trip to Redstone, Colorado, a mountain town experience you won’t easily forget.
Planning Your Road Trip – Redstone, Colorado
Colorado is undeniably a magical place for road trips (and for me, especially motorcycle road trips!), with its twisty, curvy roads and majestic mountain backdrops, dotted with those laid-back, welcoming small towns. Here are our tips for planning your road trip to one of our favorite motorcycle destinations: Redstone, Colorado.
Where in Colorado is Redstone?
Located in the White River National Forest, Redstone is an original 1902 mining town, and today features shops, cafes, art galleries on its Mayberry-like Main Street surrounded by towering red cliffs. The Crystal River edges the town attracting fly fishers and lovers of rivers, families, and motorcycle enthusiasts. Located 30 miles from Glenwood Springs and 45 miles from Aspen, you’ll fall in love with this quiet Colorado mountain town.
When you’re planning your road trip to Redstone, Colorado, sure, you could head west from Denver on Interstate-70 for a 3 + hour drive. And yes, you’ll still get the majestic views of the Colorado Rockies. But honestly, why wouldn’t you opt for the less traveled road?
Here is a look at planning your USA Travel road trip to Redstone.
Planning your motorcycle road trip to Redstone, Colorado
Denver to Buena Vista
From Denver, the can’t-miss drive (or motorcycle scoot) to Redstone is over Independence Pass (via Highway 82, which is open during the non-winter months). A handful of gorgeous roads lead to Independence Pass.
My favorite scoot is south along Highway 285 through Bailey. You’ll ride through small towns, elevations and passes, including Kenosha, before sloping down into Jefferson and Fairplay. Be prepared from some wind as you pass wide open spaces and ranches from Fairplay to Highway 24 and the outskirts of Buena Vista. Turn right and pass through Buena Vista on Highway 24.
In BV (as the locals call Buena Vista), our favorite stop is the Lariat Bar. Built in 1885, the Lariat Bar features hardwood floors, tin ceilings, and exposed brick walls. It’s like traveling back to the mining days of the late 19th century. But better as the beer is cold and the burgers are tasty!
Explore the Colorado ski resort towns of Aspen and Snowmass
Descend into the ritzy town of Aspen, which welcomes motorcyclists with free parking on each block within 2 feet of the No Parking Anytime sign.
As you continue on Highway 24, worth another detour is the “village” of Snowmass.
Continue northwest on Highway 24 to Balltown, where you’ll turn left onto Highway 82.
Be sure to have your camera ready as you pass Twin Lakes and start ascending to Independence Pass. The countryside up to Independence Pass and down into Aspen is simply stunning.
By the time you turn left onto Highway 133 at Carbondale, you’ve stopped looking at your phone (or if you’re on your motorcycle, you’re already amazed!) because the spectacular Colorado Rockies will demand your attention.
Destination: Road trip Redstone, Colorado
Your first sign that you’ve arrived are Redstone’s “beehive” coke ovens, located at the main entrance to the town on Highway 82. These beehives serve as a historic nod to its 1899 open-air coal-processing days of 1899, once operated by the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company.
The quaint mountain town of Redstone is a hidden gem located south of Carbondale. In addition to shops, galleries, and restaurants, the town boasts a castle that was built by industrialist John Osgood at the turn of the century.
When you come upon Redstone, Colorado, you’ll find a tiny mountain village hidden surprisingly beneath massive red cliffs. The entire village is on the National Register of Historic Places, and Redstone offers a unique sanctuary for those looking to get away. (And at least for us, totally unplugged as our cell phones do not get reception here.)
What to do in Redstone
Another reason we visit Redstone is the Crystal Club Cafe, which is next door to the Redstone Cliffs Lodge on the east side. Serving lunch and dinner, this restaurant also features live music, and the owners are friendly and the food is excellent. The menu items range from burgers to steak, finger-licking baby back ribs, and homemade dessert — Pistachio or German Chocolate Cake, if you stone.
A local coffee shop west of the lodge is a perfect stop for a quick breakfast. Located at the west entrance of town in an early 20th-century Tudor-style building, the Redstone Inn serves a full breakfast — and another option for accommodations.
Redstone is an outdoor enthusiast’s perfect getaway. Hiking, biking, fly fishing, shopping, and kicking back are steps away from our favorite hotel, Redstone Cliffs Lodge.
Where to Stay in Redstone
I’m almost reluctant to give away our favorite, secret getaway, Redstone Cliffs Lodge. You’ll be welcomed by Jonathan, your English innkeeper, who will get you settled into your “cabin” with the Crystal River bubbling behind your room.
You can’t help but relax and wind down, and with only one small area of this town with cell phone service, you can unplug and soak in the beauty of a true Colorado Rockies getaway.