One of my favorite Colorado road trip destinations is the picture-perfect and historic Redstone. When you’re ready for a relaxing, wind-down and disconnected destination, add this Colorado mountain town to your itinerary. 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. Yet this beautiful Colorado mountain town is also the perfect road trip getaway whether on your motorcycle or road-tripping with your family.
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 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 for 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 is Redstone’s “beehive” coke ovens, located at the main entrance to the town on Highway 133. 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 getaway. (And at least for us, totally unplugged as our cell phones do not get reception here.)
What to do in Redstone?
Dining options are limited within Redstone to Propaganda Pie and the boutique hotel Redstone Castle. However, nearby don’t miss the amazing Slow Groovin’ BBQ in Marble. In addition, either on your way to and/or from the Village Smithy Restaurant in Carbondale is amazing!
A local coffee shop west of the lodge, Redstone General Store (temporarily closed) 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. Settle 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.
I really need to get out west! Have not been since I was in the 9th grade and that was a LONG time ago. Gotta take my kids. Im too afraid to fly right now. hopefully soon!
Oh that Colorado scenery is stunning. What a great location for a road trip – on 2 wheels or 4!
…This truly does look like a quaint little mountain town! Perfect for a quiet getaway! Thanks for sharing about this area!!
I’ve never been to CO, but when I go, I really want to explore as much as possible and road tripping seems like the best way. I love all the outdoor adventure opps!
I love Colorado so much! Great to discover another CO place to explore!
Map time! I think you might mean Kenosha Pass, not Guanella Pass — unless you take I-70 Georgetown and drive over the pass to Grants, which is on US 285. Also, if your driving northwest from Aspen, you turn left in Carbondale to reach Redstone.
You are so right, Claire! Thanks for catching that! That’s what happens when I’m juggling 2 different stories!