Basalt Yesterday, Today and Forever
Rich stories of the people and places in our town of two rivers
From a Ute Indian reservation in the heart of what is today’s Historic Downtown to what was once the hub of the Roaring Fork Valley’s commercial and passenger train service, Basalt began its existence as Frying Pan Settlement/Junction, and later Aspen Junction.
Officially incorporated in August 1901, Basalt was named after the black igneous rock mountain in whose shadow its downtown lies. Its first municipal election was held in October of that year.
When the railroads ceased their service in 1918 and 1922, Basalt became known for farming (once a large producer of potatoes) and ranching.
Basalt today includes the areas of Emma, Willits, Aspen Junction, Southside (Basalt Business Center), Elk Run, the Midvalley Design/Business Districts and Downtown. It is the only town in North America whose center lies at the confluence of two Gold Medal fishing rivers, the Fryingpan and the Roaring Fork, where it has hosted two Team USA national fly fishing tournaments.
With its historic coke ovens in Arbaney Park, modern library, expansive parks, the Rocky Mountain Institute’s new Innovation Center, incredible shopping, biking, rafting, fishing, dining, art galleries, concerts and more, Basalt, Colorado has truly become, “The Confluence of Rivers, Recreation and Culture.”