BASALT truly does have it all — and even if you are here for just the day, you can get a taste of what this town has to offer. Whether you are looking for an adrenaline-fueled adventure, a romantic getaway or a family-friendly excursion, you can find it here. There are myriad ways to fill your days (and nights) no matter what season you find yourself in Basalt. Below are a few suggested ways to discover Basalt.
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 open fields and activities for kids, including a hot air balloon festival every June. Explore by bike with WE-cycle (page 80) – the bike paths are predominately isolated from road traffic, making it safe for younger riders.
EAT: 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. Both Timbo’s and New York Pizza are great kid-friendly options and Scoops will satisfy any sweet tooth.
STAY: The Basalt Mountain Inn is in the heart of downtown Basalt, making it easy to walk around and explore.
PLAY: Great shopping is to be had, making it easy to find something to remember your visit. Stroll downtown and visit all the different art galleries – each specializes in a different type of art (page 36). On the second Friday of each month, select galleries are open late and debut new exhibits. Enjoy live music on Wednesdays during the Summer Concert Series, which rotates between Triangle Park in Willits and Lions Park in Downtown.
EAT: Visit Confluence Coffee for coffee and breakfast. In the summer, find delicious local food at the Basalt Sunday Market. Tempranillo offers romantic dining in Basalt and outdoor seating in the summer. Right across the street is the Brick Pony Pub, another great alternative with delicious food and local atmosphere.
STAY: Camp at one of the White River National Forest campgrounds (page 60) near Ruedi Reservoir.
PLAY: Basalt is an outdoor recreation paradise with many trails for cycling, hiking and biking that fit any experience level (page 65). See breathtaking views of Mt. Daly and the entire Elk Mountain range on horseback with Snowmass Creek Outfitters. Once the sun goes down, relax with the Chamber’s movie in the park series (page 82).
EAT: Stop by Skip’s Farm to Market for picnic items for the day’s adventures. After a hard workout, amazing margaritas and Mexican food await you at Hacienda Jalisco.
BY WAY OF THE WATER
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 new Roaring Fork Conservancy River Center (page 63). While downtown, visit the Basalt Regional Library for story time, then venture outside to find the Story Tree and build fairy houses. ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch also has outdoor-focused educational programs for kids interested in nature and science.
EAT: Dine along the Fryingpan on Riverside Grill’s outdoor patio or venture to Willits for Smoke Modern BBQ and sample pulled pork, cornbread and fried okra.
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.com or buy from Bristlecone Mountain Sports. Leaf peeping is prime in the fall from mid- September to mid-October and the 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 an eclectic dining experience try Free Range Kitchen. where the ambience is all Colorado and the patrons are seldom children.
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 towards 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.
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
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 Aspen Snowmass, 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. More family fun can be had at Bowlski’s (formerly Bowlounge) in El Jebel with bowling, games and an outdoor skating rink. On Fridays at Elk Camp on Snowmass Mountain, join the Ullr Nights festivities with dinner, tubing, snow bikes, s’mores and even fire dancers.
EAT: For dinner, go to Sure Thing Burger for burgers and soft serve. For more adventurous eaters, there is El Korita across the street in Willits.
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 towards Willits. The smooth grade may be short to the end of the groomed network there, but head back past your car and towards the Roaring Fork Club golf course where you’ll continue to take in the amazing views of sloping hills and distant snow-capped peaks. Plan a date night at The Temporary with an evening of live music, comedy, movies and more.
EAT: Heather’s Savory Pies is the place for comfort food and live music. Warmth can also be found in Willits at Mezzaluna with its wood-fire oven, and excellent happy hour.
STAY: Off the beaten path, appreciate the beauty of falling snow at Clear Water Cabins.
PLAY: Discover the four mountains of Aspen Snowmass, and if you are up for the challenge, hike Highlands Bowl. The mountains are simply a bus ride away (page 76). Upon your return, treat yourself to a massage or unique therapy at Fahrenheit Body Spas or warm up and stretch out at Vimana Yoga.
EAT: Stop by Cassie’s Corner Store for coffee and some treats on your way to the RFTA bus stop to head to the mountains. Après ski at Capitol Creek Brewery and sample local brews and delicious food.