Basalt: A town of two rivers | AspenTimes.com

Basalt: A town of two rivers

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Located about 20 miles downvalley from Aspen, Basalt sits at the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers. With beautiful 100-year-old buildings ” and new ones developing at a rapid pace ” Basalt stays true to its old railroad town roots.

From 1883 to 1918, the Midland Railroad brought passengers and freight to the Roaring Fork Valley through Basalt via Hagerman Pass. It’s a rocky and rugged pass, and the train ride was filled with rockslides, snowdrifts, derailments and coal shortages.

Today the dangers of yesteryear have been put to rest, replaced by a modern-day town filled with fine amenities and plenty of locals who call Basalt home. But this former mining town is far more than a bedroom community for Aspen.

In the historic downtown district, restaurants and locally owned shops await. In the growing El Jebel area, Willits Town Center is bringing an urban feel to the midvalley, with upscale shops, restaurants and more. Don’t worry, though, mainstays like El Jebowl, Stubbie’s and City Market are still around.

Basalt also serves as a gateway to some of the most spectacular outdoor pursuits in the valley: gold medal trout fishing along the world-renowned Fryingpan River; hiking and cross-country skiing in the serene Fryingpan Valley. Plus, Basalt is a perfect midpoint for accessing the unparalleled recreational opportunities in both Aspen and Glenwood Springs.

Ruedi Reservoir also is a popular regional destination for boating and other watersports. Basalt is a hub for mountain biking in the Roaring Fork valley. There are a dozen world-class cross country trails, as well as lift-accessed downhilling within 15 miles of Basalt, both up and down the valley.

Basalt’s elevation is 6,610 feet and has a population of 3,000 year-round residents (approximately 5,000 including surrounding areas such as El Jebel, Old Snowmass and the Fryingpan Valley.)

The median income for a household in the town is $67,200, and the median income for a family is $73,375. Males had a median income of $40,791 versus $30,532 for females. The per capita income for the town is $30,746. About 4.9 percent of families and 6.3 percent of the population live below the poverty line, including 5.9 percent of those under age 18 and 6.8 percent of those age 65 or over.

ON THE WEB

Town of Basalt: http://www.basalt.com

Basalt Chamber of Commerce: http://www.basaltchamber.com


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