Basalt more than an angling paradise |

Basalt more than an angling paradise

Downtown Basalt offers opportunites for shopping and dining. (Aspen Times file)

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, it’s amazing that Basalt still hints of 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, fine restaurants and locally owned shops await ” perfect for a day trip from Aspen or evening outing. In the growing El Jebel area, Willits Town Center is bringing an urban feel to the midvalley, with upscale shops, excellent 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 Roaring Fork and Fryingpan rivers; 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.

Elevation: 6,610 feet

Population: 3,000 year-round residents (approximately 5,000 including surrounding areas such as El Jebel, Old Snowmass and the Fryingpan Valley)


Town of Basalt:

Basalt Chamber of Commerce:

Phone numbers

Town of Basalt: 927-4701

Basalt Chamber of Commerce: 927-4031

Basalt Police Department: 911 for emergencies; or 927-4316 for non-emergencies

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