Redstone: Still the Ruby of the Rockies
Special to The Aspen Times
I drove down a narrow snow-covered road for about half a mile, lined on both sides by pinon trees. Below the road, to the right, the Crystal River was trickling clear and cold water in a slow but steady pace. We passed by a few houses and an old ski lift that was once part of the Redstone Country Club. Turning a corner, suddenly the Redstone Castle was in view.
The grand Tudor Revival style, 42-room mansion was built by John Cleveland Osgood in the early 20th century. Recently, it has undergone an impressive nearly $6 million renovation, returning the castle to its former glory, as it was completed in 1902.
These new luxury accommodations are just one more reason Redstone is one of the must-visit towns in the Colorado Rockies. Small and secluded, surrounded by mountains and timeless history in every direction, the small-town charm and environment is what makes Redstone such a unique and desired place to visit.
Redstone has countless options of sporting activities through all four seasons like biking, hiking, fishing, Nordic skiing and ice skating. Plus, there are many events to attend that are held in Redstone, such as the Fourth of July and their annual summer concert series.
However, just as it has been since Osgood founded modern Redstone, it is the splendor of his castle that continues to attract visitors from afar. Even if you can’t shell out the $345 a night to stay there, those curious about the renovated Redstone Castle can take part in daily tours. Lasting around one and a half hours, guests are taken back to the time of Redstone’s peak in the mining and coke industry. The castle’s charm and rich history will have you fascinated and wanting to learn more about Redstone in this period of time. Today, the castle still has 60% of its original furnishings, giving you the real taste of life back then.
In the castle, I discovered that you can utilize all of the rooms during your overnight stay. For example, you can use the billiards room to play pool and card games. Or, you can read in the library or sit and talk in the Great Room. The estate also has 150 acres of hiking trails and a mile of private waters for fly-fishing to entertain you during your stay.
Being a destination on the West Elk Loop Colorado Byway, and perhaps soon to be on the Ride the Rockies bike route, Redstone has a lot of potential to be a very popular destination for tourists. While Redstone is definitely not a busy place with an unlimited amount of things to do, it is the perfect place to get away from everything and slow down for a few days.
It is a place for the true outdoor enthusiast.
Redstone has a reputation as a good place to go for celebrations. One of the biggest days for Redstone is the Fourth of July. With cars lined up on Highway 133 and in every open spot in town, this is definitely a day to spend in Redstone. From the parade and celebration in the park to the countless free burgers and hotdogs, Fourth of July is a great day to be in the small town.
Redstone can make its mark as a popular tourist town. Hopefully, Redstone can keep its charm as a historical small town and still accept more tourists to see its beauty.
Leah Shafer is a Carbondale resident and recent graduate of Carbondale Community School who plans to attend Roaring Fork High School in the fall.
CIA Director William Burns headlines the list of speakers and panelists for the Aspen Security Forum, which returns as an in-person forum from July 19-22.
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