Protecting the Crystal Valley |

Protecting the Crystal Valley

The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway, which includes Highway 133 from McClure Pass to Carbondale, was established approximately 20 years ago in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Highway Administration.

Its stewardship mission states that the byway shall protect and enhance the intrinsic qualities of the corridor. Those intrinsic qualities include recognition and protection of the scenic, natural, recreational, historic/cultural and archaeological resources in the Crystal Valley. These are the characteristics that make the lands along the byway special, give it definition and establish its unique character. They are the special qualities for which the byway was designated. These are the special qualities supported by Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails board.

The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway is supported in the Crystal Valley by the activities and interests of Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails Board and Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners. A review of the lands protected by ownership and conservation easements in the Crystal Valley supports our recognition of their value.

More than 7,800 acres of special places in the Crystal River Valley have been protected from development and preserved for their unique and special qualities by the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board and the cooperation of Crystal Valley landowners who respect protection and preservation of open lands.

1. Cold Mountain Ranch, 2009; 2. Cold Mountain River Access, 2009; 3. Avalanche Boat Launch, 2010; 4. Redstone Country Store parcel, 2012; 5. Redstone River Frontage, 2013; 6. Coke Ovens, aka Coal Creek, 2016; 7. Prince Creek Trail, 2016; 8. Jerome Park minerals, 2016; 9. Coke Oven lot line, 2004; 10. Redstone Park, 1999; 11. Redstone Park Open Space, 1991; 12. Elk Park, 1991; 13. Elk Park, 1994; 14. Coke Ovens, 2004; 15. Jerome Park, 2007; 16. Vanner Open Space, 2002; 17. Filoha Greenhouse Parcel, 2003; 18. Filofax Meadows, 2003; 19. Hot Springs Ranch, 2001; 20. Penney Hot Springs, 1999; 21. Broker Lode, 2005; 22. Perham Creek Trailhead, 1993; 23. Rubin Open Space, 1993; 24. Red Wind Point, 2002; 25. Andrews Open Space, 2003; 26. Emerson/Knaus CE, 2000; 27. Thompson Creek Ranch, 2003; 28. Hawkins CE, 2004; 29. Crystal Valley Ranch East CS, 2005; 30. Thompson Creek Open Space, 2005; 31. Crystal Island Ranch, 2005; 32. East Mesa CE, 2005; 33. Powerhouse Parcel, 2007/2008; 34. The Drool, 2007; 35. Meredith/Redstone Park, 2008; 36. Sawmill Hill, 2008; 37. BLM, 2009; 38. Darien Ranch CE, 2008; 39. Mertz CE, 2009; 40. Flying Dog Ranch, 2008

Dorothea Farris and John Hoffman

Co-chairs, West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway Steering Committee