Carbondale is an Unexpected Winter Wonderland


Colorado’s Favorite Basecamp for Adventure Offers Winter Activities, Affordable Lodging, Culture and Culinary Delights

CARBONDALE, Colo (November 5, 2015) – Carbondale offers visitors an affordable and accessible alternative winter weekend destination, sitting at the foot of the mighty Mt. Sopris (Elevation. 12,953) surrounded by scenic ranch land and positioned at the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers. The town is renowned as Colorado’s “Base Camp for Adventure”- a place where winter mountain activities including backcountry, Nordic and Alpine skiing, snow “fat” biking, ice climbing, winter trail running, winter fly-fishing and even stand-up paddle boarding are doorstep-accessible. Visitors are attracted to the town’s casual vibe, influenced by its contrasting ranching history, arts community and biking culture. Carbondale is also becoming known for its liquid and food arts with many new offerings including two breweries and a distillery making the town a major stop-off for food and drink connoisseurs. Expanding public art and two new arts centers put the spotlight on the creative energy of the town while rounding out the visitor experience, providing more appeal to weekend visitors who find it a convenient weekend break at just three hours from Denver the Front Range and travelers heading from the Western Slopes and Utah. For more information and a complete calendar of winter events, visit

Get the PDF Press Release: Winter In Carbondale Fall 2015

Here are twelve winter wonders for Carbondale visitors to experience this coming season:

1.) Guided Skiing in Backcountry Sweet Spots

Sunlight Mountain, located just 12 miles from downtown Carbondale, is now offering backcountry guided tours for alpine, tele-mark, and snowboarders. A half-day tour of Williams Peak gives you access to some of the region’s best backcountry skiing, where almost 300 inches of dry powder snow falls each winter. There is a variety of terrain, from steep mountain ridges to broad powder bowls. Plus, Sunlight Mountain offers an affordable day’s skiing with average lift tickets from $45 a day!

2.) Winter Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Yes! Paddle boarding is a year-round activity in Carbondale! Local boarding outfitters, Shaboomee offer a year-round program with floats on the nearby Colorado River. Boarders wear a suitable base layer, and Shaboomee provides a thick neoprene dry suit, neoprene boots, neck warmers, and gloves. This winter-time makes for an unexpected tranquility on the lower-than-usual waters, with wildlife spotting. Available for

3.) Drink Local

Carbondale is home to award-winning brewers, distillers, and roasters- whatever your poison there’s somewhere to refresh. Adding to the vitality of downtown Carbondale, Marble Distilling Company (MDC) opened doors in 2015, offering handcrafted, artisan spirits including vodka, gin, liqueurs, and whiskeys being barreled for future release.  The small batch spirits are pot distilled using Colorado-grown grains and pure Crystal River spring water using 100% American made distilling equipment.  The hip tasting room features a marble bar cut from a single slab of Yule Quarry marble from just up the road in Marble, CO – the very same stone found at the Lincoln Memorial. The tasting room is open daily from 4 pm serving up a range of winter warmer cocktails and offers weekly events including cocktail contests, glass with a glass yoga, pottery classes, book readings and more. Carbondale’s best loved award-winning brewery- Roaring Fork Brewing Company, offers rotating seasonal brews alongside a line-up of staple IPA’s, pilsners and porters. All winter-long the brewery’s tap room is open Monday to Saturday, 2-8pm, and often plays host to live music, beer pairing dinners and other community programming.

4.) Go Nordic

Carbondale is surrounded by an abundance of varied terrain for Nordic skiers of all abilities. Seven miles west of town you’ll find the Spring Gulch Nordic Trail System; visiting and local Nordic enthusiasts find its 12 miles of tracked trails ideal. Go south 18 miles to the Redstone Stables and check out the 5K cross country classic and skate ski course, along with a snowshoe trail. Located right behind the coke ovens in Redstone. Head east to Aspen for some of the finest Nordic skiing in the country – all for free. Trail systems link over 80 kilometers of pristinely groomed trails. For backcountry trails, Nordic skiers head to Avalanche Creek just off Highway 133. The trail follows Avalanche Creek up a beautiful, steep-walled valley; once it enters the Wilderness Area past Avalanche Campground, you may need to break your own trail. Another backcountry option is McClure Pass. Its altitude guarantees good snow conditions, and the route which climbs through a peaceful forest up to a ridge has a quiet beauty all its own.

5.) Sleep at the Stills

The Marble Distillery Inn is the only inn in the world that is housed in a working distillery – guests literally “sleep with the stills”, in grand luxury. It is the first boutique inn to open in Carbondale, Colorado and features five luxury guest rooms located in the same building as Marble Distilling Co. The environmentally-friendly, contemporary rooms offer king-sized beds with high-quality Italian linens, fireplace, private balcony with views of Mount Sopris. In true Carbondale fashion. Seasonal room rates from $179 – $279 for double occupancy. MDI has teamed with local partners to offer a range of dining and wellness packages, enticing guests to see all that Carbondale has to offer.

6.) Performances and Master Speakers at Thunder River Theatre

Winter 2015-16 season highlights at Carbondale’s award-winning theater include an evening with former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, on December 21, as well as two features. Bakerfield Mist by Stephen Sachs (2012 Best New Play), Directed by Corey Simpson, Dec., 10 (Opening), 11, 12, 13 17, 18, 19, 20, 2015 (No Preview) Inspired by true events, this hilarious new comedy-drama asks vital questions about what makes art and people truly authentic. Rashomon, by Fay and Michael Kanin (Based on stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa), Directed & Designed by Lon Winston, Feb. 25 (Preview), 26 (Opening), 27, March 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 2016. Contradictory versions of an event are reenacted at the trial by the bandit, the wife, the dead husband who speaks through a sorceress and a witness. Each version is true in its fashion. TRTC Productions: Curtain is 7:30 p.m., except Sunday matinees, 2 p.m. Tickets from $25 adults, $14 full-time students, $17 young adults (20-39 yrs old.)

7.) Master Ice Climbing at Redstone’s Winterfest, February 5-7, 2016

The original ice climbing event, featuring fat bike races, ice climbing, beer tasting, and tours of the famous Redstone castle. Local outfitter Aspen Expeditions are on-hand to offer beginner and advanced ice climbing clinics, exploring some of the best ice climbing in the state of Colorado.

8.) Soak Up in Carbondale’s Famous Natural Hot Springs

The Penny Hot Springs sit on the banks of the Crystal river, a short drive south from Carbondale. Sitting at the mouth of the Narrows, a granite section of the canyon cut by the Crystal River, they are easily found at a large parking lot on the east side of Highway 133, a few hundred feet north of mile marker 55. The springs are named for Dan Penny who kept a small hotel on the railroad line upstream of Avalanche Creek. Penny’s guests would stay at his hotel and use the hot springs bathhouse – one side for men, the other side for women. The tubs were marble, but the divider in the bathhouse only extended to the water surface, so bathing attire was prudent for all enjoying the hot water. The spring remained popular but obscure until the 1960’s when young people began to bathe there au natural. Nearby residents, offended by nudity and other unseemly acts, bulldozed the bathhouse and attempted to destroy the springs – once pouring tar into the pools, another time dumping large boulders into them. But there was no stopping the geothermal activity or the local hot springs’ enthusiasts who rebuilt the pools and fought to make them public. In the early 1990’s, Pitkin County acquired the property and made the springs officially public. Swimsuits are officially required.

9.) Winter-Long World-Class Art

Carbondale is currently a candidate for Colorado Creative Arts District designation, a state-run program recognizing and supporting art-focused communities. During Carbondale’s monthly First Fridays events, artists throw open their galleries and studios to showcase the culture beating heart of this community. The Launchpad offers a local space for arts in collaboration with the Carbondale Center for Arts and Humanities and the Dance Initiative. The center’s galleries and studios are home to visiting shows, exhibitions, and classes, and is open Monday-Friday.  The Powers Art Center offers a world-class gallery facility set against the backdrop of Mt Sopris. The Center’s permanent exhibits showcase Jasper Johns limited edition works on paper, with over 300 works in the collection, the Art Center is able to feature 100 works in each exhibition. The Powers Art Center was created in memory of the life of John G. Powers as a Museum and study center.  John Powers was passionate about collecting art and the Center is a gift to the community and visitors to share his passion and study “Pop Art” through the lens of Jasper Johns. The building itself is a new 15,000 square foot facility with state of the art solar electric generation and geothermal heating and cooling, designed by Japanese architect Hiroshi Nanamori.  The gallery is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is

10.) Get On Your Bike

There’s no need to hang up your sham for the winter- fat biking has become the fastest growing winter sport in Colorado, giving riders a chance to access new trails and new views. Local mountain bike outfitters, Aloha Cyclery offer fat bike rentals throughout the winter season Rocky Mountain Blizzard 10 model with rates at $35 per half day (4 hour) and $50 per full day (8 hours).  Aloha also offers a full range of retail fat bikes with models including Salsa, Rocky Mountain, Borealis, Kona, and Surly. The Aloha team offer guidance on local trails with favorites including the Prince Creek trail system which offers single-track through the woods, packed by snowshoers and fat bikers; Thompson Creek roads:  both Middle and South Thompson Creek roads get packed by cars and snowmobilers; and Coal Basin:  in Redstone, there is riding up Coal Basin road behind the old coal ovens.

11.) Winter Wellness, Yoga, and Meditation

True Nature Healing Arts is a new sanctuary for health and wellness featuring one of the only reflexology pathways in the country. The center offers daily yoga and meditation classes that complement active mountain activity; the petit spa offers a selection of wellness massages, body treatments, facials and holistic treatments. The sanctuary’s design incorporates Feng Shui principles, eco-friendly materials, solar panels, local artisan crafts and architectural antiquities from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Morocco – all creating spaces that transcend time.  The high prana food kitchen serves the vegetarian, paleo and raw food communities, featuring items such as 24 medicinal loose-leaf teas, coffee, chai, cold pressed juices, gourmet meals, soups, snacks, and special desserts just to name a few. Special events and guests lead sessions of meditation- including a special New year’s Day meditation with pre-eminent meditation, yoga and Tantra teacher, Rod

12.) Free Ice Skating

Carbondale has two ice rinks available all winter season, at the 4th St. Plaza Park Rink, which is available for family skating this winter beginning in December at the corner of 4th St. and Main St. in downtown Carbondale. This rink is open from 12 noon to 9 pm daily, ice permitting. No stick sports are allowed on this sheet of ice. Hockey and Broomball are permitted at the Gus Darien Ice Rink.  There is a selection of ice skates for rent for $3/day or $10/for 3 days (must visit the CRCC at 567 Colorado Ave., only 2 blocks away for rentals). The Gus Darien Ice Rink is located on County Road 100, the home of the summer rodeo. Ice skate rentals are available to rent at the CRCC in downtown Carbondale. There are flood lights to illuminate the ice until 9 pm.  The ice rink is reserved Wednesday and Friday nights from 6:00-10:00 pm for the Carbondale Broomball League and reserved 4:00-7:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays during January and February for Youth Hockey classes. For more information, visit

About Carbondale

The picturesque town of Carbondale is located 170 miles west of Denver, 12 miles from Glenwood Springs, and 30 miles from Aspen in the heart of Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains. There is plenty to do here in the winter months, and the Carbondale area offers a variety of comfortable lodging options, great casual and exquisite fine dining, creative arts and spectacular entertainment, and intriguing historical areas.  Celebrating its 125th anniversary, and recently named one of Colorado’s “Best Active Towns,” Carbondale is Colorado’s Base Camp for recreation, dining, shopping, special events, history, and arts enthusiasts. For more information about Carbondale, visit:, call: 970.963.1890 or email:

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