Why the Roaring Fork Valley?
People claim that visitors are drawn to the Roaring Fork Valley because of the world- class skiing and, in many instances, the allure of Aspen’s cachet and sophistication. However, the good life also lies beyond the environs of Aspen. The Roaring Fork Valley, a 40-mile stretch between Glenwood Springs and Aspen that includes Carbondale, El Jebel, Basalt, Woody Creek, and Snowmass, is not just a winter wonderland, but a region to be enjoyed every season. Nature’s splendor and an active lifestyle are yours for the taking. The area is rich in the history of the West and each community boasts geologic features and a personality of its own. Within easy access outdoor activities abound, music festivals and concerts are plentiful, and cultural, scientific, and arts events are offered around the calendar. Excellent restaurants, galleries, and shops line the streets of all the towns in the Valley.
Once they come, why do they stay?
Beware. Many visitors to the Roaring Fork Valley are so smitten that they become full-time or part-time residents, and it is easy to understand why. Imagine awakening every morning to expansive views, flowing rivers, natural rock formations, clean mountain air, and a desirable climate summer, fall, winter, and spring. Imagine recreating in this breathtaking natural environment all year long. Imagine feeling safe in a small community where your children can enjoy a good education and you feel welcome. For residents of towns throughout the Valley, this is their reality.
It is a fact that the Valley is one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in Colorado. It is also the greenest in the state. Seven major rivers are tributaries of the mighty Colorado River, and three of them originate in the surrounding mountains of the Roaring Fork Valley: the confluence of the Frying Pan and the Roaring Fork Rivers merge in downtown Basalt and the Crystal River joins the Roaring Fork on the outskirts of Carbondale. Just west of Glenwood Springs is where these gold-medal fishing rivers join the Colorado. The region’s rivers provide numerous recreational activities for all ages: white-water rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, high-mountain lake fishing, river floating and tubing, stand-up paddle boarding, and soaking in natural hot springs. Many biking, hiking, and jogging trails follow alongside these flowing natural resources as well.
The Elk Mountain Range, with its majestic peaks, is a jewel of the Rocky Mountains that spans the entire Valley and beyond. Like to hike, mountain climb, golf, play tennis, cycle, mountain bike, backpack, camp out under the stars, hang glide, or take a hot air balloon ride? It’s all here. The Ruedi Reservoir, not far from the town of Basalt, provides the opportunity to sail, go boating, and water ski. And, each season brings locally sponsored events ranging from farmers’ markets, free outdoor concerts, stimulating lectures and discussions, brew fests, and more.
Maintaining a high quality of life in the Valley is further enhanced by the presence of Aspen Valley Hospital, a full medical and surgical facility that is also contracted with The Steadman Clinic, experts in providing orthopedic surgical specialties. AVH is a non-profit hospital that prides itself on a high level of compassionate patient care utilizing the latest in technology and procedures. It excels in providing all orthopedic services and offers the community a full array of specialists plus a dedicated birth center, rehabilitation therapies, a pain management department, and much more. Living is good with an emphasis on health here.
The Roaring Fork Valley is home to hundreds of non-profit organizations focused on the environment, sustainability, animal welfare, human services, education, the arts, supporting local youth, all helping the communities-at-large, with many opportunities for volunteerism.
It’s easy to get involved. There are always new activities to explore and new skills to acquire, satisfying one’s curiosity or utilizing one’s talents. The magic is that this Valley of small and friendly towns, and all that it has to offer, is close at hand, just minutes away from wherever you live, from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. Indeed, life in the Roaring Fork Valley is rich in satisfying one’s mind, body, and spirit, and that’s why visitors often become locals.