If you're looking for spectacular scenery, you've hit the jackpot with the Crystal River Trail (also known as the Crystal Valley Trail). The paved pathway offers views of emerald green fields, blue snow-capped mountains and a roaring river. An adjacent soft-surface equestrian trail can also be found along most of its length.
The trail begins in Carbondale, in the heart of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, but is soon in the country, running beside the Crystal River. It ends at the BRB Bridge, adjacent to the BRB Crystal River Resort. From here, it's one day hoped to extend the trail further south to the historic town of Redstone.
From the trail's northern end, you can continue your adventure on the 42-mile Rio Grande Trail
, which stretches from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.
From I-70, take State Highway 82 south. Turn right (south) onto State Highway 133. A half mile after turning onto Highway 133, the trail will be on the left (east side). Parking is available on the street and at businesses along the trail.
One option is the public parking lot one block north of Main Street at the intersection of N. 4th Street and Colorado Avenue. From this parking lot, ride north on 4th Street to the Rio Grande Trail. Turn left on the trail and follow it northwest about 0.7 mile to State Highway 133 and the start of the Crystal River Trail.
Another option is the parking lot at Roaring Fork High School (2270 Colorado 133).
In August of 2011, my wife and I wanted to ride the 42 mile Rio Grande Trail(RGT), which runs from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. We'd heard great things about that trail. What we hadn't heard about, was the Crystal River Trail(CRT), a delightful 7 mile run ...