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If you're looking for spectacular scenery, you've hit the jackpot with the Crystal Valley Trail (also known as the Crystal River 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, there are plans to extend the trail farther south as part of the larger 74-mile Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail, which has been prioritized as part of Governor Hickenlooper's Colorado the Beautiful trail initiative. That trail would run from Carbondale to Redstone, McClure Pass, and Kebler Pass on its way to Crested Butte.
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 CO 82 south. Turn right (south) onto CO 133. A half mile after turning onto CO 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 SR 133 and the start of the Crystal Valley Trail.
Another option is the parking lot at Roaring Fork High School (2270 SR 133).
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