Live like a local
You know about the hot springs—they’re referenced in the city’s name, after all. You’re probably aware that outdoor recreation abounds. But there’s so much more to Glenwood Springs and its surrounding communities.
We asked folks from each Garfield County municipality to share their favorite spots. Whether you’re just passing through or looking for another perspective on the place you call home, this is your guide to living like a local.
Want to share your favorites? Visit tinyurl.com/PIlocal for information on how to do so. We’ll feature picks regularly in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.
Glenwood Springs is the “big city” in this county of 55,000 residents, and as such, it’s a central location for attractions. There’s a pair of hot springs pools, the adventure park, restaurants and shops aplenty. But that doesn’t mean every stop is obvious.
Sunlight Mountain Resort Marketing and Sales Director Troy Hawks offered a peek into his favorite hot spots. Learn more at visitglenwood.com.
“One of the best ski trips of my life was to Zermatt, Switzerland, so I love sitting down with a plateful of schnitzel and Eggs at Rosi’s Little Bavarian Restaurant (141 W. Sixth St., rosisbavarian.com). It just really takes me back to that majestic land, yodel lay he hoo!”
“I love fly fishing, but I’m honestly not that fond of trout, with the notable exception of the trout cobb salad at Colorado Ranch House (704 Grand Ave., coranchhouse.com). Pair it with a nice glass of Chardonnay and this is hands-down the best lunch salad in town.”
“I’ve developed a small love affair with the Prime Rib at Rivers Restaurant (2525 S. Grand Ave., theriversrestaurant.com, pictured). We aren’t allowed to see each other often, but when we do, it’s a very passionate affair.”
“I grew up around cows, but I can’t call myself a cowboy. Nevertheless, I’ve found that cowboy boots work really well here on the Western Slope. I buy mine from the Boot Barn (51027 Colorado 6 #200, bootbarn.com).”
Pump up the volume
“I feel this is an area that has lots of room to grow here in Glenwood, particularly when speaking of outdoor music festivals. Two years ago we launched the Yard Sale Spring Music Series here at Sunlight (10901 County Road 117 , sunlightmtn.com), and it’s beginning to build a nice following. I hope to work with more local partners to bring more music to our mountain in the summer and fall.”
“I’d say the most impressive form of art here in Glenwood are the live performances at the Vaudeville Theatre (915 Grand Ave., gvrshow.com). We are lucky to have this amazing venue!”
“I’ve never lived in a town with only one bar, and I don’t think I’d ever want to. I like the variety of our Glenwood bars, from the Wild West vibe at Doc’s (724 Grand Ave.) and Springs (722 Grand Ave., facebook.com/Springs-Downtown-Bar-Grill), to the nice selection of taps at Grind (701 Grand Ave., grindglenwood.com), the craft brews at Glenwood Canyon Brewpub (402 Seventh St., glenwoodcanyon.com) and catching up on local gossip at The 19th Street Diner (1908 S. Grand Ave., 19thstreetdiner.com).”
“Despite the high-cost of living here, I try to spend as little time as possible in my home: on my skis, on my bike, or in my waders. And what’s amazing about Glenwood, is that you can do all three in the same day, it’s the best outdoor playground!”
Adam Cornely isn’t one to sit back and wait on someone else to improve his town. Cornely, a mountain biking enthusiast, earned the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s 2016 Scudamore National Volunteer Leadership award for the organization’s Colorado/Wyoming region.
And as a New Castle resident, Cornely has landed in the right spot. His work to make the trails more family friendly complement’s the town’s existing hiking, biking, off roading and fishing options. With 13 parks, access to the Colorado River and a noteworthy trail system, New Castle is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Discover more at newcastlecolorado.org.
“I would go to the New Castle Diner (820 Castle Valley Blvd. #101, newcastlediner.com) and get the huevos rancheros for breakfast, Elk Creek Mining Company (502 W. Main St., elkcreekmining.com) for the buffalo chicken sandwich and buffalo chips for lunch and 2 Coronas (201 W. Main St., facebook.com/dozcoronas) for some Carne Asada and a margarita on their awesome patio for dinner.”
Time to shop
“When I need some flowers or a small gift for my wife I go to An Exquisite Design (303 W. Main St., aflowerforyou.com).”
Cheers! Turn it up
“Groves Black Dog Saloon (219 W. Main St., thedognewcastle.com, pictured) gets some very good local music acts pretty frequently,” Cornely said. That’s not the only time he stops by the bar. “I love going for a mountain bike ride that ends at Groves Black Dog Saloon for a cold IPA on draft or 2 Coronas for a Pacifico on their patio.”
Where do you spend free time?
“With my two boys at the VIX Ranch bike pump tracks (627 N. Wild Horse Dr., newcastlecolorado.org) or building and planning new mountain bike trails in New Castle.”
“ (I love) hopping on my mountain, riding from my house and hitting single track trails out my front door. As a kid I always dreamed of building bike trails in my parent’s back yard. I don’t have any trails in my backyard, but I can sit on my front porch and look around at all of the great trails that I can access from my house without driving.
“An evening hike up Prendergast Hill or the Colorow trail to catch a New Castle sunset, or a hike along East Elk Creek on a hot summer day are some of my favorite things to do that are unique to New Castle.”
Carbondale may be significantly smaller than its neighbor to the west, but it packs in more culture than anyone would expect from a town of 6,000. Whether you’re looking for dining or art, yoga or mountain biking, Carbondale’s got it.
Where to begin? We turned to long-time local Natasha Lucero, who moved from California to the Roaring Fork Valley 20 years ago. She’s a senior public relations account manager at Backbone Media and part-owner of Sopris Crossfit. Her community activities include the Tourism Council and Carbondale Homeless Assistance program. Learn more about the community at carbondale.com.
“If I have/make time to sit down and enjoy breakfast (or even brunch), I like going to the Smithy
on Main Street (26 S. Third St., villagesmithy.com) or Silo (1909 Dolores Way, silocarbondale.com) on the other side of town (in the NAPA valley – affectionately named because of its proximity to the NAPA Auto Parts store). If I’m grabbing something for the road, my go-tos tend to be Bonfire on Main Street (433 Main St., bonfirecoffee.com) or Dos Gringos off of Highway 133 (58 Colorado 133, dosgringosburritos.com) – I love the burrito-in-a-bowl option.”
“It depends on the day and how hungry I am and what day of the week it is. If I’m at work, chances are good that I have my lunch with me. But if I need a little something, I typically find myself at Tonic Juicery (320 Main St. #102, tonicjuicery.com) for a hearty smoothie or a cobb salad from Bonfire. On the weekends, I’ll most often hit up Dos Gringos for something quick and easy. “
“My husband and i recently started ordering Hello Fresh, so we make it a point to eat at home several nights a week. But when we go out, it’s fun to mix it up, which makes for a long list of favorites. Try town., Phat Thai, Allegria, Mi Casita, El Pollo Rico, The Goat or The Pig. I really think we’re fortunate to have so many great options at our fingertips!”
I have nothing to wear!
“I honestly don’t do a lot of clothes shopping in Carbondale, but if you’re looking for a good deal and can appreciate the concept of wearing gently used pieces, check out Miser’s Mercantile (303 Main St., facebook.com/misers-mercantile). And lulubelle Clothing (320 Main St., lulubelleclothingcarbondale.com) offers really cute clothes for women.
“It depends on who I’m shopping for, of course, but I typically find myself at Dancing Colors, Luxe Nest, True Nature Healing Arts, Harmony Scott or Colby June to pick up unique gifts for friends or family.”
“My favorite place to hear local music is at Belly Up (450 S. Galena St., bellyupaspen.com) in Aspen. It’s easily accessible by a short bus ride from Carbondale. Belly Up brings in some of the most talented artists anywhere, and it’s such a treat to experience the shows in this small, intimate setting!”
“There are several galleries in town with beautiful art on display, but I personally enjoy checking out the art that’s showcased at local establishments such as Bonfire or Town. Photography speaks to me more than any other kind of art and I get to see a lot of that at those places – and it’s especially cool to see work that local artists have created.”
“We’re lucky to have two breweries right here in town: Roaring Fork Beer Company (1941 Dolores Way, roaringforkbeerco.com) and Carbondale Beer Works (647 Main St., carbondalebeerworks.com). Each offers a different vibe – worth checking ‘em both out if you have time. For a tasty cocktail, I like Marble Distilling Company (150 Main St., marbledistilling.com), and it’s an inn, too – meaning you can get a sweet room there and you don’t have to drive or walk anywhere after you’ve enjoyed beverages! Rooms book up fast, so book early.”
Most of my free time is spent at the gym – Sopris CrossFit (956 Colorado 133, sopriscrossfit.com), to be specific. My husband and I are part
owners in the business, and we enjoy spending time there for great workouts and to get to hang out with our amazing community (extended family, really). We’re located on the corner of Highway 133 and Colorado Avenue – and we love visitors, so feel free to drop in if you’re looking for a good sweat in good company!”
“I love to go on early morning trail runs with our almost 2-year-old dog and best bud, Murphy – Red Hill/Mushroom Rock (carbondale.com) is one of our favorites! The views of Sopris are stunning all along the way, with the absolute best being at the very top. Fair warning, foot traffic can be heavy and the temps can be very warm in the summer – so early or late in the day tends to be best. In
addition to running trails, I plan on getting on my mountain bike and in my kayak more this summer, and I’m looking forward to that. Seriously, the outdoor activities here are the best – the only problem is there’s never enough time to squeeze it all in!”
“I think the Carbondale Branch Library (320 Sopris Ave., gcpld.org) is a beautiful and amazing place, and especially nice for families with young children.”
Don’t miss this
“Pan & Fork at River Valley Ranch (303 River Valley Ranch Road, panandfork.com) has great food and offers and incredible view of Mount Sopris overlooking
the golf course – a fun place to have a post-golf beer or meet up for dinner. “
“Be sure to check out the art along the Rio Grande Trail (rfta.com/trail-information) and all throughout Carbondale. Curated by the
Carbondale Creative District, the art is perfectly positioned for excellent viewing and frequently changed to keep it fresh and interesting. Visit carbondalecreativedistrict.com for more about art and other things around town!”
“The Carbondale Rodeo (County Road 100, carbondalerodeo.com) runs every Thursday June 1 through Aug. 17.”
“From super mellow to a serious workout, Kula Yoga (443 Main St., kulayogaonmain.com) and True Nature Healing Arts (100 N. Third St., truenaturehealingarts.com) both offer a wide variety of classes for all levels and all interests.”
Hop on I-70 and head west from Glenwood Springs. You’ll find an abundance of adventure outside city limits.
That’s certainly true in Silt, which brands itself “Gateway to the Outdoors.” The town of 3,000 is tucked between other local municipalities and offers its own appeal, as well.
We turned to Cheryl Chandler, a real estate agent and longtime Garfield County resident who calls Silt home. She shared her favorite locations in and around her hometown. Learn more at townofsilt.org.
Chandler named three favorite restaurants throughout the valley: Mama’s (103 E. First St., Parachute) Miners Claim (740 Main St., Silt, theminersclaim.com) and Riviera Supper Club & Piano Bar (702 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, rivieraglenwood.com).
Time to shop
“Trendz (144 E. Third St., Rifle; 625-2535) has nicer ladies clothes and some fashionista outfits.”
Turn up the tunes
When she wants to hear music, Chandler heads to Rifle’s Ute Theater (132 E. Fourth St., Rifle, utetheater.com). Visit the venue’s website for its wide-ranging, upcoming schedule.
Where do you spend most of your free time?
“On the deck somewhere with sun and friends.”
Chandler said she loves to go “out the front door and look at what God made for me to look at this day.”
There are plenty of places to visit along those lines, too: Sunlight Mountain near Glenwood Springs; the White River National Forest (fs.usda.gov/whiteriver), which stretches across more than 2 million acres in western Colorado; and Uncle Bob Mountain in Silt. She said even if you’re claustrophobic, the caverns at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs, glenwoodcaverns.com) are a must see.
PARACHUTE AND BATTLEMENT MESA
Welcome to Parachute, a quiet residential community in the midst of Colorado’s great outdoors. The town is small, with about 1,500 residents between its limits and the Battlement-Mesa area. But it’s got big plans, with a recreational area coming online. That will draw even more people to its golf course, hunting, hiking and watersports.
Retiree Marylee Mohrlang is active in her community and was quick to offer insight into some of her favorite spots in the area. Learn more at colorado.gov/parachutecolorado and battlementmesacolorado.com.
Mama’s (103 E. First St., Parachute) is Mohrlang’s top pick. She said she appreciates its “great variety of breakfast items, generous portions, some very unusual combinations and a wonderful, fresh bakery.” Shommy’s Restaurant (28 Cardinal Way, facebook.com/shommysrestaurant) is another great option for breakfast all day.
Head to the Battlement Mesa Golf Club for Mohrlang’s favorite lunch spot, T’eed Off Bar and Grill (3930 N. Battlement Parkway, facebook.com/teedoffgrill). Its charcoal-grilled burgers, fried dill pickles and homemade cheesecake are her top picks.
Turn up the tunes
Mohrlang likes to tune into KSUN 101.1 FM (398 Arroyo Drive, ksunradio.org), which broadcasts from the Battlement Mesa Activity Center.
The activity center is also home to the best art in town, Mohrlang said. The Village Artists (battlementmesacolorado.com/village-artists) periodically display there. The group meets once a month at the Parachute branch library.
Mohrlang likes to spend her time out and about: on the golf course, at the recreation center, hiking and biking the trails or snowshoeing in winter.
Get to know the area with a visit to the Grand Valley Historical Society (7201 County Road 300, facebook.com/grandvalleyhistoricalsocietyparachuteco). Mohrlang said it offers great history and pictures of the area.
Don’t miss this
“The recreation center (Grand Valley Recreation Center, 398 Arroyo Drive, parachutebattlementparkandrec.org) is the best in Garfield and Mesa counties, in my estimation,” Mohrlang said. Its facilities include an Olympic-sized pool, weight center, indoor running track, a banquet center with a licensed kitchen, tennis and pickle ball courts and more. Residents also head to the center for a variety of classes, educational and lecture programs, concerts and summer movies. The center will open a new community park, as well, with a celebration June 3, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
“Battlement Mesa has asphalt walking and biking trails throughout the community and are a great source for activity, from adults to children,” she said.
Rifle combines the old and the new west in one authentic city. If you want hunting, fishing, cowboys and motorsports, you’ll find them here. But you’ll just as easily encounter rock climbing (some of the area’s best!), yoga and coffee. Oh, and did we mention trails?
Maybe we should let Aaron Mattix address that last point. He’s the owner of Local Stash, where he works with the city of Rifle and Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization to design and build bike paths and singletrack.
Learn more about the city at riflenow.org.
“Lily’s Kitchen (232 W. Third St., lillyskitchen.eat24hour.com) is my new favorite for breakfast. Their migas (served all day) stand out as one of the best examples of this classic Mexican breakfast dish I’ve come across. The tortilla strips are crisp, the chorizo in the scrambled eggs is savory (not greasy), the pico de gallo fresh, as well as the cojita cheese on the delightful beans. The fresh crema drizzle is a final, delectable touch to this morning (or later, if you like) symphony of flavor to cure your hangry blues.”
Time to shop
“Miller’s Dry Goods (118 E. Third St., facebook.com/millers-dry-goods) is a fascinating emporium of Western wear and antique memorabilia in one of Rifle’s historic downtown buildings. Come for the pearl snaps, stay for the stories from Gary Miller, who is one of Rifle’s pre-eminent amateur historians of histrionics.
Turn up the volume
“The revitalized Western Art Deco atmosphere of the Ute Theater (132 E. Fourth St., utetheater.com) is one of the more unique venues you’ll find on either end of the valley, and hosts an impressive list of well-known bands for modest ticket prices. Seeing Lukas Nelson perform in this intimate setting of renewed artwork in my adopted hometown is one of my most treasured memories of living in Rifle.”
“The JQS/Hubbard Mesa area is Rifle’s backyard playground. The illegal dumping and unrestrained shooting are either unsightly eyesores and reckless endangerment; or profoundly effective barriers to gentrification, depending on how you want to look at it. The maze of social trails ranging from singletrack to rutted jeep roads in the Open OHV area allows for a multitude of options in exploring the area. If you are interested in mountain biking in the area, join the Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization on Facebook. Members frequently post open-invite rides, and going with a local is the best way to make sense of the dense network of unmarked trails.”
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