Online Climbing Beta
Here’s our pick of the best sites out there for getting information about climbing areas in other parts of the country.
Climbing.com - The best source for up-to-date breaking news in the climbing world.
Mountain Project – Online climbing beta up the wazoo. They keep adding more and more areas, it’s really quite impressive.
RockClimbing.com – Sometimes you can find good info on a variety of topics, when they aren’t slandering your mom.
Wolverine Publishing – These guys make great guidebooks, including the only guide to Western Slope Climbing.
Aspen Climbing – A great resource for the climbing on Independence Pass and surrounding areas. The online companion to the guidebook.
WildSnow.com – Lou Dawson’s backcountry skiing info and entertainment website, especially great if you live in Colorado.
The Mountain World – Dougald MacDonald’s blog dealing with all things climbing.
Adventures with Nomad – Damon Johnston’s blog about climbing in southwestern Colorado.
Skiing the 14er’s - While not officially a “blog” definitely worth checking out.
Gear Stores in the Roaring Fork Valley
Summit Canyon Mountaineering is located on Main Street in Glenwood Springs. These guys have a decent climbing hardware section, guidebooks, and the like. Keep an eye out for their sales, you can usually score some pretty good deals.
The Gear Exchange is also in Glenwood, across the street from the Mountain Sports shop. These guys specialize in used gear and you can get some great stuff really cheap. Give ‘em a call at 970-945-8500.
Bristlecone Mountain Sports is the gear shop in Basalt. They stock a basic inventory of climbing gear. But if you are looking for any climbing apparel, their selection is tough to beat. The staff have been working there forever, maybe even since the begining of time, and they are very knowledgeable. Located in the shopping center near Subway, off of Hwy 82. You can reach them at 970-927-1492
Ute Mountaineer is the climbing shop in Aspen. These guys have a good selection of most stuff you’ll need for just about any outdoor pursuit. The staff is fairly knowledgeable about local climbing, trails, etc.
Restaurants of the Roaring Fork Valley
Glenwood Springs has a large variety of places to eat, many of which are reasonably prices. Qdoba is always a favorite on the way back from climbing in Glenwood Canyon, Rifle or the desert. If you are looking for a place with a good atmosphere and good food, the Glenwood Brew Pub is the best bet in town. On the higher end of things, Juicy Lucy’s has great steaks.
In Carbondale, you’ve got a couple good lower priced options. The Red Rock Diner is, well, diner food, good and hearty, and they have great shakes. Dos Gringos is the spot to grab a quick burrito, and they also serve breakfast. Peppino’s is great for grabbing a quick slice on New York style pizza or a sub, and Mi Casita has good Mexican food. White House Pizza has a great atmosphere and a variety of good food, including deluxe Chicago style pizzas.
As you move further up valley, your options become more limited. The Riverside Grill in Basalt offers good food right on the banks of the Frying Pan River. Timbo’s is a cheaper option, with pizza and subs.
In Aspen, you may just want to go hungry. Probably the best bang for your buck can be had at Johnny McGuire’s, an excellent sandwich shop. It may seem pricey at first, but they are usually big and delicious. New York Pizza is the other place in town that you can get a quick meal without breaking the bank.
Towns of the Roaring Fork Valley
Glenwood Springs is the gateway to the Roaring Fork Valley. The world famous hot springs are located here, as well as the Glenwood Caverns. There are a good variety of restaurants to choose from, and you’ve got easy access to all the climbing in Glenwood Canyon, Main Elk, and Rifle.
Carbondale is the mid-valley jewel, and world headquarters to Splitterchoss.com. Need we say more? Ok, how about abundant sunshine, easy access to all the local crags, and a short drive to alpine and backcountry skiing areas. The Narrows, Redstone and Coal Creek are only a short drive up the Crystal River Valley.
Basalt is where all the millionaires who got priced out of Aspen now live. If you’ve got the cash, this small town is a nice spot to hang out, and you’re within striking distance of Lime Park, Hagerman Pass and Indepence Pass.
A little place called Ah-spen. Super exclusive enclave of the rich and famous. Which is too bad, because it’s actually a pretty cool little town once you get past all the fluff. (Keep digging, there’s got to be a soul around here somewhere!) Aspen boasts world class alpine skiing in the winter, and in the summer there are hundreds of routes to climb on Independence Pass. You’re also at the entrance to the Elk Range, one of the most rugged and beautiful ranges in the state.
Redstone is a sleepy little town with a lot of character in the heart of the Crystal River Valley. The ice climbing in Redstone is at your doorstep, as are the Redstone boulders, Coal Creek and the Narrows.
Marble sits in a beautiful valley in the Elk Range, the gateway to endless exploration of rugged peaks and deep valleys. Marble Falls is close by, as are numerous other obscure objectives. Happy exploring!
Camping in the Roaring Fork Valley
Free Camping Areas
The whole idea of paying to camp has always seemed weird. Luckily, if you are visiting or just didrt bagging for the summer, there are a couple local spots where you wont have to pay to live on Planet Earth.Prince Creek Road – BLM camping along the road.
Thompson Creek – BLM camping outside Carbondale.
Pay Camping Areas
No lack of these in the area.
Redstone – Forest service campground by the north entrance to town.
Marble – Bogan flats is a scenic spot right on the Crystal River.
Glenwood – There’s camping by the river off the No Name exit.
Frying Pan – Pay campground on Reudi Resevoir.
Independence Pass – Some pay sites, some primitive stuff.