DIRECTIONS: From Carbondale, head south on 133 for 15 miles to the turnoff for the Redstone Campground on the left. Cross the bridge and turn right towards the entrance. You can park along the road just outside the campground entrance.
The Redstone Campground is a beautiful place to spend some time, and if you happen to find yourself at the campground, there is a wonderful little hike, perfect for an evening stroll along the Crystal River. Just walk out of the Campground entrance, cross the street, and follow the trail to the left.
The trail cuts through the lush forest (with plenty of aspens and cottonwoods for fall visitors) and provides access to the Crystal River in various spots. The most impressive spot is at the beginning of the trail if you take the right fork. This trail leads down to a gravel beach with an enormous boulder changing the course of the river. This is a very scenic spot and a great place to enjoy this wonderful river. The water running through the Crystal River is so named due to the silt and minerals that it carries downstream making the water an incredible pale shade of clear blue.
From the beach you can find your way back into the forest to continue hiking south. Across the river towering red rock cliffs dominate the view. Looking east also provides towering red rock cliffs...these cliffs provide incredible views from the Redstone Campground as well. As you head south take every chance to access the river, if you do, you'll be rewarded with amazing views of one of my favorite mountains in Colorado...Chair Mountain. Chair Mountain is the highest peak (12,721 ft) in the Ragged Range and one of the most visually stunning mountains in Colorado...just my opinion... Just a bit further, the trail stops at a small parking area/pull-of from the main road. Turn around and follow the way back to the Redstone Campground.
We found this trail while we were trying to hike the Filoha Meadows Trail that we saw on a recent map of the area. Unfortunately, this trail is currently the subject of a public land law court battle between Pitkin County and private property owners in the area. According to the campground hosts these property owners have been known to carry large firearms and threaten hikers so please, stay clear of this trail until the legal battle is concluded. The hike described here is solely on public land and a great option for hiking in the beautiful Redstone area.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Crystal River (Redstone Campground)
White River National Forest
Date Hiked: June 18, 2020
Distance: .75 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Elevation: 7,150 ft
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service/Pitkin County