west elk loop itinerary

Click here for West Elk Loop Byway Information

  • Start in Carbondale and continue on CO 133 to Redstone. See the Redstone Inn and the Cleveholm Manor, also known as the Redstone Castle.
     
  • Across the Crystal River, stop at the historic coke ovens.
     
  • Make a quick detour to the town of Marble, site of the quarry where marble used for the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was mined.
     
  • Back on State Highway CO 133, travel over McClure Pass alongside Paonia Reservoir and State Park to the coal mining town of Somerset.
     
  • Continue through the fruit-growing region of Paonia and Hotchkiss, and in season look for local fruit stands. Crawford State Park is great for camping and water sports.
     
  • Two miles south of Crawford is a turnoff to the north rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Stop at the Ranger Station for an orientation map.
     
  • Go south on CO 92 into the Curecanti National Recreation Area . Be sure to stop at Pioneer Point for short trails to several amazing overlooks.
     
  • Connect to US 50 into Gunnison. Visit the Gunnison Pioneer Museum.
     
  • Follow CO 135 through Almont to Crested Butte, the wildflower capitol of Colorado.
     
  • From Crested Butte, follow the Kebler Pass Road and stop at Lake Irwin.
     
  • Travel through one of the largest contiguous aspen stands in the world and reconnect to byway at Paonia Reservoir.
     
  • End in Carbondale or Crested Butte