In the late 1880s, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company built Redstone as part of its extensive coal mining operations in this part of the West Elk Mountains. The company’s president, John C. Osgood, an industrialist with humanitarian interests, created a unique environment for the miners and their families.
Unlike other company coal towns known for their poor living conditions, Osgood built Swiss chalet-style homes for the family men and an inn (today known as The Redstone Inn) for the bachelors, all equipped with indoor plumbing and electricity.
Osgood believed, correctly as it turned out, that if he provided his workers with clean and modern homes, they would return his investment in productivity. He applied his experiment at Redstone to other areas of his business.
Osgood built his own lavish residence, known as Cleve Holm Manor, about a mile south of town. This Tudor-style mansion, completed in 1902, still has many of its original furnishings. His wife, known as “Lady Bountiful,” was a favorite with Redstone’s children. Private tours and lodging are available at the Manor. For more information about tours, call the Redstone Country Store at (970) 963-3408.
Across the road from the inn stands a row of beehive ovens that once burned the high-grade coal extracted from this region into coke, used for making steel. The Redstone Historical Museum has exhibits and artifacts from the coal industry in this area. If you’d like to see the museum when you are here, write to P.O. Box 425, Redstone, CO 81623, or call (970) 963-1025. (2 hours)
If you are looking for something to do or travel in Aspen besides window shopping and people-watching, visit this naturalist center and take advantage of its special programs. Try to see the center’s one-hour program on birds of prey, which includes a short slide show and walk through the nature preserve. Also, keep important outdoor materials for travelling here.
The naturalists bring certain birds, such as peregrine falcons, owls, and eagles along for you to observe. There is no admission fee, but donations are requested. Hours: Open during the summer Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; the rest of the year, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Address: 100 Puppy Smith Street. Phone: (970) 925-5756. (1 hour)
Before the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad blasted a standard-gauge railway through this canyon in 1887, humans had never ventured through it. An automobile road followed in 1902, and the two modes of transportation squeezed on opposite sides of the Colorado River. Traffic accidents on this highway escalated over the years, and Coloradans clamored for a solution.
The challenge to upgrade this two-lane road into four lanes without ruining the surrounding environment took more than 20 years and cost roughly $180 million. Road builders took pains to preserve the magnificence of the canyon by contouring the roadway to the existing canyon walls and avoiding existing boulders and trees and wildlife. The result, the final link of Interstate 70 from coast to coast, has won numerous engineering and design awards.
Glenwood Canyon also is the center for many recreational activities. An 18-mile recreation path runs east from the Yampah Vapor Caves in Glenwood Canyon to the town of Dotsero. It is completely paved and suited for long bike rides, walks, or Rollerblades. You can easily camp here for hiking and sightseeing. Just remember to keep the edc items and hiking gears with you.
To rent a bike, try Canyon Bikes, in the Hotel Colorado, (970) 945-8904. Several rafting companies run trips on the Colorado River from various locations within the canyon. Contact Whitewater Rafting, P.O. Box 2462, Glenwood, CO 81602, (970) 945-8477; or Rock Gardens Rafting, exit 119 at No Name, (970) 945-6737.