While we were staying at Heaton Bay, we scouted a section of I-70 over Vail Pass, since we knew it was very steep. We decided to avoid towing through that section of highway get to Redstone, because the road was under construction, with a bumpy surface , a lane closed and a high speed limit. The alternate route was less steep, still very scenic and took us over Tennessee pass. We didn’t know what to expect in the Redstone area, as we knew there had been rockslides and mudslides recently. There were crews in the area, cleaning up and working on repairs, but it wasn’t a problem for us.
Redstone Campground is located in the White River National Forest, about 15 miles from the nearest main highway. Our site had water and electric. There is no dump station, but there is a station at a nearby water treatment facilty. The sites are well-spaced and ours felt really private. Each site included a “bear box” to store all food and items with any scent, for campers in tents or pop-ups. The Crystal River, great for swimming and fishing, runs along the edge of the campground.
There is a mile-long hiking trail from the campground to the historic town site of Redstone. We walked it the first day and explored the town and the Redstone Inn. There are a couple of stores, a church, a small hotel, and some very cute houses. There is also a bar advertising Detroit Style pizza (another Detroit connection), owned by a Grand Rapids company.
Following the recommendation of the friendly campground hosts, we drove to Marble, one day, to get some excellent barbeque. The Crystal River Valley area is very popular with OHV and ATV enthusiasts. The parking lot in town was full of people with trucks and trailers, unloading their ATVs and heading out for the day. Since we arrived before Slow Groovin Barbeque was open, we decided to walk around town. The town is even smaller than Redstone, but we stumbled upon Marble Mill Site Park, where a trail leads through the town’s historic marble mill site. Marble from this location was used for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Lincoln Memorial, the Denver Post Office, the Montana State Capitol building and more. We made it to the barbeque place, to buy a couple of pounds of brisket and smoked salmon before the ATV lunch rush. Later that day, we had excellnt brisket and salmon tacos and stocked our freezer.
The remainder of our four days there, we went for a scenic drive, enjoyed a quiet afternoon at our campsite, did some hiking, and spent a day in Carbondale. In Carbondale, we did laundry and went to a microbrewery, where we met a couple from Telluride. She was originally from Dearborn, MI. The waitress was also from the Detroit area. It was a Sunday and hardly anything was open in town. We were surprised as we were expecting it to be a lively, fun town.
Overall, we loved the Redstone and Marble area and really appreciated being away from traffic and noisy highways.
Crossing the continental Divide at Tenessee Pass, formerly a World War II training ground for United States Army troops of the 10th Mountain Division. It’s now the location of a memorial to them.