Elevation & Climate
At 6,611 feet, Basalt enjoys an average high temperature in July of 80.6 degrees F and 242 sunny days a year.
Winters are snowy, but the sunshine and dry climate make them feel mild and ensure that the snow does not stay on the ground long.
Summers are warm enough for barefoot strolls, flower gardens and even tomato growing. But bring a raincoat or poncho; afternoon showers and thunderstorms are frequent in the summer. They last about an hour before the sun and rainbows come out.
Living in Basalt & El Jebel
Basalt, a town of about 6,000, is home to a vibrant community of local artists and many outdoor sports enthusiasts. The charming and historic central area of town features galleries devoted to contemporary Western art, three-dimensional art and fine photography.
Nearby, you will find the central valley's best shopping. Whether you're seeking stylish and artistic clothing, designer home furnishings, gourmet kitchen accessories or skis and sporting goods, you will find it in and around Basalt. A stroll down Basalt's central Midland Avenue and Two Rivers Road leads you to art galleries, clothing boutiques and gift and home goods stores.
Across town lies Southside and the Basalt Business Center, featuring wares for both indoor and outdoor spaces. The nearby Mid-Valley and Willits areas offer a bounty of great, stylish finds: designer home decor, gourmet groceries, sporting goods and restaurants. Next door, at the Orchard Plaza, you will find groceries, sporting goods, beauty services and pet supplies in one convenient location.
The Roaring Fork River runs through the heart of town and is boardered by a charming river walk,. The waters beckon to river rafters and kayakers. A 15-minute drive brings you to Ruedi Reservoir, home of the Aspen Yacht Club, a place where one can sail or rent a stand-up paddle board. Anglers enjoy world-class fly-fishing year round on the Frying Pan River and Roaring Fork River, both of which are rated Gold Medal waters.
With a dozen world class cross country trails and alpine skiing within 15 miles of town, Basalt is a skier's dream come true. In the summer, it's a hub for mountain biking in the Roaring Fork valley.
Both outdoorsy and health-conscious, Basalt is home to an extended network of medical and health professionals ranging from traditional specialty clinics to yoga, massage, acupuncture and spas to state-of-the-art gyms.
Basalt is also a foodie's paradise. The area boasts a terrific collection of restaurants, with food ranging from Mediterranean, Asian fusion, Mexican and Italian to a barbeque smokehouse and gourmet delis. Farmers' markets run year round. You'll find a Sunday summer market downtown and an indoor winter market in Willits, along with two extensive grocery stores.
Basalt Activities Links
Events & Attractions
Rock Bottom Ranch, which sits along the Rio Grande bike trail just outside Basalt, is the Valley's central hub for environmental education, wildlands preservation, and sustainable agriculture. The 113-acre wildlife preserve and demonstration ranch offers guided tours of the farmyard, seasonal programming for kids and adults, a scenic nature trail, a naturalist and sustainable agriculture library, beautiful Cole Island, and myriad of picnic spots. During the summer months the Ranch's Farm to Table dinners feature local foods from the ranch and nearby producers.
Also located in Basalt is the Roaring Fork Conservancy, a nonprofit that cares for rivers and watershed throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. The Conservancy offers river and water education for students and adults.
Known as Aspen Junction until 1895, Basalt's central area holds many quaint and historical buildings. Basalt began its life as a railroad town, and mingled in among its Victorian houses is a mail-order home from the Sears catalog that was mistakenly put off the train and never made it to Aspen. Now part of Basalt's period charm, it remains a local landmark.
Basalt offers a popular series of free outdoor concerts during the summer and sponsors a Second Saturday celebration that includes music, performances and special menus created by local restaurants.
In July, the Aspen Yacht Club sponsors a regatta on Basalt Reservoir.
These are among the schools in Basalt:
- Roaring Fork District Pre-School (Private, Preschool)
- Growing Years (Private, Preschool)
- Columbine Kids (Private, Preschool)
- Basalt Elementary (Public, PK-4)
- Alpine Christian Academy (Private, PK-4, 6-7, 9-10, 12)
- Basalt Middle School (Public, 5-8)
- Basalt High School (Public, 9-12)
To see more detail about Basalt schools and daycare facilities, visit this Basalt page at GreatSchools.org.
Basalt is also home to several institutions devoted to environmental, cultural and scientific education for adults. To learn more about these, explore the links to the right.