The Colorado Creative Corridor Launches to Offer Travelers a New Creative Lens to Explore Rural Colorado
A new way to tour Colorado invites travelers to explore five rural destinations as part of a unique
itinerary highlighting arts and cultural experiences. The Colorado Creative Corridor is a 331-
mile trail which links the mountain towns of Carbondale, Paonia, Crested Butte Ridgway, and
Salida. These five towns combine to offer a collective experience of unique event programming
and activities alongside mountain eclecticism, majestic vistas and outdoor recreation, and
authentic Colorado mountain culture.
Each of the five towns are state certified Colorado Creative Districts, a program led by the
Colorado Creative Industries, which supports arts and creative industries. For the first time, the
Creative Districts have worked together with local and regional tourism organizations to create a
new tourism product and experience, further supporting the mission of rural economic
Visitors can download maps and itineraries to start planning their unique road trips through the
region. The itineraries spotlight creative activities that range from art walks, gallery tours, theater,
music and film festivals, healing arts, dining and craft beverage highlights in each destination, all
of which are members of each Creative District. The map, created by Carbondale-based artist
Laura Stover, provides inspiration for outdoor recreation and natural wonders to explore along
the way, offering the perfect Colorado creative adventure. The itineraries can be used as a fiveday
road trip, or for inspiration on shorter visits. These can be found, along with destination
information for each of the five towns at http://www.colorado.com/creative-corridor-channel
The Colorado Creative Corridor itinerary is also featured on the Colorado Field Guide tripbuilding
Five Creative Destinations
Carbondale sits on the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork Rivers at the foot of the
mighty Mt Sopris where over 200 creatives reside. Rich agricultural history and a little hippy flair
combine to form a community focused on health and wellness, local food production and fourseason
recreation to boot. Creative Corridor highlights include: wellness at True Nature Healing
Arts, bike the Rio Grande Artway, sleep at the stills of Marble Distillery Inn.
Tucked in the North Fork Valley under the watchful eye of Mt. Lamborn and surrounded by the
natural beauty of the west elks Wilderness, Paonia has a thriving arts community and has the
largest number of natural and organic farms, per capita, in Colorado. Creative Corridor highlights
include: browse the art gallery and taste wine at Azura Cellars and Gallery, check out live music
at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts, dine at a true farm to table experience at The Living Farm.
Once described as a surf town in the mountains, Crested Butte features a National Historic
District with vibrant Victorian storefronts and expressive local characters. With more 2 million
acres of public land surrounding town, enjoy legendary skiing and snowboarding, unparalleled
mountain biking, or a secluded fly fishing experience. Creative Corridor highlights include:
historic walking tour of town, an art class at the The Design Collective, food pairings with highmountain
rum at Montanya Distillers.
Nestled in the picturesque Uncompahgre Valley and surrounded by the majestic snowcapped
peaks of the Cimmerons and San Juans, the Ridgway experience satisfies art lovers, foodies,
history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts. Day-trip for adventure, soak in hot springs or tour the
town, noting public art and creative surprises even in the alleys. Creative Corridor highlights
include: tour the alleys to discover alley art and alley poems, try thought-provoking cuisine at
Taco Del Gnar, soak in thermal pools at Chipeta Solar Springs Resort.
Salida falls along the Collegiate Peaks Scenic and Historic Byway and is a short drive from
Browns Canyon National Monument. While in town, visit one of Salida’s artist studios and
galleries, kayak, tube or raft the Arkansas River, climb a 14er in the Collegiate Range or unwind
with a soak at one of the three area hot springs. Creative Corridor highlights include: artists
receptions and film screenings at the Steamplant Theatre and Event Center, shop the creative
boutiques such as The Bee Keeper’s Honey Boutiques, bed-down at the historic Palace Hotel.