During the 2010 census, the population of Crestone, Colorado, was 127. Last year it was believed to have grown to 140 people. The small village lies at the foot of the western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Range. Once a small mining town, founded in 1880, it peaked at a population of 2000 people in 1900. This growth was encouraged by George Adams, the owner of the Baca Grant. He ignited a small boom by reopening one of the promising gold mines. He also built a railroad spur to the town and the mines along the south area of Crestone. However, within a few years, mining in the area fizzled. After the failure of the mines, the town suffered a period of decline.
Crestone Sees a Major Development
It was not until the 1970’s that a large land improvement was started. The development was known as Baca Grande. Originally the subdivision was planned for about 10,000 lots. Underground utilities were created, and roads were built. Unfortunately, by the end of the decade, the development was considered a liability by the corporation. Maurice Strong, owner of the controlling interest, and his fiancee, Hanne Marstrand, visited the development, immediately fell in love with what they saw, and were inspired to create a world spiritual center. Strong, a multimillionaire businessman, was also a United Nations Undersecretary. Soon, they began granting parcels of land to different traditional spiritual organizations. The town’s population increased as a result of Strong’s endeavor. By 2006 several hundred homes had been built. The growth was due to the spiritual communities that had been established. Since the Baca Grande did not contain any business uses provisions, Crestone became the business center. The town enacted a small sales tax, which put it into a position to finance further improvements.
The town created its own motto: “New Age Religious capital of the world.” Today it is known as a spiritual center representing several world religions. The area includes a Hindu temple, a Zen center, a co-ed Carmelite monastery, several Tibetan Buddhist centers, and several different New Age happenings.
Food and Accomodations in Crestone
There are several restaurants from which to choose in Crestone. One is Our Food is Art, located at 121 E Galena Avenue. This American diner offers some great Angus burgers along with curly fries. One of the added features is a delicious old-fashioned root beer. If you are looking for a great lunch or dinner, you might look at the Crestone Brewing Company. This American bar and pub offer special diets for vegetarians and those seeking Gluten-free options. Located at 187 Silver Avenue, you can enjoy anything from a chicken bacon ranch sandwich to Yak burgers. Or, you might choose their wings along with one of their delicious brews. The Desert Sage Restaurant is Vegetarian friendly while offering a varied menu. Lunch and dinner are served in American cuisine. Located at 242 Baca Townhouse, this is where you can have a great trout dinner. Or, you might be interested in trying one of their yak specials, Thai Currey, or chicken presto, in naming a few of their menu items.
If you are traveling in your RV, there are parks and camping 12 miles east of the town located at the Rio Grande National Forest. Other facilities are also available in the area. If you want to stay in town, there are several accommodations. Many people enjoy staying at the Crestone Casitas at 17601 County Road T #5. This is considered a great place for a weekend getaway. You will find comfortable rooms at an incredible location. Each casita offers a refrigerator and small oven in a clean environment. Located at 171 S. Adler is the Crestone Inn. The location is fantastic for sightseeing, recreation, dining, and just getting around in the area. Each room offers a full kitchen. You are also invited to take your catch of the day to barbeque in one of the bbq’s located in the massive backyard.
What To Do in Crestone
During your visit, you might want to visit Kit Carson Peak. Located 5.2 miles outside of town, it is one of the famous fourteener’s standing at 14,171 feet. Another enjoyable visit is to the Crestone Mountain Zen Center. Aside from overnight accommodations, the facility also provides delicious vegetarian food. It is said to be a place where you can get your meditation practice back to balance. Crestone Artisans Gallery is at the corner of Cottonwood and Galena. It offers pottery, painting, sculpture, and other art projects created by local artists.
If you want to spend some time appreciating nature, then the Baca National Wildlife Refuge is the place to visit. More than 3,000 incredible green acres of pasture provides views of the mountains, the bluest skies, and wandering rivers. You can also enjoy colorful birds, including the great horned owl, robin, yellow warbler, and many other species. Go for a leisurely hike or bring your bike for a fantastic ride. This is your place to enjoy nature. Crestone is just one more wonderland in the beautiful state of Colorado.