Carbondale Vacation Guide

Vacation Guide

Vacationing in Carbondale, Colorado, offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure and small-town charm. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, it's a paradise for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. The vibrant arts scene, local eateries, and proximity to Aspen enhance its appeal, making it a perfect getaway.

Summer WeatherSummer Vacation

Weather in Carbondale

Summer temperatures in Carbondale are typically in the 80s during the day. This provides plenty of heat for swimming and other outdoor activities, but temperatures cool down to the 50s and even the upper 40s at night, so it’s best to have warmer clothes handy.

Summer ActivitiesSummer Vacation

Activities in Carbondale

Road Biking

The Carbondale area offers incredibly scenic places to explore while biking. Head to the Crystal Valley Trail for memorable views of Crystal River, Mount Sopris and more.


Carbondale’s location makes it easy to explore the surrounding Elk Mountains on foot or bicycle during summer, but bring gear in case of inclement weather. Hike to the summit of Mount Sopris at 12,953 feet for stunning views of the area.


Each within 50 miles of Carbondale, Rifle Mountain Park and Independence Pass offer great places to put climbing skills to the test in summer. If it’s rainy out, Carbondale has indoor climbing available at the Carbondale Recreation Center.

Road Biking
Summer EventsSummer Vacation

Events in Carbondale

Summer Park Concert Series

Enjoy live music every second Sunday from June through September at Sopris Park Gazebo. These concerts each feature one local band and one touring band or performer.

Wild West Rodeo Series

The Wild West Rodeo series takes place every Thursday in June, July, and August at Gus Darien Riding Arena. In addition to the rodeo, this series also features kid-friendly events, such as the Calf Scramble.

Carbondale Mountain Fair

Browse local works of art, take part in friendly competitions, and enjoy live entertainment at Carbondale Mountain Fair. This annual event typically takes place the last weekend in July at Sopris Park.

Summer ReasonsSummer Vacation

Top 3 Reasons

Arts and Culture

Carbondale Clay Center, Thunder River Theatre Company, and Powers Art Center offer visual and performing arts for summer vacationers to enjoy.

Farm to Table Dining

Many restaurants in Carbondale feature delicious foods that come from local farms and ranches in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Retail and Recreation

Staying in a Carbondale vacation home offers easy access to stores with home goods, outdoor recreation equipment and more, as well as outdoor recreation.

Summer TipsSummer Vacation

Local Tips

Don't miss the Wednesday Farmer's Market right on Main Street. Flowers, local produce from Paonia and surrounding farm country plus delicious lunch vendors make a downtown stroll a nice mid-week treat.

Looking for a quick outing? Hit the family-friendly trails on Red Hill (aka Mushroom Rock) and get one of the best views of Mount Sopris in the entire valley.

Fall WeatherFall Vacation

Weather in Carbondale

During fall, temperatures in Carbondale range from highs in the upper 70s in early fall to highs in the 50s or upper 40s in late fall. Occasional rain showers hit the area during fall, but there are still several sunny days available for enjoying outdoor activities and events.

Fall ActivitiesFall Vacation

Activities in Carbondale

Fly Fishing

Drive roughly 15 minutes for ideal fly-fishing spots in the Frying Pan and Colorado rivers. Hire a local fishing guide for even better luck catching trout and other fish.

Mountain Biking

Explore the Rio Grande Trail and Red Hill/Mushroom Rock trails on mountain bikes. These trails, which are close to Carbondale, offer picturesque views, especially during fall.

Red Hill/Mushroom Rock
Fall EventsFall Vacation

Events in Carbondale

Carbondale Pickleball Tournament

Join in or cheer from the sidelines as pickleball players compete in this annual autumn tournament in early September at the Carbondale Community Center.

Celtic Fest and Oktoberfest

This annual festival, which typically takes place in late September at the 4th Street Plaza, features dancing, tasty local foods and more.

Potato Day Parade

Take part in Carbondale’s oldest event, which features potato sack races, a parade and other family-friendly activities. This event takes place in early October at Main Street and Sopris Park.

Fall ReasonsFall Vacation

Top 3 Reasons

Horseback Riding

The Carbondale area has several equestrian outfitters that accommodate riders of all skill levels.

Autumn Camping

Reserve a spot in Redstone Campground or Thompson Creek to enjoy fall camping in the crisp air.


Spend warmer fall days rafting in the Crystal River, where it joins the Roaring Fork River at the edge of town. Calm portions of the river offer good conditions for families with small children.

Fall TipsFall Vacation

Local Tips

Carbondale vacationers often stare up at majestic Mount Sopris; however what many peopole do not know is that you can hike right to the base of this massive beauty. Thomas Lakes Trail is a 3+ mile hike where you can sit by gorgeous quiet mountain lakes and enjoy the fall colors.

Looking for trout? With lower water, fishing access can be plentiful. The team over at Alpine Angling can help you get set up and into fishing in no time.

Winter WeatherWinter Vacation

Weather in Carbondale

The winter months in Carbondale have average high temperatures in the 30s and average low temperatures that drop down to the teens. Daytime temperatures are great for hitting the slopes and doing other outdoor winter activities.

Winter ActivitiesWinter Vacation

Activities in Carbondale

Downhill Skiing

The Aspen/Snowmass area is a short drive from Carbondale. This area offers a wide range of well-maintained ski trails for downhill skiers of all skill levels. There’s also plenty of snow for skiers all winter long.

Cross-Country Skiing

Sunlight Mountain, which is also close to Carbondale in nearby Glenwood Springs, offers an impressive network of trails for outdoor enthusiasts who prefer cross-country skiing.

Cross-Country Skiing
Winter EventsWinter Vacation

Events in Carbondale

Light Up Carbondale

Carbondale kicks off the holiday season with an annual lighting festival that takes place at the beginning of December at the 4th Street Plaza. Light Up Carbondale features a pedestrian parade, local school bands, Santa in a sleigh, caroling and more.

Jingle Bell 5K Run

The 5K run, which also includes the Ugly Sweater Contest, takes place in December at Independence Run and Hike at La Fontana Plaza.

Mardi Gras Parade

Enjoy live music, family-friendly activities and more at First Friday’s Mardi Gras Parade. The parade kicks off in downtown Carbondale on Main Street in early February.

Winter ReasonsWinter Vacation

Top 3 Reasons

Hot Springs

Warm up in winter at Penny Hot Springs or Avalanche Ranch Cabins and Hot Springs after a long day of skiing.

Ice Skating

Throw on a pair of skates and glide around the ice at one of Carbondale’s ice skating rinks, such as Gus Darien Ice Rink or 4th Street Plaza Park Rink.

Holiday Shopping

Carbondale and the surrounding areas have quaint antique stores and other shops and boutiques that offer the perfect places to find unique gift items.

Winter TipsWinter Vacation

Local Tips

Due to often milder winter days, locals hike, bike and play all winter long! Head over to Cripple Creek Backcountry to get geared up for touring season and ask for snow reports from the experts.

Take in a movie! The historic Crystal Theatre in downtown Carbondale has updated features with an old-time feel.

Spring WeatherSpring Vacation

Weather in Carbondale

During springtime, average temperatures in the Carbondale area range from the 50s in early spring to the low 70s in late spring. This comfortable temperature range makes it possible to enjoy all kinds of recreation outdoors.

Spring ActivitiesSpring Vacation

Activities in Carbondale


Head to River Valley Ranch Golf Course at the base of Mount Sopris for a scenic round of golf on warm spring days. At Ironbridge Golf Course in nearby Glenwood Springs, practice your swing on a course that runs along the Roaring Fork River.


Carbondale provides great places to focus on relaxing while also working out during summer vacation. True Nature Healing Arts is a Balinese-inspired spa that offers classes in yoga and meditation, as well as holistic treatments.

True Nature Healing Arts
Spring EventsSpring Vacation

Events in Carbondale

5Point Film Festival

5Point puts on an annual film festival during spring to showcase locally produced adventure films. This festival takes place in late April at the Carbondale Community Recreation Center.

Festival Las Americas

This annual festival celebrates different cultures in North, Central, and South America while also raising money to support local educational projects. Enjoy a day of art, culture, food, entertainment, and recreation at Sopris Park in early May.

Family Block Party

This “Spring Into Fun” event, which takes place in early May at the 4th Street Plaza, includes a silent auction, live music, KidZone activities, and arts and crafts.

Spring ReasonsSpring Vacation

Top 3 Reasons

Fewer Tourists

Spring tends to attract smaller crowds than summer and winter, making it easier to rent a Carbondale vacation home.

Wildflowers in Bloom

Hiking or biking around the Elk Mountains offers views of mountain iris, Colorado columbine, and other colorful wildflowers.

Sunset Horseback Rides

Take advantage of mild temperatures to do sunset horseback rides in Roaring Fork or Crystal River Valley.

ImageSpring Vacation

Local Tips

When the snow starts to melt, mountain bike season is heating up! Get the full report on trail conditions from Aloha Mountain Cyclery.

Depending on river conditions, rafting season begins in early Spring... especially for the brave ones. There are several whitewater rafting outfitters throughout the Roaring Fork Valley who can take you on the ride of your lifetime.

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