Crestone is a small, unique village nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Within the town and the adjacent Baca Grande subdivision there is a wealth of art, culture, and history. The town has successfully incorporated its old-west mining town heritage with its new persona as a cultural and spiritual center alive with diversity and futuristic vision. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound, and two major trailheads into the Rio Grande National Forest begin just outside of town. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy hunting and fishing, and all residents and visitors revel in our town's fresh, clean air and water.
Nature is in her full glory here in the San Luis Valley––the world's largest alpine valley. In Crestone, the views are spectacular whether you are looking up at the mountains behind the town or taking in the wider view across the valley toward the San Juan Mountains and the Continental Divide. At sunset, the western sky and the San Juan's are painted in rich glowing shades of violet, magenta, fuchsia, lavender and blue. The eastern view at sunset is just as awe inspiring when the Sangre's become a brilliant rose gold, which was the inspiration for their name: the blood of Christ mountains.
Crestone has 2 hotels and a few short-term house rentals, all within walking distance of the commercial district. There are 3 restaurants, a health food store, a grocery store, a tea house, a coffee house, an ayurvedic healing center, a newspaper, an artist gallery, an import shop/video store, a restaurant/bar/special events center, a hair salon, a flower shop, a clay arts center and friendly people everywhere. Most of the spiritual centers are located in and around the Baca, which is just a short drive from downtown Crestone. The Baca also has a restaurant, several Bed and Breakfast establishments, a massage school and stables.
The area is internationally known for alternative building with hundred of sustainable homes in or near town. Organic and sustainable agriculture and permaculture are also an important part of the culture with a thriving farmers market that runs from April through October.
Every year, on the Fourth of July, the town comes alive with floats, great food, awesome music and dancing in the park. The first week-end of August is our annual Music Festival held at the local Golf Course, and last year, the crowd rocked to headliner's, Booker T. and Tab Benoit. On Labor Day Weekend, sustainable energy experts, demonstrations, films, vendors, and music fill the town park. Thanksgiving is our yearly Winterfest Celebration. People stroll from one venue to the next where they find unique gift items and enjoy music as well as stories for adults and children.
The town was officially established in 1880 after the discovery of gold in Burnt Gulch, east of town. In 1901 when the railroad came through there were over 2000 citizens, and the town was incorporated on March 29, 1901. When mining was no longer cost effective, the area began a slow decline until the early 1970's when the Arizona Land & Cattle Co. began developing the Baca Grande subdivision. The Manitou Foundation also played a large part in revitalizing the community when it began donating large tracts of land to diverse spiritual organizations from all over the world, thus giving the Crestone/Baca area it's multi-cultural flavor.
Unique is an overused word, but it absolutely applies to the Crestone/Baca area. Between the 2 communities the population is around 1200, yet you can buy fresh, organic produce at several locations, enjoy exquisite vegetarian meals at any restaurant as well as yak, buffalo, free range beef or just regular burgers. On any day, you might see a cowboy on his horse with his faithful dog trotting beside him as he rides past a group of Tibetan monks in saffron robes walking down the street. Ranchers, farmers, hippies, Buddhists, Catholics, Baptists, Hindus and kids with spiked hair all sit around the local coffee klatch and exchange views on life, the world, politics and everything in between. Come visit and share your unique worldview with us.