‘Outdoorsy vibe’  in Carbondale lands it in top 12

National Geographic Adventure magazine in its September 2008 issue named Carbondale one of the “Top 12 Towns” in the “50 Next Great Places to Live.”

National Geographic Adventure magazine in its September issue named Carbondale one of the “Top 12 Towns” in the “50 Next Great Places to Live.”

“It has risen from the shadow of Aspen to become its own stand-alone outdoor destination,” said Greg Melville, a writer for National Geographic Adventure. “Clearly, Carbondale is no secret. Just look at the real estate prices. Yet, it’s still an outdoor destination on the rise.”

Some of Carbondale’s attributes that led to its being listed included the backdrop of Mount Sopris, the surrounding White River National Forest, the bike paths for getting easily into town, the rivers and backcountry trails, the “outdoorsy vibe,” outfitter shops and the eco-conscious ethic of the town, Melville said.

He said it was also chosen because of the number of environmental companies that are based in such a small town.

“It has its own energy and climate protection plan, with solar panels being put on top of the police department and the new town rec center,” Melville said. “Not that it’s necessarily easy to get a job in Carbondale, but almost no other small, outdoorsy town has as many attractive employment opportunities.”

Randi Lowenthal said the town, with a population of 6,000, also was listed in the magazine in 2005. The list then was specific more to outdoor activities than to adventure, she said.

“We are a base camp of sorts. We are in the heart of Colorado and in the heart of the Roaring Fork Valley. We have great outdoor activities and fabulous dining for starters. It’s an extremely friendly community and becoming extremely environmentally conscious,” Lowenthal said.

She said she thinks the audience that reads the publication is more inclined to be visitors than people looking to relocate.


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