New Castle is “Authentically Colorado”. The town is surrounded by beautiful scenery and endless outdoor recreation. It is located just west of Glenwood Springs, on I-70.
The town resides at an elevation of 5,597 feet in Garfield County. The population was estimated to be 5,758 in 2020, and the sense of community runs strongly throughout town. There are many unique annual events, local restaurants, and places to explore.
Like many Colorado towns, New Castle owes its beginnings to the coal and silver mining booms in the 1880s. The area quickly became well known among smelters and railroad workers because the coal it produced was perfect for burning. Immigrant farmers also moved into town around the same time, resulting in a fairly bustling community.
New Castle was officially incorporated in 1888. Soon after, a rail line was built to connect the town to other regions for coal transportation. However, good times in town were cut short when the community faced 2 of the largest mining disasters in Colorado in a span of just 20 years.
In 1896, the Vulcan Mine exploded and caused 49 miners to die. After it was flooded and reopened, it exploded once again in 1913 and resulted in 37 deaths. The second explosion marked the end of the mining boom for New Castle, and they shifted their energy to agriculture and tourism.
Sopris Alpaca Farm – A must-see if you are passing through the area, Sopris is a fully functioning farm with around 70 alpacas. Stop by the shop to pick up treats to feed the animals, and afterward check out their large selection of ultra-soft alpaca items. They also have a bed and breakfast accommodation if you just can’t get enough.
Grand River Park – It features a swim beach, playgrounds, and walking paths along the Colorado River. This park has thoughtfully been designed for all ages to enjoy and explore nature.
Camping – Garfield County is home to some great camping around the towns of Rifle and Glenwood Springs.
- Two nearby state parks, Rifle Falls and Rifle Gap each offer clean and reliable campgrounds only thirty minutes from New Castle.
- Elk Creek Campground is only 5 minutes from town and has 67 full hook-up campsites.
Read about the camping near New Castle, around Garfield County.
Fishing – There is great trout fishing in the Colorado River, which flows by the town.
- Mt. Medaris trailhead is right off of the main street in downtown and leads you to a short loop hike with sweeping views of the town and nearby peaks. It is only 1.7 miles and rated as moderate.
- Colorow Trail takes you through 3 miles of BLM land in town and has a turnout for panoramic views of Lakota Canyon Ranch.
Ore House Inn – Located on the upper floors of a 130-year-old building in the heart of downtown. This building has cycled through various uses over the years and now serves as a hotel with a restaurant on the first floor.
The Lodge at New Castle – (affiliate link) Formerly the EconoLodge, it is now a reliable place to rest your head, has low rates and is pet friendly.
Red Barn Guest Ranch – Located a little bit out of downtown, this gorgeous serene ranch is a great place for a weekend getaway. The grounds are also frequently used for weddings and other events.
Read about the best hotels in New Castle.
Hogback Pizza – Quaint spot on Main Street serving up Italian classics and pizza at a great price.
EAT Bistro and Drinks – Locals and visitors alike rave about this carefully curated bistro serving multiple dinner courses with fantastic wine pairings.
Colorado Drifters Coffee and Fly Shop – It’s not every day that you can grab a cup of craft coffee while you shop for fishing gear, but Colorado Drifters lets you do just that.
May – Mr. T’s Fishing Derby – Sponsored by a local Cub Scouts troop, this annual fishing derby brings out hundreds of kids to participate. The town stocks a small pond in Alder Park with rainbow trout for them to fish.
Jul – Dirty Hog Dash – Grab your kids, head to VIX Ranch Park, and be ready to get dirty. This obstacle race is designed for ages 4-14 and guarantees fun times.
Jul-Sep – Community Market – Live music, food trucks, and countless produce and craft vendors make this weekly market a local favorite.
Aug – Rides and Reggae Festival – A weekend full of festivities featuring a mountain bike and trail running race. There are local reggae musicians that perform, as well as a beer garden.
Sept – Burning Mountain Festival – Log splitting, a car show, bouncy houses, and a beer garden are just some of the fun activities at this yearly festival.
Dec – Tree Lighting – Annual holiday celebration held at Burning Mountain Park to start the festive season. There is also a craft fair and a chili cook-off!
Activities near New Castle
- Glenwood Hot Springs Pool (12mi)
- Iron Mountain Hot Springs (12mi)
- Penny Hot Springs (38mi)
- South Canyon Hot Springs (8mi)
- Yampah Vapor Caves (12mi)
- Sunlight Mountain Resort (24mi)
- Aspen (53mi)
- Basalt (35mi)
- Carbondale (25mi)
- Clifton (69mi)
- De Beque (43mi)
- Dotsero (30mi)
- Eagle (43mi)
- El Jebel (31mi)
- Glenwood Springs (12mi)
- Grand Junction (74mi)
- Gypsum (36mi)
- Palisade (62mi)
- Parachute (30mi)
- Rifle (14mi)
- Silt (7mi)
- Snowmass Village (52mi)