Crawford, or “Crawford Country” as it is sometimes referred to, is located in southeast Delta County and includes the hamlet of Maher in Montrose County. This small town combining an artisan community with an historic cattle town – cattle drives through the middle of town are not uncommon – is located on the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway and serves as the gateway to the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the Crawford State Park. The weather tends to be a bit feistier, but is hardly noticed by the ranch-toughened locals.
Crawford’s location at the west side of the 176,000 acre West Elk Wilderness makes it a big-game hunter’s paradise for trophy elk and mule deer, and offers excellent back-country access for nature lovers looking to escape.
Crawford State Park provides year-round sports activities including water skiing, camping and fishing for the six species it holds. Ice fishing for perch is a wintertime favorite.
Needle Rock is one of Crawford’s iconic natural features. It is an ancient volcanic neck about 800 feet tall. From town, head east on Needle Rock Road to get to hiking trail at the base of Needle Rock.
Crawford businesses include a post office, bank, and airport. The thriving arts community serves as the southern gateway to the North Fork Creative District, and includes glassblowers, painters and musicians. Crawford is part of the Delta County Ambulance District, and Delta County Memorial Hospital and medical centers are 31 miles away in Delta.
Crawford Elementary School provides a full range K – 8 education. Crawford is also home to North Fork Montessori@Crawford. High school students may attend any of the Delta County Joint School District high schools.
As part of the Delta County Libraries, the Crawford Library has access to a varied collection of books, audio and visual materials, periodicals and downloadable materials. The library provides public access to computers, printers and copiers. Literacy classes are available through the library, as well as educational and engaging programming for children and adults.
Events and Attractions
The old school house in Crawford has recently been renovated and undergone historic preservation. It will serve as the Crawford Town Hall, for meetings and events.
The second weekend of every June, Crawford comes alive with Pioneer Days, featuring a Melodrama (complete with hero, heroine, villain, and audience participation), a baking contest and auction to benefit future Pioneer Days, fireworks, a Fire Department breakfast, and a parade followed by craft and food booths and activities for all ages.
Crawford’s location at the north rim of the Black Canyon makes it a hunter’s paradise for both large and small game, including elk, deer, and game birds. For the photographer and wildlife enthusiast, the area is teeming with bears, wild turkeys, pheasants, hawks, eagles, bobcats, foxes, and mountain lions.
Crawford State Park provides year-round sports activities, from snowshoeing and cross country skiing to hiking, biking, and swimming and boating at Crawford Reservoir.