Crawford is home to Crawford State Park and near the eastern/northern entrance to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It's a pretty little town perched between the empty spaces of the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area and the West Elk Mountains. I came here as I was following the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway from Curecanti National Recreation Area north. This was the first real town that I came to after leaving Gunnison so many beautiful miles back.
Crawford came to be here because Fort Crawford was built here, back in the 1870's. Fort Crawford was built as a garrison for troops to keep the Uncompahgre Utes on their reservation to the east and northeast. After the Meeker Massacre in 1879, the Utes were forcibly moved to the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah. The last Utes left the area in the fall of 1881 and the whole territory was then opened up for settlement. About that time, Fort Crawford was decommissioned.
Crawford Country Store & Motel
Next to the Country Store
The local cafe
The Stone House Inn, a Bed & Breakfast on Main Street