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We’re dubbing Woody Creek Tavern’s décor “delightfully disastrous”—and we love it.

Worth the Drive: Woody Creek Tavern near Aspen

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We’re dubbing Woody Creek Tavern’s décor “delightfully disastrous”—and we love it.
We’re dubbing Woody Creek Tavern’s décor “delightfully disastrous”—and we love it. Image courtesy Woody Creek Tavern.
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” –Hunter S. Thompson

We’ve always been admirers (OK, more like huge fans) of Thompson’s work and wisdom. So when we need a good dose of literary inspiration, or even just a strong drink, we trek to Woody Creek Tavern, a delightfully divey joint in (where else?) Woody Creek, Colorado, near Aspen.

Built in 1980, the tavern was one of Thompson’s favorite haunts, where he often held court with politicians, actors and other random celebrities.

Even if you’re not mildly obsessed with chasing the ghost of Thompson like we are, the bar is a sight in and of itself. The walls are plastered with hundreds upon hundreds of photos, stapled over other photos along with magazine covers, newspaper clippings, children’s drawings, license plates, pieces of original art, memorials to old friends and just about anything else you can imagine.

A leopard print rug covers the floor and Christmas lights dangle from the ceiling next to a defunct-disco ball. Thompson’s visage is just about everywhere you look, too, but our favorite is the lithograph that captured him in a rare solemn moment.

As with any good dive bar, the food isn’t anything to write home about, but the drinks are good and the atmosphere even better. Thompson would be proud.

From one small Colorado town to another: To find out why we’ll drive to Red Cliff for the tacos, click here.

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