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The Crestone Cemetery and Natural Burial Grounds

The Crestone Cemetery has made it all the way through the 20th century without requiring embalming, caskets, concrete vaults, and/or monuments. It is 50 miles northeast of Alamosa, Colorado, in pinon-juniper open woodland with sand and native ground cover and a spectacular view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The native pinon-juniper vegetation and semi-arid mountain climate provide a beautiful and natural setting that eliminates wasteful and expensive watering and mowing.

The cemetery is a 1911 forty-acre federal land grant restricted to use as cemetery or park only. Six acres are fenced and platted into 20' x 20' lots, each allowing six burials. The other 34 acres have not yet been developed. Because Crestone is geographically isolated and 50 miles from the nearest commercial mortuary, most local funeral services over the last 100 years occurred at home or in the old school house. Probably less than a quarter of the burials were embalmed, and there are no known concrete vaults enclosing caskets.

In 2011, the Crestone Cemetery became the first certified Green Burial Council member in Colorado, providing Natural Burial Grounds for "green" burials. This section of the cemetery serves those who wish to have their untreated bodily remains biodegrade in a natural area free of chemicals or synthetic materials. Purchase of interment rights in the Natural Burial Grounds requires an agreement that each burial will comply with specific regulations. 

A Veterans Memorial has been erected near the entrance to honor those buried in the cemetery who served in wars from as far back as the Civil War. Their names are engraved on the back of the memorial.

For more information, please contact the Crestone Town Hall at 719 256-4313 or use our email contact form

The cemetery gates are kept latched but not locked and visitors are welcome any time. If you’re interested in obtaining a lot, a cemetery plat showing which lots are available may be borrowed from Town Hall at 108 West Galena Avenue downtown. To get to the cemetery, drive west on Galena Avenue ¼ mile past the town limit. The road turns right for ¼ mile. The entry gates are next to the flag pole.

Becoming Green - Details on the Green & Natural Burial Grounds in Crestone CO

Becoming Green
A Natural Burial Ground allows burials in a natural environment with minimal grave decoration and monuments. It serves those who wish to have their untreated bodily remains or ashes buried to biodegrade in a natural area free of chemical or synthetic materials.

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Town Staff

Town Clerk: Allyson Ransom
Treasurer: Gwynn Busby
Public Works Coordinator: Gretchen Nelson
Public Works Assistant: Jackie Gosswiler
Building Inspector: Charles Sommers
Water System ORC: Ann Bunting
Office Assistant: Melinda Davis

Planning Commissioners

Chair: Christina Cabeza
Vice Chair: Renée Hill
Commissioner: Kairina Danforth ex-officio
Commissioner: Terry Goergen ex-officio
Commissioner: Kimberlee Best
Alternate Commissioner: Carmin Teeple
Ex-officio Alternate: Benjamin Byer