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Crestone Cemetery

Crestone Cemetery

Crestone Cemetery

The Crestone Cemetery rests in an open pinon-juniper woodland and commands a spectacular view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.  The native pinion-juniper vegetation and semi-arid mountain climate provide a beautiful and natural setting that elminates wasteful and expensive watering and mowing.

The Crestone Cemetery was established in 1911 with a 40-acre federal land grant awarded by President William Howard Taft.

Due to Crestone being geographically isolated, and 50 miles from the nearest commercial mortuary, most funeral services over the last century occurred at individual homes or in the Old Schoolhouse. Fewer than a quarter of these burials were embalmed, and there are no known concrete vaults enclosing caskets.

In 2011, the Crestone Cemetery became the first cemetery in Colorado--and the second in the entire nation--to be officially certified by the Green Burial Council to provide a space for natural, or "green" burials. The Natural Burial Grounds 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 as set forth by the Green Burial Council.

Six acres of the original 40-acres are fenced and platted into 20' x 20' plots, which allow up to eight (8) full-body burials, 64 cremains, or a combinations thereof - location allowing.  A 10' x 10' quarter-plot allows two (2) full-body burials, 16 cremains, or a combination thereof - location allowing.

The remainder of the 34 acres are in the process of being developed, inlcuding opening up another section for Natural Burial Grounds.

The cemetery gates are kept latched but not locked, and visitors are welcome.

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

For more information about the cemetery, please contact Crestone Town Hall and view the document below:

    Cemetery Information Packet

Natural Burial Ground Section


  • Burial containers shall be limited to those made from materials that are biodegradable.
  • Shrouds are permissible.
  • No toxic chemicals are to be used in the bodies of the decedents.
  • The use of vaults is prohibited.
Hybrid Burial Section
  • Burial containers shall be limited to those made from materials that are nontoxic, nonhazardous, and natural/plant-derived.
  • Shrouds are permissible.
  • Decedents are not to have been embalmed, except in cases where they are embalmed with Green Burial Council approved, nontoxic chemicals.
  • The use of vaults is prohibited.


Please note:

  • You are not purchasing a plot of land in the Crestone Cemetery - you are purchasing the interment rights on that plot of land, which is owned by the Town of Crestone.
  • Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS 25-2-111) requires that you provide the Town of Crestone with a copy of the Authorization for Final Disposition prior to any burial of human remains.
    • These are issued by either the County Coroner or the funeral home.
    • It is illegal to preform a burial without this document.
  • Burials cannot take place without the permission of the Crestone Town Administration.
  • Plots highlighted in green on the plot map are not available.


  Denver Museum of Nature and Science - Ute Mountain Ute Repatriation

Cielo Azul Pet Cemetery


Denise Peine and numerous volunteers created the Cielo Azul Pet Cemetery in Crestone in September 2018 on land provided by the Town just a 10 minute walk from the Crestone Cemetery. 

Just beyond the steel entrance gate, created by William Bartley, and the colorful memorial kiosk featuring bench seating for rest and reflection, crafted by Paul Kloppenburg, rock lined paths mark the 90+ grave sites dedicated to cats, dogs, and other small household pets.

Cielo Azul follows the general rules of a natural burial site, as pets can be buried in non-toxic, biodegradable cloths, shrouds, and caskets, and cremains can be buried as well.  Pet parents hand-dig graves and decorative adornments can be placed atop the graves to personalize them.  

For more information on available plots and prices for interment, please contact Crestone Town Hall and view the document below:

  Cielo Azul Pet Cemetery Agreement

Please note:

  • Pet grave plots can only be purchased from Town Hall during normal business hours.
  • Permission must be obtained from the Town Administration before any burial takes place.
  • Plots inidicated in the Cemetery Agreement that are shown covered with solid, black boxes are not available.
  • Burial of pet remains does not require an Authorization of Final Disposition.
Cielo Azul Pet Cemetery

Teton Cemetery

Teton Cemetery


Teton was a mining camp established in, roughly, 1877.  The Teton Cemetery was established in 1880 and was used until 1905, with one final burial taking place in 1950.  The cemetery has since been abandoned and rests in a state of disarray.

As of January 2023, no official records of burials in the Teton Cemetery have been located.  A site visit shows roughly 20 graves, some unmarked, some marked with piles of local stones, some outlined with small stones, some sections outlined with individual fences, and three graves with headstones.

The book Drillin', Loadin' and Firin' by Gladys Sisemore, 1983, notes that there were several small cemeteries located along the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountainrange and in the San Luis Valley.  The book gives a list of names of individuals likely buried in the Teton Cemetery, which was provied by Nellie Emerson before she passed away in 1971. 

To find the Teton Cemetery, follow T Road into Crestone.  At Galena Ave, turn east and continue on for about one and a half miles.  The cemetery is on the south side of the road.  Visible is some fencing and rocks a short distance from the road.  

For more information on the Teton Cemetery, please contact Crestone Town Hall or the Crestone Museum and Welcome Center.