• Activities:

    Photography, Snowshoeing, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    6 Miles

Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Enjoy beautiful views of trees, creeks, and 14ers in every direction while making your way through the picturesque Castle Creek valley. You can also discover the 150 year old Ashcroft ghost town. All just 20 minutes from downtown Aspen.

At the round-a-bout that leads into the town of Aspen, take the Castle Creek Road exit. Follow this road for 12 miles until you get to the ghost town of Ashcroft. The road itself is very scenic, so be prepared to pull over and whip out your camera!

During winter, the road ends at Ashcroft and a cross country ski trail replaces it. In my opinion, the snowshoe trail is much better and more intimate with nature. The beginning of the snowshoe trail can be found at the opposite side of the ghost town from the parking lot.

Follow this trail for 3 miles through the woods and along the valley creek until it comes to an apparent end at a meadow just a few hundred yards past the Pines Cookhouse. With epic views of the the West Elk Mountain range, this is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the views. Turn around here and follow the trail to get back to your starting point.

Pack List

  • Snowshoes (winter)
  • Camera
  • Water
  • Snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Mike Fennell Explorer

Professional Travel and Nature Photographer

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