Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Ashcroft Ghost Town, White River National Forest
Ashcroft Ghost Town
White River National Forest
Date Hiked: December 15, 2014
Distance: 1/4 mi (RT) shortest distance, can be much longer
Elevation Gain: 200ft
Elevation Min/Max: 9,393 to 9,595ft
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service
Ashcroft Nordic Ski Area Website (USFS)
Ashcroft Ghost Town Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Aspen head south on Castle Creek Road for 12 miles. When the road ends, you'll be at King Cabin and the Ashcroft Ghost Town.
Our trip to the Ashcroft Ghost Town was a blunder, a beautiful blunder...
Ashcroft is a historic mining town situated in the astonishingly magnificent Castle Creek Valley, 12 miles south of Aspen. The abandoned town sits at the base of Ashcroft Mountain and classic Elk Mountain Range peaks such as Castle, Cathedral, and Conundrum Peaks. Castle and Conundrum are both 14ers. Now the town of Ashcroft consists of an abandoned Ghost Town, many miles of cross county ski, snowshoe, and hiking trails, and a tasty restaurant that you have to hike in to.
During a mini vacation to Aspen, my wife, 1 year old, and I decided to spend the morning snowshoeing around Ashcroft and soaking in some much needed mountain recreation. Unfortunately, we miss-calculated everything that morning and ran out of time...such things happen when you have a 1 year old... By the time we got down the 12 miles of snowy road, we had about 15 min before we had to turn back. It was a tease for sure, but we will absolutely re-visit this area as it is spectacular. If you only have a few minutes, I strongly suggest walking through the Ghost Town, you can see it all in about 15 minutes. The trail is self explanatory and leads you down the "main street" with interpretive signs as you go. Off to the southwest you'll get nice views of the high peaks. If you have more time definitely check out the trail system and hike out to the restaurant if it is open.