Google Trekker in Aspen
The City of Aspen was fortunate to host the Google Trekker camera. This tool allows "virtual visitors" to be able to explore unique locations in our area when researching their next weekend getaway or deciding to move to the area! For our locals, it gives users a chance to sample a trail or area before visiting it. We had so many amazing places from which to choose, but we were limited to 11 -- we hope this gives you a taste of Aspen.
This project was a major undertaking that would not have been possible without the enthusiastic assistance of many city departments from IT, Special Events to Aspen Parks and Open Space. Additional support was provided by Pitkin County Open Space, the US Forest Service and RFTA. Plus, a heartfelt ’thank you’ to our colleagues and aspen locals who volunteered to carry the Trekker on various walks and hikes. The camera weighed close to 40lbs, so this was a big ask! Thank you to Nina and the Aspen Historical Society who hosted us at the Ghost Towns and to all who assisted with mounting the Trekker on to a Parks Department vehicle to capture the entirety of the Rio Grande Trail from Herron Park to Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs.
Aspen Pedestrian Mall
Located in the heart of downtown Aspen, as you stroll along the mall you will see some of our historical buildings like the Wheeler Opera House and the Elks building. The cobblestoned streets that boarder Wagner Park (a locals favorite) are lined with shops and restaurants. See the Dancing Fountain, created by Artist Travis Fulton and Technology Wizard Nick DeWolf, it is one of the focal points of the Mall -- imagine the kids running and splashing in the fountain during the summer.
Red Butte Trail
A short walk from the trail head, you arrive on a plateau with 360-degrees views of the greater Aspen area. Looking south, below you is the Aspen Golf & Tennis Club, our four ski mountains, Pyramid Peak and more. Enjoy the scenic view of our mountain ranges and the bird-eyes view of town.
John Denver Sanctuary
The Song Garden features many of the iconic singer’s lyrics etched into native river boulders placed in a perfect circle to represent the circle of life as a score of music. At the circle’s center, a single Colorado Blue Spruce was planted which symbolizes the spirit of John. It is an idyllic location and visitors will not wonder for long where "Rocky Mountain High" originated. The man-made wetlands and winding streams work as an innovative stormwater filter system, cleaning water before it drains into the Roaring Fork River. Within the Sanctuary, you will find one of the city’s largest perennial flower gardens open to the public.
The Aspen Historical Society manages two ghost towns located in the Aspen area, both offer a rich mining history with interpretive tours and several historic buildings. Learn more on the Aspen Historical Society’s website, below is just a taste of our mining past.
Independence Ghost Town
The first mining site in the Roaring Fork Valley, today, Independence is an archaeological preserve, featuring interpretive stations that tell of the characters, enterprises, and structures that make it an integral part of area history. Located just below the continental Divide, the ghost town is a “don’t-miss stop” on Independence Pass along the Top of the Rockies’ Scenic Byway.
Ashcroft Ghost Town
Located eleven miles up Castle Creek Road, the silver mining ghost town features the restored remains of several historic buildings, including the Blue Mirror Saloon, a post office, and the View Hotel. Guided tours and interpretive signage tell the stories of the former boom town nestled among spectacular alpine meadows at the headwaters of Castle Creek.
Independence Pass Overlook
Visit the overlook located on the Continental Divide at an altitude of just over 12,000 feet. Our virtual tour of the overlook saves you from the nail-biting drive over Independence Pass, a main thoroughfare in the summer to access the town of Aspen.
Maroon Bells Trailhead
The Maroon Bells are said to be the most photographed mountain range in Colorado, and from this tour we think you can see why!
Rio Grande Trail - This former railroad line has been converted over the years into a continuous 42-mile trail from Herron Park in Aspen to Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs. The trail runs along the Roaring Fork River, and can be enjoyed by bike or on foot. The trail passes through 3 counties, and is maintained by the Aspen Parks and Open Space, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.
Hunter Creek Trail
The Hunter Creek Extension is an approximately 1/4-mile trail that branches off from the Rio Grande Trail and connects to the Hunter Creek Trail. On this rocky single track trail, you cross several bridges, over Hunter Creek and end in the Hunter Creek Valley,
Sunnyside is a 5.5 mile single track trail with scenic views of the Aspen area and mountain ranges. From the trail head climb, 2,100ft through fields of aspen trees and summertime wildflowers, strenuous but worth it.
Marolt Bike Path & Trail
Locals use this trail to commute into Aspen or enjoy the scenery -- you pass the Marolt Open Space, the local community garden, an area used as a landing field for paragliders and more!
For more information on the trails, PitkinOutside.org -- provides an excellent interactive trail map for the area.