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Aspen's Hidden Gems

Destination(s): Aspen

Aspen's fabled ski mountains and legendary Maroon Bells Wilderness are hallmarks of this Rocky Mountain town. However, a secret world of natural beauty is waiting to be be discovered along some of the less known trails and mountains. Explore the lofty reaches of 14,000 ft. Castle Peak or visit the surprisingly cozy confines of the Popcorn Wagon. Here's 7 spots you might not know about in Aspen. read more about Aspen's Hidden Gems

Castle Peak

Castle Peak

Standing 14,265 above sea level, Castle Peak is one of Colorado's famous 14ers and the highest point in the Elk Range. Despite its lofty presence, a hike to the top of Castle Peak is a non-technical but strenuous trek that is best made in summer or early autumn. Get an early start to avoid storms! The round trip mileage for a trip to Castle's apex is roughly 12 miles if you start from the passenger car trailhead and 7 miles if you drive farther up the rugged 4x4 road. Most reasonably fit people can reach the top; just make sure to take a few days to adjust to the altitude if you are coming from out of town. For more detailed information on routes, please visit 14ers.com. read more about Castle Peak

Owl Creek Trail

Owl Creek Trail

Popcorn Wagon (The)

Popcorn Wagon (The)

  • 305 South Mill Street
  • tel:1 970 925 2718
  • Aspen, 81611
Cathedral Lake Trail

Cathedral Lake Trail

Cathedral Lake Trail is a hearty day hike, but don't let its strenuous nature deter you. The 6.4 mile round trip is an out and back, on-trail adventure that climbs steeply to the amazing amphitheater of Cathedral Lake. Huge rock formations surround the alpine waters, making for an incredible all-natural setting. Nearby Electric Pass provides even more scenery for fit hikers or backpackers that have the energy to explore the area. To reach the trailhead, drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82 and at the roundabout, turn onto Castle Creek Road. Continue 12.2 miles up Castle Creek and turn right onto a gravel road, driving a 1/2 mile to the trailhead. read more about Cathedral Lake Trail

Weller Lake Trail

Weller Lake Trail

Independence Ghost Town

Independence Ghost Town

  • 620 West Bleeker St
  • (Aspen Historical Society)
  • tel:+1 970 925 3721 (Aspen Historical Society)
  • Visit website
  • Aspen, 81611

Boomtowns came and went in the 1800s and Independence was one of the more famous ones. Created in the summer of 1879 when local prospectors hit gold veins, the ore extracted from mines equated to over $500,000 in the short 11 year life span of Independence. By 1890, nearly all of the operations were gone and only 5 structures remain standing in the ghost town. Admission is free and the road is only open in the temperate summer months, located 13.5 miles east (towards Indepdence Pass) of Aspen along Highway 82. read more about Independence Ghost Town