- Richmond Hill extends from the top of Aspen Mountain to the south, forming the eastern ridge of the Castle Creek Valley. From this vantage point users have a great view of Hayden Peak, the Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak, Independence Pass, and many of the surrounding mountains in the Aspen area. Most skiers ski Richmond Hill as a day tour, riding the Silver Queen Gondola up Aspen Mountain to get to the start of the tour. This route is also used by back country skiers to get some of the huts in the Braun hut system. Since the whole route is above 11,000 feet, cold and windy weather can make this trip miserable, and the visibility can also be quite bad at times. In good weather, however, Richmond hill gives the best overall views of the mountains of any cross country ski trails in this part of the state. The snow also holds up well here because of the high elevation. The trails are packed by Snowcats and snowmobiles, and there has occasionally been talk of also setting tracks on this route. You have your choice of skiing the packed trails, or going off into the untracked snow alongside. The route follows the ridge, so keeping this in mind, it's hard to get lost. The first part is a gradual uphill. Some of the route is in the open with scattered trees while other parts go through the trees. To the right you will be looking across the Castle Creek and Maroon Creek valleys. Farther off to the west Mt. Sopris dominates the skyline. To the south you will be looking toward Crested Butte, and to the left up the Roaring Fork Valley toward Independence Pass, the Sawatch Range, and the Collegiate Peaks, Behind you to the north is Aspen, the Williams Range, Hunter Valley, Red and Smuggler Mountains. This is all fantastic scenery, to say the least.