Aspen Hike N' Bike Weekend



Description:

Aspen Hike and Bike Weekend You can pack a lot of adventure into a weekend in Aspen—even if your trip starts on a Friday after work. Pack up your bikes, boots and sleeping bags--this trip is for those who want to experience the beauty of “natural” Aspen by staying at some of the wonderful campgrounds in the area (and save some money in the process).

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Author: James Dziezynski


Day 1 - Aspen


Day One: Friday: Arrival Whether you leave from the Denver metro area or anywhere east of Aspen, a ride over scenic Independence Pass is a worthwhile drive for the amazing scenery. The pass is open from late-May until early October most seasons and is a paved road connecting the area near Buena Vista and Aspen. Follow the pass (CO. 82) to the summit, where vistas of Colorado’s highest mountains will put you in a mountainous state of mind. Drive down west 6 miles over the pass to the Lost Man Campground, which is an ideal place to spend your first night. If you arrive early enough, you can also make a side trip down to the Independence ghost town for a glimpse at Colorado’s mining past. When you return to Lost Man Campground, the well maintained car-camping sites are cozy and have a reasonable fee of $13 per night as of 2008. Get a good night’s rest and get ready to wake up early for a day of hiking on Saturday.


1

Independence Pass

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Location:

Highway 82
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: +1 970 925 3445 (Forest Service)


Day 2 - Aspen, Woody Creek


Day Two: Saturday: Hiking to Lost Man Pass and nearby summits Don’t let the ominous name intimidate you: Lost Man Pass is a beautiful and often overlooked wilderness area that offers up a chance at an exciting class 2 ridge walk and several alpine lakes in the rugged valleys. To reach the trailhead, return east up the pass to the Lost Man Pass trailhead which is on the north side of the road on the west side of the pass 1.9 miles from the summit. There is a small parking area and signs that mark off the well signed trail. The main trail follows the Roaring Fork River into the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness and up to Independence Lake. Follow the trail about 3 miles to reach Lost Man Pass, where you will have unique views of Colorado’s tallest mountain (Mount Elbert 14,433 ft.) and the famous Maroon Bells just outside of Aspen. To continue your adventure, you can loop west along the ridge of Geissler Mountain, a series of modest summits that loop back (off-trail) to the parking area. The highest of these peaks is 13,380 ft. and requires some fun class 2 scrambling to reach. If you’d prefer to stay on the trail you can traverse over Lost Man Pass deeper into the wilderness where more lakes and gorgeous scenery await. Return back via the same trail if this is your choice. The great thing about this area is you can make your outing as long or short as you like and still get your fill—even a trek up to Independence Lake and back will have you snapping tons of photos. After a day in the mountains, head west down the pass into Aspen. By now you’ll have worked up an appetite, so before you head off to tonight’s campground grab yourself a bite to eat. There are plenty of elegant restaurants in Aspen if that’s your thing, but for a hearty and unique meal try the Woody Creek Tavern (where you won’t even have to take off your hiking clothes). The food is good and the atmosphere is a nice change of pace from the haute-couture Aspen is known for. Boogie’s Diner is another good place for a post-hike meal that is affordable and doesn’t have a dress code. If you’re up for a nightcap, try the Cooper St. Pier or the J-Bar where you’ll meet a blend of locals and tourists. Camping can be found in town at the Silver Queen Campground—reservations are highly recommended in the summer. Spots are only $12.00 a night and you’ll fall asleep in the heart of beautiful forests surrounded by incredible mountains.


1

Silver Queen Campground

Location:

Maroon Creek Road
(5 miles southwest of Aspen)
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: +1 970 925 3445 (Aspen Ranger District- US Forest Service)
fax: +1 970 925 5277


2

Cooper Street

Location:

508 East Cooper Ave
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: 970 925 7758
fax: 970 925 7101


3

The J-Bar

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expert pick

Location:

Hotel Jerome
330 E Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: 970 920 1000


4

Boogie's Diner

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Location:

534 East Cooper Avenue
At Hunter
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: 1 970 925 6610


5

Woody Creek Tavern

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Location:

2858 Woody Creek Plaza
Woody Creek, CO 81656

Contact:

tel: 970 923 4585


6

Lost Man Trail

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Location:

806 W. Hallam
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: 970-925-3445


Day 3 - Aspen


Day Three: Mountain Biking Gear up your bikes! Start Sunday morning’s pre-ride activities with a good breakfast. If you want to indulge beyond campground fare food, try Poppycock’s in town. There are also several places to grab a bagel and coffee if you are eager to hit the trails. If you are looking for a less intense ride try Smuggler’s Mountain Road which is an old two-lane mining road that is right in town. For a more adventurous trail, try the Government Trail up the road in nearby Snowmass. For more riding opportunities (or to rent a bike) check out Aspen Velo in town (http://www.aspenvelo.com/) where the locals can tell you more about trails and rides for mountain and road bikes. There are dozens of other trails in the area of all levels so prepare for a day in the mountains with fantastic riding. When your day of riding is done, one more great meal awaits at The Stonebridge restaurant where you can get an excellent sit-down meal at a good price (and you’ll want to treat yourself after so much fun in the mountains). After a full weekend, head home refreshed –and chances are you’ll want to come back after sampling what Aspen has to offer!


1

Government Trail

expert pick

Location:

806 West Hallam Street
(Forest Service Office)
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: +1 970 925 3445
fax: +1 970 925 5277


2

Smuggler Mountain Road

expert pick

Location:

806 West Hallam Street
(Forest Service Office)
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: +1 970 925 3445
fax: +1 970 925 5277


3

Poppycock's

Location:

665 East Cooper Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611

Contact:

tel: 1 970 925 1245


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