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Four-Wheel Driving: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Richmond Hill Road

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Elevation Gain: 716 Feet (223.2 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,928 Feet (3718.2 Meters)
Length: 12 Miles (20.0 Kilometers) one way
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Road Number: 123
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Hayden Peak, Aspen




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The mountainous terrain of the White River National Forest provides access to some of the best backcountry skiing in the United States
Copyright: - US Forest Service
The mountainous terrain of the White River National Forest provides access to some of the best backcountry skiing in the United States
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.

Directions from Aspen: There are 4 options for accessing Richmond Hill Road: Express Creek Road: Go west on Highway 82 from Aspen 1/2 mile. At the roundabout, turn onto Castle Creek Road. Drive 11 miles to the intersection with Express Creek Road (signed). Follow this route about 5 1/2 miles to Taylor Pass. Little Annie Road: Go west on Highway 82 from Aspen 1/2 mile. At the roundabout, turn onto Castle Creek Road. Drive approximately 6 1/2 miles to Little Annie Road (usually signed) on the left. Follow this route about 4 1/2 miles up the back side of Aspen Mountain. Midnight Mine Road: Go west on Highway 82 from Aspen 1/2 mile. At the roundabout, turn onto Castle Creek Road. Drive approximately 2 1/2 miles to Midnight Mine Road (usually signed) on the left. Follow this road about 5 1/2 miles up the back side of Aspen Mountain. Summer Road: From downtown Aspen, proceed on Durant Avenue east to Original Street and turn South. Follow Original about 1/8 mile, keep straight on the paved road as it curves behind 777 Ute. Take the dirt road up the mountain about 3 miles. (note: Summer Road is closed to public motorized vehicle access.)



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche conditions and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:45:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backcountry Traveling This route is also used by back country skiers to get some of the huts in the Braun hut system.
Yes
ICON Cross-country Skiing 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 some of the best overall views of the mountains of any cross country ski trails in this part of the state.
Yes
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Richmond Hill Road
Yes
ICON Motorcycle Riding Richmond Hill Road
Yes
ICON Downhill Skiing 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. You have your choice of skiing the packed trails, or going off into the untracked snow alongside.
Yes
ICON Snowmobiling Richmond Hill Road provides some of the best scenery of the mountains surrounding Aspen.
Yes
ICON Snowshoeing 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 some of the best overall views of the mountains of any cross country ski trails in this part of the state.
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Richmond Hill Road provides some of the best scenery of the mountains surrounding Aspen.
Yes



More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3445

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Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel



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