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Aspen/Snowmass Vicinity


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Aspen Trails- The City of Aspen's trail system provides both summer and winter use making it one of the largest trails systems in Colorado. Hikers, Bikers and Cross-Country Skiers have many choices at all ability levels.
Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Trail System- This 60 kilometer groomed trail system connects the towns of Aspen and Snowmass Village.
City of Aspen Parks & Recreation-
Pitkin County Open Space- Pitkin County Open Space manages open space, parks and trails in Pitkin County and the Aspen area.
Town of Snowmass Village- The Town of Snowmass Village is located 15 miles from Aspen-Pipkin County Airport. Snowmass is home to one of Aspen Ski Company's four world famous ski resorts.

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General Information

Description - Aspen is the county seat of Pitkin County, Colorado. Founded as a mining camp in the Colorado Silver Boom and named because of the abundance of aspen trees in the area, the city is now a ski resort and cultural center. The city emerged as a skiing mecca following World War II and the foundation of the Aspen Skiing Company by Walter Paepcke, a Chicago industrialist who sought to create a utopian community of the mind, body and spirit. Paepcke's legacy of the Aspen/Snowmass resorts, along with such institutions as the Aspen Institute, have made the city a year-round international destination for recreation, business, and intellectual discourse. In the late 20th century, the city developed as an off-beat haven for misfits, attracting such free spirits as John Denver (who wrote several folk songs about the town, including "Aspenglow" and "Starwood in Aspen") and Hunter S. Thompson, who was glorified by many locals for his embodiment of the "freak power" ethic of the community.

Attractions - The four ski areas of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass the obvious major attractions in this area. The area also includes the nordic trail system, numerous hiking trails, scenic drives and four-wheel drive roads which are immediately accessible from the two towns.

Recreation - This area offers the full range of outdoor activities but without the solitude of some of the more outlying areas. Containing the four ski areas in the Aspen area, skiing and snowboarding are obvious popular activities. Winter in the area also offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Summer also brings abundant activities including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, rafting and more.

Climate - In the valley bottoms, summer high temperatures extend into the 70's and mid 80s, with cool evenings that can often dip into the 30s. Winter lows occasionally dip to minus 30 degrees, though daytime temperatures are often in the 20s to 30s. The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year. Much of the area and its recreation facilities lie at higher elevations where significantly lower temperatures and more precipitation can be expected. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until mid-July.

Location - This area is located around the towns of Aspen and Snowmass Village in northwest Colorado. Primary access is provided by the Pitking County Airport and Highway 82 which connects with I-70 in Glenwood Springs. Summer only access is also provided by Highway 82 over 12,000 foot Independence Pass.


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More Information

Additional Information:
Aspen Area - Aspen sits at the upper end of the scenic Roaring Fork Valley, in the mountains of west-central Colorado. Aspen is a world-class ski resort, and with its mountain setting, a center for endless other outdoor recreation activities.
Aspen Ranger District - The Aspen Ranger District surrounds the resort town of Aspen, at the upper end of the Roaring Fork River Valley. It encompasses some spectacular mountain terrain in the Elk Mountains, and Sawatch Range.
Snowmass Village Area - Snowmass Village is a world class resort and ski area. Most popular during the snowy winter months, Snowmass Village has a lot to offer in the summer as well.

Links:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information From Local Volunteers, conditions and Closings
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers - Volunteer Opportunities in This Area

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