Travels with Tucker

Travels with Tucker

Sunday, October 4, 2015


We've all heard of Aspen.  In many ways it is the iconic Colorado Rocky Mountain destination. Frequented by jet-setters, celebrities and international cartel members, Aspen evokes something in most peoples' imaginations.  We found Aspen to be a decently-pretty mountain town, booming and building like much of Colorado seems to be, and a bit overpriced in the restaurant department.  What it DOES have is some of the most spectacular fall color locations in all of the Rockies.

We spent a week in Aspen on our inexorable march west to avoid the dreaded winter.  We had a campsite just five miles from town and we explored several of the trails, bike paths and scenic wonders of the area.  We watched the full lunar eclipse from the top of Independence Pass (12,095 feet, and what an amazing drive!).  We visited the most-photographed spot in the state (the Maroon Bells as seen from Maroon Lake), at the most-photographed time of the year (peak fall color), at the most-photographed time of the day (sunrise) and guess what--we were not alone!  Quite a crowd shows up every day in late September to photograph or just plain admire this view, which lives up to every over-hyped expectation.  We drove up the beautiful Castle Creek Road and visited the old ghost town of Ashcroft in the height of the fall splendor. And we consumed over-priced coffee (in a chipped cup) and pastries served by haughty folks in a ho-hum coffee shop. But I'd go back for the aspens in fall in a heartbeat.
Maroon Bells reflected in Maroon Lake
Maroon Bells at first light
Crater Lake at the foot of the Maroon Bells
Aspens at their peak color
Maroon Lake from the trail to Crater Lake
East of Aspen bike trail

Ashcroft ghost town building
The View Hotel...and what a view!
Pearl Pass just past Ashcroft
Pearl Pass
Aspens begin to transition to winter
Lunar eclipse
Maroon Bells from Maroon Creek Rd.
From Maroon Creek Rd.
Hiking on Hunter Creek Trail just outside of Aspen
The town of Aspen and the ski mountain behind it.

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