Ashcroft Road Running

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About

Summary

Castle Creek Road provides road runners access to a long, stunning valley with views of soaring peaks, groves of aspen and spruce, and ultimately, to the famous ghost town of Ashcroft. The run is considered difficult, as there is a decent amount of climbing, more than 12 miles one way or 24 miles roundtrip.

Written by

Leah Fielding

Distance

24.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

9.5 miles

Difficulty

4 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

4 hours

3-5 hours

Seasonality

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Dog Friendly

No

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

Castle Creek Road provides road runners access to a long, stunning valley with views of soaring peaks, groves of aspen and spruce, and ultimately, to the famous ghost town of Ashcroft. The run is considered difficult, as there is a decent amount of climbing, more than 12 miles one way or 24 miles roundtrip. 

What Makes It Great

Few roads can offer what Castle Creek can for runners. Take a breather at the 12-mile turnaround and explore the former mining-boom town, Ashcroft. Running to Ashcroft from downtown Aspen, especially in September, is one of the best road runs in Colorado, in our opinion. There's a bit of everything and each element, the valley, aspen groves, rushing creek, mountains and historic mining buildings, provide a rich representation of Colorado.

Many buildings still stand as testament to the days when 2,000 people lived in Ashcroft and there were 20 saloons, two newspapers and a school. On a sunny fall day, the combination of the bright yellow aspen leaves, crisp blue sky, mountains and historic buildings make for quite the scene. Be sure to bring your camera or smartphone to nab some pictures.

Who is Going to Love It

Runners with a proclivity for history will find the experience quite fascinating and unique. Many runners prefer the Maroon Bells for scenery, but we think Ashcroft is just as lovely and perhaps even more interesting, when factoring in the historic element.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Run from downtown Aspen along Highway 82 or hop on the bike route on Hopkins Ave. to the roundabout and run up Castle Creek Road for about 12 miles until you reach the ghost town of Ashcroft. If you ride on the paved bike route, you'll pass an old mining building and community garden before coming to Castle Creek Road. You will know you're on the right road when you pass Aspen Valley Hospital on your right. If running along the bike path be aware of commuter bikers and walkers.

Remember, you can always get on the free Castle Creek bus from Rubey Park in downtown and get off wherever you choose to modify your run.

Location

Ashcroft Road

Aspen, CO, 81611
39.103091, -106.8404

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