Crested Butte Colorado Off

28 May 2013

Located between two of the most famous recreational areas in the state, this long trail offers an unmatched variety of different landscapes from rolling hillsides to challenging rock ledges. High elevation sections of the trail follow the border of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and pass through some of the most remote and strikingly beautiful areas of Colorado. I drove the trail in mid August and found wildflowers at lower elevations and snow at higher elevations. ATVs are allowed on entire trail, but it is absolutely critical to stay on main road at all times. The town of Ashcroft was born in 1880 and grew to a population of about 2,000. At that time, it had 20 saloons,32mm carburetor, a school, sawmills and two newspapers.

Only five years later, the rich silver mines proved to be just shallow deposits and the town quickly died. In 1974, the town was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Aspen Historical Society has preserved the town for all to enjoy. A small fee is charged to keep things going. Many boulder fields, steep climbs, water crossings, and narrow shelves. These conditions are magnified by snow and ice that are present well into late summer at higher elevations. During years of heavy snowpack, the summit can be blocked for the entire year. Always travel with another vehicle or group of vehicles. Trail is not well suited for stock SUVs but an experienced driver can get an aggressive vehicle through with patience and a little luck.

Located between two of the most famous recreational areas in the state, this long trail offers an unmatched variety of different landscapes from rolling hillsides to challenging rock ledges. High elevation sections of the trail follow the border of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and pass through some of the most remote and strikingly beautiful areas of Colorado. I drove the trail in mid August and found wildflowers at lower elevations and snow at higher elevations. ATVs are allowed on entire trail, but it is absolutely critical to stay on main road at all times. The town of Ashcroft was born in 1880 and grew to a population of about 2,000. At that time, it had 20 saloons, a school, sawmills and two newspapers. Only five years later, the rich silver mines proved to be just shallow deposits and the town quickly died. In 1974, the town was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Aspen Historical Society has preserved the town for all to enjoy.

A small fee is charged to keep things going. Many boulder fields, steep climbs, water crossings, and narrow shelves. These conditions are magnified by snow and ice that are present well into late summer at higher elevations. During years of heavy snowpack, the summit can be blocked for the entire year. Always travel with another vehicle or group of vehicles. Trail is not well suited for stock SUVs but an experienced driver can get an aggressive vehicle through with patience and a little luck.


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