Wednesday, September 12, 2012
American Lake and the Castle Creek Valley
Don’t wait. This is the weekend. We have it on good authority that the clouds currently enveloping Aspen will blow out by the weekend and we will be seeing the absolute peak of the fall colors in the Castle Creek Valley! For those not as familiar with our geography, the Castle Creek Valley lies just to the south-west of Aspen, and is easily accessible via Castle Creek Road (running from the roundabout right outside town). With incredible contrasts between Aspen groves and fir trees, and with Castle Creek at its heart, the Castle Creek Valley puts forward a strong argument as the hiking around Aspen. American Lake is the valley’s signature hike. At 3.2 miles each way, and covering nearly 2000ft in elevation gain, it is not for the faint of heart. You will, however, be justly rewarded. You will enter a large grove of Aspen trees, before emerging into a spruce forest and intermittent alpine meadows. The emerald green water of American Lake is the perfect spot for a packed lunch. For those preferring a more gourmet meal, the Pine Creek Cookhouse is located just a mile or two further up Castle Creek Road and will most certainly satisfy any hunger! They are open for lunch and dinner through October 7th.