Ghost Town sights in Aspen
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Just 16 miles from Aspen at the foot of Independence Pass, this gold-mining boom town turned ghost town started as a tented camp in the summer of 1879, when one lucky miner struck gold on the Fourth of July. Operated and preserved by the Aspen Historical Society, you can see the remains of the old livery, the general store and a miners cabin or three.
After its population had peaked at 1500 residents, the town fell away during the harsh winter storm of 1899 after supply routes were severed due to severe snowfall.
The best access point to the 20 miles of groomed trails in the stunning Castle Creek Valley is the ghost town of Ashcroft, a silver-mining town founded in 1880. What remains are mostly miners cottages (log cabins with tin roofs), a couple of broken-down wagons stranded in the waist-high grass, and a post office and saloon.
At its height 2500 people worked here, but in 1893 the silver market crashed and the town's population plummeted to 100 residents within two hours.
There's a fine picnic area down by the creek, and a series of displays profiling famous residents, and local transportation and communication of the day. Preserved by the Aspen Historical Society, it's well…