Just minutes away from the Tyrolean Lodge, exploring Castle Creek Valley can be a full day full of adventure with luxurious rewards at their end. Whether you are hiking up to one of the high alpine lakes, nordic skiing along the valley floor or riding in a horse drawn sleigh, your adventure may well end at the Pine Creek Cookhouse for glass of wine or a decadent meal. Then again, you may just get waylaid in the historic ghost town of Ashcroft, or perhaps find yourself at Toklat amidst the howling of sled dog teams from an era long since past.
Ashcroft Ghost Town
Visit a 135 year old ghost town from the silver mining days. Summer hiking, winter cross-country skiing trails and sleigh rides are available. From the roundabout, take the third exit onto Castle Creek Road and continue for 13 miles.
Pine Creek Cookhouse
Located in Ashcroft at the base of the Elk Mt. Range, this unique destination serves up hearty gourmet lunches and dinners. Maybe ski in under the full moon or opt for a ride on a horse draw sleigh, either way you'll experience something truly memorable.
ASHCROFT SKI TOURING
Located twelve miles from Aspen in the Castle Creek Valley, the ski area offers a range of trails fit for beginner, intermediate, and advanced Nordic skiers. Roughly 22 miles of groomed trails extend over 600 acres surrounding the ghost town of Ashcroft, mixing history and adventure. A sophisticated menu at the Pine Creek Cookhouse will remind you that you’re only miles from Colorado’s culinary capital. Rentals, lessons, and guided tours are available.
Cathedral Lake Trail
An extremely popular and difficult day hike which follows the Pine Creek canyon, ascending through forest, alpine meadows and scree fields to a high mountain lake. The scenic views of the peaks of the Elk Mountain Range are spectacular. Backpackers planning to stay overnight for fishing or an early morning hike to Electric Pass will find camping available below the lake area. Water on this trail is very limited and exposure to the sun is high.
American Lake Trail
Another extremely popular day hike which is moderately difficult as it ascends to a high mountain lake through groves of aspen, pine forests and open meadows offering limited views of surrounding peaks. Fishing is considered fair. Camping is prohibited within 100 feet of the lake and on the small peninsula on the shore of the lake. On a rainy day the forest aroma is delightful.
Catto Center at Toklat
The Catto Center at Toklat is located near the headwaters of Castle Creek in a dramatic landscape and serves as a gathering place for cultural and ecological discourse. Support the resident artists as they hone their skills while protecting and nourishing the natural resources of the valley, specifically its vast and critical watershed and the ACES' Kids Naturalist Field School scholarship program.