Continuing west from Leadville, we arrived in Glenwood Springs which is located at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. As you might infer from its name, it is also home to numerous natural hot springs. As you approach the town from the east, you pass through the beautiful Glenwood Canyon through which flows the Colorado River. In Glenwood Springs we parked at Ami’s Acres Campground.
We took a day trip to one of Colorado’s most storied ski resort towns, Aspen. This area is home to 4 ski resorts, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. The base of Aspen Mountain is in the heart of the town of Aspen. In the late twentieth century, the town became a popular retreat for celebrities driven in part by residents like journalist Hunter S. Thompson and John Denver. Today, Aspen has some of the highest real estate prices in the U.S.
About 12 miles southwest of Aspen, you can visit a spot known as “Maroon Bells”, the name given to two peaks in the Elk Mountains, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, separated by 1/3 of a mile. Both peaks are members of the Colorado “fourteeners”, meaning more than 14,000 feet high. You approach the “bells” from the north, viewing the peaks as a backdrop to a beautiful U-shaped valley containing Maroon Lake. Absolutely stunning, especially at this time of year with the aspen trees lending their yellow and gold fall colors to the scene.
On another day we took a rafting tour on the Colorado River through a portion of Glenwood Canyon. At this time of year the rapids are not super challenging but we got a good taste of some fast water. Mostly, it was a pleasant way to experience the canyon from water level.
Next stop: Montrose, CO