The Ghost Town - Ashcroft
Come all ye Irish gentlemen,
a story I would tell
Of St. Tim’s church at Ashcroft
and all that there befell.
Since snows did fall and streams run down
from lofty Castle Peak,
More witching spot could ne’er be found,
of poet to speak;
Or lovely vales, bestrewn with flowers,
or Columbine more rare;
Or sparkling waters foaming down,
or azure skies more fair.
..... An excerpt from a poem written by John Leahy, Ashcroft's Mayor/Justice of the Peace/Town Scholar. He's said to have died in an avalanche while reciting the poetry he loved to write, and his ghost is said to still inhabit the town.
In 1880, (Ashcroft's early days), there were cabins, a store, saloon, jail, post office, and hotel. By far the most popular was the saloon where the miners would relax and play cards and converse with the "Spanish Ladies", (prostitutes), in the two story gambling dancing hall called Paddy's. At that time the Montezuma-Tam O'Shanter mine produced up to $20,000 worth of silver a month. By 1883 Ashcroft had more residents than Aspen; more than 2,500 people hoping to cash in on the promise of Silver called this their home.
Before long there were almost 20 saloons as news of Ashcroft's wealth spread; however when the silver mines produced little more than the yellow-orange tailing piles still evident today the population quickly shifted to Aspen. In 1887 the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad put a stake through the heart of Ashcroft bypassing it, and completing a rail line through Aspen.
As you walk through the historically protected ghost town you are guided by elevated wooden sidewalks with stops here and there with information boards telling you about the buildings and the residents. You can almost hear the piano playing in the old saloon along with cards being shuffled. If you visit in the winter, there are lots of wonderful cross-country trails to follow too.Related to:
- Skiing and Boarding
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Electric Pass/Cathedral Lake
At 13,500 ft, it is considered CO's highest trail-accessible pass. The hike begins along the Cathedral Lake trail and the first 3.2 miles experiences a 2, 000 ft elevation gain. The trail begins among aspens then breaks off into open meadows and rock slide areas. After the 1st 2 miles, the trail climbs in a series of switchbacks to the basin. At that point, the right hand fork leads to Electric Pass and the left another 1/4 mile to Cathedral Lake.
The electric pass route then reaches timberline, and climbs through waist high willows and climbs another 1,600 feet in 1.5 miles. Heading up to electric pass, the summit of cathedral peak is visible, along with an extensive rock glacier. The trail switchbacks to a ridge which extends to Leahy Peak. The trail then climbs along Electric Pass Peak to reach the Electric Pass.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
On the edge of downtown Aspen is the Silver Queen Gondola. It takes you up to the summit of Aspen Mountain, for a panoramic view of the beautiful Elk Mountains to the west.Related to:
Lost Man Lake
From the trailhead, its a 6 mile hike to Lost Man Lake. The total elevation gain is 2,000 feet. Lost Man Lake is situated at an elevation of 12, 450 ftRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
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