Aspen is home to amazing views and stunning natural beauty. Exploring new areas and making the trip to higher altitudes offers different perspectives and additional magnificent panoramas. And one way to experience the best Aspen has to offer is touring trails on an all-terrain vehicle, also known as an ATV.
Both summer and fall are great times to strike out on an ATV and see Aspen from a different viewpoint. Learn about some of the best places to take an ATV.
While there are several routes up Aspen Mountain in the summer and fall, driving an ATV up Summer Road to connect with Richmond Ridge Road or Midnight Mine, is a trip best experiences during sunset hours. The Aspen Summer Road winds up the front of Aspen Mountain. Once at the top, there is the option to make your way out onto Richmond Ridge or take the Midnight Mine Road down the back of the mountain. All routes offer fantastic views.
Routes to Crested Butte
Another scenic trip is traveling from the Aspen and Roaring Fork area to Crested Butte.
The Taylor Pass route sends you through rugged hills and valleys showing off the White National Forest's natural landscape. This pass offers fantastic views; however, it's recommended for experienced drivers and riders or guided trips.
Starting just beyond Ashcroft on Castle Creek Road is Pearl Pass. This popular almost 23-mile route follows a river and the top of the pass is over 12,500 ft. Throughout the drive, you may pass views of short and tall waterfalls as well as remains of an old mining operation. The steep road is often covered in snow through the month of July, so trips to Crested Butte via Pearl Pass are best undertaken in late summer and fall.
Another route to Crested Butte from the Roaring Fork Valley is through the small town of Marble. Schofield Pass takes riders through ghost towns, mining remains, and a marble quarry. Closed most of the year due to snow or mud, it's usually only open a couple months each year in the late summer or early fall.
Drives in Marble
The popular 13-mile Lead King Loop connects Lead King Basin and Crystal City around Sheep Mountain. The high-altitude loop is a side road off the Schofield Pass road and begins near Beaver Lake. The road traverses up Daniels Hill to a beautiful vantage point before embarking on rugged terrain to the well-photographed Crystal Mill. You'll also pass the turnoff to Schofield Pass / Crested Butte until you hit the Lead King Basin. The loop has fantastic views and is filled with aspen groves - perfect for a fall outing.
Join us in Aspen!
If these ATV routes sound like a fun summer or fall adventure, contact the Frias Properties Reservations Team to book your Aspen lodging. Our concierge can also help facilitate any ATV rentals or a guided experience.