The Castle Creek Valley in Aspen, Colorado has been home to some of the richest Ute Indian settlement and mining history that Colorado has to offer. Over 8,000 years ago, ancient people first made this area their home. This spacious valley, just south of Aspen, provides unmatched access to Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Hayden Peak, Montezuma Basin, Taylor Pass, the ghost town of Ashcroft, and many other desirable retreats for the seeker of Rocky Mountain adventure. Abundant in its beauty and historical mining wealth, this mountainous paradise was called, the "Shining Mountains" by its Ute Indian residents.
The Castle Creek Valley entrance is only minutes away from downtown Aspen, Colorado and is most frequently accessed from Castle Creek Road, which in and of itself is ranked #36 out of 61 attractions in Aspen, Colorado on TripAdvisor.com. This 13 mile paved road is most locally renowned for its scenic driving displays, incredible wildflower viewing, and provides access to enjoy numerous recreational activities including; backpacking, camping, hiking and walking, mountain biking, motorcycle riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing. Castle Creek Road is one of the premier road bike rides in the State of Colorado.
Located about 10 miles up Castle Creek Road from the city of Aspen, is the historical Ashcroft Ghost Town lying quietly at an elevation of 9,780 Feet. Ashcroft area has been granted the status of ”National Historic Site”, and it was the first in the country to receive a Permit from the United States Forest Service to be preserved as a Ghost Town by a Historical Society.
The history of the famous Ashcroft Ghost Town dates back to the spring of 1880, when silver prospectors crossed the Continental Divide to set up camps in Aspen, Colorado. Here, they would discover one of the richest silver lodes the world has ever known. The Ashcroft Ghost Town was one of several original camps set up to lure investors and workers. This camp was originally called, ‘Castle Forks City’ and was a thriving community with its own courthouse, school, a sawmill and 20 saloons. With a population of approximately 2,000 people, Castle Forks City was larger than the town of Aspen and its mines initially produced 14,000 ounces of silver to the ton! The shallow mine deposits did not turn out to be as prosperous as was hoped, however, so the population eventually dwindled.
In the 1930's, Ashcroft began to gain a different sort of attention from the developers of Colorado ski areas looking to build a European-style ski resort complete with an aerial-tram intended to ascend the majestic, Mount Hayden. Mount Hayden is a local celebrity in its own right for both its back-country skiing, as well as its own historical stature -since it was once predicted to become Aspen’s very first ski mountain.
In 1936, André Roch, whose surveying, mountaineering, and avalanche expertise was sought throughout the world, was hired to survey the land around Mount Hayden with a vision to build a grandiose ski mountain. Plans quickly changed after the outbreak of World War II and the idea of building a world -class ski resort on Mount Hayden was abandoned; but that idea would later be carried out through Aspen’s four surrounding ski mountains, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Aspen / Buttermilk and Snowmass ("The Power of Four").
To this day, the 4,316 vertical foot climb of Mount Hayden remains one of Aspen’s best kept secrets for back-country skiing and hiking – nestled among the spectacular Elk Mountain Range. Snow conditions on this incredibly beautiful mountain often transition easily from winter to spring and during spring, Mount Hayden is known to provide good glisse with spring corn snow. Though great for back country skiing, this Mountain should be left to the most advanced experienced skiers, as the route climbs up through tight trees and gullies. This is advanced terrain to navigate by headlamp, and the ski-out, while touted as top-notch, is often described as ‘tortuous”.
For back country skiers and ‘Powder Adventurers’, the back country skiing in this Castle Creek Valley is one of a kind… One of the biggest secrets that Aspen locals might share in a local pub, is the phenomenal out-of-bounds skiing that this valley has to offer… From the backside of Aspen Mountain and from Aspen Highlands and Highland’s Bowl. Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands stand like prominent bookends on either side of this storybook setting. For this reason, it is possible to meet in the Castle Creek valley floor from the backside of both of these world class ski mountains. A high degree of caution is necessary when navigating the exit from Highland’s Bowl by way of the ‘Congo Trail’ (more commonly known as a summer time single-track mountain bike trail), as this trail is narrow and loosely maintained. Long time secrets of well-conditioned Aspen Locals, these back country areas offer endless exploration for the most experienced and advanced ski enthusiasts.
Both the Midnight Mine area and Little Annie's Basin are out-of-bounds ski areas accessed from the backside of Aspen Mountain, but in summer months these backside roads become jeep, mountain bike and hiking trails that offer a quieter display of alpine forests and a direct view of the Castle Creek Valley below.
The late 1940's and 1950's introduced additional winter activities to the Castle Creek Valley including dog sled operations, featuring Toklat Huskies. Located just below the fourteen thousand foot Castle Peak, lies the Ashcroft Cross-Country Ski Area and home of the Pine Creek Cookhouse. The Ashcroft Cross-Country Ski Area offers a variety of terrain for Nordic skiers with thirty-five kilometers of meticulously groomed trails winding across 600 acres of unparalleled scenic appeal. The Pine Creek Cookhouse offers a rustic, yet elegant place to unwind while experiencing adventure in this remote and breathtaking area. This restaurant offers mountain gourmet cuisine and features one of Colorado’s most spectacular venues for weddings and private celebrations.
Alpine Meadow Estate
North Hayden Drive
Imagine a grand main residence containing over 11,250 square feet of livable area and a 3-car garage. The private and quiet estate also offers a guest house with 4-bay garage and a two-bedroom guest suite.
All of the development is clustered within well-manicured grounds and nestled comfortably in the unrivaled beauty of Castle Creek Valley, just 3 minutes from Aspen Country Day School and 9 minutes to town.
You’ll fully appreciate the meticulous attention that’s been paid to every aspect of the 17 acre property which borders the White River National Forest- complete with its own long hiking trail.
The thoughtfully-designed home of custom log construction, built by thoroughly modern methods, is unrivaled in the Aspen marketplace.
The excitement begins with a drive up past multiple ponds and waterfalls, Aspen’s largest fire pit, and up a generous snow-melted driveway to a well-defined grand entryway. With mountain-inspired copper-inlaid, over-sized doors and artisan glass entry, the main house clearly welcomes all sentient beings.
This 7-bedroom, 6 1/2 bathroom masterpiece contains provides every conceivable comfort. Every bedroom has its own private balcony to enjoy the sound of flowing water from the property’s private water source.
The luscious warmth of the interior soothes the soul as one moves through the expansive common-area rooms of the residence.
From the plush overstuffed furnishings (included), to the native stone wood-burning fireplace, to the large, lavishly appointed French-inspired kitchen (a chef would be envious), the Alpine Meadow Estate provides everything necessary to delight and entertain both kids and adults.
Just outside of one of the "floor to ceiling" windows of the 37 foot high great living room are wondrous views of Aspen Mountain.
Mt. Hayden, in all its grandeur, provides the focal point to the beautiful alpine landscape painting created by the stylish window frames. The exposed log ceilings of the large room do some soaring of their own!
A luxurious master suite is located in its own private wing and provides the occupants with secluded luxury and exhilarating high alpine views.
One of the more opulent features of the master suite is the "open-air" bathroom and walk-in closet, illuminated by soothing natural light streaming through strategically-placed windows.
The "Tuscan feel" of the master bathroom is highlighted by a gas fireplace with seating area, separate shower and Jacuzzi tub facilities for two, all-custom fixtures, and warm terracotta tiles underfoot.
The entertainment options for adults include a brand new media room with tiered seating, a well-lit and creatively-designed library, and multiple comfortable outdoor spaces for reading, relaxing and communicating.
The main residence provides several opportunities for home office spaces, and numerous intimate and private spaces for family and guests to relax and enjoy the soothing surroundings.
The entertainment options for children provided by this amazing estate include a large indoor recreation room with a full-size trampoline, and foos ball and billiard tables.
In addition to these generous indoor spaces there are several outdoor spaces for energetic young ones that include a full acre of water-sprinkled lawn, a whimsical "artisan" tree house, swing-set/climbing area, and giant playing field.
The expansive landscaped grounds that envelope the residence seems to sing the universal language of nature, resonating through the lively outdoor spaces of the estate. The exciting sight and sound of water through the property provides the melody, while the architect-designed exterior softscapes and hardscapes provide the lyrics for this colorful mountain-music.
The laughter of children and the soft voices of satisfied adults fill the crisp alpine air.
It soars in the imagination of those without wings, this sylvan place of the magic mountains.
So majestic and unique, it is a place not all can seek,
but waiting and right for the discerning type…
Residential Sales inventory (Active Residential Listings) in Aspen dropped below the 400 mark yesterday for the first time in more than two years. This represents a 20% reduction in Inventory from the peak of approximately 500 Active Listings. Prior to the Recession, the typical Inventory of Active Listings was 60-80 at any given time.
On another positive note - 10% of all Active Listings in Aspen are currently Under Contract. The propterties that are Under Contract have Asking Prices ranging from $280,000. - $13,700,000. The median price is $1,995,000. The average price is $2,626,000. and the total dollar volume Under Contract is $105,036,000.
Aspen has never remained a "Buyer's Market" for too long, so it's time to get off the fence - if you are on it!
East Aspen is comprised of all properties east of Downtown Aspen to the edge of the White River National Forest and Independence Pass.
This is a highly desirable area that provides easy access to downtown Aspen as well as the year-round wilderness playground known as Independence pass.
Popular with cross country skiers, cyclists, rock climbers, and snowmobilers, East Aspen provides traffic-free access between Aspen's world class amenities and the Rocky Mountains' world class adventure opportunities.
There are currently 27 Active Listings for Single Family Homes and Duplex Properties in East Aspen, four of which are under contract.
The lowest-priced home is Listed for 1.314 million (currently under contract) and the highest priced home is 16.750 million - this home is also currently under contract.
The average listing price for all these properties is 5.6 million and the average price per square foot for these homes is $1,159.
The average listing days on market is 287 days.
There are currently 12 lots for sale in East Aspen of which 2 are under contract.
The listing prices range from 1.3 to 7.95 million. The average list price is 3.35 million.
The average list price per number of acres is 4.8 million per acre. The average length of listing days is 405, or just over a year.
There were 21 homes and half duplexes that sold in East Aspen over the last year. They ranged in sales prices from 1.1 to 17.5 million.
The average listing price for these homes was $1,272 per square foot and the average sold price per square foot was $1,123. The average listing period for these homes that sold was 354 days.
It can be difficult and somewhat misleading to use averages (such as price per square foot) to value homes in East Aspen as there is significant variation among subdivisions within this major area.
Homes in The Preserve, and subdivisions further up Independence pass, have different views from those on Park Avenue or Ardmore Court.
Some of these homes are very dated and are approaching lot value, while others are brand new.
Some of these subdivisions, such as McSkimming Way, have newer and older homes right next to one another.
View planes and quality construction seem to be more important than lot size when it comes to valuing a property in this desirable area.