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Ashcroft Ghost Town

Express Creek, White River National Forest, Colorado 81611
Daylight hours are best.
970-925-3721 30 minutes or less
September 2013 Summer, Fall
$0-9 - Colorado
Website Historical Historic Sites
First review
Ashcroft Ghost Town is a historical site located about 11 miles from Aspen. The city was a boomtown based on silver mining in the late 1800s. The site is only a few acres and contains about 10 wooden homes and buildings; most are fairly dilapidated without floors or furnishings. The historical site was unstaffed at the time, but there were some interpretive signs. The mountain scenery and a nearby creek combined for a scenic setting.

The town was founded in 1880 by prospectors who discovered silver deposits nearby. They were soon joined by many other prospectors, and the town boomed. In a few years the population grew to several thousand people; there were no fewer than 20 saloons and 6 hotels. However, the silver deposits soon greatly diminished. New strikes were discovered closer to Aspen and most of the townspeople moved away. By 1885 the population was reduced to several hundred and by 1900 only a handful remained. There was rekindled interest in the area for use as a ski resort prior to World War Two, but Aspen was chosen instead.

It only takes a few minutes to see the town on one’s own and visiting in October also meant having it to oneself. Most of the buildings were either open or without doors and windows so accessibility was good, but building information was fairly limited and obtaining a historical perspective was challenging given the rudimentary conditions. One saloon was more refurbished and included glass windows, but the door was locked. A visit here is probably more informative and insightful as part of a guided tour. A local historical society offers tours during the summer and by appointment in the offseason. Tour information can be obtained at 970-925-3721, extension 104. As a historical attraction, Ashcroft is unlikely to be of much interest to a general audience and even historical buffs will find the offerings to be skimpy. There are some picnic facilities, but it’s a long drive just for lunch.
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