Just outside the west side of Aspen, one can take a 13 mile paved road to the ghost town of Ashcroft. The road runs along the Castle Creek valley, and is surrounded by expansive forests of aspens which provide a rainbow of colors across the valley. It is indeed an awe-inspiring drive.
Ashcroft was established in 1880 during the silver boom in Colorado. At one point the town had more than 2000 residents. The old buildings are very photogenic and cap off a beautiful drive.
If one continues for a few miles beyond the ghost town, the views of the valley and Castle Peak at 14000′ are wonderful. For the 4WD fanatics there are two rough roads continuing up into the mountains. Very little opportunity exist to torn around or to pass other vehicles, so be cautious.