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Colorado: Hike Aspen to Crested Butte

March 29, 2013|By Brian E. Clark
  • The Limelight Hotel in Aspen, Colo., offers hikers a new way to explore the local mountains.
The Limelight Hotel in Aspen, Colo., offers hikers a new way to explore the… (Limelight Hotel )

It’s 100 miles by car between Aspen and Crested Butte.

But if you're fit and would rather hike between these two famed Colorado ski towns this summer, the trek is only 11 miles and takes just six hours. Better yet, it promises meadows filled with wildflowers and stunning mountain vistas.

The folks who run Aspen’s Limelight Hotel say many of their guests are adventurers and aspiring mountaineers. So the hotel is introducing a way to explore the local mountains with the new Aspen-Crested Butte Package.

The deal starts with two nights at Limelight, so you can acclimate and enjoy the local offerings. You’ll then be shuttled to a trailhead in the White River National Forest and dropped off with an assortment of local and organic snacks for the journey.

The hotel will also provide a map for the 11-mile hike and a Spot Satellite GPS Messenger, which allows hikers to track their progress on the trail and, if necessary, send distress signals because cellphones do not work on any portion of the hike.

Limelight general manager Richard Stettner says the jaunt between Aspen and Crested Butte is through some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Colorado, over trails topping out at 12,500 feet.

"Locals like to call the experience ‘credit card camping’ because hotels are available at both ends of this beautiful hike,” said Stettner, an avid hiker.

 “But sometimes visitors are wary of attempting the experience. We’re aiming to change that.”

Once hikers reach Crested Butte, he said they’ll be whisked to their accommodations at the recently remodeled Nordic Inn. The property is a nostalgic piece of history in a hip mountain town known for its outdoor adventures and excellent dining.

After spending two nights in Crested Butte, guests have their choice of options for returning to Aspen:

  • An A-Star Eurocopter flight over the mountains. The helicopter picks up guests from the helipad at the Nordic Inn. The flight can be extended to allow for additional sightseeing and exploration.
  • A Cessna Caravan flight over the mountains. Guests must take a shuttle to nearby Gunnison County Airport to catch the plane. This flight also may be extended to allow for additional sightseeing and exploration.
  • Ground transportation by shuttle for the mountainous, three-hour drive to Aspen.

Rates for this package start at $4,679 for the helicopter flight; $2,994 for the Cessna; and $1,440 for the shuttle. Included are two nights lodging in both Aspen and Crested Butte, shuttle fees, Whole Foods snack bag and use of GPS. Expanded continental breakfasts are offered at both the Limelight Hotel and the Nordic Inn.

Info: To book this package, call the Limelight Hotel at (970) 925-3025 or (800) 433-0832.

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