Situated ten miles south of Aspen, Ashcroft features several historic ruins and homesteads. The town was originally known as Castle Forks City, then Chloride until 1882.
The original town was founded in 1880, when two Leadville miners left in search of silver in the Castle Creek Valley. After finding silver, the word got out and “Castle Forks City” blew up. It two weeks the town had a courthouse and streets laid out.
It was renamed to Ashcroft in 1882 and a year later had 13 saloons and 2,000 residents. At this point it was bigger than Aspen and closer to the railroad in Crested Butte. At its peak it had 3,5000 people, six hotels and twenty saloons.
A rich strike in nearby Aspen, sent residents away. They quickly left town and it soon become a lonely place. The last resident Jack Leahy, died in 1939, making Ashcroft a real ghost town. In 1975 Ashcroft made it onto the National Register of Historic Places.
Take CO-82 west out of Aspen. After half mile you’ll reach a traffic circle. Take the 3rd exit onto Castle Creek Road. Follow for eleven miles to the town-site of Ashcroft.
Nearby Town: Aspen