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The most accessible and popular of all the trails in the Aspen area, the Rio Grande Trail follows the old Denver and Rio Grande Railroad bed along the Roaring Fork River. It is possible to follow this trail along the old scenic railroad corridor all the way from the post office in Aspen to the Upper Woody Creek Bridge. From the post office, the trail leads over two bridges - the first goes over the Roaring Fork River, the second over Hunter Creek. The trail continues along the right (north) side of the Roaring Fork River for several miles. The initial section of the trail has signs every 400 meters (1/4 mile) for a 2.4 kilometer stretch. To the west of Cemetery Lane, the next 2 kilometers are very scenic, as the trail follows the river in a small canyon-like setting. This section of the trail is gravel.

The Rio Grande Trail has recently been extended and paved from the Woody Creek area to Old Snowmass. It then links to a paved path which leads from Old Snowmass, beyond Basalt to Emma.

Directions: From Aspen, The trail can be accessed from multiple points. In Aspen is is normally access from the Mill Street bridge over the Roaring Fork River or from the Cemetery Lane/Slaughterhouse Bridge. To access the trail from Mill Street, go north from the corner of Mill and Main about 2 blocks to the Roaring Fork River. To access the trail from Cemetery Lane, travel west from Aspen 1/4 mile on Highway 82. Just west of the Castle Creek Bridge, turn right at the Cemetery Lane stoplight. Follow Cemetery Lane1 mile to Slaughterhouse Bridge. There is a parking area on the left. Both the paved and unpaved trails can be accessed from this point.

Elevation: 7,900 feet

Ending Elevation: 7,900 feet

Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet

Distance: 20 miles

Usage: Heavy

Difficulty: Easy

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White River National Forest, Colorado

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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