SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Having taken the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies' nighttime tour, I expected to learn about animal tracks and the local wildlife when I joined the center's ski tour on Snowmass mountain. I did get that, but also a good bit more.
When I took the tour on Feb. 8, we spotted a porcupine and some snowshoe hare tracks and learned the difference between spruce and fir trees. However, our guide Aaron Parker also talked about the history of the area, how Burnt Mountain got its name, and the environmental impacts of the pine beetle. (Here's a hint: It's not just about the trees.)
Next time you're on the mountain, take an hour and learn some things. The tour is free, and when you're done, you can go right back to skiing.
This article is part of a regular series about the nonprofit Aspen Center for Environmental Studies' guided tours in Snowmass Village.