A Stirling hike | AspenTimes.com

A Stirling hike

Dear Editor:

Remember Stirling? He died 11 years ago, Aug. 28, during an outing in Utah. He was with his (still living) son Brandon. Now, in Stirling’s memory, you can hike a two-part trail on the back of Aspen Mountain. It travels through what is officially designated as the Stirling Cooper Open Space. This Saturday would be a good time to explore the area, but it is a public area and open any time.

The start of the trail is about 300 feet up Little Annie Road, which starts about 6.5 miles up the Castle Creek Road from the Aspen roundabout. The trail splits in less than a half-mile. The left branch goes to the historic Storm King cabin, and the right one goes to the Dick picnic site and on to the Quien Sabe historic mine site. You can do a loop from the one area to the other, with the total distance being about 2 miles.

It is a steep trail in parts, rising about 1,000 feet to the end of the Quien Sabe claim, but it is worth the trip. The views are mainly those of Mount Hayden, but you get great views of the Ashcroft valley from the very end of the right branch. All in all, you will likely find it to be a very peaceful wilderness trail.

If you would like to know more about the trail and area, contact me at 928-0825 or at Box 201, Aspen 81612. If time permits, I would gladly give you a tour of the area (free), and I will throw in some mining history. I still have five unpatented mining claims, several of which are involved with the Stirling Trail. It is a special area.

Buzz Cooper (father of Stirling)

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