Hunter Creek inholdings focus of Pitkin County purchase | AspenTimes.com

Hunter Creek inholdings focus of Pitkin County purchase

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

Courtesy Pitkin County Open Space and TrailsThe parcels outlined in red are the focus of the latest Pitkin County Open Space and Trails acquisition in the Hunter Creek Valley near Aspen.

ASPEN – The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Program has reached a deal to purchase three small parcels, totaling 1.48 acres, on the ridge to the north of the Hunter Creek Valley.

Collectively called the “Cooper claims,” the parcels are privately owned inholdings within the national forest. The county has reached an agreement to purchase them from Eloise Ilgen for $2,000. The expenditure, plus $1,000 to cover transaction costs, will go to the county commissioners for consideration on Wednesday.

The county acquired the Virginia Pet Lode in the Hunter Creek Valley earlier this year. It was the last known developable parcel in the area, but there remain a few non-developable private inholdings in the valley, according to Dale Will, director of the open space program.

The largest of Ilgen’s landholdings, a sliver to the southwest of the Hummingbird Lode – a 10-acre parcel acquired as open space in 1998 – is traversed by a popular mountain biking trail known as The Plunge, Will noted.

The Hunter Creek Valley, cut between Red Mountain and Smuggler Mountain on Aspen’s northeast side, has long been a favorite local playground for hikers, mountain bikers and others. The valley floor and the hills above it, particularly the ridge to the north of Hunter Creek, dividing the Hunter Creek and Woody Creek valleys, are criss-crossed with dirt roads and trails.