Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

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Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

A short walk from the bustling upscale shops of South Mill Street sits the quiet Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, in the 22-acre Hallam Lake Nature Preserve. ACES is a perfect place to relax, take a hike or learn about native plants and animals. Read More

  • 100 Puppy Smith St., off Mill Street in Aspen
  • Entrance is free
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday in Summer
  • Other seasons: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Overview

This family-friendly environmental center is an ideal sojourn for those who are outdoor-curious but backcountry shy, as it offers a perfect introduction to the great outdoors. Numerous natural science programs are offered throughout the year, and the center is renowned for its work with school-age children It also has activities for all generations and interests.

A self-guided nature trail snakes around the preserve and is a favorite with bird-watchers. Deer, foxes, beavers and bears also frequent the area. The visitor center features an indoor trout stream swarming with native cutthroats, as well as an environmental library and a gift shop full of books, gifts and toys. The center rehabilitates birds of prey, and often visitors can interact with great horned owls or golden eagles.

On-site naturalists provide information about nature and wildlife and give tours of the nature preserve year-round. In the summer, ACES offers naturalist-guided walks; birds of prey demonstrations; children's programs; sunset beaver walks; and interpretive campground programs. In the winter, naturalists lead snowshoe hikes at various locations, including the top of Aspen Mountain.

Location/Directions

ACES is located in the Hallam Lake Nature Preserve. From Main Street in Aspen, go north on Mill Street, take a left on Puppy Smith Street and go past the post office. The road dead-ends at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Park on the left and walk down the driveway.

Hours/Season

Sumer hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; other seasons: 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Monday through Friday

Fees/Cost

Entrance is free. Cost for tours and programs varies

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