Ghost LbNA # 1715 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Aug 14 2002|
Date of Placement: August 14th, 2002
Total miles to Hike: 4.5 miles to letterbox
Placed by: Uncle Mikey
This letterbox is located at the end of a trail called the Anaerobic
Nightmare just outside of Snowmass, Colorado. Two other trails, the Owl Creek and Tom Blake, are necessary to hike before reaching this trail. There are no good parking spaces near the trails in Snowmass, but there is a small lot near a playground that seems to work just fine.
From I-70, take state road 83 to Aspen (coming from Glenwood Springs) As you arrive near Aspen, ignore the turn to Snowmass Village and keep driving towards Aspen. After you pass the Airport, you will encounter a stoplight next to the Buttermilk Ski Resort. Turn right as if going to Buttermilk, but do not turn into the resort. The road you are on is Owl Creek Road, but it is not marked as such. As you travel this road, it will turn to dirt, and then back to pavement as you near Snowmass Village.
Once reaching Snowmass, Owl Creek Road makes a turn to the left, but the road continues forward with a name change. Follow Owl Creek, and after a short while, you will see a wooden sign dropping the speed limit to 20 mph, as well as a sign below it reading "We (heart) our children". The very next left is a small parking lot by the Cathy Robinson Playground. Park here.
If you face the opposite direction you were driving on Owl Creek Road, you will have a paved trail running left/right, and a playground on the right. Follow the paved trail to the left, but do not cross the road to follow the Fox Run Trail. Instead, go straight ahead to follow the Owl Creek Trail.
The Owl Creek Trail runs alongside Owl Creek Road, but eventually diverts a slight ways away to make it seem less like a sidewalk. It will be about two miles to the head of the Tom Blake Trail, the second trail of the hike. As you walk along Owl Creek, you will cross Two Creeks Drive, and entrance to Stark's Trail on the left, and the entrance to the Two Creeks Ski Area. You will then encounter a sign directing you forward to Tom Blake trail.
The Owl Creek trail will continue across Pine Crest Drive, and then
switchback up a hill. After reaching the top, the trail will descend downward into the forest, and the head of the Tom Blake is not far away. There are two sections to the Tom Blake trail - one for hikers and bikers, and one for Equestrians and Skiers. The first entrance will be for the Equestrians, so skip it and walk a few hundred feet more to the Hiker entrance to the Tom Blake trail.
Note: The Tom Blake trail is closed from April 25th to June 20th to allow the wildlife to have peaceful calving time away from humans. It is also partially closed in the wintertime, for reasons that were not clear.
As you follow the Tom Blake trail, it will ascend at a moderate height through the forest, and there will be several trail signs directing you (To Snowmass Village Mall), depending if you are a hiker or are on horseback. Always follow the way of the hiker, and there should be three signs (not always facing you) before you reach the part of the trail which closes in the wintertime. There will be an ugly looking contractor's substation to your left when you reach this point, and the trail continues forward with a low clearance warning posted along with the winter closing sign. The low
clearance is a ski elevator, and the trail runs underneath the tracks up the mountain. After this, the last signpost directs you either to continue along the Tom Blake, or to go forward up the Anaerobic Nightmare.
Go up the Nightmare, and the grade of the trail will increase noticeably. It's only .6 miles to the end of the trail, at which point the trail forks both left and right to intersect with the Government Trail. Look down the right fork, and you will see a tree with a small yellow sign with simply says "Government" Behind this tree is a small rock carin containing the Ghost Letterbox, at the
end of the Anaerobic Nightmare.