ACES – Aspen Center For Environmental Studies

ACES is a strong part of the Aspen community, not only in the great work it does in Aspen and throughout the valley, but in the number of locals that currently or at one point have worked at this great organization.

They have four locations in the Roaring Fork Valley, just outside the Aspen core at Hallam lake (100 Puppy Smith Street), at Rock Bottom Ranch in Basalt (2001 Hooks Spur Road), at Toklat (11247 Castle Creek Road) and up Spring Creek (25 miles up the Frying Pan Road in Thomasville).

Their mission as a non-profit environmental science education center: “To inspire a life-long commitment to the Earth by educating for environmental responsibility, conserving and restoring the balance of natural communities and advancing the ethic that the Earth must be respected and nurtured”

Founded in 1968. ACES works to build a community of knowledgeable, motivated and capable environmental stewards who with this knowledge are motivated to protect not only this beautiful place where we live an play but the world as a whole.

Shortly after being founded a legendary Aspenite, Elizabeth Paepcke donated a 22 acre property in the West End of Aspen for ACES to have a study center and preserve. Feeling that ACES would contribute to the “Aspen Idea” of harmony between mind, body and spirit, she felt it would be a great natural counterpart to the Aspen Institute.

During the winter months ACES guides snowshoe and ski tours, provides a Naturalist Guide service, education and entertaining evening programs as well as Kids and Adult coursed on the environment. Inn the summer they continue their educational work as well as providing guided hikes through the valley. In addition ACES works with school children on their locations or at the school to educate them on the importance of protecting our valuable natural resources.

Stop by the Hallam Lake preserve for and step into a breathtakingly wild place right in downtown Aspen, or hear a local give a presentation on their latest trip to a far flung destination. You may even see a bear taking a swim on a hot summer day.