Aspen's Rugged Splendor is a tribute to both men, and to the pioneers, the road builders, the miners, the skiers, the mountaineers...to all who have traveled these mountains and valleys...and to all who will come after...sharing, across time and space, the great power of wild nature expressed in awesome and sometimes terrible beauty.
The Castle and Maroon Creek Valleys are the focus of Aspen's Rugged Splendor because they speak to the trials and successes of risk-takers who staked their futures, and often their lives. These valleys offer an open invitation to future generations who have yet to explore their wilderness domain and who will one day write a new chapter to the ongoing narrative.
Aspen’s Rugged Splendor unveils both the human history and the natural history of these alluring valleys. Starting with geology, as recorded by government surveyor Ferdinand V. Hayden during the 1870s, the foundation of the Elk Range was forged by the tumultuous, often cataclysmic, forces of the earth.
Following the last glacial epoch, 12,000 years ago, came the advent of life, the gradual arrival of flora and fauna that populate these valleys with astounding biodiversity. With flora and fauna came Early Man, followed by the tenacious Ute Indians, who spent summers hunting and gathering in the “shining mountains.”
Aspen's Rugged Splendor
AUTHOR | Paul Andersen
PHOTOGRAPHER | David Hiser
DESIGNER | Curt Carpenter
Hardbound in full color | 8 x 10" | 212 pages | 289 photographs | 12 maps
“Castle and Maroon Creeks are probably without parallel
for ruggedness, depth, and picturesque beauty...
the remarkable and unique forms
of the peaks,
and the extreme ruggedness,
all conspire to impress the beholder with wonder.”
FERDINAND V. HAYDEN
U. S. Geological Survey | 1874