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Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

ACES’ mission, “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 by Elizabeth Paepcke in 1968, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) has provided programs in ecology and natural sciences for everyone from children to leaders and change-makers.

In 1969 Elizabeth Paepcke donated her 22-acre property in the West End of Aspen to develop an environmental center and preserve.  The “Aspen Idea” of harmony between mind, body and spirit motivated her to provide a sanctuary for wildlife in the heart of Aspen.

ACES has four convenient locations around Aspen, Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, Catto Center at Toklat and Spring Creek.

Contact Us

Let our professional concierge help you with all your trip planning. Call or complete our online request form.

Winter & Spring

  • Snowshoe Tours & On-Mountain Programs
    Explore winter in Aspen on a half-day snowshoe tour in Castle Creek Valley.

  • Hire a Guide
    Explore the mountains with an ACES Naturalist guide.

  • Potbelly Perspectives
    ACES’ Potbelly Perspectives speaker series features exciting accounts of world travel and adventure shared
    through images and stories by locals and visitors to Aspen.

  • Naturalist Nights
    The Naturalist Nights speaker series features regional experts who explore topics such as environmental policy,
    scientific research, natural history, and more.

  • Kids Classes
    ACES offers a variety of events tailored for children including days at the ranch and camps.

  • Adult Courses

Summer & Fall

  • Free Hikes and Programs
    Join ACES June  – September for a variety of free programs around Aspen.

  • Hire a Guide
    Explore the Aspen area with a private ACES naturalist guide.

  • Green World Day Hike
    Explore Ashcroft, the historic silver mining town outside Aspen.  Wander along Castle Creek and finish the day with lunch at the Pine Creek Cookhouse.

  • River Run Sunset Hike
    The evening version of the Green World Day Hike explores Castle Creek at sunset followed by dinner at the Pine Creek Cookhouse.

  • Kids Classes
    From June – August, ACES offers educational camps at their Hallam Lake and Rock Bottom Ranch locations.

  • Adult Courses

  • Family Programs

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