ACES, a 22-acre wildlife preserve set aside to protect Hallam Lake, is an excellent birding spot right in the heart of Aspen. It provides good birding any time of year, especially during spring and fall migration. Look especially on the small lake for waterbirds and wading birds, both quite scarce in the Roaring Fork valley. A number of boardwalks throughout the preserve take you through a good variety of habitat, including willows, riparian, and mixed conifers. Species like MacGillivray’s and Orange-crowned Warblers, Red Crossbill, Brown Creeper, Red-naped Sapsucker, American Dipper, and others can be seen here. Both bear and beaver can be seen on the property, with luck.
ACES is also establishing a refugium for the native Colorado River cutthroat trout, which can be seen in Hallam Lake as well as in the ACES indoor trout stream facility.
Directions: Colorado 82 becomes Main Street as it enters Aspen. At the traffic light on Mill and Main, turn left (north) and drive downhill to a stop sign at Puppy Smith Street, then turn left (west). At the Y bear right to the ACES entrance gate. At the gate turn left again to the parking area.
Delorme: 45 B7
Roads of Colorado: 68 A4
Dates of Access: Open all year, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Saturday
Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Saturday
Admission: $3 entrance fee
Parking: Parking Area
Lodging: Hotels in Aspen
Handicapped Access: Some handicap access to the visitors center, otherwise limited