Spring Creek Pass (elevation 12,020 feet). This is one of the longer and higher routes from Aspen to Crested Butte, requiring in excess of 6000 feet of climbing along a 35 mile route following a variety of terrain and trail types. Begin the ride at Express Creek Road about 1 mile south of the ghost town of Ashcroft (Ashcroft is located approximately 11 miles south of Aspen on Castle Road). Express Creek Road (F.R. 122) leads to the summit of Taylor Pass (just shy of 12,000 feet) following a four wheel drive road. This is the original route that the miners followed when mining in Aspen started up in the 1880’s. Continue down the backside of Taylor Pass on F.R. 761. This is an extreme jeep road, actually entering and following Taylor Creek for a ½ mile and eventually leads to Taylor Park, just upstream of Taylor Reservoir. At Taylor Park, turn right on F.R. 759 and begin climbing along Italian Creek. Before reaching treeline, you will find the Star Mine. Follow the route to the right to avoid private property and begin final climb over Spring Creek Pass (located in a saddle between Italian Mountain and American Flag Mountain). At the top of the pass, the route turns to single track and runs above treeline with great views and fields of wildflowers in the path. Select a route to reach Reno Divide. A newer road follows further down the mountain and requires more climbing to reach Reno Divide, while the original shelf road is cut into the side of the mountain. Once you reach Reno divide, follow the 4 wheel drive route down to Cement Creek. At Cement Creek, turn left and follow a gravel road down to Highway 135, which is the final ride to Crested Butte (often into a headwind).