Aspen Uphill Economy Recreation Plan

City of Aspen, Colorado
A wayfinding sign in the snow

SE Group worked with the City of Aspen to develop a recreation master plan for the uphill economy in the city. Aspen is looking to build an economy around its “uphill” recreation activities: backcountry skiing, skinning, hiking, mountain biking, and cross country skiing. This plan explores opportunities to enhance the existing trail systems, improve or add trailheads, and promote areas for backcountry skiing.

The innovative planning process has assessed existing conditions and future opportunities in the area through mapping, stakeholder input, trail counts, Strava trail user data, and a skiing suitability analysis. Beyond traditional stakeholder meetings, the stakeholders were able to provide input via an interactive webmapping tool asking them about new trails, overcrowded locations, important conservation spots, and other concerns and ideas. A skiing suitability analysis determined appropriate areas to promote backcountry skiing around Aspen based on slope, aspect, elevation, tree density and cover, and distance to roads.

A person hiking on a mountain

This plan was shared with the public as an online storymap. The storymap presents the plan in an interactive, map-heavy format, that is well-suited to trail and other place-based projects.