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Named for its trees, world-famous Aspen on Colorado's Western Slope began as a silver mining camp. It was incorporated in 1881, two years after its founding. During the Silver Panic of 1893, however, it suffered decline, though never hit rock bottom to become a ghost town. The development of recreational skiing in the area in the mid-20th century gave the town a new lease on life. Lying 11 miles west of the Continental Divide, three mountains surround the town: Smuggler Mountain, Red Mountain and Aspen Mountain.
Many rich and famous people enjoy Aspen's amenities, but there is much more to the town than stars, skiing and high-end shopping. Along with the four ski areas of Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands, Aspen is also neighbor to the White River National Forest and numerous ghost towns lie within driving distance. The Roaring Fork River offers fishing and white water rafting.
Along with these, enjoy parks, golf, tennis, swimming, ball fields, ice skating, climbing, Nordic skiing, biking, numerous parks and more.
Artistic, cultural and intellectual pursuits are equally at home here, including The Aspen Music Festival and School, the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Center for Physics, which have international reputations.