9AM - 5PM Monday-Friday.
9AM - 5PM Saturdays in summer.
100 Puppy Smith St., Aspen, CO 81611
Please email Grayson Bauer at [email protected] to inquire about rentals.
You can read more about the Hallam Lake Restoration project as a whole here, and updates to the project will be listed here.
*If you are interested in bringing a group of students to visit Hallam Lake during the summer, please call us at (970) 925-5756 to make sure we can accommodate a visit for your group. There is a suggested donation of $1 per child.
About Hallam Lake
Hallam Lake, a 25-acre nature preserve and environmental learning center, was the first location of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. The Hallam Lake property was donated in 1968 by Elizabeth Paepcke. The preserve is open to the public year-round and provides an inspiring setting for ACES’ many educational and naturalist programs. Borrow our binoculars and search for local wildlife. Keep your eyes out for freely roaming mule deer, elk, foxes, coyotes, bear, beavers, golden eagles, hawks, songbirds, and more!
Directions: We are located at the end of Puppy Smith Street behind the Aspen Post Office. You will reach a set of stone gates. The parking lot is on the left, and then you can walk down through the gates on the trail to the Hallam Lake Nature Center, which will be at the end of the trail on the left. Please call 970-925-5756 if you are lost!
Hallam Lake Activities
Visit the Indoor Animals
Visit ACES' Lab to check out our indoor animals including a ball python, salamander, and two turtles. On-site Naturalists are available to introduce you and your family to these special creatures!
Observe the Trout Stream
Experience close-up views of Brook trout in our indoor trout stream. Brook trout are a heritage fish in the valley, though they are invasive in the state of Colorado. Come learn about stream ecology, including what these fish eat and why they are important to life in the valley!
Wander the Garden
Spring through fall, enjoy ACES' organic garden, a teaching space where visitors can learn about flowering, pollination, and local food. You can walk in the labyrinth and identify a combination of native plants, traditional herbs, and cultivated species.
Explore the Nature Preserve
A half-mile loop nature trail is available for all visitors and meanders in and out of wetlands, including stops at various observation decks. Use our self-guided tour book to learn about our local landscape or adventure on your own, experiencing aspen forest, wetlands, and meadows. On-site Naturalists are available to answer any questions you may have. Summertime offers a bounty of wildflowers, while winter is an excellent time to learn animal tracks!
Spot Local Wildlife
On any given day, a variety of birds and mammals can be seen feeding at the water's edge. During the day, swallows perform acrobatics above the water in search of insects, while the American dipper dives underwater in search of aquatic insects. As the sun sets, fox, bear, and deer prowl the banks searching for dinner, while beaver cautiously feed on willow, aspen, and cottonwood bark around the lake. Hallam Lake is home to resident birds of prey and lush riparian ecosystems including woodland, meadow, pond, and marsh communities.
Meet the Raptors
Meet ACES' resident Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, and Golden Eagle. These beautiful native raptors can be viewed during ACES regular business hours. During the summer, ACES' Bird of Prey program runs Monday - Saturday at 4 pm. Hallam Lake is a permitted raptor rehabilitation center. Our resident birds cannot fly or hunt, and are therefore unreleasable to the wild.
Become a Junior Naturalist
Kids of all ages are invited to become official ACES Junior Naturalists by exploring the Hallam Lake nature preserve and recording their findings! Borrow an Adventure Backpack with all of the tools you need to complete the Junior Naturalist Activity Guide, featuring engaging, age-appropriate activities that exercise your skills as a scientist, observer, and explorer. Earn your ACES Junior Naturalist Badge by completing the required number of activities for your age group and taking the Naturalist oath.