North Star Nature Preserve

North Star aerial

Total acreage: 245
Purchase partners: Pitkin County, City of Aspen
Conservation easement: 175 acres held by Aspen Valley Land Trust
Key features: Roaring Fork River meanders through relatively flat valley created by a retreating glacier. Property features wetlands and a fen, habitat for wide range of species, including mammals and birds, and an elk migration corridor. Public access to the property limited on east side of river; land on west side of river is closed to public use. Designated beach open to public use; loop trail available for walking on south end of property. River through North Star popular with paddleboarders and other small-boat users. Occasional seasonal flooding expands area accessible to boaters/paddleboarders. The open space provides paraglider landing zone and wintertime nordic loop. Property bordered by East of Aspen Trail. Observation deck with viewing scope accessed from trail near north parking area. Dogs are not permitted at North Star; leashed dogs permitted on East of Aspen Trail. More information at
Commercial use and events: No special events are permitted at North Star. No commercial use, including commercial photography, is permitted at North Star. River guiding/shuttling and commercial paragliding is by permit only. Click for more permit info.
Nearest town: Aspen

North Star Nature Preserve Management Plan (2020)
North Star Baseline Fen Vegetation Monitoring Report (2020)
Vegetation Mapping and Floristic Inventory (2019)
Wildlife Monitoring Report (2017 - updated 2019)
Riverbank Stabilization Assessment (2018)
Great Blue Herons Fact Sheet
Technical Memorandum - Great Blue Heron Colony Assessment (2018)
Technical Memorandum - Beaver Occupancy Survey (2018)
North Star Fen Hydrological Monitoring Report (2018)
Wetland Fen Assessment and Floristic Inventory (2018)
Groundwater Hydrology Monitoring Report (2018)
Fluvial Geomorphology and Aquatic Life Monitoring Report (2017)
North Star Nature Preserve Management Plan (2015)

Wetland Fen Assessment and Floristic Inventory (2008)
North Star Nature Preserve Vegetation Monitoring (2017)
Groundwater Level Baseline Report - North Star (2015)
Ecological Communities and Fluvial Geomorphology Baseline Report (2015)
Upper Roaring Fork River Aquatic Life Use Assessment (2012)
Avian Monitoring Report 2000-2008 (2011)
Preliminary Hydrologic and Biological Characterization of North Star Nature Preserve (2000)
North Star Vegetation Monitoring on Commercial Use Site (1999)
North Star Ranch Water Resource Analysis (1986)
North Star Vegetation Inventory (1981)