“A popular dirt road providing access to Smuggler Mt., Hunter Creek trails, and points beyond.
— Mike Pritchard
This (lowest) section of Smuggler Mt. Rd. provides access to a network of trails on City of Aspen and Pitkin County Open Space, as well as plenty of trails and roads in the WRNF beyond.
The Observation Deck is a great destination with views of town below, the ski areas, and the Elk Mountains beyond. The route is very popular with hikers and dog walkers. Rating is 'easy', but this is a strenuous climb even for fit athletes. Erosion causes the the road to have ever changing loose rock at some points, requiring you to find the best route to pedal through.
This road is on a very sunny aspect, allowing for a very long riding season for riders content with turning around at the top and descending right back down; deep snow pack accumulates starting at the Observation Deck.