Channeling Hunter S. Thompson

Keep Aspen weird, that has been my battle cry. Maybe it is the fact that I am missing out on that thing (that I love) that is happening in Austin this week. At any rate, I have spent the better part of a week out in Aspen, the fanciest corner of the Colorado Rockies. We did some skiing and we did some snowmobiling, and afterward we went to longtime Aspen resident Hunter S. Thompson’s old watering hole the Woody Creek Tavern for shots of Jameson and cans of Tecate. Nestled neatly alongside a ramshackle stretch of Aspen’s finest mobile homes, the Woody Creek Tavern is quite possibly America’s ultimate dive bar. The regulars each sport their own brand of crazy — upon entering the Woody Creek one particularly welcoming regular inquired as to what spaceship my friends and I had just come from. Spaceship Reality sir.

In the summer the locals ride their bikes over and enjoy al fresco beers and burgers (which I hear are fantastic) and then catch the bus back to town feeling no pain. While it was fun to see all of Aspen’s rich people and private jets, like Hunter, I felt most at home at the Woody Creek.

Aforementioned modular homes. Note the abundance of American patriotism.
If you love New York take I-70 East

Comments on “Channeling Hunter S. Thompson

    Randyon March 19, 2010 @ 1:18 PM:

    one day short. damn.

    kiyaon March 19, 2010 @ 1:18 PM:

    I’m speechless and jealous.
    Oddly enough i’m guessing you saw my reply email i sent you before this post went up?

    Geoffon March 19, 2010 @ 1:37 PM:

    Now that place has some personality. Love the pics, wish I could drop in today after work.

    Shawnon March 19, 2010 @ 1:59 PM:

    Place would fit in perfectly here in Wisconsin. Love places that are ‘real’!

    Don March 19, 2010 @ 2:16 PM:

    “If you love NY take I-70 East”

    LOVE IT! Oddly enough I never heard this saying or saw this bumper sticker in my 3.5 years of Colorado residency even though I drove a car with the I HEART NY New York license plates.

    aTreasuryOf.comon March 19, 2010 @ 3:05 PM:


    Certainly not the Ashton & Demi view of Aspen we’re usually shown!

    RkyMtnBamaon March 19, 2010 @ 9:36 PM:

    Went in one time with my wife and had a fine meal and drinks. Went to pay with Credit Card, and they didn’t take them. Owner said that’s fine honey just send me a check. Also caught the ambience the weekend of the Hunter S sendoff. Definitely had the super cool Colorado vibe going.

    Hollson March 20, 2010 @ 2:49 PM:

    Welcome to my town!
    Did you make it to the men’s shop Tenet when you were here?
    Great aesthetic, you might like it.
    And no, I’m not connected to the shop in any way. :)
    (if the link’s ok)

    Chrison March 20, 2010 @ 3:14 PM:

    I lived in Aspen last fall/winter and worked at the art gallery next to the Tavern. Next time you are there you should check out the Tom W. Benton work in there, he did the iconic Gonzo posters that have now become some of my most prized possessions. Great post on the Tavern. The best local there is Ibby, one of the guitarists for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, he can usually be found outside, stoned, whittling a large wooden phallus. Woody Creek = Three Bumps, two dips, and a rumble strip = Best part of Aspen!

    Ulysseson March 21, 2010 @ 8:04 PM:

    So right – just so right. Thank you

    owenon March 21, 2010 @ 9:37 PM:

    funny to see this…shot a bunch of video in woody creek, at the tavern…interviewed ibby about hunter thompson and the patron saint of woody creek, george stranahan (who’s beer company hired me to make the video…) anyway here’s the link

    jessieon March 22, 2010 @ 12:01 PM:

    grew up just around the corner… john oats lives right there too and can be seen at the tavern off and on…

    andrewon March 22, 2010 @ 12:34 PM:

    we need iPad cases in waxed canvas. could be perfect.

    fredvgon March 22, 2010 @ 2:43 PM:

    dropped by for a burger while staying in Carbondale last summer. great burger, great bar, great crowd! it’s ironic that if Hunter was still around he would probably tell us tourists to get the f out of there…

    Lauraon March 22, 2010 @ 4:54 PM:

    Thank god Aspen still has a spot like this.

    plaisirs simpleson March 23, 2010 @ 1:35 PM:

    i grew up going to colorado every summer and LOVE little places like this. so much crazy fun. i love that it’s in aspen too!

    Dick Bogeron March 23, 2010 @ 10:29 PM:

    From the shots of the interior, Woody Creek Tavern hasn’t changed at all in 15 years. A couple of more layers of photos but the tables haven’t moved an inch. They’ll even let you eat on the pool table when there’s an overflow crowd. Just put a board over the felt. Burgers, steaks and the coldest beer in Aspen. Servers kept all the orders in their heads, never a note, and never a missed item on the tab. Great pics.

    Matton March 24, 2010 @ 12:55 AM:

    HST has been gone five years this February 20th. Say what you want, but he decided to make his exit before he turned into a cripple. “God’s own prototype” as he said of Oscar Acosta. I called an outdoor outfitting company (I will not name it) he would buy from frequently…they have a lot record of all the things he bought from them.

    Douglas Johnsonon March 25, 2010 @ 1:14 PM:

    The ultimate dive bar in Aspen, Colorado. Aspen. Yeah. right.

    ben spenceleyon April 4, 2010 @ 6:28 PM:

    i will visit here it looks amazing,

Comments are closed.