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20 Awesome Things to do in Aspen, Colorado


Aspen is a small mountain city with an enormous popularity. This dream vacation spot for out of doors lovers attracts thrill seekers year-round. Once the snow falls, Aspen is a winter wonderland with world class snowboarding and scenic views, whereas in the summer time, its pure magnificence shines via with clear blue skies and dense forests.

Aspen is understood for its massive mountain snowboarding and considerable winter actions, however when the snow melts, you’ll be able to select from horseback using, mountain climbing, biking, and climbing trails. Aspen additionally sits in the center of White River National Forest, so you’re by no means removed from the nice outside. One factor is for certain: there are many issues to do in Aspen.

Best Things to Do in Aspen, Colorado

Book your non-public round-trip airport switch from Denver Airport to Aspen or Snowmass Village. Take the stress out of discovering transportation

This information will cowl the easiest issues to do in Aspen. From snowboarding in the winter season to climbing and mountain biking in the summer time, Aspen is a year-round vacation spot. From scenic gondola rides to artwork museums, these points of interest will preserve you entertained and content material.

1. Hit the Slopes

Things to do in Aspen Skiing at Snowmass
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You can’t go to top-of-the-line snowboarding locations in the United States with out snowboarding. Aspen Mountain’s 4 primary ski areas are Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk Mountain. There are 5,300 acres of skiable terrain between them.

Aspen Mountain (previously Ajax Mountain) is for skiers with expertise. The runs are reasonable to troublesome, so count on difficult slopes. Aspen Mountain is located in the center of Aspen, which is great for these wanting a central location.

Aspen Highlands is one other mountain for skilled skiers. Aspen Highlands ski space is understood for the Highland Bowl, which summits at 12,392 ft above sea stage and has a number of the steepest descents in the realm. If you need adrenaline, the Highlands is the place you’ll discover it. And even higher? You solely have to stroll a number of miles alongside Maroon Creek Road to attain Aspen city heart from the Highlands Ski Resort.

Buttermilk Mountain ski space is famed for the Winter X Games, making you assume it’s for skilled skiers solely. Nuy he mountain truly caters to all ranges, and even freshmen can get pleasure from steadily zipping via Aspen timber on light ski slopes.

2. Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

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Snowmass Village is a vacation spot unto itself with numerous slopes and cross nation snowboarding plus out of doors actions and a full of life village.

In the winter months, its world-class ski resort boasts a various vary of trails for snowboarding and snowboarding lovers of all ranges. Snowmass Mountain is the biggest of the 4 mountains , with 17 completely different ski lifts and probably the most vertical ski space in Aspen.

The village is a hub of eating, procuring, and leisure choices, with occasions and festivals continuously including to the thrill. Accommodations in Aspen Snowmass vary from luxurious resorts to cozy lodges, catering to each choice and guaranteeing a snug keep.

During the hotter months, Snowmass is nice for climbing, mountain biking, and taking scenic gondola rides.

3. Maroon Bells

Things to do in Aspen Maroon Bells
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The Maroon Bells are probably the most photographed mountains in Aspen. Photographers flock to this location to {photograph} the 2 mountains of Maroon Bells reflecting in the lake, forming the last word alpine postcard picture. The two peaks, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak are solely cut up by 0.5 km. The Maroon Bells are a well-liked day journey from Aspen in a glacial valley in the Elk Mountains.

Wondering the way you attain Maroon Bells? The excellent news is that a number of climbing trails lead out to Maroon Bells. You can hike the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, which is just a mile lengthy, or sort out the Maroon Creek Trail for a mix of lakeside views and alpine meadows. The Maroon Creek Trail is slightly longer, measuring 3.2 miles a technique.

4. Hike the Crater Lake Trail

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The Crater lake Trail is a 3.5-mile path that is without doubt one of the finest hikes in Colorado and possibly the finest in Aspen. Located in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness Area, Crater Lake was shaped from geological processes hundreds of years in the past w hen glaciers began floating away and left what we all know as Crater Lake.It is price noting that swimming is prohibited at Crater Lake.

Hiking on unfamiliar trails alone may be daunting, and transportation may be a problem should you don’t hire a automotive. If you need to take a guided tour, Blazing Adventures provides guided hikes across the Maroon Bells.

5. Independence Pass

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Visiting Independence Pass permits you to mix a number of points of interest in Aspen into one expertise. Take a scenic drive to go to this landmass on the Continental Divide of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. You can tick off standing on the Continental Divide, visiting the Rocky Mountains, and exploring one of the scenic locations in Aspen – all in a number of hours.

Don’t be fooled although; Independence Pass can also be one heck of a drive. The highway zig-zags up the mountain, with hairpin turns and sections so narro, that solely a single automotive can squeeze via. IThis a part of Colorado State Highway 82 is restricted to camper trailers and leisure autos over 35ft in size.

Combine your drive to Independence Pass with a go to to Twin Lake or a climb up Mt Elbert. You might depart Independence Pass for the drive again to Denver should you fly into Denver International Airport and rent a automotive.

6. Go Mountain Biking

Aspen’s numerous terrain caters to all ranges of mountain biking from freshmen to superior. The Rio Grande Trail, with its light incline is ideal for households and informal riders. For these looking for a more difficult trip, the Government Trail supplies an exciting mixture of technical descents and pure magnificence.

Meanwhile, the Smuggler Trail is a neighborhood favourite, providing panoramic views of Aspen and past. Each path in Aspen guarantees not solely an adventurous trip but in addition a chance to immerse oneself in the pure fantastic thing about Colorado’s mountains. o

7. Hike the Grottos Trail

Things to do in Aspen Grottos trail
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The Grottos Trail can’t be crushed for an thrilling hike close to Aspen. While only one km lengthy, the path has loads to see alongside the best way, and it is without doubt one of the prettiest trails in the area.

Situated simply off Independence Pass, the Grottos ice cave is a marvel of geological formations, and waterfalls attracting guests with its spectacular ice constructions and funky, ethereal ambiance.

A bit of the monitor resembles a darkish gray model of Antelope Canyon. You’ll scramble via ribbon-like canyons and crevices to full the hike.

Ideal for these looking for a mix of climbing and exploration, the path to the caves is a straightforward, scenic stroll, appropriate for all ages and ability ranges. Inside the caves, the play of sunshine via the ice creates a magical ambiance, excellent for unforgettable picture alternatives. We additionally suggest getting there early in the day, earlier than 9 am, as this path is standard, and parking spots are restricted.

8. Visit the John Denver Sanctuary

John Denver Sanctuary is a good looking nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary simply north of Aspen city heart. It was arrange in reminiscence of the late singer John Denver, hoping guests might discover peace, meditation, and solace in nature. Nestled alongside the Roaring Fork River, this tranquil haven is a must-visit for each John Denver followers and nature lovers.

The sanctuary, options fantastically manicured gardens and an array of his tune lyrics etched into native stones, making a pathway of inspiration and reflection. Visitors are sometimes captivated by the “Song Garden,” the place Denver’s music softly performs, enhancing the peaceable ambiance.

Lyrics and quotes aren’t the one inventive factor in John Denver Sanctuary. The Aspen Theatre group has a tent arrange in the center of the John Denver Sanctuary providing a good looking place to get pleasure from performing arts. It is situated close to Rio Grande Park, making it an ideal spot for a stroll or a quiet second of contemplation.

9. Aspen Art Museum

things to do in Aspen Art Museum
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Bkthomson16, CC BY-SA 4.0

Aspen Art Museum is a mecca for up to date artwork in the area, internet hosting exhibitions and shows of worldwide and native artists that includes sculptures, work, sketches, and even multimedia shows.

It is free to enter and has a rooftop terrace with superb views over Aspen and the encompassing mountains. Located in downtown Aspen, the Aspen Art Museum can simply be added to any Aspen itinerary. During the winter months or on a chilly and drizzly day, guests can relish the heat of an indoor attraction. The museum is only a five-minute stroll from the bottom of Aspen Mountain Ski Resort, so it’s a excellent place to sprint for a style of the artwork on a chilly day. You’ll simply spot it. In true up to date type, the constructing has a large copper lattice façade.

10. Go paragliding

Things to do in Aspen Paragliding
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Adrenaline junkies will love paragliding over Aspen’s lovely vistas. There is not any higher manner to take in the breathtaking surroundings of aspen. Paragliding is without doubt one of the most adventurous issues to do in Aspen.

Aspen Paragliding is the most well-liked firm to go paragliding inside the space, and also you’ll take to the skies with an authorized pilot. The entire expertise lasts round two hours – so wrap up and put together for the climate circumstances. You’ll gently glide previous a number of the most gorgeous scenes in Colorado. In the winter season, you may even give you the chance to spot the skiers on the slopes under.

Check out the actions that Blazing Adventures has on provide right here. Blazing Adventures specializes in out of doors adventures that get your adrenaline pumping. You might even proceed your ‘flight theme’ with a sizzling air balloon trip.

11. Ashcroft Ghost Town

Things to do in Aspen Ashcroft Ghost Town
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Visiting ghost cities might be not the very first thing you count on to do in Aspen. However, Ashcroft Ghost Town is definitely one of the entertaining points of interest in the Aspen Area. Once a silver mining city, Ashcroft Ghost Town is now fully uninhabited. The Aspen Historical Society opened the city up to guests yearly between June and October.

You can discover outdated historic buildings, together with the outdated put up workplace, Blue Mirror Saloon, and a former lodge constructing. Ashcroft Ghost Town is a novel alternative to step again and immerse your self in Old Western historical past. Walking between the log cabins and picket public buildings is type of creepy and enjoyable.

The city is situated on Castle Creek Road, about eleven miles south of Aspen. It takes about 25 minutes to drive to Ashcroft Ghost Town.

Check out one among these excursions to ghost cities to profit from your time in Aspen. Aspen’s Dark Side Ghost Tour,, Aspen’s Off the Beaten Path Tour, Aspen’s Past to Present Historic Tour

12. Cross Country Ski in Aspen

Aspen boasts a number of the most picturesque cross-country snowboarding trails in North America. The Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System, an unlimited community encompassing over 60 miles of free, impeccably groomed trails, connects Aspen to Snowmass and Basalt.

This community of trails offersa number of terrain for all ability ranges. Beginners can glide alongside the light slopes of the Aspen Golf Course, whereas extra skilled skiers can problem themselves on the rolling hills of the Owl Creek Trail.

The Rio Grande Trail, with its gorgeous river views, supplies a extra leisurely expertise, ultimate for soaking in Aspen’s pure magnificence. These trails not solely provide glorious cross-country snowboarding but in addition function excellent paths for snowshoeing, making them a flexible alternative for winter out of doors actions.

13. Walk the Rio Grande Trail

Things to do in Aspen Rio Grande Trail
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The Rio Grande Trail is not any simple feat. The path runs for a powerful 42 miles and is often tackled over two to 4 days. Anyone decided sufficient to tackle the problem can get pleasure from unmatched views alongside the path. You’ll primarily comply with Roaring Fork River, however you’ll have snow-capped mountain views and wildlife galore – so preserve your eyes peeled. Pack your bathing go well with as a result of you’ll be able to go swiming alongside the Roaring Fork River.

The path itself cuts via Roaring Fork Valley. Expect to share the monitor with horseback riders, canine walkers, and cyclists, and be aware that horses have the suitable of manner.

The Rio Grande trailhead begins in this little ski city stretching from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, the place the Roaring Fork River merges into the Colorado River. If you’re keen on multi-day hikes, add a number of days to your Aspen vacation to full the path.

14. Cycle the Rio Grande Trail

If you’re in search of a leisurely trip when biking, take in the fantastic thing about Aspen alongside the Rio Grande. Much sooner and simpler than strolling the Rio Grande Trail, is the right journey from Aspen correct. As you biking alongside the path, you’re handled to gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains, lush meadows, and the gently flowing Roaring Fork River.

The path is generally paved and with a delicate grade making itideal for all ages and ability ranges and a family-friendly journey. Along the route, riders can get pleasure from numerous facilities, together with relaxation stops, picnic areas, and entry to charming cities for a pleasant break or a meal. Whether you’re in search of a leisurely trip or an all-day tour, the Rio Grande Trail supplies an ideal mix of pure magnificence, train, and rest.

15. Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

Things to do in Aspen Cloud 9 Alpine Bistro
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Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro has top-of-the-line views of Maroon Bells. The small European-style cabin is perched on high of a mountain in the Aspen Highlands Ski Resort.

Cloud Nine’s ambiance is ok eating meets après ski. The restaurant has the menu to appeal to these in search of a fancy, refined expertise, but the character to host a number of the most boisterous events. It is claimed that Cloud Nine brings the European alpine scene to Aspen.

16. Aspen Brewing Company

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You actually can discover breweries in probably the most unassuming of locations. Aspen Brewing Company is tucked away on Galena Street in Downtown Aspen. Part pizzeria and half pub, the venue serves fifteen craft beers brewed in-house. Just think about tucking right into a sourdough pizza and a tasting flight of craft beer after a full day of snowboarding – bliss, proper?

Aspen Brewing Company was based in 2008 with the motto ‘make world-class beer, downstream from nobody’. Many awards later, Aspen Brewing Company has change into an enormous title. Technically, the corporate is cut up between two areas: the taproom and pizzeria in Downtown Aspen after which the brewery close to Aspen Airport. The craft beers are all brewed on the second web site, with some being transported to the primary for guests to get pleasure from.

17. Ride the Silver Queen Gondola

Things to do in Aspen Silver Queen Gondola
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Skiers get entry to a number of the most spectacular summits in Aspen, as do hikers in heat months. But what should you don’t ski and don’t really feel snug climbing lengthy distances? The Silver Queen Gondola is the reply.

The Silver Queen Gondola is implausible, making Aspen Mountain accessible for everybody. Whether touring with youngsters or simply don’t belief your health ranges, the Silver Queen Gondola is a good way to zip up to Aspen Mountain summit – experiencing a thrill and all the very best views concurrently. The trip to the highest takes round fifteen minutes. There is loads of time to snap pictures and respect the novelty of racing up a mountainside.

At the highest, we suggest grabbing a desk on the sundeck and treating your self to meals and a sizzling drink from the restaurant. Dining overlooking the slopes is an expertise you’ll keep in mind. And, should you aren’t a skier, you need to profit from being in ski territory.

You can e-book tickets for on-line or flip up on the day. The gondola service runs from 10 am till 4 pm each day (climate permitting), so it’s simple to slot right into a busy itinerary. Plus, the gondola station sits simply on the outskirts of Downtown Aspen. You might simply pop by for a spontaneous expertise.

18. Aspen Golf & Tennis Club

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Aspen Golf & Tennis Club is without doubt one of the finest sporting venues and Aspen golf course in the city. Visitors can get pleasure from an 18-hole championship golf course backed by Aspen’s gorgeous mountain ranges. You’ll get a style of {golfing} in alpine environment, which is undoubtedly a memorable expertise. There are additionally seven units of tees catering to completely different ranges, that means all golfers can come alongside to get pleasure from.

The tennis courts are equally spectacular. There are six clay courts, once more with gorgeous mountain views. You can simply e-book a tennis courtroom on-line or ring to reserve a slot. If not, it’s price dropping in to see if a courtroom is free with out reserving. If you will have to wait, simply be ready to deal with your self to a meal on the membership’s restaurant, Red Mountain Grill.

19. Wheeler Opera House

Things to do in Aspen Wheeler Opera House
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If you’re keen on stay music, watching motion pictures, or attending festivals, visiting the Wheeler Opera House is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Aspen. The 1889-built theater is a prized native attraction and is taken into account the house of performing arts in Aspen. A mix of Romanesque and Italianate structure, Wheeler Opera House is a shocking venue and particular place to benefit from the arts. Check the Opera House’s schedule to see what stay music occasions and performances coincide along with your journey. Catching a present is a implausible manner to unwind in the night after a busy day outside.

Interested in the historical past of the Opera House? Aspen Historical Society runs excursions of the venue, so you’ll be able to at all times indulge in an informative exploration of the Opera House, not only a efficiency. And, as an additional tip for stay music lovers, Aspen Music Festival runs between mid June and August. Summer is filled with live shows and performances, so examine that schedule as effectively should you’re visiting Aspen throughout this era.

20. Glenwood Springs

Just a scenic drive away from Aspen, Glenwood Springs provides a pleasant tour, mixing pure wonders and enjoyable experiences. This mountain city is known for its world-renowned sizzling springs, together with the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, the world’s largest mineral sizzling springs pool. The sizzling springs provide a rejuvenating retreat with its therapeutic waters.

Adventure seekers will love the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, boasting cave excursions and thrilling rides with breathtaking mountain views. The city’s historic downtown space invitations guests to discover distinctive retailers, eating places, and cultural points of interest, such because the Glenwood Springs Historical Society and Frontier Museum.

The close by Hanging Lake is a crystal-clear lake perched atop a cliff, and supplies a picturesque climbing vacation spot. Glenwood Springs’ mixture of rest, journey, and cultural experiences makes it a vital addition to any Aspen itinerary, providing guests an opportunity to immerse themselves in the center of Colorado’s pure magnificence and hospitality.

Now that we’ve lined the very best issues to do in Aspen let’s check out some fast FAQs. These are a very powerful issues to know earlier than you go to Aspen.

How to get to Aspen

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The finest manner to get to Aspen is to fly to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport or Denver International Airport. Flying into Denver is the most well-liked possibility, as it’s cheaper, has extra frequent flights, and is finest for worldwide vacationers. Traveling from Denver is easy too, and also you simply catch a shuttle service or hire a automotive to drive the 4 hours to Aspen.

Those flying internationally ought to take into account including an in a single day keep in Denver since there are many issues to do in town.

Getting round Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado Gewtting there
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As a small mountain city, Aspen is hardly troublesome to get round. Most locations are accessible on foot, particularly in Downtown Aspen. A dependable bus service additionally operates across the city and the broader Aspen space. Don’t fear about renting a automotive except you need to take day journeys to distant trails and points of interest.

You can get round by highway biking and the roads round Snomass Village and Aspen attracts cyclists from across the nation to conquer its mountains. If you’re up for it, biking is a good way to get round.

When the snow disappears, many individuals cycle round Aspen. It could also be price seeing in case your lodging rents out bikes or visiting a motorbike rental retailer in the city heart.

Best time to go to Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado When to visit
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Colorado is without doubt one of the US’s finest winter getaways. If you want winter sports activities, we suggest visiting Aspen whereas there’s snowfall. The ski season runs from November to April. However, we suggest visiting Aspen in March for the very best snowboarding expertise. The again finish of the season is slightly cheaper and quieter, and you’ve got extra daytime for snowboarding.

Of course, Aspen is an ideal all-year-round vacation spot for an energetic vacation – stuffed with climbing trails, horseback using, and mountain climbing whereas the snow melts. If winter sports activities aren’t your factor, discover Aspen in the course of the spring shoulder season. May is the quietest month, and you need to have most of the climbing trails to your self. Plus, Aspen is cheaper throughout this time.

Where to keep in Aspen

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It’s no secret that lodging could make or break a visit. Here are our high suggestions on the very best locations to keep in Aspen.

Budget: St. Moritz Lodge

St. Moritz Lodge could also be a self-described ‘simple lodge’, however its excessive quantity of optimistic opinions speaks volumes. Visitors can get pleasure from dormitory rooms, non-public rooms, and condos. For versatile and budget-friendly lodging, St. Mortiz Lodge is definitely the very best in Aspen.

You can dip in the heated out of doors pool, loosen up in the recent tub, and begin each morning correctly with a complimentary breakfast. St. Moritz Lodge is each snug and handy.

Mid-range: Aspen Square Condominium Hotel

Aspen Square Condominium Hotel is a superb mid-range lodging possibility in Aspen. The property provides condos, which vary from studios to three-bedroom items. The condo-only structure means you’ll at all times have homely facilities like a kitchen and a comfortable seating space. You additionally get entry to a gymnasium and enterprise heart. However, the profitable issue of the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel is its out of doors services.

Enjoy the heated out of doors pool all 12 months spherical, swimming lengths with snow-capped mountain views. Alternatively, take it simple and soak in one of many two out of doors sizzling tubs whereas having fun with the views.

Luxury: The Little Nell

The Little Nell is luxurious lodging at its most interesting. The stylish resort provides ski-in/ski-out services – excellent for snowboarding lovers wanting to maximize time on the slopes. The Little Nell sits proper subsequent to the Silver Queen Gondola base station and is a handy five-star base for a luxurious ski vacation.

You can bathe in an outside spa tub or swim in the heated out of doors pool. All rooms characteristic marble bogs and balconies with metropolis or mountain views. And sure suites embody non-public jacuzzis and steam showers, so you’ll be able to splash out on further luxurious in order for you.

Looking for a VRBO property as an alternative of a basic lodge expertise? You might need to learn our information on the very best cabins in Colorado.

Top things to do in Aspen colorado
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There are so many unbelievable issues to do in Aspen. Its location is dreamy for anybody who loves out of doors adventures. You can loosen up surrounded by the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Roaring Fork River, and White River National Forest. Pick a climbing path or ski slope and let the recent air do the remainder. We know that you just’ll have a implausible time in Aspen.

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