Tips & Advices

16 Best Things to do in Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is a small mountain city with an enormous character and a fair larger repute. The city is thought for its massive mountain snowboarding and has 4 mountains for skiers to select from – it’s no marvel it’s thought of a world-class winter vacation spot.

That mentioned, Aspen is a dream for outside fans all yr spherical. When the snow disappears, you have got horseback driving, mountain climbing, biking trails, and climbing trails. Aspen additionally sits in the midst of White River National Forest, so you’re by no means in need of wilderness to discover. One factor is for certain; there are many issues to do in Aspen.

This information will cowl the perfect issues to do in Aspen. From scenic gondola rides to artwork museums, these points of interest will hold you entertained and content material.

1. Ashcroft Ghost Town

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

You can discover previous historic buildings, together with the previous submit 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. Ashcroft Ghost Town is a incredible attraction if you happen to’ve by no means visited a ghost city earlier than, need an uncommon day trip, or have an interest within the Old West. Walking between the log cabins and wood public buildings is form of creepy and enjoyable.

The city is positioned on Castle Creek Road, about eleven miles south of Aspen. It took us about 25 minutes to drive to Ashcroft Ghost Town, and we noticed loads of individuals biking, which we discovered is simply an hour and a half a technique. Not dangerous for a day trip.

Don’t Miss these Great Tours in Aspen, Colorado

2. Wheeler Opera House

Things to do in Aspen Wheeler Opera House

If you like reside music, watching motion pictures, or attending festivals, visiting the Wheeler Opera House is among the greatest 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 reside music occasions and performances coincide along with your journey. Catching a present is a incredible option to unwind within the night after a busy day outside.

Interested within the historical past of the Opera House? Aspen Historical Society runs excursions of the venue, so you’ll be able to all the time take pleasure in an informative exploration of the Opera House, not only a efficiency. And, as an additional tip for reside music lovers, Aspen Music Festival runs between late June and August. Summer is filled with concert events and performances, so examine that schedule as properly if you happen to’re visiting Aspen throughout this era.

3. Go snowboarding

Things to do in Aspen Skiing at Snowmass

You can’t go to one of many US’s best skiing destinations with out snowboarding. Going snowboarding is definitely top-of-the-line issues to do in Aspen, and, as we mentioned, you have got loads of slope choices. The 4 major ski areas are Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk Mountain. Between them, there are 5,300 acres of skiable terrain, however let’s take a fast take a look at every possibility individually.

  • Aspen Mountain (previously Ajax Mountain) is for skiers with expertise beneath their belt. The runs are reasonable to tough, so count on a difficult time on the slopes – good for perfecting your talent and pushing your self out of your consolation zone. Aspen Mountain is located within the coronary heart of Aspen, which is superb for these wanting a central location.
  • Snowmass is a small ski village a couple of twenty-minute drive exterior of Aspen. It’s the most important of the 4 mountains and is family-friendly. You’ll discover a wide range of slopes and cross-country snowboarding, making it a terrific ski space for novices to intermediates. Snowmass additionally has the Treehouse Kids Adventure Center, which offers state-of-the-art childcare companies and ski colleges. The solely draw back of the Aspen Snowmass space is that it’s the furthest from Aspen city heart, whereas the others are inside strolling distance.
  • Aspen Highlands is one other mountain for knowledgeable skiers. Aspen Highlands ski space is thought for the Highland Bowl, which summits at 12,392 toes above sea degree and has a few of the steepest descents within the space. If you need adrenaline, the Highlands is the place you’ll discover it. And even higher? You solely should stroll a couple of miles alongside Maroon Creek Road to achieve Aspen city heart from the Highlands Ski Resort.
  • Finally, Aspen has Buttermilk Mountain. Buttermilk Mountain ski space is famed for the Winter X Games, which might make you believe you studied that it’s for knowledgeable skiers solely. The mountain really caters to all ranges exceptionally properly, although, and even novices can take pleasure in steadily zipping by means of Aspen timber on mild ski slopes.

So, which of those ski areas will you select? The alternative is yours, however we cherished Snowmass the very best. Skiing/snowboarding are a few of the most enjoyable issues to do in Aspen, and the vary of ski resorts means it appeals to anybody, no matter your expertise degree.

4. Grottos Trail

Things to do in Aspen Grottos trail

Grottos Trail is usually described as otherworldly, and also you’ll rapidly see why. The path is filled with surprises, together with waterfalls and funky ice caves. A bit of the monitor resembles a darkish gray model of Antelope Canyon. You’ll scramble by means of ribbon-like canyons and crevices to finish the hike.

Grottos Trail is right if you’d like an thrilling and rewarding hike close to Aspen. While just one km lengthy, the path has loads to admire alongside the way in which, and it is among the prettiest trails within the area. It is appropriate for any hikers of reasonable health – simply bear in mind that Grottos Trail can get slippery when you’re scrambling over moist rocks. Sturdy sneakers with good grip are a should when tackling the hike.

Also, we advocate both getting there early within the day (earlier than 9 am) or late within the day (after 6 pm) as this path is actually standard and there are restricted parking spots.

5. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Things to do in Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

All these adventures are good enjoyable, however what concerning the academic aspect of nature? Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is the place to go to to study extra concerning the city’s pure environment and the naturalists who prioritize native conservation.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies has just a little nature reserve with a lake and quite a few birds of prey to identify. There’s additionally the possibility to ebook one of many heart’s excursions. On its mission to attach humanity with the pure world, the middle runs excursions like snowshoeing, wildflower walks, beaver recognizing walks, and tree identification periods. It’s value dropping by to take a look at what’s on.

The heart is positioned on Puppy Smith Street and sits within the northern area of the city. It is definitely visited on foot from Aspen city heart and is an effective way to spend a couple of hours.

6. Independence Pass

things to do in aspen colorado Independence Pass

Visiting Independence Pass permits you to mix a number of points of interest in a single expertise. The move is a scenic drive positioned on the Continental Divide of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. You can tick off standing on the Continental Divide, visiting the Rocky Mountains, and exploring some of the scenic locations in Aspen – all in a couple of hours.

Don’t be fooled although; Independence Pass can also be one heck of a drive. The street zig-zags up the mountain, with hairpin turns and sections so slim that only a single automobile can squeeze by means of. Independence Pass is ideal for many who love scenic drives; simply be ready to make the most of all of your greatest driving abilities. You must be conscious that this a part of Colorado State Highway 82 is restricted to camper trailers and leisure automobiles over 35ft in size.

Independence Pass is well-combined with a go to to Twin Lake or a climb up Mt Elbert. Otherwise, you may deal with Independence Pass on the drive again to Denver if you happen to fly into Denver International Airport and rent a automobile. You’ll want nerves of metal, however the expertise is value it.

7. Aspen Theatre

Aspen Theatre is the city’s theater firm, and the crew is to thank for excellent performances all year long. If the Opera House appeared a bit too formal, Aspen Theatre will likely be rather more up your alley. The pop-up venue is a big tent positioned within the John Denver Sanctuary. You can count on motion and expertise in bucket hundreds – no matter which efficiency you attend.

Past performances have included Gypsy and Jersey Boys. There’s additionally an annual Solo Flights Festival each September, the place you’ll be able to fairly actually watch one-man exhibits. The pageant focuses on internet hosting single-actor performs, though you can too catch particular talks and discussions.

One factor to notice is that the tent will get chilly (and sometimes too sizzling). Layers are a should as you’re uncovered to the temperature and sometimes draughts throughout the performances. However, we predict that this ingredient provides to the dramatic attraction of the exhibits.

8. Aspen Art Museum

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

Visiting Aspen Art Museum is among the most traditional issues to do in Aspen. Aspen Art Museum is a mecca for modern artwork within the area, internet hosting exhibitions and shows of worldwide and native artists. You can spot sculptures, work, sketches, and even digital items.

Aspen Art Museum is free to enter and even has a rooftop terrace with superb views over Aspen. In Downtown Aspen, Aspen Art Museum is definitely added to an Aspen itinerary. And, in chilly and drizzly climate, 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 an ideal place to sprint for a style of the artwork on a chilly day. You’ll simply spot it. In true modern type, the constructing has an enormous copper lattice façade.

9. Go paragliding

Things to do in Aspen Paragliding

Have you ever been paragliding? If not, Aspen is the place to strive it. Aspen’s surroundings is gorgeous, and there’s no higher option to take all of it in. Paragliding is among the most adventurous issues to do in Aspen, and we predict that you just’ll find it irresistible.

Aspen Paragliding is the most well-liked firm to go paragliding inside the space, and also you’ll take to the skies with a licensed pilot. This means you loosen up as a passenger and benefit from the journey whereas your information handles all of the tough stuff. Aspen Paragliding has been working since 1990 and is among the most trusted paragliding corporations within the US.

The entire expertise lasts round two hours – so wrap up heat and ready for the climate circumstances. You’ll gently glide previous a few of the most gorgeous scenes in Colorado. In winter, you would possibly even have the ability to spot the skiers on the slopes under.

Looking to maintain the adventures going? Check out the actions that Blazing Adventures has on supply here. Blazing Adventures focuses on outside adventures that get your adrenaline pumping. You might even proceed your ‘flight theme’ with a sizzling air balloon journey.

10. Walk the Rio Grande Trail

Things to do in Aspen Rio Grande Trail

The Rio Grande Trail isn’t any simple feat. The path runs for a formidable 42 miles and is usually tackled over two to 4 days. Fitness fans and anybody decided sufficient to tackle the problem can take pleasure in 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 hold your eyes peeled. Don’t simply march by means of both; you also needs to make time to swim or fish alongside the Roaring Fork River.

So, the place does Aspen come into this? Well, the little ski city occurs to be the place you’ll discover the Rio Grande trailhead. The path stretches from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, the place the Roaring Fork River merges into the Colorado River. If you like multi-day hikes, add a couple of days to your Aspen vacation to finish the path. It can also be value permitting a few days to remain in Glenwood Springs, as town is thought for its sizzling springs. Bathing in sizzling springs at Glenwood Springs is likely to be exactly what you want after climbing 42 miles.

The path itself cuts by means of Roaring Fork Valley. Expect to share the monitor with horseback riders, canine walkers, and cyclists, and be aware that horses have the fitting of means. Many individuals take pleasure in sections of the path with out tackling the whole size, so you must discover it fairly busy.

11. Maroon Bells

Things to do in Aspen Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are essentially the most photographed mountains in Aspen. The two peaks are Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, and the mountains are solely cut up by 0.5 km. The Maroon Bells are positioned in a glacial valley within the Elk Mountains. They have quick grow to be a sought-after day journey vacation spot amongst guests to Aspen. Maroon Bells are most famed for the enduring shot of the 2 mountains with a reflective lake between them, which varieties the final word alpine postcard picture.

Wondering the way you attain this lovely view? The excellent news is that there are a number of climbing trails to select from to go to the Maroon Bells. You can hike Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, which is simply a mile lengthy. You might additionally deal with Maroon Creek Trail for a combination of lakeside views and alpine meadows. The Maroon Creek Trail is just a little longer, at 3.2 miles a technique.

The longest possibility is Crater Lake Trail, at 3.6 miles, with a detour to Crater Lake and a phenomenal forest. It is value noting that swimming is prohibited at Crater Lake, so save your swimming costume for a spot alongside Roaring Fork River and pack loads of water to maintain refreshed. This route is arguably the most well-liked, if not additionally essentially the most difficult.

Hiking on unfamiliar trails alone could be daunting, and transportation could be a difficulty if you happen to don’t rent a automobile. Blazing Adventures supply guided hikes across the Maroon Bells, so take into account a guided stroll if you’re just a little uncertain. Lastly, bear in mind a digital camera – though footage by no means do it justice.

12. Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

Things to do in Aspen Cloud 9 Alpine Bistro

Speaking of the Maroon Bells, Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro has top-of-the-line views of the peaks. The small European-style cabin is perched on prime of a mountain within the Aspen Highlands Ski Resort. To entry your scenic nice eating expertise, you’ll should ski carry to the highest of the mountain after which discover the particular chair carry to achieve the restaurant. Visiting is definitely some of the indulgent, enjoyable issues to do in Aspen.

Cloud Nine’s ambiance is okay eating meets après ski. The restaurant has the menu to draw these searching for a complicated, refined expertise, but the character to host a few of the most boisterous events. It is claimed that Cloud Nine brings the European alpine scene to Aspen, and we agree.

Time your go to with a transparent day for the final word views, and deal with your self to a glass of champagne (or two). If you wish to sit inside, play it protected and make a reservation. However, it’s value bagging a desk exterior if you happen to overlook to make a reservation, simply bear in mind to wrap up heat and select your visiting day properly. You will likely be eating on a mountain summit in spite of everything.

13. Aspen Brewing Company

things to do in aspen colorado brewery

You actually can discover breweries in essentially 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 grow to be an enormous identify. 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 take pleasure in.

Aspen Brewing Company names most of its beers after points of interest and areas round Aspen. You might pattern a Cloud Nine Saison, Independence Pass, or a Brown Bear Ale. Plus, beer tasting doesn’t get a lot better than being surrounded by museums, galleries, and classy hospitality venues on the foot of Aspen Mountain.

14. John Denver Sanctuary

John Denver Sanctuary is a phenomenal nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary simply north of Aspen city heart. Paying a go to to John Denver Sanctuary is among the most peaceable issues to do in Aspen, and nature lovers will adore the tranquil ambiance and pure surroundings.

John Denver Sanctuary was arrange in reminiscence of the late singer John Denver in hopes that guests might discover peace, meditation, and solace in nature. You can stroll the maze of well-maintained trails, recognizing engraved rocks that pay tribute to John Denver’s music as you stroll. Of course, the snow-capped mountains round Aspen are by no means out of sight and make a phenomenal backdrop whilst you wander the park.

Lyrics and quotes aren’t the one creative factor in John Denver Sanctuary. Remember the Aspen Theatre group? Well, the theater tent is ready up in the midst of the John Denver Sanctuary and provides a phenomenal place to take pleasure in performing arts. Combining a leisurely stroll round John Denver Sanctuary and an Aspen Theatre efficiency is among the greatest issues to do in Aspen.

15. Silver Queen Gondola

Things to do in Aspen Silver Queen Gondola

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

The Silver Queen Gondola is incredible because it makes Aspen Mountain accessible for everybody. Whether you’re touring with kids or simply don’t belief your health ranges, the Silver Queen Gondola is an effective way to zip as much as Aspen Mountain summit – experiencing a thrill and all the very best views concurrently. The journey to the highest takes round fifteen minutes. There is loads of time to snap photographs and admire the novelty of racing up a mountainside.

At the highest, we advocate 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 bear in mind. And, if you happen to aren’t a skier, you must profit from being in ski territory.

You can ebook tickets for the Silver Queen Gondola on-line or flip up on the day. The gondola service runs from 10 am till 4 pm on daily basis (climate permitting), so it’s simple to fit 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.

16. Aspen Golf & Tennis Club

Things to do in Aspen Golfing

Aspen Golf & Tennis Club is among the greatest sporting venues within the city. Between the views and high-quality amenities, visiting is definitely top-of-the-line issues to do in Aspen – particularly if you’re a golf or tennis fanatic.

Visitors can take pleasure in an 18-hole championship golf course backed by Aspen’s gorgeous mountain ranges. You’ll get a style of {golfing} in alpine surrounds, which is undoubtedly a memorable expertise. There are additionally seven units of tees, catering to completely different ranges and that means all golfers can come alongside to take pleasure in.

The tennis courts are equally spectacular. There are six clay courts, once more with gorgeous mountain views. You can simply ebook a tennis court docket on-line or ring to order a slot. If not, it’s value dropping in to see if a court docket is free with out reserving. If it’s a must to wait, simply be ready to deal with your self to a meal on the membership’s restaurant, Red Mountain Grill.

Winter often spells the tip of the golf season, particularly in snowy locations like Aspen. However, the Aspen Golf & Tennis Club has a incredible answer: a Golf Stimulator. Using the top-of-the-range, newest expertise, you’ll be able to play on over fifty completely different programs and obtain suggestions in your method. Who knew you may head on a winter getaway to Aspen and return even higher at snowboarding and golf?

Aspen Common FAQs

things to do in aspen colorado FAQ

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

How to get to Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado Gewtting there

The greatest option 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 greatest for worldwide vacationers. Traveling from Denver is simple too, and also you simply catch a shuttle service or lease a automobile 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 things to do within the metropolis.

Getting round Aspen

As a small mountain city, Aspen is hardly tough 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 automobile except you wish to take day journeys to distant trails and points of interest.

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

Best time to go to Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado When to visit

Colorado is among the US’s greatest winter getaways. If you want winter sports activities, we advocate visiting Aspen whereas there’s snowfall. The ski season runs from November to April. However, we advocate visiting Aspen in March for the very best snowboarding expertise. The again finish of the season is just a little cheaper and quieter, and you’ve got extra daytime for snowboarding.

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

Where to remain in Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado  accommodation

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

Budget: St. Moritz Lodge

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

You can dip within the heated outside pool, loosen up within the sizzling tub, and begin each morning correctly with a complimentary breakfast. St. Moritz Lodge is each comfy and handy.

Mid-range: Aspen Square Condominium Hotel

Aspen Square Condominium Hotel is a wonderful 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 all the time 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 outside amenities.

Enjoy the heated outside pool all yr spherical, swimming lengths with snow-capped mountain views. Alternatively, take it simple and soak in one of many two outside 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 amenities – good for snowboarding fans wanting to maximise 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 within the heated outside pool. All rooms function marble loos and balconies with metropolis or mountain views. And sure suites embody personal jacuzzis and steam showers, so you’ll be able to splash out on additional luxurious if you’d like.

Looking for a VRBO property as a substitute of a traditional lodge expertise? You could want to learn our guide on the very best cabins in Colorado.

Final Thoughts

Top things to do in Aspen colorado

There are so many unbelievable issues to do in Aspen. Its location is dreamy for anybody who loves outside adventures. You can loosen up surrounded by the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Roaring Fork River, and White River National Forest. Pick a hiking trail or ski slope of your alternative and let the contemporary air do the remaining. We know that you just’ll have a incredible time in Aspen.

Plan your Next Trip to Colorado With These Resources

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