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16 Best Things to do in Aspen, Colorado

16 Best Things to do in Aspen, Colorado


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

That mentioned, Aspen is a dream for out of doors fanatics all yr spherical. When the snow disappears, you might have horseback using, mountain climbing, biking trails, and climbing trails. Aspen additionally sits in the center of White River National Forest, so you might be by no means wanting wilderness to discover. One factor is for certain; there are many issues to do in Aspen.

This information will cowl the easiest issues to do in Aspen. From scenic gondola rides to artwork museums, these sights will maintain you entertained and content material.

1. Ashcroft Ghost Town

Visiting a ghost city might be not the very first thing you anticipate to do in Aspen. However, Ashcroft Ghost Town is well probably the most entertaining sights in 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 resort constructing. Ashcroft Ghost Town is a singular alternative to step again and immerse your self in Old Western historical past. Ashcroft Ghost Town is a incredible attraction when you’ve by no means visited a ghost city earlier than, need an uncommon time out, or have an interest in the Old West. Walking between the log cabins and wood public buildings is form of creepy and enjoyable.

The city is situated 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 folks biking, which we discovered is simply an hour and a half a technique. Not unhealthy for a time out.

Don’t Miss these Great Tours in Aspen, Colorado

2. 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 likely 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 surprising 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 incredible approach to unwind in the night after a busy day open air.

Interested in the historical past of the Opera House? Aspen Historical Society runs excursions of the venue, so you possibly can all the time 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 late June and August. Summer is stuffed with concert events and performances, so verify that schedule as effectively when you’re visiting Aspen throughout this era.

3. Go snowboarding

Things to do in Aspen Skiing at Snowmass
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You can’t go to one of many US’s finest snowboarding locations with out snowboarding. Going snowboarding is well among the best issues to do in Aspen, and, as we mentioned, you might have loads of slope choices. The 4 principal 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 have a look at every choice individually.

Aspen Mountain (previously Ajax Mountain) is for skiers with expertise below their belt. The runs are reasonable to troublesome, so anticipate a difficult time on the slopes – good for perfecting your ability and pushing your self out of your consolation zone. Aspen Mountain is located in the center of Aspen, which is superb for these wanting a central location.Snowmass is a small ski village a few twenty-minute drive outdoors of Aspen. It’s the biggest of the 4 mountains and is family-friendly. You’ll discover quite a lot of slopes and cross-country snowboarding, making it an ideal ski space for learners to intermediates. Snowmass additionally has the Treehouse Kids Adventure Center, which supplies state-of-the-art childcare providers and ski colleges. The solely draw back of the Aspen Snowmass space is that it’s the furthest from Aspen city middle, 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 stage and has a number of the steepest descents in the world. If you need adrenaline, the Highlands is the place you’ll discover it. And even higher? You solely have to stroll a couple of miles alongside Maroon Creek Road to attain Aspen city middle 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 watched that it’s for knowledgeable skiers solely. The mountain truly caters to all ranges exceptionally effectively, although, and even learners can get pleasure from steadily zipping via Aspen bushes on light ski slopes.

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

4. Grottos Trail

Things to do in Aspen Grottos trail
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Grottos Trail is commonly described as otherworldly, and also you’ll rapidly see why. The path is stuffed with surprises, together with waterfalls and funky ice caves. A piece of the monitor resembles a darkish gray model of Antelope Canyon. You’ll scramble via ribbon-like canyons and crevices to full the hike.

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

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

5. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Things to do in Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
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All these adventures are good enjoyable, however what in regards to the instructional aspect of nature? Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is the place to go to to be taught extra in regards to the city’s pure environment and the naturalists who prioritize native conservation.

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

The middle is situated on Puppy Smith Street and sits in the northern area of the city. It is well visited on foot from Aspen city middle and is a good way to spend a couple of hours.

6. Independence Pass

things to do in aspen colorado Independence Pass
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Visiting Independence Pass permits you to mix a number of sights in one expertise. The move is a scenic drive situated on the Continental Divide of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. You can tick off standing on the Continental Divide, visiting the Rocky Mountains, and exploring probably the most scenic locations in Aspen – all in a couple of hours.

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

Independence Pass is well-combined with a go to to Twin Lake or a climb up Mt Elbert. Otherwise, you could possibly sort out Independence Pass on the drive again to Denver when you fly into Denver International Airport and rent a automotive. 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 shall be far more up your alley. The pop-up venue is a big tent situated in the John Denver Sanctuary. You can anticipate 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 possibly can fairly actually watch one-man exhibits. The competition specializes in internet hosting single-actor performs, though you too can catch particular talks and discussions.

One factor to notice is that the tent will get chilly (and infrequently too scorching). Layers are a should as you might be uncovered to the temperature and sometimes draughts throughout the performances. However, we expect that this aspect provides to the dramatic enchantment of the exhibits.

8. Aspen Art Museum

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

Visiting Aspen Art Museum is likely one of the most traditional issues to do in Aspen. Aspen Art Museum is a mecca for up to date artwork in 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 wonderful views over Aspen. In Downtown Aspen, Aspen Art Museum is well 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 up to date model, the constructing has an enormous copper lattice façade.

9. Go paragliding

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

Aspen Paragliding is the preferred firm to go paragliding throughout the space, and also you’ll take to the skies with a licensed pilot. This means you chill out as a passenger and benefit from the experience whereas your information handles all of the tough stuff. Aspen Paragliding has been operating since 1990 and is likely one of the most trusted paragliding firms in the US.

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

Looking to maintain the adventures going? 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 scorching air balloon experience.

10. Walk the Rio Grande Trail

Things to do in Aspen Rio Grande Trail
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The Rio Grande Trail is not any straightforward feat. The path runs for a powerful 42 miles and is usually tackled over two to 4 days. Fitness fanatics and anybody decided sufficient to tackle the problem can get pleasure from unequalled views alongside the path. You’ll primarily comply with Roaring Fork River, however you’ll have snow-capped mountain views and wildlife galore – so maintain your eyes peeled. Don’t simply march via both; you must also 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’re keen on multi-day hikes, add a couple of days to your Aspen vacation to full the path. It can be value permitting a few days to keep in Glenwood Springs, as town is thought for its scorching springs. Bathing in scorching springs at Glenwood Springs is perhaps exactly what you want after climbing 42 miles.

The path itself cuts via Roaring Fork Valley. Expect to share the monitor with horseback riders, canine walkers, and cyclists, and notice that horses have the appropriate of approach. Many folks get pleasure from sections of the path with out tackling the complete size, so you need to discover it fairly busy.

11. Maroon Bells

Things to do in Aspen Maroon Bells
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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 break up by 0.5 km. The Maroon Bells are situated in a glacial valley in the Elk Mountains. They have quick change into a sought-after day journey vacation spot amongst guests to Aspen. Maroon Bells are most famed for the long-lasting shot of the 2 mountains with a reflective lake between them, which types the last word alpine postcard picture.

Wondering the way you attain this stunning 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 sort out Maroon Creek Trail for a combination of lakeside views and alpine meadows. The Maroon Creek Trail is slightly longer, at 3.2 miles a technique.

The longest choice is Crater Lake Trail, at 3.6 miles, with a detour to Crater Lake and an exquisite 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 preferred, if not additionally essentially the most difficult.

Hiking on unfamiliar trails alone could be daunting, and transportation could be a difficulty when you don’t rent a automotive. Blazing Adventures provide guided hikes across the Maroon Bells, so think about a guided stroll in case you are slightly not sure. Lastly, bear in mind a digital camera – regardless that footage by no means do it justice.

12. Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

Things to do in Aspen Cloud 9 Alpine Bistro
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Speaking of the Maroon Bells, Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro has among the best views of the peaks. The small European-style cabin is perched on high of a mountain in the Aspen Highlands Ski Resort. To entry your scenic advantageous eating expertise, you’ll have to ski raise to the highest of the mountain after which discover the particular chair raise to attain the restaurant. Visiting is well probably the most indulgent, enjoyable issues to do in Aspen.

Cloud Nine’s ambiance is okay eating meets après ski. The restaurant has the menu to appeal to these on the lookout for 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, and we agree.

Time your go to with a transparent day for the last word views, and deal with your self to a glass of champagne (or two). If you need to sit inside, play it secure and make a reservation. However, it’s value bagging a desk outdoors when you neglect to make a reservation, simply bear in mind to wrap up heat and select your visiting day correctly. You shall be eating on a mountain summit in spite of everything.

13. Aspen Brewing Company

things to do in aspen colorado brewery
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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 change into a giant title. Technically, the corporate is break 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.

Aspen Brewing Company names most of its beers after sights 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 an exquisite nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary simply north of Aspen city middle. Paying a go to to John Denver Sanctuary is likely one of 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 an exquisite 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 center of the John Denver Sanctuary and presents an exquisite place to get pleasure from performing arts. Combining a leisurely stroll round John Denver Sanctuary and an Aspen Theatre efficiency is likely one of the finest issues to do in Aspen.

15. 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 when you 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 might be touring with kids 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 one of the best views concurrently. The experience to the highest takes round fifteen minutes. There is loads of time to snap pictures and recognize 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 scorching drink from the restaurant. Dining overlooking the slopes is an expertise you’ll bear in mind. And, when you aren’t a skier, you need to benefit from being in ski territory.

You can guide tickets for the Silver Queen Gondola 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 straightforward 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.

16. Aspen Golf & Tennis Club

Things to do in Aspen Golfing
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Aspen Golf & Tennis Club is likely one of the finest sporting venues in the city. Between the views and high-quality services, visiting is well among the best issues to do in Aspen – particularly in case you are a golf or tennis fanatic.

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 surrounds, which is undoubtedly a memorable expertise. There are additionally seven units of tees, catering to completely different ranges and which 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 guide a tennis court docket on-line or ring to reserve a slot. If not, it’s value dropping in to see if a court docket is free with out reserving. If you might have to wait, simply be ready to deal with your self to a meal on the membership’s restaurant, Red Mountain Grill.

Winter normally spells the top of the golf season, particularly in snowy locations like Aspen. However, the Aspen Golf & Tennis Club has a incredible resolution: a Golf Stimulator. Using the top-of-the-range, newest know-how, you possibly can play on over fifty completely different programs and obtain suggestions in your approach. Who knew you could possibly head on a winter getaway to Aspen and return even higher at snowboarding and golf?

Aspen Common FAQs

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

How to get to Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado Gewtting there
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The finest approach to get to Aspen is to fly to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport or Denver International Airport. Flying into Denver is the preferred choice, as it’s cheaper, has extra frequent flights, and is finest for worldwide vacationers. Traveling from Denver is simple too, and also you simply catch a shuttle service or lease a automotive to drive the 4 hours to Aspen.

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

Getting round Aspen

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 until you need to take day journeys to distant trails and sights.

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 motorcycle rental retailer in the city middle.

Best time to go to Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado When to visit
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Colorado is likely 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 one of the best snowboarding expertise. The again finish of the season is slightly cheaper and quieter, and you’ve got extra daylight for snowboarding.

Of course, Aspen is an ideal all-year-round vacation spot for an lively vacation – filled with climbing trails, horseback using, 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 need to have most of the climbing trails to your self. Plus, Aspen is cheaper throughout this time.

Where to keep in Aspen

things to do in aspen colorado  accommodation
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It’s no secret that lodging could make or break a visit. Here are our high suggestions on one of the 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, personal rooms, and condos. For versatile and budget-friendly lodging, St. Mortiz Lodge is well one of the best in Aspen.

You can dip in the heated out of doors pool, chill out in the recent 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 choice in Aspen. The property presents 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 fitness center and enterprise middle. However, the successful issue of the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel is its out of doors services.

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

Luxury: The Little Nell

The Little Nell is luxurious lodging at its most interesting. The stylish resort presents ski-in/ski-out services – good for snowboarding fanatics 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 out of doors spa tub or swim in the heated out of doors pool. All rooms characteristic marble loos and balconies with metropolis or mountain views. And sure suites embrace personal jacuzzis and steam showers, so you possibly can splash out on further luxurious if you need.

Looking for a VRBO property as a substitute of a traditional resort expertise? You may need to learn our information on one of the best cabins in Colorado.

Final Thoughts

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 chill out surrounded by the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Roaring Fork River, and White River National Forest. Pick a climbing path or ski slope of your alternative and let the recent 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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