Best Things To Do in Aspen, Colorado

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Aspen is the skiing capital of Colorado and is full of tourists skiing down the snow-laden mountains in winter. Besides skiing, there is ice-skating, cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, hot-air ballooning, fly fishing etc. All that activity is supplemented by a variety of food events and specially-crafted drinks. While the tiny town is buzzing with excitement in the cold weather, it is not completely isolated in the other seasons. Spring is divided between the last days of the snow activities and preparation for the summer. Nature makes a colourful appearance with warmer days and the wonderful bloom of crab apple, crocus and daffodils. Towards the end of the season, people flock here for white water rafting in Aspen’s rivers.

Aspen’s natural beauty is at its peak in summer. This is the perfect season to go for nature walks, hikes, treks, water sports and other mountain events. The Independence Pass is open for visitors during this season and you can often see cyclists zooming up and down the winding path. The season’s produce is proudly displayed alongside the freshest brews in the restaurants here. Fall brings with it the beautiful colours in foliage and Aspen continues to enjoy the last few days of warmth with its summer activities. Throughout the year, Aspen is welcome to visitors with a range of activities and events all based on the season you choose to visit.

  • Things to do in Aspen in winter: Aspen’s USP is that it is the number one town in North America for après skiing. The Little Nell, Sky Hotel, Justice Snow’s, Ajax Tavern, Aspen Brewing Company are top spots in town to spend the day skiing and partying. Restaurants like Pine Creek Cookhouse, Sundeck Restaurant and Cloud Nine offer delicious meals to soothe your appetite after a day out on the snow. A visit to this charming town is hardly complete without a ride on the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of the Aspen Mountain. Buttermilk hosts the high-on-adrenaline winter action sports festival, the X Games Aspen. Cheer the participants of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals held on the Aspen Mountain where top skiing champions compete to be the best. Those who are not into heavy sports can enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride across the snowy fields near town. 
  • Things to do in Aspen in fall: This is the best season to go for a trek around Maroon Bells, the 14000-feet-tall twin peaks surrounded by the National Forest. The Independence Pass closes for winter towards the end of the season so you will see bikers and trekkers in large numbers to enjoy the views seen on this pass. There are other routes leading in and out of town that are beautiful too. You will often see people driving up and down these stretches. Lakes like the Cathedral Lake, American Lake, Hunter Creek and Crater Lake are full of hikers enjoying the fall colours. Drive around the Castle Creek Road to explore the length of the gorgeous foliage.
  • Things to do in Aspen in summer: The Silver Queen Gondola is active in summer and you can take a ride to see the wonderful colours of summer in Aspen. Saturdays often find the townsfolk and visitors mingling with each other over the fresh produce in the Farmer’s Market. Music, art and food festivals take place almost every day in summer. The Aspen Music Festival and School is active in the summer months and music is all over town thanks to the numerous concerts and music festivals. Paragliding and hot air ballooning is very active around this time too.
  • Things to do in Aspen in spring: Spring enjoys the best of both winter and summer as activities around this time are a mix of both. While the mountains enjoy the last snows, the Farmer’s Market starts its display on Saturdays. You can visit the many art galleries here and spend some time chatting up with the locals about their life and adventures. As the snows melt off, hikers and trekkers descend on the freshly-appearing trails to explore the newly-blooming natural beauty. This is also the best time for fly-fishing in Aspen.
  • Shopping in Aspen: Shopaholics are likely to have a gala time when visiting Aspen. Much unlike other touristy towns, Aspen is full of shops runs by locals selling goods made here as well as outlets of high-end brands that offer generous deals on purchases. Brands like Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren have outlets here. Regional brands like Rag & Bone, Filson, Gorsuch, Marmot etc. carry brisk business thanks to a wide interest in their apparels. You will find good quality antiques at the Alpen Antiks. Jewellery and accessories also fill up several shopping bags
  • Things to do in Snowmass: Around 15 miles away from Aspen is the tiny village of Snowmass. This town is buzzing with activities throughout the year. Those who love the outdoors should not let go of a trip to Snowmass. There are outdoor concerts and trails in the warmer days while the cold days often see visitors riding snow vehicles and skis. There are sunny decks and hot tubs where you can relax if the snow is not inviting to you.

Below we have a list of things to do in Aspen and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Aspen getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Aspen with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Aspen

Here is the list of things to do in Aspen and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Maroon Bells

    4.9 (785 Votes)
    Maroon Bells

    View Point, Peak

    Maroon Bells are the two peaks in the Elk Mountain range. These peaks are the epitome of the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. The scenic beauty surrounding these peaks is one of the most widely photographed in North America. These peaks are the most frequented tourist spot in Aspen. Spring, summer and fall seasons see nature trails and hiking near these peaks. In winter, the road to these peaks i...Read more
  2. Independence Pass

    4.9 (548 Votes)
    Independence Pass
    The Independence Pass connects Aspen with its eastern neighbours. The iconic pass is situated on Highway 82 at an elevation of around 12 thousand feet. This route is full of scenic views of the mountains and valleys in Aspen. This is supplemented by the many nature trails and biking routes that surround the pass. There are rock climbing activities taking place here in the summer. Overnight camp...Read more
  3. Maroon Lake Scenic Trail Image
    ©

    Hiking Trail

    On your way to Maroon Peak, make it a point to go on the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. This is one of the most popular trails near Aspen. The lake reflects the high Maroon peaks in its azure waters and is a prime spot for fly-fishing in the summer. The trees surrounding this lake display their rich auburn colours in the fall. The trek begins near the parking area for commercial vehicles and buses a...Read more
  4. T-lazy-7 Snowmobiles

    4.7 (406 Votes)
    T-lazy-7 Snowmobiles

    Outdoors, Entertainment, Adventure

    Outdoors in Aspen mean only one thing, the T-Lazy-7 Ranch just out of the main town. This ranch specialises in outdoor activities for both the summer and winter seasons. The ranch was opened for visitors in 1938 and has been a major tourist attraction ever since. Activities offered here include snowmobile tours, horseback riding in the summer, fly-fishing and other retreats. The ponds around Ma...Read more
  5. Aspen Mountain

    View Point, Skiing

    The Aspen Mountain is the most famous ski arena in town. The mountain is situated at an elevation of around 12 thousand feet and it is one of the oldest ski arenas in Aspen. A wide range of snow activities take place on this mountain in winter. Besides the traditional skis, there are powder tours in the luxurious snowcats that take you to the back of the mountain. Private lessons are offered to...Read more
  6. Silver Queen Gondola

    Entertainment, Rides

    The Silver Queen Gondola is a scenic ride from the foot of the Aspen Mountain to its top. From inside the ride, you can see the mesmerizing views of the Elk Mountain range. The top of the Aspen Mountain is a centre for many activities. In summer, you can go hiking on the numerous trails or for one of the nature walks to explore the beauty of the mountain. The world’s highest official disc...Read more
  7. Buttermilk Mountain

    Outdoors, View Point, Adventure Sport, Skiing

    Buttermilk Mountain is best known as the location of the Winter X Games held in Aspen every year. This mountain has three skiing tracks of varying difficulties that test the skills of those who dare to venture on them. Training is also offered to beginners and amateurs. Family members can train together and enjoy a good training session. There are around six parks on and below the mountain wher...Read more
  8. Rio Grande Trail

    Biking Trail

    One of the more scenic, peaceful and environment-friendly ways to move between Aspen and Glenwood Springs is by hiking on the Rio Grande Trail. The 42-mile trail was previously a railway line between the two winter towns that was converted when the line fell out of operation. The trail is accompanied by the Roaring Fork river for almost all its distance. At some points, the trail intersects the...Read more
  9. Crater Lake Trail

    4.8 (191 Votes)
    Crater Lake Trail

    Trail

    The 1.8-mile dirt and rock section from Maroon Lake to the Crater Lake is the known as the Crater Lake Trail. This trail passes through aspen groves and rock formations to reach the Crater Lake. This moderately difficult trek is a very popular spot for hikers visiting Aspen. The trail originates near the Maroon Lake parking area. Once you cross the groves and the scree fields, you will come acr...Read more
  10. Grottos Trail

    4.8 (369 Votes)
    Grottos Trail

    Cave, Trail

    The Grottos Trail in the Independence Pass is one way of chewing out the ice caves near the historic pass. There are numerous waterfalls and cascades on the length of this trail thanks to its proximity to the Roaring Fork. Families often come here for hiking and picnics. The trail is divided into three areas. The shortest trail goes into the woods near the river, emerging onto a waterfall and p...Read more
  11. Castle Creek Road Image
    ©

    Trail, Road

    The 13-mile Castle Creek Road is a must-visit if you want to see the beauty of Aspen and its surrounding areas. This road passes through some of the most scenic places in the Colorado mountains. The local will recommend you hire a bike and drive along this scenic route. All along the road, there are hiking trails, backpacking options, fishing, camping and biking routes. In winter, you will find...Read more
  12. Aschroft Ghost Town

    4.5 (17 Votes)
    Aschroft Ghost Town
    The ghost town of Ashcroft was formerly the home of around 2000 residents and a thriving mining village. In the 19th century, the silver mine in this village ran out of its ore and the people tried to find other means of livelihood but failed. The opening of the Rio Grande Railway Line in Aspen sealed the fate of abandonment for Ashcroft. Today, there are only the empty buildings that remain as...Read more
  13. Hunter Creek Trail

    Trail

    Aspen’s favourite nature walk is the Hunter Creek Trail. Broadly divided into two parts, the upper trail and lower trail, the most frequented part of the hike is the 2.4-mile-long patch to the northwest bridge. This is a very good trail for running or riding a mountain bikes. Most of it is covered with dirt and rocks so there are hiking activities in both the upper and lower end of the tr...Read more
  14. Aspen Center For Environmental Studies

    Park, Educational Site

    Aspen is blessed with nature’s bounty and one institution in the city that is dedicated to preserving the natural diversity is the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. The programs undertaken by this institution include sustainable agriculture to feed the citizens and visitors to Aspen, prescribed wildfire burns to maintain ecological balance and spreading awareness among residents abo...Read more
  15. Cathedral Lake Trail

    4.9 (56 Votes)
    Cathedral Lake Trail

    Trail

    The Cathedral Lake Trail is one of the more adventurous hikes near Aspen. The total length of the trail is 5.6 miles and it is one of the difficult hikes thanks to its steep elevations just a few minutes into the trail. Despite the obstacles, this trail is quite popular among the locals in Aspen. There are hundreds of aspen and fir trees in groves around this trail that add to the beauty of the...Read more

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  • Where is the closest lodging for an early start for a hike from Maroon Belle Lake?

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    • You will find numerous lodging options on the E Main Street like Molly Gibson Lodge, Hotel Aspen, Limelight Hotel, Hotel Gerome and various others which are located near Maroon Bells. 

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