16 Best Things to do in Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is a small mountain city with a giant character and a fair greater status. 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 stated, Aspen is a dream for outside lovers all 12 months spherical. When the snow disappears, you might have horseback driving, mountaineering, biking trails, and climbing trails. Aspen additionally sits in the center 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 easiest issues to do in Aspen. From scenic gondola rides to artwork museums, these sights will preserve 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 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You can discover outdated historic buildings, together with the outdated submit workplace, Blue Mirror Saloon, and a former resort constructing.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 in case 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 picket 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 folks biking, which we came upon is barely 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 films, or attending festivals, visiting the Wheeler Opera House is among 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 together with your journey. Catching a present is a incredible approach 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 late June and August. Summer is filled with live shows and performances, so examine that schedule as properly in case 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 top-of-the-line issues to do in Aspen, and, as we stated, you might have loads of slope choices. The 4 foremost 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 choice individually.

Aspen Mountain (previously Ajax Mountain) is for skiers with expertise below their belt. The runs are reasonable to troublesome, 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 in the center of Aspen, which is great for these wanting a central location.Snowmass is a small ski village a couple of twenty-minute drive outdoors of Aspen. It’s the biggest of the 4 mountains and is family-friendly. You’ll discover a wide range 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 gives 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 skilled 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 realm. 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 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 think that it’s for skilled skiers solely. The mountain really caters to all ranges exceptionally properly, although, and even learners can take pleasure in steadily zipping by Aspen timber on mild ski slopes.

So, which of those ski areas will you select? The selection is yours, however we liked Snowmass the perfect. 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 filled with surprises, together with waterfalls and funky ice caves. A bit of the observe resembles a darkish gray model of Antelope Canyon. You’ll scramble by ribbon-like canyons and crevices to full the hike.

Grottos Trail is good if you’d like an thrilling and rewarding hike close to Aspen. While only one km lengthy, the path has so much to admire alongside the way in which, and it is among the prettiest trails in the area. It is appropriate for any hikers of reasonable health – simply remember that Grottos Trail can get slippery if you find yourself 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 absolutely in style 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 academic aspect of nature? Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is the place to go to to study extra in regards to the city’s pure environment and the naturalists who prioritize native conservation.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies has somewhat nature reserve with a lake and quite a few birds of prey to spot. There’s additionally the possibility to guide one of many heart’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 price dropping by to take a look at what’s on.

The heart is positioned on Puppy Smith Street and sits in the northern area of the city. It is well visited on foot from Aspen city heart 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 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 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 highway zig-zags up the mountain, with hairpin turns and sections so slim that only a single automobile can squeeze by. Independence Pass is ideal for many 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 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 in case you fly into Denver International Airport and rent a automobile. You’ll want nerves of metal, however the expertise is price 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 far more up your alley. The pop-up venue is a big tent positioned in the John Denver Sanctuary. You can count on motion and expertise in bucket masses – 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 competition specializes in internet hosting single-actor performs, though you may also 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’re uncovered to the temperature and sometimes draughts through the performances. However, we predict that this ingredient 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 among the most basic 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 type, the constructing has a large 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 among the most adventurous issues to do in Aspen, and we predict that you simply’ll find it irresistible.

Aspen Paragliding is the most well-liked firm to go paragliding throughout the space, and also you’ll take to the skies with a licensed pilot. This means you calm down as a passenger and benefit from the journey whereas your information handles all of the difficult stuff. Aspen Paragliding has been working since 1990 and is among the most trusted paragliding corporations in 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 number of the most gorgeous scenes in Colorado. In winter, you would possibly even have the option to spot the skiers on the slopes under.

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

10. Walk the Rio Grande Trail

Things to do in Aspen Rio Grande Trail
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The Rio Grande Trail isn’t any simple feat. The path runs for a powerful 42 miles and is often tackled over two to 4 days. Fitness lovers and anybody decided sufficient to tackle the problem can take pleasure in unmatched views alongside the path. You’ll primarily observe Roaring Fork River, however you’ll have snow-capped mountain views and wildlife galore – so preserve your eyes peeled. Don’t simply march by 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’re keen on multi-day hikes, add a couple of days to your Aspen vacation to full the path. It can be price permitting a few days to keep in Glenwood Springs, as town is thought for its scorching springs. Bathing in scorching springs at Glenwood Springs may be exactly what you want after climbing 42 miles.

The path itself cuts by Roaring Fork Valley. Expect to share the observe with horseback riders, canine walkers, and cyclists, and notice that horses have the correct of approach. Many folks take pleasure in sections of the path with out tackling the complete size, so it’s best 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 cut up by 0.5 km. The Maroon Bells are positioned 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 kinds 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 barely a mile lengthy. You might additionally deal with Maroon Creek Trail for a mix of lakeside views and alpine meadows. The Maroon Creek Trail is somewhat 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 a gorgeous forest. It is price 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 preserve refreshed. This route is arguably the most well-liked, if not additionally essentially the most difficult.

Hiking on unfamiliar trails alone may be daunting, and transportation may be a difficulty in case you don’t rent a automobile. Blazing Adventures supply guided hikes across the Maroon Bells, so think about a guided stroll in case you are somewhat not sure. Lastly, keep in mind a digital camera – despite the fact 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 top-of-the-line views of the peaks. The small European-style cabin is perched on prime of a mountain in the Aspen Highlands Ski Resort. To entry your scenic nice 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 environment is okay eating meets après ski. The restaurant has the menu to appeal to these in search of a complicated, 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 final 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 price bagging a desk outdoors in case you neglect to make a reservation, simply keep in mind to wrap up heat and select your visiting day correctly. You will likely be eating on a mountain summit in any case.

13. Aspen Brewing Company

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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 identify. Technically, the corporate is cut up between two places: the taproom and pizzeria in Downtown Aspen after which the brewery close to Aspen Airport. The craft beers are all brewed on the second website, with some being transported to the primary for guests to take pleasure in.

Aspen Brewing Company names most of its beers after sights and places 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 gorgeous 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 environment 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 gorgeous backdrop when you wander the park.

Lyrics and quotes aren’t the one inventive 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 gives a gorgeous place to take pleasure in performing arts. Combining a leisurely stroll round John Denver Sanctuary and an Aspen Theatre efficiency is among 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 in case 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’re 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 perfect 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 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 keep in mind. And, in case you aren’t a skier, it’s best to profit 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 on daily basis (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.

16. Aspen Golf & Tennis Club

Things to do in Aspen Golfing
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Aspen Golf & Tennis Club is among the finest sporting venues in the city. Between the views and high-quality amenities, visiting is well top-of-the-line issues to do in Aspen – particularly in case you are 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 guide a tennis court docket on-line or ring to reserve a slot. If not, it’s price 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 often spells the tip 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 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


Now that we’ve lined the perfect 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

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 most well-liked choice, 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 automobile 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 automobile 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 price seeing in case your lodging rents out bikes or visiting a motorcycle 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 among 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 perfect snowboarding expertise. The again finish of the season is somewhat cheaper and quieter, and you’ve got extra daylight for snowboarding.

Of course, Aspen is an ideal all-year-round vacation spot for an energetic vacation – filled with climbing trails, horseback driving, and mountaineering whereas the snow melts. If winter sports activities aren’t your factor, discover Aspen through the spring shoulder season. May is the quietest month, and it’s best to have lots 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 prime suggestions on the perfect 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 constructive evaluations speaks volumes. Visitors can take pleasure in dormitory rooms, non-public rooms, and condos. For versatile and budget-friendly lodging, St. Mortiz Lodge is well the perfect in Aspen.

You can dip in the heated outside pool, calm down 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 superb mid-range lodging choice in Aspen. The property gives condos, which vary from studios to three-bedroom models. The condo-only structure means you’ll at all times have homely facilities like a kitchen and a snug 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 12 months spherical, swimming lengths with snow-capped mountain views. Alternatively, take it simple and soak in one of many two outside scorching tubs whereas having fun with the views.

Luxury: The Little Nell

The Little Nell is luxurious lodging at its best. The stylish resort gives ski-in/ski-out amenities – good 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 out of doors spa tub or swim in the heated outside 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 additional luxurious if you’d like.

Looking for a VRBO property as an alternative of a basic resort expertise? You might need to learn our information on the perfect 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 outside adventures. You can calm down surrounded by the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Roaring Fork River, and White River National Forest. Pick a climbing path or ski slope of your selection and let the recent air do the remaining. We know that you simply’ll have a incredible time in Aspen.

Plan your Next Trip to Colorado With These Resources

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