By Natasha Lovato
Summer and fall are great times to visit Colorado’s famous mountain town, Aspen. Before the snow begins falling on the Roaring Fork Valley, explore some fun in the sun within this vacation hot spot.
1. Hiker’s Paradise
When it comes to hiking, there is certainly no shortage of incredible trails winding through wildflower meadows, across rushing streams, and through lush forests. Each trip is guaranteed to take your breath away, no matter the level of experience. A multi-night hike through Four-Pass Loop is a recommended trip for expert hikers. Smuggler Mountain is a great area for intermediate and moderate hiking. Maroon Bells holds one of the most spectacular views in the world. For a completely different hiking experience, dive into an easy semi-spelunking adventure through winding, narrow, smooth rocks at the Grottos Trail. A larger listing of the many hikes in Aspen can be viewed on Aspen Trail Finder.
2. For the Adventure Junkie
Get a bird’s eye view of Aspen and the lush surrounding valleys by taking a flight with Aspen Paragliding. This thrill is family friendly for anyone over 100 pounds. Proper clothing is advised with closed-toed shoes and warmer clothing for protection on the two-hour journey at 11,000 feet above the ground. This experience is bound to make a trip to Aspen worth the drive, book a trip at aspenparagliding.com
3. Foodies Unite
Should you be lucky enough to score a ticket, ACES Rock Bottom Ranch is a must. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is a non-profit organization that seeks to spread knowledge to children and adults alike about conservation. A list of events span across the entire summer from field studies, discussions, picnics, potlucks, and the ever popular farm to table dinners. Visit aspennature.org for a full list of events.
4. Wild Yoga
In the evening, join Aspen Center for Environmental Studies for a donation-based yoga class along the edge of Hallam Lake. This holistic experience is open for all yogi levels. Bring a mat and join the group Tuesday’s from 5:15-6:30 p.m. for a memorable mind and body rejuvenating experience.
5. Wanted: Explorers
The Silver Queen and Elk Camp Gondolas are sightseeing experiences for all ages and abilities. These leisurely rides are an excellent way to enjoy the beautiful views as well as restaurants, lawn games, hiking trails, live music and other events throughout the summer. New as of summer 2018, Elk Camp Gondola offers an additional end destination to Lost Forest. Lost Forest is a daring experience for explorers in search of adventure. The high rope challenge course, zip line, alpine slide, climbing wall, disk golf and paintball offer many different options for a day’s worth of adrenaline experiences. Aspensnowmass.com has a full list of prices, activities and more.
6. Take a Load Off
Treat yourself to a de-stressing and luxurious spa treatment at the world-renowned Remede Spa. Enjoy a massage, facial, body scrub, wrap, manicure or pedicure accompanied by the Aspen spa experience in the waterfall plunge pool. Delight yourself with decadent champagne and truffles while your stress melts away. Visit remede.com to book an appointment.
7. History Buffs
All kinds of tours are available to explore the deep history within the area. The History Coach Tour takes its riders on a spin that will leave them with a totally new understanding of Aspen’s transformations. The West End Walking Tour takes its guests through Victorian era architecture and the little-known facts about the buildings and the people that lived within their walls. The Historic Pub Crawl for guests over 21 takes guests to various establishments to enjoy brews and the tales of local lore and historic haunts. Additional tours and further information can be found on aspenhistory.org.
8. Fun for the Whole Family
Kids and adults will have a busy day of fun ahead of them with the many activities at the Aspen Recreation Center. Bring bathing suits for the lazy river and waterslide in the kid pool. Or swim a few laps in the lap pool. And be sure to relax in the sauna, steam room and whirlpool. Take advantage of the full gym or a fitness class. If that’s not enough to work up a sweat, pick up a game of pickle ball or tennis. You can take a few swings in the batting cages, climb up the rock wall, or do a couple of laps around the indoor ice-skating rink. Take the kids under five to the playhouse where they can get out all of their energy in the bouncy houses. For a complete list of prices and hours, visit aspenrecreation.com.
9. Dance Your Heart Out
The nightlife in Aspen comes alive in Belly Up Aspen. The concert venue features some of the top rock, country and hip-hop artists. This summer, enjoy small or big name bands such as: Stephen Marley, Boz Skaggs and Gary Clark Jr. Visit bellyupaspen.com for a full calendar of events this summer.