Embrace the summer in Aspen: 7 Magnificent Mountain Experiences

While Aspen is mainly known for its slopes and après-ski scene, it’s much more than a winter retreat. Look beyond its frosty facade and you’ll discover a treasure trove of summer delights waiting to be discovered. In summer, the cool mountain air dances with the scent of wildflowers, the hiking trails are waiting to get discovered, and there are many local festivals organized. In this article, I guide you on a whirlwind tour of summer in Aspen and share the 7 best mountain areas to explore with you.

Maroon Bells: Nature’s Marvel in Technicolor

The Maroon Bells are first up on my list of must-see Aspen mountain summer spots. The two peaks are a sight for the eyes, with their striking maroon-colored hues and mirrored reflections in Maroon Lake. Add a canvas of wildflowers splashed across the landscape, and you’ve got yourself a Bob Ross painting come to life 😉

There are plenty of hiking trails to discover in The Maroon Bells and they are great to witness the vibrant wildflowers in full bloom. At some of the trails, you can also marvel at the iconic Maroon Lake reflecting the majestic peaks. Whether you enjoy photography, hiking, or simply immersing in nature’s beauty, Maroon Bells has it all.

Tip: be sure to pack your camera; this spectacle is worth every megapixel!

Independence Pass: Where Adventure Begins

There’s a thing or two you might want to know about the Independence Pass. At a whopping 12,095 feet high, it’s the highest paved pass in Colorado, offering dizzying views of the surrounding mountains. Hiking, cycling, or driving through, it’s the crème de la crème of Rocky Mountain experiences. The independence pass provides the perfect escape if you are seeking adventure, freedom, and a bit of a challenge.

Silver Queen Gondola: Ride High in the Sky

If you’re after a head-in-the-cloud kind of day, I can recommend taking a ride in the Silver Queen Gondola. Starting downtown and ending at the summit of Aspen Mountain, this 14-minute ride is a great way to explore the mountains. From lush forests to majestic peaks, the views are simply amazing! At the summit you can embrace the tranquility and indulge in hiking, mountain biking, or even enjoy a meal with panoramic views.

Hunter Creek Trail: A Hiker’s Heaven

Another great thing to do in Aspen in summer is to hike or mountain bike the Hunter Creek Trail. This trail starts a short distance from downtown Aspen and parallels Hunter Creek. It has several bridges and a well-trodden path, framed by Aspen trees and wildflower-filled meadows. Along the way, you cross different landscapes and you can see old homesteaders’ cabins that add a touch of historical intrigue to your adventure. There is also a public parking area and trailhead farther up Red Mountain off Hunter Creek Drive. With various difficulty levels, it caters to both beginners and experienced adventurers. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this hidden gem!

Snowmass Village: Fun in the Sun

Nestled in the picturesque Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Snowmass Village is another great destination to visit near Aspen in summer. As the snow melts away, the village transforms into a fun place to visit. The area boasts over 2.8 million acres of pristine wilderness, making it an ideal playground for hikers, bikers, and nature lovers. With an extensive trail network, it’s a great destination to go hiking and mountain biking. In addition to the outdoor activities, Snowmass Village hosts a vibrant summer events calendar. From music festivals and art exhibitions to food and wine tastings, there is always something exciting to do.

Conundrum Hot Springs: Mother Nature’s Spa

Need a break after all the mountain gallivanting? The Conundrum Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax! A steamy soak in these natural pools at 11,200 feet will surely soothe your weary muscles and rejuvenate your spirit. The hot springs are among the highest hot springs in North America and there are several pools of varying sizes and temperatures. The temperature averages 100° F, however, the smaller pools tend to be a little cooler.

Please note that the beautiful springs are only accessible by a nine-mile hike up Conundrum Creek Trail. So remember, the hike-in isn’t for the faint-hearted!

Castle Creek Road: A Drive to Remember

For a scenic drive that’ll knock your socks off, meander down Castle Creek Road (County Road 15). Winding along the creek, this drive takes you through lush valleys and past cascading waterfalls. The windy road is totally paved with a very good road surface. It’s very scenic, with plenty of spots to pull off and take some photos. The road leads to Ashcroft, a silver mining ghost town founded in 1880 and an interesting place to visit.

Tip: there are plenty of picturesque picnic spots along the way.

Photo by Caleb Kastein on Unsplash

How to get around in Aspen?

While all these spots promise an unforgettable experience, I understand that getting around in Aspen could be a bit of a pickle. But, hey! No need to worry about that. Getting around in Aspen is convenient and efficient, thanks to the many possibilities. Here are several options for navigating Aspen:

Rolling in Style with Aspen Limo Services

With Aspen Limo Services you can turn your transportation concerns into luxury experiences. Whether it’s a romantic ride up to Maroon Bells, or a VIP-style arrival at Snowmass Village, their fleet of limousines, driven by professional chauffeurs, ensures you travel in comfort and class. Book your limo today, and make every ride a journey worth remembering.

Walking or biking in Aspen

Aspen is a pedestrian-friendly town, and many attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance of each other. The area also has a comprehensive network of bike lanes and trails, making it easy to explore on two wheels. You can bring your own bike or rent one from several bike shops in the area.

Using the free shuttles in and around Aspen:

Aspen offers a complimentary shuttle service known as the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA). The RFTA provides free buses that run regularly throughout Aspen and the surrounding areas. The buses cover various routes, including transportation to and from the airport, neighboring towns, and popular attractions. Look for the clearly marked RFTA bus stops throughout the town.

Reserving ride-sharing services

Companies like Uber and Lyft operate in Aspen, providing convenient transportation options at your fingertips. Simply download the application, request a ride, and a driver will pick you up at your location.

Using a Rental Car in Aspen

If you prefer the flexibility of having your own vehicle, rental cars are available at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport and in town. However, keep in mind that parking can be limited and costly, especially during busy periods.

Recommended places to stay in Aspen

Aspen offers a wide range of accommodation. Whether you’re seeking budget accommodation or luxurious retreats, Aspen has something for everyone. Here are my favorite places:

Budget accommodation:

While Aspen is known for its luxury accommodations, there are also more affordable options available. A good example is the St Moritz Lodge and Condominiums in Aspen. This accommodation is located 2 blocks away from Aspen’s free ski shuttle system and offers affordable rooms. The property also has an outdoor heated pool and whirlpool.

Mid-range accommodation:

You can also find some really nice charming boutique hotels near aspen that exude character and style. Examples are Limelight Hotel Aspen or The Inn at Aspen. Another affordable option is to rent an apartment like one of the many Laurelwood Condominiums apartments in Snowmass Village. Most of these apartments have a cozy fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, an outside whirlpool, a lovely bedroom, a cozy living room and some great views!

Luxury accommodation:

Aspen is renowned for its upscale resorts that offer unparalleled comfort and world-class amenities. These resorts often feature elegant rooms or suites, spa facilities, fine dining restaurants, and convenient access to the slopes or downtown. Some well-known hotels are the St. Regis Aspen Resort or W Aspen.

Photo via St. Regis Aspen Resort


Well, there you have it, my top 7 magnificent mountain experiences in Aspen. I hope this posts inspires you to visit Aspen in summer. The promise of adventure, breathtaking scenery, and beautiful weather await you in this mountain town. So, slap on the sunscreen and prepare to be wowed by Aspen in the summer. The mountains are calling!

If you have any questions about the above mentioned information, please let me know in the comment section below. I’m happy to help you. Safe travels!

Author: Daphne

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