Aspen’s unique location in the Elk Range Mountains offers incredible access to year round adventures. In the winter, choose between four different ski mountains—Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Aspen Mountain (aka Ajax). There’s nothing quite like taking a run that ends directly at the shops and hotels of downtown Aspen. Besides the legendary resorts, other winter fun includes snowshoeing, fat biking, and cross country skiing. A trip up the winter road to the foot of the Maroon Bells is one of the best winter outings in Colorado. Oh, and don’t forget the 10th Mountain huts such as Green-Wilson and Taggart accessed just outside of Aspen.
Come summer, the fun doesn’t let up. There are endless fun and challenging mountain scrambles, including the twin summits of the Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak, Capitol Peak, and Castle Peak—all over 14,000 feet! For backpacking and hiking, the Maroon Bells Wilderness is gorgeous and connects all the way over to Crested Butte. Nearby Independence Pass grants access to a different side of Aspen, literally: This pass sits atop the Continental Divide and connects the craggy Elk Range with the more stalwart and solid Sawatch Range.
Mountain biking right from town is a blast—as is taking to the trails of the ski areas. Road riders can choose from punishing yet rewarding climbs (heading up to Ashcroft is a favorite) and long cruisers—the Rio Grande Trail travels downhill over 40-miles through Basalt and Carbondale before ending in Glenwood Springs. From spring’s fragrant flowers to autumn’s golden colors, Aspen is at the heart of the best the Rocky Mountains have to offer. No matter what season you find yourself in Aspen, there’s always great food, a laid-back vibe and all the adventure you can handle! You will be forgiven if you keep coming back again and again, ignoring other parts of Colorado—Aspen truly has it all for those who love the outdoors.