The Roundup

Aspen for All Seasons

by Pavia Rosati
Rafting in spring, photo courtesy of Blazing Adventures; hiking in summer, photo courtesy of A.C.E.S.; colors changing in autumn, photo courtesy of Aspen Meadows; on the Aspen gondola, photo by Pavia Rosati.

ASPEN, CO – Aspen may be known primarily as a ski town, but that underscores its year-round charms. There’s always something happening in and around town – from snow sculpture competitions and mountainside fireworks to festivals of food, wine, jazz, and ideas (though maybe not all on the same night). Here’s a year-round agenda.

SPRING

Paragliding: Such drama! Fly off the mountain and into the valley below. Aspen Paragliding are the ones to trust on tandem jumps.

White Water Rafting: When the snow starts to melt, the rivers start raging. Blazing Adventures and Aspen Kayaking Academy can set you up.

SUMMER

Food & Wine Classic: Big-name chefs, wine makers, and food personalities converge for demos, tastings, and late-night hijinks.

Aspen Ideas Festival: Seminars, discussions, and events with leading thinkers, artists, and writers.

Hike: A.C.E.S. leads free and private tours around Maroon Bells and Aspen Mountain, or you can just hit the trails alone. Cathedral Lake, Lost Man Loop, and Hunter Creek are all excellent routes.

FALL

Biking: Rent a road or mountain bike from Ute City Cycles and get close to the bright fall colors at Independence Pass, Castle Creek, or the Rio Grande Trail, which runs along the Roaring Fork River. At Snowmass, you can take your bike up the lift and explore the downhill trails.

Fly Fishing: There’s trout aplenty in the gold-medal waters around Aspen. Aspen Fly Fishing and The Little Nell can arrange guides for float trips in boats and walk-and-wades in the stream.

WINTER

Ski and Snowboard: The four interconnected mountains of Aspen/Snowmass appeal to all levels. Aspen and Aspen Highlands are intermediate and expert, Buttermilk is beginner and intermediate, and Snowmass is best for families.

Cross-country: Aspen Nordic oversees a network of 60 miles of trails in Aspen, Snowmass, and Basalt.

Snowshoe: Naturalists from A.C.E.S. lead back country tours daily.

Yoga: Start the morning at the sun deck on Aspen Mountain in a free class led by Aspen Yoga Society.

Backcountry Adventure: Cross-country ski, snowshoe, or ski to the interconnected hut system in the deep wilderness. Bring a group and have a slumber party.

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Aspen Guide