Aspen Travel Guide

Aspen is one of Colorado’s favorite destinations with activities that range from outdoor recreation to some of the most delicious foods you have ever tasted. The Roaring Fork River runs through town, with its abundant trout as well as stunning natural beauty. The Aspen Mountain rises majestically in the background, with Elk Mountain to the south and west Williams Mountain and the Sawatch Range to the east.

Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk Mountains are within 12 miles of Aspen. The city is surrounded by the White River National Forest while Maroon, Castle and Hunter Creek Valleys are close as well.

Maroon Creek Valley – Aspen, Colorado

A sunny spring view of Maroon Creek Valley, with Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake in the background.

Things to see and do in Aspen

If you are interested in outdoor recreation, Aspen can provide you with ample things to do. There is gold medal fly fishing and some of the most exciting whitewater rafting in the country. You can kayak, go rock climbing, hiking and biking. Of course, it is well-known for some of the best ski slopes in the world as well.

The Aspen Parks Department maintains one of the largest free cross-country trail systems in the country. There are more than 100 kilometers of groomed ski and snowshoe trails. The center of Aspen offers some of the best downhill ski terrains in the area. Find ski slopes at Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass.

Aspen, Colorado

A pair of fast skiers rocket down a groomed trail on Ajax Mountain at Aspen Colorado.

The Aspen Ideas Festival is the leading public gathering place for leaders around the globe to engage in discussion that shape lives and challenge times. The festival is held the end of June through early July. The Food & Wine Classic, held in June, brings together the world’s most accomplished winemakers, celebrity chefs and culinary experts. It is the country’s premier culinary event and it is open to adults only. The Aspen Art Museum is globally recognized as a leader in contemporary art. You can also take in a performance at the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet or Theatre Aspen.

There are camps for children that offer sports, art, environmental education and more. The Aspen Recreation Center has a 32-foot indoor rock climbing wall, a two-story water slide, ice skating rink and more to keep children occupied. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is a fun activity and kids love meeting the golden eagle that lives there and the other wildlife on premises. Take a guided Jeep or horseback tour. If you are interested in history, a visit to the Aspen Historical Society will give you and your family some background on the area.

Climate conditions

Aspen’s climate is similar to other areas with high altitude and low humidity. Summers are warm and dry with temperatures that can rise as high as 90 degrees during the day while night temperatures can drop as low as 50 degrees. In fall, cold spells can occur although the weather is normally warm during the day with highs of 70 degrees, but night temperatures can drop below 30 degrees. The winter sun is warm but daytime temperatures average between 20 and 40 degrees while on the mountains it can be much colder. Night temperatures can be very cold. Aspen averages 179 inches of snow each year.