12 Apr 2021
Aspen may be synonymous with winter, but summer is just as glorious. Located along Colorado's Elk Range in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen boasts world-class hiking and biking trails, award-winning rivers, and so much more. Head to the top of Snowmass Mountain for an adventure in the Lost Forest, tee off at one of the Roaring Fork Valley's golf courses, or toss a disc at the top of Aspen Mountain. Are you ready to plan your Aspen vacation this summer?
6 Best Aspen Summer Activities
Whether you're a complete novice or a seasoned hiker, Aspen and the entire Roaring Fork Valley has something to offer. In town, the Ute Trail is a challenging, yet quick 1-mile ascent along the side of Aspen Mountain. While you can hike to the top of the mountain (6.2-mile round trip), a popular stopping point is the Ute Rock, which offers breathtaking views of the tiny mountain town. Go to the other side of town to the Hunter Creek Trail, which runs along the water and leads to a network of trails that you can explore for miles.
Once you get outside of downtown Aspen, you'll find countless trails to hike within the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area, up Independence Pass, the White River National Forest, and beyond.
Whether you're into road biking or mountain biking, Aspen is a hub for cycling. The Rio Grande Trail that stretches 42 miles from Aspen to Glenwood Springs is perfect for road bikers who want to see a section of, or even the entire Roaring Fork Valley. Experienced cyclists can some of the world's most beautiful landscapes along Maroon Creek Road, Independence Pass, and Ashcroft.
Get a thrill while mountain biking the main downhill trails, the Snowmass Bike Park, and cross-country mountain bike trails throughout Aspen Snowmass. The Roaring Fork Valley is considered a Gold Level Ride Center and there is just about something for everyone.
You can rent from Aspen Bikes, which offers bike rentals, guided tours, scooters, four-wheelers, and more.
Fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley is among the best in the world. The Roaring Fork River, the Frying Pan River, the Colorado River, Reudi Reservoir, and the Crystal River are all within easy access to downtown Aspen, each with their own beauty. You'll find several varieties of trout, including Rainbow trout, Brown trout, and the Cutthroat, which is native to Colorado. If you're going fly fishing, you'll need to obtain a license and be sure you have all the proper equipment. There are many local providers in Aspen for rentals and guided excursions, such as Elk Mountain Expeditions.
The Aspen Golf Club is an award-winning course designed by Frank Hummel that is located just two miles outside of downtown Aspen. This course is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and has received numerous accolades for its environmental excellence. Other golf courses in the area to visit include the Snowmass Club, Maroon Creek Club, Roaring Fork Club, Aspen Glen Golf Course, and the River Valley Ranch Golf Club.
Lost Forest on Snowmass
The Lost Forest on Snowmass Mountain above Elk Camp is fun for all ages. Take the gondola up to the Lost Forest for a ride on the alpine coaster and play along the climbing wall, ropes courses, zipline course, 18-hole disc golf course, and more. You can't visit the Lost Forest without a ride on the Alpine Coaster, which winds its way through the forest at speeds up to 28mph.
In addition to the Lost Forest, there are several other disc golf courses through the Aspen Snowmass area. Play at one of the world's highest official disc golf courses at the top of Aspen Mountain (above 11,000 feet). The top 9 holes are great for all levels and the back 9 are popular among those looking for a challenge. You must bring your own disc golfs or rent them from Four Mountain Sports.