Type: Out-and-back. Aspen is part tourist destination, part local hub — complimented by delicious dining options for when you’re finished out on the trails.Here are our ten favorite hiking trails in the area. William Abranowic, 02/20/2020 Experience Aspen’s quiet mountain trails, incredible views, and high alpine landscapes on one of the many trails that lead deep into the White River National Forest. Photo by DigitalWheelie under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Britta Briscoe By Aspen Sojourner Staff Hiking at the Right Time. Published in the Summer/Fall 2020 issue of Reward your efforts with a lakeside picnic, or bring camping gear to sleep under the stars in the dispersed spots on the lake’s west end. While the easiest way to get around is by car, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) offers a free bus service throughout Aspen and Snowmass Village and paid services to other communities including Basalt, Glenwood Springs, and Rifle.You’re going to need to rent a car if you’re heading to Aspen from Denver — the only way into Aspen is along State Highway 82, other than a few mountain passes that are seasonally closed. From Retired Hotel Jerome GM Tony DiLucia to Newspaper Editor Megan Tackett, Our Fantasy Guest List, Covid’s Unanticipated Benefit: Inspiring Thoughtfulness, Aspen’s Real-Estate Market Soared Sky-High in 2020, Ski and Ride Aspen, Snowmass, and More Like a Local, Visit Five Utah Ski Areas with One Ikon Pass, Making the Most of Aspen Mountain Takes Some Know-How, Three Meals, Three Restaurants at Aspen's Airport Business Center, How Five Local Restaurants Hope to Succeed This Winter, Why Community Agriculture, Regenerative Farming, and Local Sourcing Matter More Than Ever, What’s Going On in Aspen and Snowmass This Winter, Three New Books to Put on Your Nightstand, Valley Native Designs Commercial Movie Posters While Creating Fine Art Collages, This Aspen Townhome Feels as Good as It Looks, An Aspen Home Re-creates the Ambience of a Five-Star Alpine Lodge, One of Aspen’s Most Noted Architects Designs a Residence for a Very Special Client—His Daughter, A Fanciful Narrative Inspired This Old Snowmass Compound, A Skin Care Must: Antedotum's New Face Oil, This New Exoskeleton Lets Skiers with Chronic Leg Discomfort Lighten Up, 14 Ways to Get Top-Notch Pampering in Aspen, The 34th Annual Boogie's Buddy Race and Honk and Honor for Charlie. Photo by beautifulcataya under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Aspen is nestled in a remote area of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains Sawatch Range and the Elk Mountains, serving as a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.Although synonymous with skiing and home to one of the area’s most pristine ski resorts, Aspen also offers quality hiking that ranges from paved hiking trails to difficult mountain summits.Located along the Roaring Fork River, Aspen sits at an elevation just below 8,000 feet and was named due to the high abundance of aspen trees in the area. Expect awesome views of downtown Aspen, all four Aspen Snowmass ski resorts, and Sopris Mountain, which is considered Aspen’s most treasured gem.If you plan accordingly and reach the viewing platform right at sunset, you’re in for a photographic event.The trail boasts about 800 feet of vertical gain and there are options to continue on to Warren Lakes, turning the three mile round trip into a strenuous twelve miler with an extra thousand feet of elevation gain. Photography by If you're looking for the best trails around Sylvan Lake State Park or Paonia State Park, we've got you covered. Before setting out, read over these trail tips. Days Required: 1 day. Photo by Peter Honeyman under CC BY-NC 2.0. Manasseh Franklin Here the trail will steepen as it meanders alongside Pine Creek. Photo by Brendan Bombaci under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Dogs are welcome on most of the trails and gondolas but you must keep them on a leash and be aware that there are other wildlife in the area, including moose and bears. Aspen may be known for its skiing and winter sports, but it's really quite impressive as a hiking destination. The login page will open in a new tab. Karl Wolfgang, 12/23/2020 David O. Marlow If you’re looking for a reward at the end of your hike, select a trail that leads up to Elk Camp Restaurant, from where you can refuel and then continue up to Elk Camp summit for amazing views of Bush Creek Valley.Aspen Mountain is a separate hiking area in of itself, providing views of town and a definite wildness experience. The Robbie Wade picnic area is located a short distance beyond the viewing platform, serving as an excellent place for lunch or an afternoon snack.The trailhead is located in the northeast corner of Aspen, accessible via Mill Street or Cooper Avenue. Soon after you pass Lost Man Reservoir, you’ll arrive at the lower trailhead. Which of these trails have you hiked or are looking forward to hiking? To experience the Maroon Bells up close and personal will likely change your life forever! Aspen Sojourner Staff, SagaCity Media | 921 SW Washington St, Suite 750 | Portland, Oregon 97205, On Loop Hikes, New Vistas Unfold the Whole Way, A Q&A with Aspen High Athletic Director Martha Richards, From Red Cross Heroes Karen and Tom Nern to SheLift Founder Sarah Herron, our Fantasy Guest List. Ashley's a Florida girl that didn't see snow until her twenty's. Classic Aspen Hikes These are some of the most popular routes, with good reason—just be prepared to share the trail with other enthusiasts. A flatlander most of her life, Ashley now craves challenging trails but isn't a fan of log crossings over rapidily flowing mountain streams. Where: Bear Creek Preserve near Telluride. You'll see some of the easier hikes that start there along with directions, and other good information. Let me know your thoughts in the comments! The Sprague Lake Loop is a short, saccharinely sweet hike for aspen admirers. Dear Meredith: How Can I Get Involved in the Community During the Pandemic? A few steep spurts lead to a boulder field accented by white aspen trunks, delicate columbines, and a beckoning view of North Maroon. The journey to the top takes you through miles of open meadows to Thomas Lake. Best Hikes with Big Views. Olive & West Photography, 02/20/2020 Daniel Bayer Weave through bright aspen trees on this 10-mile hike from Aspen to Snowmass. At these unforgettable locations, the water glistens in the sunlight, small waves gently lap the shore, and trout ply the depths. Here are some of the best hikes in Aspen with kids! Aspen Sojourner Staff hiking adventures. Best fall hikes for aspen leaves in Summit County (before they’re gone!) By Aspen Sojourner. Photography by Difficulty: Difficult/Extremely Difficult, Photo by DigitalWheelie under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. With countless trails and nearly endless summer sun, options to hike in and around Aspen are limitless, regardless of your fitness level. Photography by Bring a lunch if you plan on staying the afternoon and feel free to cast out your line for some fish as long as you first attain a Colorado fishing license.The lake sits at an elevation of 9,580 feet and the vertical gain is minimal, making this a great expedition for hikers of all abilities. The reservoir is great for picnicking and/or fishing. When visiting the mountains you need to stay in a proper mountain home! Length: 8.8 miles point to pointDifficulty: Moderate Trailhead: Drive 18.5 miles east from Aspen on Highway 82; park in the area to the left of the big switchback. Aspen is home to the Aspen–Pitkin County Airport, which is a small local hub with seasonal flights to large nearby cities.Denver International Airport is the closest major international airport, located about three and a half hours from Aspen.You can find flights to Denver routing from most cities around the US and major cities internationally. Photography by It is located near Aspen, CO right off of Cooper Ave (CO-82/Independence Pass). An aspen-viewing alternative to those lost in the Cameron Peak Fire is this paved road that takes you into the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, which also offers aspen-viewing hikes. True to its name, Sunnyside Trail gets plenty of sunshine and offers wide open views of the area.There are two different options to choose from, one starting at the Rio Grande Trail off of Cemetery Lane and the other from Hunter Creek Valley that is quite a bit longer. As opposed to your typical mountain hike, this journey takes place on a dirt road that weaves up the side of Smuggler Mountain. "Crater Lake itself may be dried up depending on the time of year (and the … After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Set out on one of these routes, which circle back to your starting point. At this stage of life, I enjoyed a sedentary pace, and preferred to frequent trendy bars. The reward for your climb? The American Lake Trail is the perfect way to acclimate for longer trails and provides for an impressive dose of scenery and an excellent workout.Steep switchbacks wind through aspen groves before the trail turns south.Enjoy the transition to spruce-fir forests and then on to meadows sprinkled with wildflowers.You will go back through forest, cross a scree field, and then follow the sounds of a waterfall which will appear suddenly on your left.A short distance further takes you to American Lake, a picturesque basin backdropped by a granite ridge. Nearest Accommodation: … Ross Kribbs, 02/27/2020 Length: 5.6 miles round-tripDifficulty: Moderate to strenuousTrailhead: See Electric PassGood to know: Make a lunch reservation at the nearby Pine Creek Cookhouse, one of Aspen’s most beloved restaurants, to refuel on house-smoked trout and the Nepalese dumplings known as momos.UTE TRAIL Why use a Stairmaster when you can climb the Ute? 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