Aspen Travel Guide

  • Aspen
    by MM212
  • Ski gondola station
    Ski gondola station
    by NadiaZ
  • Hotel Jerome, Aspen, March 2013
    Hotel Jerome, Aspen, March 2013
    by MM212

Aspen Things to Do

  • Maroon Bells

    These are the most visited and photographed mountains in Colorado, perhaps even in the entire US. The prisine waters of Maroon Lake reflect the mountains behind them, to create a classic view. Unfortunately, this place gets extremely crowded in summer, especially on weekends. Between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, you must take the bus from nearby Rubey...

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  • Snowmass Mountain

    The largest of the four ski mountains in Aspen, Snowmass has some excellent skiing. It also has the longest vertical drop: 1,343, metres from its highest peak of 3,813 metres (The Cirque) to its base at 2,473 metres (it is also the second biggest vertical drop in the US, after Jackson Hole). Because of its size, it also gets the most crowds, but it...

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  • Historic Centre of Aspen

    The centre of Aspen feels like a real American town, rather than a ski resort, because of the efforts made by the city to preserve its original character. After it was founded around 1880, the town had a little over a decade of ephemeral prosperity as a silver mining town, during which much of the beautiful red brick architecture was built. A...

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  • Aspen "Gucci" Mountain

    Referred to by some as "Gucci" Mountain, the Aspen Mountain ski resort is one of four in the Aspen-Snowmass area. It is directly above the town of Aspen and is the only one accessible from the town itself, thus most of its skiers are visitors who are staying in the town and its rather expensive hotels. As we all know, the clientele of town often...

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  • Aspen Highlands Mountain

    I had one of the best ski experiences of my life in Aspen Highlands in late March 2013. The reason was that it was empty, with plenty of fresh deep powder! The mountain is the second largest in the Aspen area, but has some of the most challenging terrains in the area, particularly in the Highlands Bowl, where the highest peak lies at 3,559 metres....

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  • Buttermilk Mountain

    The smallest of the four ski areas in Aspen-Snowmass, Buttermilk is intended mainly for beginners and snowboarders. Those were two reasons for me not to bother with it at all, not that I had any time for it. I managed to take the attached fuzzy photo of Buttermilk Mountain from the car, on the way to Snowmass.

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Aspen Hotels

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Aspen Restaurants

  • Rustique: tasty French bistro

    Located in the heart of Aspen, Rustique is a French bistro with well executed French dishes accompanied by French wines. It is considered one of the best French restaurants in town (definitely need to reserve), but still not too pretentious for a town like Aspen.

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  • Fondue et Crêpes

    Owned by a Frenchman, the simple rustic Crêperie du Village serves delicious fondues, raclette and crêpes, among other dishes. It started off as a crêperie, but overtime expanded to include other French/Alpine dishes. It was a delicious, authentic experience, in an otherwise pretentious and mostly expensive town. Just beware, the open kitchen means...

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  • Boo on Boogies!

    In search of a quick lunch before leaving town, we happened by Boogie’s Diner and thought it looked cute and might have some good lunch items. It was generally a disappointment. There was a wait to be seated in the diner area upstairs which is very convenient given there is a large retail apparel area on the ground floor. There was not much in the...

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Aspen Nightlife

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  • Go Big in Aspen

    There are some hot new spots coming to Aspen, and some old favorites. The old go to spots are Eric's and Club Chelsea - both located on Hyman mall, and The Caribou Club on Hopkins (membership required). There are a few dive bars still kicking - Bentley's and Zane's. New hot spots - Fly and Junk at Red Onion (coming soon). You can wear jeans...

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  • Nightlife in a cold time

    This is the best place to dance and get drunk! I loved this discoteque, full of people, but if you arrive in high season you must do a queu (there is just 4 clubs in Aspen that`s why) Go dressed, as you want!

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  • The more casual scene

    A bar located next to the Wheeler Opera House. Its a more laid back crowd in here. The opera house itself is a famouns local landmark and the place is packed with locals. Its a good place to grab a drink and learn more about the less touristy side of Aspen. Somewhat casual. I wouldn't recommend shorts but no one would be thrown out in jeans.

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Aspen Transportation

  • Getting to Aspen

    By car, Aspen is too far from everywhere. Denver to Aspen takes around 3.5 hours because one has to drive around the big mountains. Luckily, the town is served by its own small airport (ASE), with flights to many of the nearby large cities, including Los Angeles and Denver. There are many more private jets at the airport than commercial planes, so...

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  • Aspen to Snowmass

    Free buses connect Aspen to Snowmass with frequent stops along the way. They run quite frequently (every 15 minutes?) during the day and are quite convenient if you are in one area, but would like to try skiing or visiting another area. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes.

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  • "Leave the Car, Take the Free City Bus!"

    City buses provide transportation from all areas of Aspen to the main lifts at The Little Nell. City buses also take skiers to Rubey Park where they can board buses to the other three ski areas and down valley.

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Aspen Shopping

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  • Saturday Market

    From fresh produce to palm readings to a unique gift for someone special, this is the place to find it. Unusual items. Aspen is pricey. Plan accordingly.

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  • Trendiest shop in Aspen

    Radio Boardshop has all the coolest clothes you can't find anywhere else. From limited edition sneakers to snowboards. Radio carries everything you need to get out on the hill or hit the Aspen nightlife. We carry a tons of women's, men's, kid's clothing as well as everything need to snowboard or skateboard.During the summer Radio offers skate camp...

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  • Aspen's Best Pet Boutique

    For pet lovers!This hidden little shop is a great place to find anything for your pet. From fresh gourmet treats, to cashmere sweaters for your dog.The staff is very friendly and eager to help. They also have great end of the season sales. A whole bunch of Burberry leashes, pet beds etc were on sale for 50% off. Don't miss the freshly made...

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Aspen Local Customs

  • "Learn About Aspen's History"

    The Aspen area was originally discovered by the Ute Indians and called "Shining Mountains". The first gold miners arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley in the summer of 1879 and by that fall a small group of entrepreneurs and speculators had staked claims and set up camp at the foot of Aspen Mountain. Prospectors settled in Aspen hoping to strike it...

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  • Aspen Music Festival

    Late June through August, a classical music festival featuring 200 plus music performances. The Wheeler Opera House hosts some of the events, but there is also an outdoor music tent where many of the performances are free.

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  • Hotel Jerome

    Another of Aspen's finest historical buildings. The hotel, one of Aspen's best, is still in operation. If you can't or won't pay the steep prices to stay the night, at least check out the hotel and its architecture.

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Aspen Warnings and Dangers

  • BEAR WATCH!

    whatever you do, DO NOT LEAVE TRASH OUT, or otherwise tempt or feed bears. they will DIE. we have now in place a 'one strike policy' due to the frequency of bears coming into town to dine (used to be 3 strikes). the wealthy have built mansions in the bears habitat, and all it takes is one call to 911 or animal control & they will have no choice but...

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  • Avalanches Do Happen! Be Careful Out of...

    Please be careful in the backcountry. 30 US skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers died in 2003. Click the link below which outlines many of the deaths and where they happened.The Avalanche OrganizationAlso, I found some stories about just a few of the avalanches, but there's not enough room on this page to put them all.2-1-2002"67 year old man...

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  • Bear Country

    It is not uncommon to see Black Bears in Aspen in the summertime. Unfortunately these bears have had difficulty nourishing themselves in their natural habitat and have become dependent on foraging dumpsters and breaking into homes and cars. If you are renting a place - always keep doors locked - they can open doors. It's also not a good idea to...

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Aspen What to Pack

  • kelbel67's Profile Photo

    by kelbel67 Written May 15, 2011

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: aspen doesn't generally-- even in july-- reach higher temps than 75. 80 on a very hot day. no humidity. pours down rain at about 3 or 4pm in summer. lasts a few min, then 20 min later you wouldn't know it rained had you not seen it with your own eyes. it's a very casual town. summer is shorts & flip flops & sundresses, for evening, dresses & heels, here's how to really stand out, and NOT in a good way: wear a business suit, wear real fur (that's how you spot someone from texas!), hair extensions & have your lips plumped out to THERE. aspenites are natural, light makeup, polar fleece for working out & don't have elaborate hair-do's.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: SPF- i can not stress how !!important!! suncreen is- and i am not talking spf 15. i wear 75 and still get color if i get careless & forget to re-apply. bring something for your nose- i use vasaline to line my nose with since it's so dry, it cracks & bleeds. band-aids if you're doing alot of walking. NEVER be without water. water & sunscreen will be your survival kit. spf chapstick, too.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: depends on what you want to do while you're here, but they also do sell anything 'rugged outdoorsy' in most shops. in the winter i like the yakktraks to stretch over my shoes or boots to grip the ice (they're useless in snow). they sell them at the UTE MOUNTAINEER on mill st.

    Miscellaneous: whatever you do, don't believe that being an obnoxious jerk makes you more important than everyone else, or will make you fit in. coloradans, aspenites in particular, are a very friendly, helpful bunch. and you generally won't find an american among them! don't complain loudly and/or yell at service people. it makes you look like a fool. most aspenites will make a point of stopping to help you if you are looking at a map or seem puzzled.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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Aspen Off The Beaten Path

  • especially for VEGETARIANS

    stop in EXPLORE BOOKSELLERS for (of course, books & newspapers from all over the world, but also) incredible vegan & vegetarian food. it's amazing what can be done with seitan (coconut satay spears!) and tofu (chocolate pie!). it's upstairs above the bookstore. so beautiful, situated in an old victorian. it became my favorite place to be. the...

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  • Get lost out there

    In places like this (Maroone Bells-Snowmass wilderness) there seems to be no limit to the distance one can see- over land, and, perhaps, into oneself.T.A. Baron, A Walk in the Wilderness

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  • On top of the world

    Well, not really. Not even the top of Aspen mountain, as the gondola is not yet operating. But its a nice view of the town from Smuggler's Mine.

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Aspen Sports & Outdoors

  • Backcountry skiing

    The 10th mountain division hut system links Aspen, Leadville and Vail. See Vail page for more details.The Alfred A Braun Hut System, south of Aspen, has a series of older huts available along the trail. All ski resort areas have rental equipment shops so you can get anything you need- skis, poles, boots, while there.

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  • Skiing

    There are 4 ski areas in Aspen and neighboring Snowmass: Aspen Mountain, for more experienced skiiers, Aspen Highlands, for all levels, Buttermilk for beginners and Snowmass, which has four mountains.

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  • "Great Nightly Ski Storage Tip"

    All 4 mountains offer a way for you to not have to lug your heavy equipment back to your hotel every night. You can check your equipment at the end of the day at the bottom of one mountain, pay $3, and find it waiting for you at another the next morning. Aspen ski areas are renowned for Customer service. At all four areas you can get free...

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Aspen Favorites

See all 7 Favorites in Aspen
  • American Lake Trail

    A 6 mile trail to a beautiful alpine lake. The trail passes through meadows of wildflowers, in the summer anyway. In May, the flowers have yet to bloom, but it was still a nice hike,

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  • Capitol Peak

    Capitol Peak is one of Colorado's fourteeners. Its 8 miles to the top. The first 6 miles or so to capitol lake cross through a valley. The last few miles are more strenuous and the last few hundred feet can actually require technical climbing skills.

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  • Mount Sopris

    One of the "smaller" mountains in Colorado, Mt. Sopris is just under 13,000 feet in elevation. It is a 6 mile hike from Dinkle Lake at the end of Forest Road 311 . It is a 4 mile climb to Thomas Lakes and then another 2 miles and 2,700 feet in elevation gain to the summit.

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Explore Deeper into Aspen
Aspen Mountain
Things to Do
Maroon Bells
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A Great Place For Coffee, Salad or a Sandwich!
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Aspen's Darkside
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New Winter 2008
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great overall experience
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Delicious, fast and affordable
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Hike to Crestted Butte
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Altitude Sickness
Warnings and Dangers
Falafel is King
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Closed Restaurants
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Aspen Dining
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Dining in the Valley
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LIFE STYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS TOUR
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Life Styles Of The Rich And Famous Tour
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Ute City Bar and Grill
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Gusto
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The view from the top
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Snowmass creek
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Hiking in Aspen
Off The Beaten Path
Maroon Creek Road
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Independence Ghost Town
Off The Beaten Path
Fall Colors
Off The Beaten Path
Maroon Bells
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Aspen Forests
Off The Beaten Path
Don't forget your Private Jet!
Transportation
Snowmass Creek Road
Off The Beaten Path
Mining tours
Off The Beaten Path
Wheeler Opera House
Local Customs
Ajax Tavern
Restaurants
Maroon Creek road shuttle
Transportation
Scenic drive
Transportation
Maroon Creek trail
Favorites
Four Pass Loop
Off The Beaten Path
Hiking in Aspen- Maroon Bells-Snowmass
Things to Do
More Great Restaurants!
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Elegant,Yet Comfortable Italian!
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Aspen Highlands Bowl - A Dangerous Area!
Warnings and Dangers
Skiers Climbing the Aspen Highlands Bowl
Warnings and Dangers
The Ghost Town - Ashcroft
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Map of Aspen

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