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While Aspen is best known for winter skiing with the rich and famous, Aspen offers summer fun for all budgets in the beloved Colorado Rockies.
Hiking In Aspen Colorado
In 2023, take your summer trip to Aspen via the beautiful Independence Pass. You’ll end up with great Colorado hikes, bike trails, paddling tours, camping and more.
Visit Aspen, Co
Here we feature some of the best hikes in Aspen and Snowmass, including the world famous Maroon Bells. This area has Colorado ski resorts with all the sights – so we recommend a weekend stay and immerse yourself in the beautiful Maroon Arrows – Snowmass Wilderness.
Most of these aspen trails are child-friendly, while others are more difficult and difficult and should be reserved for older children, teenagers and adults.
We’ll also mention some great things to do in Aspen, such as restaurants, gondolas, campgrounds, and warm day trips.
Tip: Don’t have a good day bag? We love Osprey backpacks and daypacks. I’ve had my overnight backpack for ten years now and it’s still in good shape.
A Man Hiking Through Wildflowers, White River National Forest, Aspen, Colorado Stock Photo
With our 50+ years of hiking and backpacking experience, Osprey creates the world’s best daypacks and overnight backpacks. And they have great customer service.
Before you budget for the length of this hike, remember that you don’t need to cover the length of all of Colorado’s trails once you start. No one is following your steps here.
You decide to keep this aspen hike on the easy side and hike two to three miles of this trail before turning around.
The trail crosses over Difficult Creek, cool bridges and crossings with a picnic lunch and some snacks.
Hike From Aspen To Crested Butte
Enjoy rock climbing through wildflowers, water and pine trees. If you end up going all the way, some would say the view is anti-climactic, and most will enjoy the first three miles of the walk.
Plan on 1-5 hours for this hike, or one hour for every two miles you choose to hike.
From Aspen, drive 5 miles southeast on Hwy 82 and turn right at the sign for Hardy Campground. Walk half a mile and stop at the picnic area on the right. You will see the road in the left corner of the parking lot.
The Rio Grande Trail is one of Aspen’s most popular trails.
Hiking To Hanging Lake In Colorado 2023: What To Know Before You Go
The Rio Grande Trail begins as a paved trail that follows the Roaring Fork River and turns dirt after the first two miles. Enjoy beautiful views and beautiful, luxurious homes right at the start. Stop at scenic spots up and down the trail to enjoy a picnic or snack.
There are many places to rent bikes in Aspen. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy this winding trail along the Roaring Fork River that runs 42 miles from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. If you decide to just ride part of the Rio Grande Bike Shuttle down, you can pick it up.
Hike the Rio Grande Trail at the east end from Heron Park on Neal Road in Aspen. It is a great place to bathe with small children.
This path, or dirt road, is very popular in the fall and leads through the meadows and aspens to a wonderful view of the city.
Aspen To Crested Butte Luxury Road Trip
Although it is a busy road, people prefer Smuggler Hill Road because of its proximity to the city. Allow about 1 – 1/2 hours for this hike.
Find this road on the north side of town. Traffic Hill can be accessed from two streets, Mill Street or Cooper Avenue. From here to Park Circle turn right onto Smuggler Mountain Road. Then take the first right onto the gravel road and look for the parking lot on the right. If you can’t find parking there, park at the water park at Park Circle across from Smuggler Mountain Road.
It’s a tough hike with over 11,000 feet of elevation gain in 3 miles.
Take 2 liters of water and plenty of snacks for the swimmer. Pole walkers are strongly encouraged to come back down – or get on the gondola. Be as slow as you can. Allow 4 – 6 hours for this hike.
Hike Crested Butte To Aspen
To access the road from downtown Aspen, travel 0.6 miles on Ute Ave. There is a parking lot on the left and the trail begins on the right across the street.
One of the best hikes in Colorado we crossed off our bucket list at the end of August, this amazing Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness hike is definitely the crown jewel!
Better yet, start at West Maroon Pass and hike from Crested Butte to Aspen, then the next day from Aspen to East Maroon Pass to Crested Butte.
We started a two day trip from Crested Butte to Aspen over the West Maroon Pass. The next day we started hiking up East Maroon Pass from Aspen to Crested Butte. There are other possibilities.
Hike From Crested Butte To Aspen Via West Maroon Pass
This two-day hike requires little planning and is worth the effort. Learn from us, because we’ve done it, and plan accordingly. It’s a great weekend getaway for girls, boys or two.
Are you interested in the famous four-bass cell in Maroon Bells? Melody will tell you how to backpack this difficult route – it’s really worth it!
Beginning and ending at Castle Creek Trail, this challenging Aspen trail is not for the faint of heart.
On the way, don’t hesitate to enjoy a wonderful tree lined path, stop for a drink and rest for a while.
Awesome Hikes In Aspen With Kids
Maroon Peak Summit. From L to R. Snowmass. Decorative top. Northern Maroon. Pyramid Peak. The Skill of Fort. Image credit: co14k.com
It’s impossible to talk about hiking in Aspen without mentioning the area’s fourteener trails for hikers looking for a challenge.
A lovely walk for two, you will pass the Pine Creek Cookhouse.
Take Castle Creek from the roundabout west of downtown Aspen. Drive 12.5 miles (flat) to the Castle Creek Trailhead. To the right, Forest Road (FR) 102 continues for 12,800′. Cars with plenty of room can drive up this road for about 1 mile to reach the scattered roadside campsites. If you want to shorten your trip with a higher vehicle, you need a 4WD vehicle and a good location. From the underground parking lot, walk 1.3 miles to the river crossing.
Amazing Roaring Fork Valley Hikes
In the spring and early summer, this transition can be difficult for some four-wheel drive vehicles. Within 5 miles, reach Pearl Pass Junction and stay on Castle Creek 102 Road. If you travel far, there are few parking spaces near the intersection. The trail gets worse as we climb up into Montezuma Basin at 12,800′.
In fact, when we talk about the best hikes in Aspen, the amazing hikes in the famous Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness area steal the show.
The hike to Maroon Bells is spectacular and well worth planning.
Take a gondola ride to the top of Aspen Mountain and get a gateway to some of Colorado’s best hikes. Choose a route from short and easy hikes to more strenuous hikes.
Hiking Maroon Bells In Aspen, Colorado
Visit the gondola ticket office at the base of Aspen Mountain to pick up a summer brochure with tour information and a map.
Ride the Elk Camp Gondola or the Elk Camp Chairlift (Friday through Sunday) for great trails and spectacular views to suit all levels of hikers. Get a free map from the gondola ticket office at Snowmass Bay Village and plan your summer trip.
Plan a day trip to Hanging Lake, Colorado outside of beautiful Glenwood Springs. This is a wonderful adventure for children and teenagers located outside of Glenwood Canyon and only an hour from Aspen.
A Hanging Lake hiking permit is required during high season. Plan your trip to Hanging Lake, one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.
Four Pass Loop Hike: Aspen Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado
Tip: There are also hot springs in Glenwood Springs that you will enjoy after visiting Hanging Lake.
A quick mention of the two hiking trails that start on Independence Pass just before descending into Aspen. Remember, the pass is only open during Colorado’s warmer months.
Around Aspen and Snowmass Village, you’ll find many beautiful villas and cottages for an easy vacation. You can also choose to stay outside of Aspen, in the Rockies.
Take this Colorado, for example
Aspen Alpine Guides
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