As the snow melts and green makes its way back into Aspen’s landscape, locals and visitors start gearing up for the summer season. Don’t let the closing of the slopes deter you from making Aspen your vacation destination during the warmer months. If you talk to enough Aspen locals and regulars, you might just hear a common theme: they came for the winter skiing but stayed for the Colorado summer. Experience all the things to do in Aspen in the summer this year! Start planning your summer vacation when you access our complimentary Travel Guide.
12 of the Best Things to Do in Aspen in the Summer
1. Take a Gondola Ride
Did you know that our lifts spin even in the summertime? The Elk Camp and Silver Queen gondolas churn visitors both up and downhill. Jump on the Silver Queen Gondola right in Aspen to take in the stunning Colorado vistas and breathtaking views of our mountain town. When you make it to the top of the mountain, take some time to visit the Sundeck for lawn games, free kids activities, yoga and meditation, Bluegrass Sundays, hiking, and more.
Picture yourself at the bells. No, these aren’t just any bells! The Maroon Bells are the most photographed peaks in all of Colorado, and when you visit, you’ll see why. These red rock formations reach upward from Maroon Lake to pierce the sky at over 14,000 feet. During the summer, you can catch the shuttle up from Aspen Highlands.
3. Take a Bike Ride
During your summer getaway, you’ll probably notice the abundance of bikers in town. Whether you prefer slow cruising, road biking, or adrenaline-inducing mountain biking, Aspen has something for you. The Rio Grande Trail is one of our favorites; here, you’ll find a mellow, scenic cruise on a paved pathway that runs from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. If you’d like to test your offroad skills, head to the Aspen and Snowmass bike parks. However, our all-time favorite place to bike is around town. This way, you can explore the area leisurely on your own terms.
The Roaring Fork River is the life of the valley in the summer. If you’re looking for an adventure, let the current carry you down the river with some whitewater rafting or opt for a kayak or stand up paddleboard tour.
5. Experience the Aspen Art Scene
Spend the day being inspired by Aspen’s incredible art scene! Visit the Aspen Art Museum, then stroll around town to pop in and out of the many unique galleries that line the streets. If you’re more in tune with music, catch Jazz Aspen Snowmass, free summer concerts in Snowmass (canceled for 2021), the Aspen Music Festival Summer Season, or a show at Belly Up.
6. Go Off-Roading
Off-roading is the perfect way to experience the famous views of our area without hiking 20 miles to get there. As the snow melts, it reveals old mining roads and mountain passes that wind through the mountains. Experience the quieter, picturesque side of Aspen with the help of local guides.
After your adventures, unwind with a beer at Aspen Brewing Company, conveniently located right in downtown Aspen. Further down valley, as the locals say, don’t miss the Woody Creek Distillery in Basalt. We’re more than happy to recommend all our favorite spots, too!
8. Hit the Trails
Lace up your hiking boots and earn those breathtaking views when you hit the trails! Popular hiking spots include the Smuggler Mountain Trail, Cathedral Lake, and American Lake. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do in Aspen in the summer because the trails come alive with beautiful blooms.
9. Dine Out
We understand that when you’re on vacation, food isn’t just a necessity. It’s an experience! When you dine in Aspen, you have access to everything from caviar-covered nachos to casual barbecue.
Pamper yourself at one of the town’s many spas. It’s the perfect activity to relax after spending the morning hiking! If you’re up for a drive, head to the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs for a rejuvenating, natural soak.
11. Take a Stroll
Our mountain town is small and compact, so it’s the perfect place to explore on foot. There are about 200 shops and restaurants in town, so spend the day popping in and out of shops, watch kids play in the fountain, and sit back and enjoy the views. You never know who you might see!
12. Drive Up to Independence Pass
When people are looking for things to do in Aspen in the summer, we always send them to the top of Independence Pass. This stunning area is only open during the summer! The windy, curvy, narrow mountain pass takes you from the heart of Aspen to the top of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 12,095′. At the top, you can take a walk around, stretch your legs, and catch your breath from the drive to look over the majestic peaks of Sawatch Range.
Let Our Concierge Plan for You
With the help of our concierge service, your summer getaway will be full of memories that will last a lifetime. Our concierge is here to help with everything from securing dinner reservations to planning the perfect hiking trip complete with a picnic.
Now that you know all the things to do in Aspen in the summer, it’s time to book your getaway with Aspen Signature Vacation Rentals. Our exclusive rentals are located all over Aspen and Snowmass, so we are sure we have the perfect one for you. Choose from a downtown penthouse or a countryside mansion based on your ideal getaway. Browse our properties and book today!