Aspen may be known as a ski resort town, but if you only visit in the winter, you’re missing out. With warm temperatures, blooming flora, and breathtaking mountain views, Aspen is the perfect summer destination. From outdoor recreation to cultural festivals, here are some of the top reasons to visit Aspen in the summer.
It’s the Best Time to Go Hiking
Summer in Aspen means the greenery will be on full display. Take in the stunning floral blooms and lush foliage with a walk through one of Aspen’s many hiking trails. Among the most popular is the Rio Grande Trail, which runs all the way from Aspen to Glenwood Spring. For an easy stroll right in the heart of downtown, check out the John Denver Sanctuary, or head out to Maroon Bells Scenic Loop to photograph one of North America’s most iconic peaks.
You Can’t Beat the Water Activities
Those who only visit Aspen in the winter don’t know how many incredible water activities this resort town has to offer in the “off” season. Go white water rafting in the Roaring Fork River—if you’re up for a challenge, try out the rough rapids at Slaughterhouse Falls. For a more leisurely water-based outing, go fishing in Snowmass Lake or hop in a rental car from Go Rentals to visit the Penny Hot Springs for a dip.
The Music Scene Is Incredible
In the span of eight weeks every summer, the Aspen Music Festival presents 400 classical music performances ranging from solo concerts to orchestras. This highly respected festival also offers lectures and master classes for young musicians. If you’re looking for something a little more modern, check out Jazz Aspen Snowmass. Spend a long weekend at one of their open-air festivals in June or over Labor Day. If you miss both weekends, you can catch jazz performances around Aspen at venues like Upstairs, The Little Nell, and Velvet Buck.
It’s a Foodie’s Dream
Foodies and experts alike gather for the three-day Food & Wine Classic in Aspen every June. World-renowned chefs give live demonstrations, sommeliers lead wine tastings, and everyone mingles in the Grand Tasting Pavilion to sip and sample refreshments from all over the globe. Even if you can’t make it that weekend, summer in Aspen is the ideal time to enjoy al fresco dining at the town’s top restaurants. From June through early October, you can also swing by the Aspen Saturday Market to buy fresh local produce, meat, and homemade jams, and shop artisan gifts.
There Are Adventures for Everyone
Whether you’re looking for a thrill or an unforgettable experience, summer in Aspen offers no shortage of adventures. Get a bird’s-eye view of the stunning natural landscape with a hot air balloon ride or an exhilarating paragliding trip. You can also enjoy picturesque looks at the landscape when you take the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain, where you can take a yoga class at 11,212 feet. For adventures closer to the ground, explore the eerie history of the Ashcroft Ghost Town, visit the Snowmass Rodeo, or check out the Lost Forest outdoor adventure course. These are just some of the exciting adventures that await if you visit Aspen in the summer!
If you fell in love with Aspen for the slopes, be sure to head back in the summer to see another side of this mountain retreat. Who knows, you may find you love it so much you want to make it your home-away-from-home on a more permanent basis (in which case, we recommend the boutique private residence club Dancing Bear, located in the heart of downtown). When you’re ready to make Aspen your summer destination, Wildcat Touring is the luxury way to fly there.