Aspen, Colorado, renowned for its winter sports, endless powder, uncrowded slopes, luxury fashion and celebrity sightings, transcends its widely known media portrayal. Winter is iconic, but summers are not to be missed in this storied mountain town in Colorado. There is a reason that John Denver called Aspen home and wrote many lyrics referencing his “sweet Rocky Mountain Paradise.” 

If you’re planning a trip to Aspen Snowmass this summer, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. Summer in Colorado can be everything you want it to be – a quintessential family vacation, a couples getaway, a hiking extravaganza or a relaxing spa escape. The world is truly your oyster in this historic town. Since Aspen Snowmass has a little bit of everything, we spoke with our local Mountain Travel Experts to highlight some of their favorite things to do in Aspen in the summer.  

Here’s your ultimate travel guide, packed with itinerary ideas that will have you living like a local in Aspen Snowmass this summer. 

Mountain Bike Lesson at Snowmass

Kick off your adventure with a mountain bike lesson at Snowmass Bike Park with Aspen Snowmass’ renowned coaches. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to hone your skills, the trails here offer something for every level. Your bike coach will make a point to personalize your experience so you are not only challenged and taking your skills to the next level, but you’re having the most fun while doing it!  You’ll find well-maintained paths, stunning views and endless downhill thrills.’s Director of Supplier Relations Cat loves the Airline trail in Snowmass. This is a local favorite that offers panoramic views of the Elk Mountains and the picturesque landscape of the Snowmass area. It offers many flow trail elements with many berm turns, dips and rollers. 

Snowmass Summer Concert Series

Don’t miss the Snowmass Summer Concert Series, a free local favorite! Pack a picnic, a blanket and your dancing shoes (or go barefoot!) for an evening of live music under the stars. “These free concerts are a memorable way to enjoy the local music scene, mingle with locals and visitors and take in the beautiful scenery,” Mountain Travel Expert Marcie told us. For the latest schedule, check out the Snowmass Free Concerts.

Hiking Adventures

Aspen is a hiker’s paradise. According to our local Expert Sara, one of the must-do hikes is up to the Sun Deck on AJAX (Aspen Mountain). Take the UTE trail directly to the Sun Deck. The ascent is rewarding, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Once at the top, you can take the gondola down for a relaxing ride back. Explore more trails with this Hiking Guide

Michelle, another local Expert, also loves hiking to the many alpine lakes. American Lake is a crowd favorite. This is a 6.8-mile out-and-back trail that offers glimpses of wildflowers, dense forests and towering Colorado peaks. You’ll be rewarded with a pristine mountain lake prime for plunging at the end of the hike. Michelle and Sara’s advice? Don’t forget the sunscreen at this high altitude! 

For the Kids: Camp Aspen

Looking for the perfect entertainment option for your kids? Look no further than Camp Aspen! Designed specifically for their adventurous hearts, Camp Aspen offers a wide range of activities that promise to keep your little ones engaged and delighted. From nature explorations with guided walks and scavenger hunts to unleashing their creativity in arts and crafts sessions, your children are guaranteed to have a memorable day. Meanwhile, seize the opportunity for some well-deserved adult time. Embark on that challenging hike or tackle the demanding mountain bike trail, and return to pick up your joyful (and exhausted!) kids at the end of the day. 

Ropes Course

Challenge yourself while having a blast with an exhilarating adventure at the Lost Forest ropes course at Snowmass. Perfect for families and adventures of every age, the Treeline Trial Challenge Course combines rappels, zip lines, bridges and ladders for an exhilarating ropes course. “It’s a good way to face your fear of heights in a gentle, safe and fun way!” said Aspen local Katie. 

The Treeline Trial Challenge at Aspen Snowmass.

Sunset Visit to Maroon Bells

A visit to Maroon Bells is a must. Opt for a sunset picnic at this iconic spot. The reflection of the mountains on Maroon Lake at dusk is spectacular. Remember to check for reservation requirements in advance.

Snowmass Rodeo (A and locals’ favorite!)

Experience a taste of the Wild West at the Snowmass Rodeo. This family-friendly event features classic rodeo events, a petting zoo and delicious BBQ. Be sure to book your tickets early as these events sell out quickly. Get your tickets here.

For the Adults: The W Aspen Pool Parties

If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, head to The W Aspen for their daily pool parties featuring DJs. It’s a great way to cool off, enjoy some tunes, and soak up the epic summer vibe. “The W Aspen pool is backdropped to Aspen Mountain, offering some of the best 360-degree views,” local Expert Michelle said. “Be sure and try the truffle parmesan fries or one of their burgers, which are my favorite.” 

Additional Highlights

Whitewater Rafting

For the adrenaline junkies, Aspen offers some fantastic whitewater rafting opportunities. The Roaring Fork and Arkansas Rivers give you access to roaring rapids and beautiful scenery. Guided tours are available for all skill levels, ensuring a safe and fun adventure. “Tours can fill up quickly and it’s best to book your river trip in advance,” local Expert Leslie told us. 

Fly Fishing

Aspen’s rivers and streams are a paradise for fly-fishing die-hards. Spend a tranquil day casting your line in the crystal-clear waters of the Roaring Fork River. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, local guides can help you find the best spots and learn proper techniques and etiquette.

Ghost Towns & Scenic Drives

Independence Ghost Town | PC: Crazy about Colorado

Take a scenic drive along Independence Pass, one of the highest paved roads in North America. Mountain Travel Expert Leslie suggests visiting the ghost town of Independence up on the pass. The views are spectacular, with plenty of pull-offs where you can stop and take in the scenery on the way up. This drive is especially beautiful in late summer and early fall when the aspen trees turn golden, a sighting Colorado is famous for.

For even more history, be sure and visit the ghost town of Ashcroft, located 12 miles above Aspen in the spectacular Castle Creek Valley. Leslie recommends setting aside time to take in the scenery and savor a relaxed lunch at Pine Creek Cookhouse.


Aspen and Snowmass have several world-class golf courses set against the stunning backdrop of the Rockies. Tee off at the Aspen Golf Club or the Snowmass Club, both offering challenging courses and spectacular views.

Aspen Art Museum

If you’re in the mood for some culture, visit the Aspen Art Museum. This contemporary art museum features innovative exhibitions and offers free admission. It’s a great way to spend a few hours exploring modern art. Do it like a local and spend the day pursuing the museum before kicking back at their rooftop cafe overlooking downtown while sipping a coffee or Aperol spritz. 

Yoga and Wellness

Aspen is a great place to rejuvenate your mind and body. Many resorts and wellness centers offer outdoor yoga classes with breathtaking mountain views. It’s the perfect way to relax and unwind amidst nature. Local Expert Marcie let us know every Monday-Friday June 17 – August 30, you are able to enjoy open-air mountain-top yoga at Aspen Mountain. “Nothing really says zen quite like breathing in crisp mountain air while in child’s pose on the top of a mountain in Colorado,” laughed Marcie. A gondola ticket is required to participate. “However, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, hike up in the morning and take the gondola down for free.” 

Food Highlights

White House Tavern: Don’t miss the famous Chicken Sandwich at White House Tavern. It’s a local favorite and perfect for a casual yet delicious meal. Check out their menu here.

Meat and Cheese: This restaurant offers a fantastic selection of locally sourced meats and cheeses, perfect for a hearty meal after a day of exploring.

Woody Creek Tavern: Known for its quirky decor and laid-back atmosphere, Woody Creek Tavern is a great spot to unwind and enjoy some good food in a historic watering hole.

Betula Aspen: For a more upscale dining experience, visit Betula Aspen. The restaurant combines French Pan-American cuisine with a chic atmosphere, making it perfect for a special night out.

BOSQ: Celebrated for its creative and seasonally inspired dishes that blend local Colorado ingredients with flavors and techniques from around the world. The restaurant prides itself on a farm-to-table philosophy and is one of the few Michelin star restaurants in the area.

Westy’s Tap & Tavern: If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, Westy’s (a summer long pop-up from Aspen Brewing Company) offers a wide selection of craft beers and fresh pub fare with pizza and salads. It’s a great place to relax and sample local brews, such as the Westbound Premium, a rice lager. Don’t miss their solid happy hour every day from 12 – 3 pm!

When to Visit

Aspen’s summer operations, bustling with activity, usually span from mid-June to mid-September. The season officially begins with the renowned Aspen Food and Wine Classic, an event that attracts foodies and wine aficionados from around the globe, marking the start of an exciting season. However, the allure of Aspen extends into the fall, particularly during September and October. These months, often overlooked, provide an ideal opportunity for visitors to enjoy cooler weather, fewer crowds, and the breathtaking beauty of aspen trees as their leaves transition through a kaleidoscope of colors, creating a picturesque landscape unique to this time of year.

Get Out There

Summer in Aspen Snowmass is a blend of adventure, relaxation and unforgettable experiences. From mountain biking and hiking to lively concerts and delicious food, there’s something for everyone. Itching to go and need help planning you getaway? Our Mountain Travel Experts at have you covered – for free. So pack your bags, and get ready for a summer adventure in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Connect with a Mountain Travel Expert to get started by calling 1-800-610-8911 or filling out a contact form.