What are the top attractions in Aspen?

Aspen, Colorado, is not only a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts but also a year-round paradise for adventure-seekers and culture enthusiasts. With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and rich history, Aspen offers a plethora of attractions that will leave you spellbound.

From the slopes of Aspen Mountain to the historic buildings in downtown Aspen, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, awe-inspiring landscapes, or world-class cultural experiences, Aspen has it all.

So, what are the top attractions in Aspen that you simply can’t miss? From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, this article will guide you through the must-see spots that will make your visit to Aspen truly unforgettable.

Aspen Mountain

Aspen Mountain, also known as Ajax, is a world-renowned skiing destination. With its challenging slopes and stunning views, it attracts skiers and snowboarders from around the globe. But Aspen Mountain isn’t just for winter sports enthusiasts. During the summer months, visitors can also enjoy a range of activities that showcase the mountain’s natural beauty.

For those who love adventuring on foot, Aspen Mountain offers hiking trails with breathtaking vistas. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic routes that wind through the mountain’s lush forests and alpine meadows. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the picturesque landscapes along the way.

If you prefer two wheels over two feet, Aspen Mountain has exciting biking opportunities as well. Get your adrenaline pumping as you navigate the mountain’s thrilling downhill trails. And for a more leisurely ride, take a scenic gondola ride to the summit and enjoy a relaxing descent while taking in the breathtaking views.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature enthusiast, Aspen Mountain is a sight to behold. So pack your gear and get ready to experience the beauty of Aspen firsthand.

Aspen Mountain

Now, let’s take a look at some important facts and figures about Aspen Mountain.

Elevation 8,040 feet (2,450 meters)
Vertical Rise 3,267 feet (996 meters)
Slope Difficulty Mostly advanced and expert
Number of Lifts 8
Trails 76 total (48% expert, 26% intermediate, 26% beginner)

Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells, located just outside of Aspen, are two majestic peaks that stand as a testament to the natural beauty of Colorado. With their iconic maroon-colored rock formations and pristine alpine lakes, the Maroon Bells have earned the title of the most photographed mountains in North America.

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These stunning peaks offer visitors a range of activities that showcase the splendor of the Aspen wilderness. For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking and biking trails meander through the rugged terrain, providing an up-close experience with the awe-inspiring landscape. The Maroon Lake Scenic Trail is a popular option, offering breathtaking views and the opportunity to capture incredible photos along the way.

If you prefer a more leisurely experience, simply taking in the panoramic vistas from the designated viewing areas is equally rewarding. The towering peaks, surrounded by vibrant forests and mirrored in the calm waters of Maroon Lake, create a picture-perfect scene that will leave you in awe.

Whether you’re an adventurer seeking thrilling experiences or a nature lover seeking tranquility, a visit to the Maroon Bells is a must during your time in Aspen. It’s no wonder that these majestic peaks are considered among the best places to visit in Aspen and an integral part of any Aspen sightseeing itinerary.

best places to visit in Aspen

Why Visit Maroon Bells? What to Do
Breathtaking natural beauty Hiking and biking
Iconic maroon-colored rock formations Scenic gondola rides
Most photographed mountains in North America Photography opportunities
Peaceful and tranquil atmosphere Enjoy the stunning panoramic views

Independence Pass

One of the must-see attractions in Aspen is Independence Pass. This scenic mountain pass links Aspen to Leadville, offering an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Colorado Rockies.

Driving along Independence Pass provides breathtaking views of the majestic mountains, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. The winding roads offer numerous lookout points where you can pause to take in the awe-inspiring scenery. Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply someone who appreciates natural beauty, this drive is a must-do in Aspen.

But the experience doesn’t end there. Independence Pass also offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the surrounding trails, which meander through pristine wilderness and lead to stunning vistas. Camping enthusiasts can set up their tents in designated camping areas and spend a night under the starry sky.

If fishing is your passion, Independence Pass is a haven for anglers. The nearby rivers and streams are teeming with trout, making it the perfect spot to cast your line and try your luck. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, the serene atmosphere and picturesque surroundings make fishing at Independence Pass an unforgettable experience.

Hiking Trails near Independence Pass

Below are some of the popular hiking trails near Independence Pass:

  • Lost Man Loop Trail
  • Linkins Lake Trail
  • Grizzly Lake Trail
  • Weller Lake Trail

Camping Sites near Independence Pass

If you’re interested in camping near Independence Pass, consider these camping sites:

  1. Difficult Campground
  2. Lost Man Campground
  3. Lincoln Creek Campground
  4. Weller Campground

Independence Pass

Experience the vibrant colors of fall at Independence Pass, when the surrounding foliage transforms into vibrant shades of gold and red. This season offers a unique and breathtaking view of the mountains, attracting visitors from near and far.

“Independence Pass is the perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure. The scenic drive, coupled with hiking, camping, and fishing opportunities, makes it a must-visit attraction in Aspen.” – Traveler

Attractions Highlights
Scenic Drive Breathtaking views of the Colorado Rockies
Hiking Trails Explore pristine wilderness and enjoy panoramic vistas
Camping Sites Sleep under the stars in designated camping areas
Fishing Opportunities Cast your line in nearby rivers and streams

Wheeler Opera House

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of performing arts at the historic Wheeler Opera House in downtown Aspen. Built in 1889, this iconic landmark has been a cultural hub for over a century, hosting a diverse range of live performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions.

Step inside the beautifully restored venue and feel the rich history come alive as you take in the opulent decor and architectural grandeur. From Broadway shows to renowned musicians, the Wheeler Opera House offers an exceptional lineup of talent throughout the year, ensuring an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Aspen attractions

“The Wheeler Opera House is a hidden gem in Aspen. The intimate setting and world-class performances create a magical atmosphere that transports you to another world.”

– John Anderson, Aspen enthusiast

Live Performances

Experience the magic of live theater and music at the Wheeler Opera House. From captivating plays and musicals to enchanting ballet performances and classical concerts, there is always something spectacular happening on the stage. Talented actors, dancers, and musicians from around the world grace the stage, showcasing their extraordinary talent and captivating the audience.

Film Screenings

Indulge in the art of cinema with a diverse selection of film screenings at the Wheeler Opera House. From independent films and documentaries to classic retrospectives and special screenings, film enthusiasts can enjoy a curated collection of thought-provoking and visually stunning movies. Immerse yourself in the world of storytelling and let the silver screen transport you to different times and places.

Art Exhibitions

The Wheeler Opera House also showcases a variety of art exhibitions, featuring works by local, national, and international artists. Explore the vibrant and diverse art scene of Aspen, surrounded by breathtaking displays of painting, sculpture, photography, and more. Every exhibition offers a unique perspective and invites visitors to engage with the creative world.

Visitor Information

Location: 320 E Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO 81611

Website: www.wheeleroperahouse.com

Opening Hours Ticket Prices
Varies by performance Prices range from $25 to $150
Discounted tickets available for seniors, students, and Aspen residents

Snowmass Village

Snowmass Village is a charming mountain town located just a few miles from Aspen. It offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life while providing a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to everyone’s interests.

When it comes to outdoor adventures, Snowmass Village is renowned for its world-class skiing and snowboarding. With expansive slopes and stunning mountain views, it attracts winter sports enthusiasts from far and wide. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier, you’ll find slopes suitable for all levels. And for those who prefer snowboarding, there are plenty of terrain parks and halfpipes to test your skills.

But Snowmass Village isn’t just a winter wonderland. During the summer months, the town comes alive with lush greenery and abundant sunshine, offering a plethora of outdoor activities. Hiking and biking trails wind through the picturesque landscape, allowing you to explore the beauty of nature at your own pace. If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’ll be delighted to discover championship golf courses that provide a challenging yet enjoyable experience.

After a day of outdoor adventures, indulge in some retail therapy or savor delectable cuisine in the village. Snowmass Village boasts a vibrant shopping and dining scene, with a variety of boutique stores, art galleries, and restaurants to explore. From trendy fashion boutiques to craft breweries, there’s something for every taste.

For a moment of relaxation, take a leisurely stroll around Snowmass Village and soak in the charming atmosphere. The town exudes a sense of community and warmth, making it a welcoming destination for visitors of all ages.

In addition to its natural beauty and recreational activities, Snowmass Village also hosts a range of events and festivals throughout the year. From music concerts and cultural celebrations to outdoor film screenings, there’s always something happening in this lively mountain town.

things to do in Aspen

Aspen Art Museum

The Aspen Art Museum is a contemporary art museum located in the heart of Aspen. It is one of the most vibrant cultural institutions in the area, showcasing thought-provoking exhibitions and installations that push the boundaries of contemporary art.

A Unique Cultural Experience

The Aspen Art Museum offers a unique cultural experience for visitors, with its focus on contemporary artists and cutting-edge artwork. The museum’s exhibitions feature a diverse range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance art. Each exhibition aims to challenge and inspire, inviting visitors to engage with art in new and exciting ways.

One of the highlights of the Aspen Art Museum is its commitment to supporting emerging artists. The museum regularly features the work of up-and-coming artists, providing them with a platform to showcase their talent and engage with a broader audience.

Education and Community Events

In addition to its exhibitions, the Aspen Art Museum also hosts educational programs and community events. These initiatives aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary art among visitors of all ages.

Through its educational programs, the museum offers workshops, lectures, and guided tours that provide insight into the artistic process and the themes explored in the exhibitions. These programs are designed to be engaging and interactive, encouraging visitors to actively participate and explore their creativity.

Complementing its educational offerings, the museum also organizes community events that bring people together to celebrate art and culture. These events include artist talks, film screenings, and performances, creating a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere within the museum.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re visiting Aspen, a trip to the Aspen Art Museum is a must. Immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art and discover thought-provoking exhibitions, engage with emerging artists, and participate in educational programs and community events.

Located in the heart of Aspen, the museum is easily accessible and offers a welcoming space for art enthusiasts of all levels of expertise.

Don’t miss out on the unique cultural experience that the Aspen Art Museum has to offer. Plan your visit today and explore the cutting-edge artwork and engaging programs that make it one of Aspen’s most popular attractions.

Aspen Art Museum

Ashcroft Ghost Town

Experience the captivating allure of Aspen’s historic past by visiting the Ashcroft Ghost Town, a well-preserved and fascinating glimpse into the town’s mining history. Located just outside of Aspen, this ghost town offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rugged lifestyle of its former residents.

As you explore the restored buildings, you’ll be transported back in time and be able to envision the bustling streets and bustling community that once thrived here. Learn about the challenges and triumphs of the miners who sought their fortunes in this rugged terrain, and gain a deeper understanding of the town’s significance in the region’s history.

Aspen sightseeing

Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Aspen wilderness, the Ashcroft Ghost Town provides a serene and picturesque setting for your exploration. Take a leisurely stroll through the town, marvel at the preserved structures, and let your imagination wander as you ponder the stories and lives that unfolded here.

“Visiting the Ashcroft Ghost Town was like stepping into a different era. It was truly a unique experience that allowed me to connect with the rich history of Aspen. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a blend of adventure and cultural enrichment.”

– Mary Johnson, Travel Enthusiast

Rio Grande Trail

The Rio Grande Trail is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts looking for Aspen points of interest. Spanning 42 miles from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, this scenic hiking and biking trail offers breathtaking views of the Roaring Fork River and the surrounding mountains, making it one of the top things to do in Aspen.

Following the path of the historic railroad, the Rio Grande Trail takes you on a journey through picturesque landscapes and charming towns. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a leisurely cyclist, this trail caters to all skill levels, ensuring a memorable experience for everyone.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Aspen as you explore the Rio Grande Trail. Take in the tranquil sounds of the river and breathe in the fresh mountain air as you venture along this scenic route.

“The Rio Grande Trail offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a chance to connect with nature and experience the beauty of Colorado in all its glory.” – Local Aspen Resident

Whether you choose to hike or bike, be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. The trail provides opportunities for picnicking, wildlife spotting, and photography, so don’t forget your camera!

If you’re in Aspen, the Rio Grande Trail is a must-see attraction that showcases the area’s natural wonders and offers a chance to connect with the great outdoors.

Why Visit the Rio Grande Trail:

  • Experience the stunning beauty of the Roaring Fork River and the surrounding mountains
  • Explore charming towns along the way
  • Enjoy a leisurely hike or bike ride through scenic landscapes
  • Opportunities for picnicking, wildlife spotting, and photography
  • Connect with nature and unwind in the peaceful atmosphere

So lace up your hiking boots or hop on your bike, and embark on an unforgettable adventure along the Rio Grande Trail.

Trail Highlights Trail Information
  • Breathtaking views of the Roaring Fork River
  • Scenic landscapes and natural wonders
  • Charming towns along the way
  • Length: 42 miles
  • Skill level: Suitable for all levels
  • Trail type: Hiking and biking
  • Access points: Aspen to Glenwood Springs

Aspen points of interest

Embark on an adventure along the Rio Grande Trail and discover the natural beauty and serenity of Aspen’s great outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual cyclist, this trail offers an unforgettable journey through scenic landscapes and charming towns. Don’t miss out on this top attraction and add the Rio Grande Trail to your list of things to do in Aspen.


Aspen, Colorado is not just a destination for winter sports enthusiasts. It offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to all interests. From the thrill of skiing down the slopes of Aspen Mountain to the tranquility of hiking through the Maroon Bells, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the region by visiting the Ashcroft Ghost Town or indulge in the vibrant arts scene at the Aspen Art Museum. Take a drive along the scenic Independence Pass and be captivated by the breathtaking views of the majestic Colorado Rockies.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, take a stroll in Snowmass Village and explore its charming shops and restaurants. Or, embark on a journey along the Rio Grande Trail, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the Roaring Fork River.

Aspen’s must-see attractions promise to create unforgettable memories for every visitor. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply a moment of serenity, Aspen will exceed your expectations. Plan your trip today and discover the wonders of this mountain paradise.

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