A Local Guide to Summertime in Aspen

January 21, 2021

Planning a family trip to Aspen for the summer season? Many events have been modified and rescheduled due to COVID-19, but there are still endless activities to do and events for you and your family to attend! With the beautiful summer weather here in Aspen, Colorado, organizations are able to safely hold their outdoor events at the base of the Rocky Mountains. From daily outings to summer camps and large weekend productions, there is always something fun to attend in the Roaring Fork Valley. Follow this guide to create the ultimate summer trip, filled with activities for all age groups. 


Daily Activities: 

  • The Silver Queen Gondola 
    • Located at the base of Ajax mountain, the Silver Queen Gondola takes you to the top of the mountain, providing a 360 panorama of the town, the valley, and the mountains. Here, you can order lunch and drinks at the Sundeck while your children explore the beautiful trails and sights at your feet. Opening daily at 10 am, you can enjoy a whole day exploring Ajax Mountain with friends or family. Local tip – if you hike the Ute Trail to the top, you can still enjoy all the mountain has to offer and get a free ride down the gondola as your award.
  • Glenwood Hot Springs 
    • Need to relax? After a long day of hiking, paddle boarding, or exploring, make your way down to the Glenwood Hot Springs for a stunning sunset. Located just 40 minutes from downtown Aspen, these famous, natural springs will give you a full-body reset and prepare you for tomorrow’s adventures! 
  • The Famous 14ers
    • If you’re looking to feel accomplished, wake up early and throw on your hiking gear! Home of seven of the 58 fourteeners, Aspen is surrounded by these rigorous hikes, all offering different levels of difficulty. For first-timers, try making your way up Snowmass Mountain or La Plata Peak. These hikes are more friendly and very accessible, allowing you to explore the beauty of Aspen. Ready for something harder? Head over to Capitol Peak or Maroon Bells and prepare for an intense day of both hiking and climbing. Grab your friends, pack your lunch, and make sure to hydrate for your big adventure!


  • Paddleboarding on the Roaring Fork 
    • Join the locals in paddling down the river. Located just a few miles up Independence Pass, you can park your car and throw your boards in the water. The calm and relaxing river allows paddle boarders at all levels to float down, providing breathtaking views of the mountains and the meadows as you get in your daily exercise. This three-mile journey will keep you on your toes for a few hours, giving you access to Aspen’s untouched beauty. 

  • Attend the Snowmass Rodeo 
    • There’s lots of action on Wednesday nights over in Snowmass. The local rodeo, beginning at 7 pm, consists of bareback riding, roping, bronc and bull riding, barrel racing, and much more. Perfect for family and friends, these intense cowboys and cowgirls will make you feel like you’re deep in the Midwest. Yeehaw!


  • Aspen Farmers Market 
    • Want to support local businesses? Take a stroll through town and shop your local pop-ups at the farmers’ market. Every Saturday, from June to September, businesses provide produce, snacks, and homemade goods for the town to enjoy. Come buy your ingredients for next week’s dinners and bring home the best fresh foods!
Aspen Farmers Market

Saturday Aspen Farmers Market

  • Bike to Woody Creek 
    • Famous for their blue agave margaritas, Woody Creek Tavern is just a bike ride away. About eight miles from downtown Aspen, this lunch spot will show you what it is really like to be a local. Head over to Aspen Bike Tours and Rentals and rent a few e-bikes with a group of friends. This flat and simple bike ride provides breathtaking views as you make your way over to Woody Creek. 


  • Golfing in Town
    • Aspen offers three different golf courses, all with outstanding views and beautiful property. The Aspen Golf Club, located right next to Cemetery Lane, is closest to town and offers an 18-hole course for all levels. Just down the road is the Maroon Creek Club, offering another 18-hole course along with tennis, swimming, and other activities. And lastly, just fifteen minutes from town is the Snowmass Club. This course provides a bit of a different experience, getting you out of town and into the heart of Snowmass. Sign your kids up for swimming or a tennis lesson while you play one of the three courses in the fresh mountain air!

  • Summer Camps in the Valley 
    • From Aspen to Glenwood Springs, the valley offers many different camps for children of all ages. From outdoor adventures to educational opportunities, below is a list of recommended camps for Aspen’s youth. 
      • Art Camps: Theatre Aspen Summer Program, Summer Rock Camps, Summer Art Camp, Anderson Ranch Children’s Summer Workshop   
      • Adventure and Sports Camps: Aspen Camp’s Kid Summer Adventure Session, Ajax Adventure Camp, Camp Aspen Snowmass, Mountain Kids Academy Summer Adventures, Summer Kids Kamp at the Aspen Hill Club, Junior’s European Soccer Camp, Summer Horse Camp, Aspen Gymnastics Summer, Wildwood Summer Camp
      • Academic Camps: Train Your Brain Camp, Camp Invention, Aspen Nature Camp, Aspen Youth Center Summer Camp, Summer Lego and Chess camp, Math Camp for Girl
    • Find details and contact information at https://aspensummercamps.com/.


Special Events 

  • Aspen Food and Wine 
    • Moved from June to September of 2021, Aspen Food and Wine is a MUST! Providing a huge variety of foods and drinks, the world’s most famous chefs gather downtown to share their masterpieces with the Aspen locals. Known as the best weekend in Aspen, this event sells out quickly, so buy your tickets soon! Updates can be found at www.aspensnowmass/foodandwine.com


  • Jazz Aspen Labor Day 
    • Rescheduled for September 3-5, 2021, the JAS Labor Day Experience brings the community together through music and great food! This year’s lineup includes Stevie Nicks, Eric Church, Kings of Leon, Maren Morris, and many more famous artists. Taking place in Snowmass, this three-day festival will bring much joy and excitement to your time here in Aspen. 

  • Aspen Ideas Festival 
    • Scheduled for June 27-30 2021, this year’s theme of “American Futures” will provide four days of knowledge from some of the world’s greatest minds. Learn more about current hot topics, educating yourself about inequality, politics, and climate change in today’s world. Registration opens in February, so make sure to reserve your spot!


  • Fourth of July Parade
    • Wake up the family and walk into town for our famous 4th of July Parade! Featuring all art from the window painting contest, the entire town is decked out in patriotic gear. Produced by The Aspen Chambers Resort Association, all local businesses are invited to dress up in their windows and enter the costume contest. Multiple prizes are awarded for the most spirited and patriotic teams!

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