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8 Outdoor Summer Activities in Aspen

Aspen is well-known for its beautiful scenery and nature—in both colder and warmer months. Explore eight ways to have fun in Aspen’s great outdoors this summer, all while keeping you and your family safe by following COVID-19 guidelines. 

Lost Forest

If you’re looking to spend some outdoor time with the family, Lost Forest is a great summer adventure. Lost Forest is an outdoor amusement park hidden in the trees with activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Here, you can zipline from the top of Elk Mountain through the forest!
There is also an alpine coaster that takes you down 400 feet, with handbrakes allowing you to choose your speed up to nearly 30 miles per hour. Despite its many twists and turns, the ride is a smooth and exciting one.
Another activity at Lost Forest is the high ropes course. In this course, you can experience an exciting obstacle course in the trees. With five obstacles of varying difficulties from which to choose, there is something for everyone! Additionally, there is a rock climbing wall with different difficulty levels, disc golf, catch and release fishing, hiking, and paintball. With this many activities to choose from, Lost Forest is sure to offer something for everyone to enjoy.

Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells is now open for visitors again, and it is a perfect way to enjoy summertime in Aspen. Maroon Bells is a popular scenic area where you can see a stunning view of the lake, the mountains, and the White National Forest. Last summer, it had over 300,000 visitors! The views are so iconic that it is the most photographed place in all of Colorado. So, if you’re looking for a place to capture photos look no further!

There are also numerous trails that are wonderful for hiking and taking in the views. One popular hiking trail is 1.7 miles long and will take you all around Maroon Lake. Other trails lead to other lakes, too, such as Crater Lake.

Maroon Bells is also home to wildlife such as moose, deer, and beavers, so keep an eye out! To get there, you will need to take a shuttle bus (with a limited number of other people because of COVID-19). Make sure you make a reservation online here to visit this stunning spot safely.

White Water Rafting

Another exciting outdoor activity is white water rafting in the Roaring Fork River. With many levels of difficulty available from which to choose, this is the perfect activity for beginners and more experienced rafters alike. Kids can also join in if you’re looking for an activity for the whole family.
If you decide to go rafting, an experienced guide who knows the river will be able to keep you safe and having fun. You can also bring a waterproof camera to capture memories while you raft. 

Aspen’s Saturday Market

Since opening in 1988, Aspen’s Saturday market has been adored by both visitors and locals. Enjoy the outdoors while getting your shopping fix by browsing 35 different vendors that sell locally grown fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. Additionally, you can browse and purchase art, crafts and more from talented Colorado artisans. There are even animals like alpacas and goats that you can feed.

The market takes place every Saturday morning from 8:30 am-1 pm. The market requires every individual to wear a mask and to social distance so that everyone can browse safely during this time. 

North Star Nature Preserve

The North Star Nature Preserve is 245 acres of scenic flatland in Aspen where you can go and experience a variety of activities in nature. Float down the North Fork River while trying out stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing. The preserve is also home to plenty of wildlife, such as moose and beavers, and is known for its birding. You might even be able to spot some great blue herons while you’re here!
North Star also has many trails for hiking and exploring the scenery. Since the preserve is comprised of fairly flat land, it makes hiking comfortable and accessible for hikers of all experience levels.

Snowmass Bike Park

In the winter, Aspen is known for skiing trails, but in summer, a fun alternative is downhill biking! Many of winter’s ski trails become downhill bike trails in the summertime.
The Snowmass Bike Park allows visitors to bike down through 3,000 meters of forest and meadows. There are bike lifts available, so you don’t have to worry about riding it up the mountain before you go down.
Keep in mind that downhill biking is different from regular biking and does require learning, so if you have never done it before, there are guides available to help you. There is even a three-hour-long beginners’ biking clinic if you’re interested.
There are also three levels of difficulty from which to choose based on your level of experience, so Snowmass Bike Park is accommodating for anyone looking to get in on the fun! While you’re biking, you’ll also be able to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Silver Queen Gondola

Aspen is known for its mountains, so what better way to enjoy the outdoors this summer than to go up one? Aspen Mountain is over 11,000 feet tall, and the Silver Queen Gondola will take you right up to the top! The gondola is a great way to breathe in the mountain air and get a view of the entire city from up high—without having to climb it all. Here, you will be able to see a spectacular view of the White River National Forest, the Elk Mountains, and the Highlands Bowl.  The gondola ride is 14 minutes long and spans over 11,000 feet, making it one of the longest gondola rides in America.
Once you arrive at the top of the mountain, there are more outdoor activities for you to enjoy. These include yoga, meditation, croquet, hiking and disc golf. (The disc golf game is the highest version of the game you can play globally!) There is also food available to buy at the top if you get hungry as well.
The gondola is open every day until the beginning of September and on the weekends throughout October.

Fly Fishing

Are you a fan of fishing? Well, you’re in luck! Aspen is known for its fly fishing opportunities in the Roaring Fork Valley areas such as Maroon Creek, Maroon Lake, Snowmass Lake, and Roaring Fork River. If you’re looking for places to start, check out the Elk Mountain Anglers— a team that has been fishing in the Roaring Fork their whole lives. This team will take you on a guided tour of the best fishing spots in the river. If you’re new to the sport, they will be able to teach you all you need to know.
If you’re a more experienced angler, they can show you not only the best spots but share their favorite tips and tricks. The Elk Mountain Anglers also include transportation and food in their tour prices. Just be sure to book in advance!
To accommodate for COVID-19 regulations, they are dropping their boat capacity to 50%, which includes four people and one guide. Additionally, everyone must wear a mask if within six feet of each other.

Aspen Outdoors Year-Round

Aspen’s nature and beauty mean it’s the perfect spot for a wide variety of activities throughout all seasons. If you’re looking for real estate in West Aspen, East Aspen, Central Core, Woody Creek, or Snowmass Village, contact Carrie Wells today. She can help you with finding luxury Aspen homes for sale so you can enjoy the outdoors of Aspen year-round!


We offer the highest level of expertise and service with integrity. Carrie Wells is the leading real estate agent in Aspen and has helped hundreds of buyers find their dream home in Aspen and the surrounding areas, including Snowmass Village, Woody Creek, & Old Snowmass.