Top 10 Aspen Traveler
Top 10 Attractions in Aspen
10. Ghost Town
For the first of our Top 10 Aspen attractions, get ready for a spook-tacular time, travelers! Located just south of Aspen lies a haunted historical town known as, Ashcroft Ghost Town. Although this mining town went bust in 1885, the original structures of the town remain—including a monumental bar, the historic town hall, and scattered farmhouses. Rumor has it the place is haunted, so get into the spirit and go hunt some ghosts! Open daily 9 AM – 5 PM June 14th – Labor Day and Tues – Sat from Labor Day to October 8th.
9. Maroon Lake Trail
If you are hoping to experience the incredible Top 10 Aspen Colorado scenery, you won’t want to miss this beautiful mountain trail. An out-and-back route looping (but not a complete loop) around the breathtaking Maroon Lake, you’ll get your dose of nature and exercise all in one! Take a neature walk and remember: you can tell it’s an aspen tree because of the way it is. That’s pretty neat! The park is open 8 AM – 5 PM daily and parking restrictions apply.
8. Aspen Mountain
We couldn’t keep the pride of the city off our Top Ten Aspen landmarks! Located just outside of downtown is a giant, gorgeous ski resort known as Aspen Mountain. If you’re not already an expert skier or snowboarder, the resort offers lessons and on-site rental equipment to newbies!! If you’re visiting in the summer, hike one of the many stellar trails. Remember skiing neophytes, if you french fry when you should pizza, you’re gonna have a bad time. Open daily 8 AM – 5 PM.
7. Smuggler Mine
Next on our Top Ten Aspen landmarks, located on the grand slopes of Smuggler Mountain lies Aspen’s oldest operating mine—the Smuggler Mine. The biggest chunk of silver ever mined came from the Smuggler, weighing in at 2,054 pounds (imagine carrying that to the pawn shop). Take a tour and delve into the depths of the mine to see what life in Aspen used to be like. Just be careful not to smuggle too much silver in your carry on . . . Tours last 1.5 hours and are available by reservation for groups of +4.
6. Crater Lake Trail
Let’s be honest: it wouldn’t be Top 10 Aspen attractions without a bunch of incredible hiking destinations! Crater Lake Trail is the number-one rated trail around Aspen (and there is A LOT of competition). This 3.6-mile, heavily trafficked, out and back hiking trail leads to an amazing lake that will knock your socks off. Hiking: because who doesn’t want to walk up a hill for multiple hours on purpose. Trail is accessible June – October. Horses allowed, dogs must be leashed.
5. Wheeler/Stallard House
If you’re more of a history buff than a nature lover, this one’s for you. A quaint, charming, Queen-Anne style home, the Wheeler/Stallard House has been a part of Aspen’s history since 1880. Built in the height of the mining boom, this old house supported mining families for decades. Now a Top 10 Aspen museum, you’ll feel the history and stories oozing out of its walls. Tickets include entrance to the Holden Marlot Mining and Ranch Museum—double bang for your buck! Open Tues – Sat 1 PM – 5 PM.
4. John Denver Sanctuary
Thistle cheer you up, travelers! Easily earning a spot on our nature-loving Top Ten Aspen attractions is one of the most visited places in Aspen—the John Denver Sanctuary. A four-acre expanse of beauty, this gorgeous area is the home to the largest perennial garden around! Head on over to the seedy part of town to get the true Aspen experience. There is no public parking but a nearby garage offers parking for $1.50/hour. Open daily 6 AM – 9 PM.
3. Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness
If your soul calls to the wild, you’ll want to explore the spectacular wilderness of CO while you’re there. The Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness area stretches for 82,000 acres and includes the headwaters of the Hunter Creek and the Fryingpan River (ahh, now the name makes sense…). With over 50 miles of hiking trails varying in their degree of difficulty, there is a little piece of wilderness for everyone in the Top 10 Aspen attraction. Relax and enjoy the views, but keep your eye out for Bigfoot.
2. Independence Pass
If you’re looking for less attitude and more altitude, CO is a great travel choice. Soaring above sea-level at 12,095 lies Independence Pass, one of the most infamous and fabulous mountain passes in Colorado. A scenic overlook near the pass allows for killer views of Mt. Elbert (Colorado’s tallest mountain) and the enchanting Alpine tundra landscape. Closed in the wintertime due to heavy snowfall, this Top Ten Aspen landmark is best visited during the dryer seasons. Located along Highway 82.
1. Maroon Bells
Earning the number one spot by a landslide (but hopefully not a literal landslide) is Maroon Bells, twin peaks located in the beautiful Elk Mountains. The two peaks climb above 14,000 ft (they are both known as 14ers), making them the two most photographed mountains in all of CO (and there are quite a few mountains in CO the last time we checked). Because the Bells attract over 300,000 visitors a year, parking access is limited and buses/shuttles are recommended. Buses run from 8 AM – 5 PM during the summer. The tipper top of Top 10 Aspen attractions!