You can explore and experience so much more of Aspen Snowmass
when you go beyond the Maroon Bells. Yes, the Maroon Bells
are stunning, but there’s a whole lot more to see and do in Aspen Snowmass. And you don’t want to miss out on any of it.
Ice Caves at the Grottos Day Use Area
Aspen isn’t a caving destination, but you can still experience a cave of sorts at the Grottos Day Use Area. The Grottos area is located 9 miles east of downtown Aspen as you drive towards Independence Pass. Each winter, the Grottos ice caves fill with ice and snow, which have, over long periods of time, carved the cave walls into the unique forms you see today. The great thing about the Grottos ice caves is you won’t need a headlamp because there’s plenty of sunshine filtering in.
Ashcroft Ghost Town
Located 11 miles from the Aspen roundabout up Castle Creek Road is the ghost town of Ashcroft, what was once a bustling mining settlement in the early 1880s. Today, you can tour what remains of the town, including a hotel, saloon, and post office. The Ashcroft ghost town tour is a fun and unique glimpse into Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley’s mining history.
Smuggler Mountain Observation Deck
From the observation deck on Smuggler Mountain Road, you can take in an incredible view of downtown Aspen, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands Mountain, and Buttermilk Mountain. Smuggler Mountain Road is a popular hike, so hit the trail at sunrise or sunset to observe a colorful sky and to have the trail mostly to yourself. The hike to the Smuggler Mountain observation deck is 2.8 miles round trip.
Hallam Lake at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES)
Explore and learn at Hallam Lake, a 25-acre nature preserve northwest of downtown Aspen. Walk along the half-mile nature trail and look out across the lake to see if you can spot any wildlife. You can also sign up for an ACES birding class, which are held year-round, to learn more about the wide variety of bird species who call Hallam Lake home.
Top of Aspen Mountain
There’s lots to do once you’re at the top of Aspen Mountain
. Go on a guided hike with a naturalist from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). Enjoy lunch at the Sundeck Restaurant. Check out the free classical music concert on Saturdays and the free bluegrass concert on Sundays.
Are you ready to go beyond the Bells? We hope this brief exploration of a few other places Aspen Snowmass has to offer has you ready for fun summer adventures.