How to Reconnect with Nature in Aspen

How to Reconnect with Nature in Aspen

  • Justin Addison
  • 04/25/22

In the Aspen area you can enjoy nature in many forms. The town boasts more than 300 days of sunshine every year, so even in the cold winter months, it’s easy to get outside and take full advantage of Colorado’s stunning natural beauty and recreation opportunities. When you need to relax, rejuvenate, or get out there and explore, here’s how to get in touch with nature in Aspen.


While Aspen may be best known for the variety of winter sports that it offers at its world-class ski resorts, there’s plenty to do outdoors year-round in this gorgeous mountain town. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails and paved walking paths for hikers of all skill levels in the mountains around Aspen. Resources like the AllTrails app or the Aspen Trail Finder can help you find trails in and around Aspen that are sorted by length and difficulty level. If you’re new to hiking, plenty of retailers and adventure outfitters in Aspen offer guided hikes and backpacking trips to help you explore Aspen’s mountains with the safety of a trained expert.

No matter where you choose to hike in Aspen, you’re sure to be rewarded with breathtaking mountain views, refreshing lakes and streams, and a variety of wildlife. From multi-day hikes like the Four Pass Loop to out-and-back trails with great views that can be completed in an hour or two, Aspen is the place to be for hiking enthusiasts and people who want to reconnect with nature.


The world-renowned Aspen Snowmass resort complex has been a destination for winter sports enthusiasts for 75 years. Featuring four famous mountains — Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass — the resort offers the winter classic like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, plus lesser-known thrills like snowbiking, tubing, and alpine coasting and a slate of winter events that are fun for the whole family.

If you’re a downhill skier or snowboarder, take advantage of the more than 5,500 acres of terrain that compose the four mountains. With hundreds of groomed trails for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and levels of proficiency, as well as backcountry terrain for the most experienced daredevils, the four Aspen Snowmass mountains have something for everyone.

For a more laid-back yet still thrilling winter experience, consider a guided naturalist snowshoe tour. You’ll learn about Aspen’s history, mountain terrain, and the ecology and wildlife of the area from a knowledgeable guide. If your legs need a break from all the snow sports, but you still want to experience Aspen’s stunning mountain views, you can book a special sightseeing ticket to enjoy the mountains’ gondolas and chairlifts.

Season opening and closing dates depend on the mountain and snow conditions, but you can usually experience winter sports in Aspen for the five months between November and April each year.

Summer mountain sports

As the snow begins to melt and spring eventually turns to summer, the Aspen mountains come to life once again. The maintained resort mountains offer plenty of organized activities during the spring and summer months, including zip lines, climbing walls, mountain biking, and paintball. Many of the world-class on-mountain restaurants that skiers and snowboarders enjoy in the winter months reopen in summer, so you can take in the views from the mountain gondolas or chairlifts before enjoying a midday meal.

Fishing & hunting

The Roaring Fork River, which runs just outside of Aspen proper, comes to life in the spring as it fills with runoff from the mountains. One of the most popular fly-fishing spots in the area, the Roaring Fork is a great place to find trout. With many creeks, streams, and alpine lakes in the area, fishing enthusiasts will find the Aspen area to be one of the best places for the sport.

Colorado’s hunting season begins in September and lasts until November, with opportunities for deer and elk hunting. Be sure to have the proper permits if you’re hunting or fishing; many of the adventure shops in and around Aspen will be able to help you secure permits and gear, and some offer guided fishing and hunting trips.

Water sports

The many alpine lakes, streams, and rivers in the aspen area offer the perfect opportunity for paddling enthusiasts to explore Aspen’s wildlife and natural beauty from the water. The North Star Nature Preserve allows visitors to float the Roaring Fork River. Enjoy the water from a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, or canoe in the late spring and summer. You’ll likely encounter plenty of wildlife, from beavers and birds to moose.

For an aquatic thrill, try a guided white water rafting trip along the Roaring Fork.

Horseback Riding

One of the most unique ways to experience the beauty of the Aspen area is by horseback. There are more than 23 miles of riding trails in nearby Snowmass, and a few local adventure outfitters offer guided half- and full-day equestrian tours. There are several stables in the area, so if you’re already a horse-riding enthusiast, you’ll find plenty of options to board and care for your horses.


Whether you’re interested in mountain biking, road biking, or fat tire winter biking, Aspen has a trail for you. As a very bike-friendly town, Aspen operates a community bike-sharing program in the spring, summer, and fall months. With mountain biking trails on many of the Aspen area peaks and cyclist-friendly roadways, recreational and competitive bikers have hundreds of miles of trails at their fingertips. Meander through the mountains on some of the challenging road biking routes, or take a more leisurely pace on the flatter roads in the Roaring Fork Valley.


Whether in a cabin, tent, or RV, camping is a great way to fully immerse yourself in Aspen’s natural beauty. With several maintained campgrounds in the area, there are plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature without going too far off the grid. Some Aspen area campgrounds allow reservations, so you can plan ahead to camp in your tent or RV. If backcountry camping is more your style, there are plenty of campsites hidden in the mountains around Aspen. Plan your camping trip, check out campground photos, and review campsite amenities in Aspen using the tool.

For all the comforts of home with the mountains at your doorstep, consider booking a cabin at one of the many rental properties near Aspen. Whether you’re looking for a truly rustic experience or you need more amenities, a cabin rental is a unique feature of Aspen real estate that allows you to step back into nature and escape some of the bustle of the Aspen core.

Wellness retreats

Whether you’re a yogi, nature enthusiast, or are simply looking to reconnect with yourself and the natural world, the Aspen area offers many ways to refresh your body and spirit while soaking in the wonders of the outdoors. Several local yoga studios host outdoor classes, so you can relax your body and mind while practicing. Classes are sometimes even offered at the summit of Aspen Mountain for the ultimate outdoor yoga experience.


Take to the links with a view at Aspen’s award-winning golf club. Aspen Golf Club offers a variety of membership levels, so it’s the perfect place for both golf enthusiasts and those who are just learning. The scenic course features water at almost every hold and offers sweeping views of the nearby mountains. The club also has several tennis courts, so you can enjoy your favorite sports while taking in the incredible mountain views that Aspen has to offer.

Looking for Aspen homes for sale?

No matter what your interests are, the Aspen area offers so many different opportunities to connect with nature that you’re sure to find an outdoor experience that suits your taste. Aspen is the perfect place to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with nature. If you’re interested in exploring Aspen real estate to better connect with the great outdoors, contact Justin Addison.

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