Top Activities in Aspen – Summer 2018

A brightly speckled night sky. Crystalline rivers full of rainbow trout. The songs of the shimmering, lime-toned Aspen leaves. The variety of things to do this summer in Aspen create a storybook that is full of splendor, stoke, and endless adventure.

Classic Summer Adventures

Classic Summer Adventures - Fly Fishing

Classic summer activities in Aspen include:

  • Fly fishing
  • Off-road tours
  • Stargazing
  • Road biking
  • Mountain biking
  • Mountaintop yoga
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountaineering
  • Rock climbing
  • Rappelling
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Paragliding

On deck, there’s an option for every level of energy and experience. The Little Nell’s premier guides lead a variety of summer activities across said spectrum including one-of-a-kind outings from sunset off road tours to cycling adventures to taking our drift boat down the river to toss your line.   

Summer Music

If you’re in need of dance therapy, don’t miss the legendary performance venue in town, the Belly Up. From May to August, a few of the musicians on the docket include Xavier Rudd, The Flaming Lips, Collie Buddz, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Ziggy Marley. No matter what type of music you vibe to, you’ll find the best of all musicians here.

If you prefer the outdoors for your dance floor, ride the gondola up Aspen Mountain and enjoy Bluegrass Sundays every week this summer from noon to 3 pm at the Sundeck.

Summer Flavor

Food Events- Summer in Aspen

With culinary events such as the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, Farm to Table Tuesdays in Snowmass and BBQs all over the valley this season, foodies will find plenty of things to do this summer in Aspen. 

Find the best breakfast in Aspen, stop by Ajax Tavern for happy hour, and wind down with a strong summer cocktail on your balconyNew restaurants to explore this summer include Jing Asian Fusion, TORO, and State 38.

Summer 2018 – Featured Events & Things To Do

Walking Downtown Aspen

Here is a curation of adventurous days and nights to peruse as you plan your summer vacation:

Downtown Aspen Walking Tour

Slowly stroll through Aspen’s downtown on a self-guided walking tour, stopping by historical and iconic spots on Cooper Avenue and Mill Street. The final stop on this relaxing walk is Wagner Park, where you can toss an oversized blanket on the lawn and indulge in a frozen treat with Aspen Mountain as your backdrop.

Bike Independence Pass

Are you in love with two-wheeled trips and high-mountain views—and are you willing to elevate your heart rate to achieve both? Add this iconic ascent to your bucket list or return for round two. The 18-mile one-way trip weaves cyclists from Aspen to the top of Independence Pass at 12,130 feet high.

Old Fashioned Fourth of July

Celebrate the nation’s birthday where live music and festive traditions fill the Roaring Fork Valley. From the parade to the kids’ carnival, the entire family can bask in the mountain joy. Pack a picnic basket for an all-day gathering—and remember your dancing shoes.

8 a.m.-10 p.m., July 4, 2018

Ride & Dine

Pedal a 13-mile gradual ascent through a dramatic mountain landscape, and past meadows and ranches to reach the headwaters of Castle Creek and the Catto Center at Toklat, a historic wilderness lodge. Before the ride, Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy lends his expertise to riders in selecting bottles of wine to order from the 20,000-bottle cellar at The Little Nell. The ride then departs from there for a farm to table dinner at Toklat, prepared by Element 47 chefs.

4 p.m., July 19, 2018; $150, 4 p.m., Aug 9, 2018; $150, and 4 p.m. Sept. 6, $150.

Annual Challenge Aspen Golf Classic

Compete or swing for fun in the Golf Classic on July 31, at the award-winning Snowmass Club golf course followed by delicious food and libations. To kick-off the tournament, join the silent auction and dinner at the top of Aspen Mountain, which will be hosted the night prior and feature a performance from Big Head Todd & The Monsters. The two-day event is to celebrate the mission of Challenge Aspen, an organization that helps to create new opportunities for the adaptive recreation community.

5:30 p.m., July 30-31, 2018; prices vary

JAS Labor Day Experience

“The Labor Day Experience” is a slight misnomer, simply because it sounds casual. The weekend music lineup is anything other than nonchalant. From Michael Franti to Jack Johnson and the Zac Brown Band, Gary Clark Jr., Lionel Richie and more, folks will dance the day and night away.

Times vary, Aug 31-Sep 2, 2018; $219.95-$3,000

Last but not least, one of the best things to do this summer in Aspen is to relax, recharge, and indulge in the little things. So sleep in, order room service, take a dip in the pool, and sip champagne in the 70-degree weather. Summer in Aspen always goes by all too quickly.