Perfect Summer Day: Adventure

What’s Your Perfect Aspen Day?

Who: The Exercise Junkie

What: A day packed with exercise and outdoors

Where: Aspen and the surrounding area

You like to bike. You like to hike. All in the same day!

For this type of day, you are going to need a big breakfast. Take some time to load up with enough energy to get you going through your marathon Aspen day. Maybe even order room service to whip up whatever you’re craving. You will burn these calories off today anyway, right?

Morning Bike Ride

Take a ride up some of the same mountain passes that one of the world’s greatest cyclists does. Aspen resident Lance Armstrong does some of his training here, and so should you. Head to the scenic Maroon Bells, up Castle Creek or over Independence Pass for the ultimate lung workout.

Insider’s tip: When you book your room at The Little Nell ask about the Bike Aspen Package including:

  • 2 Orbea bike rentals for 1 day. Choose among our fleet of Orbea Orca Road Bikes or Orbea Occam Mountain Bikes
  • 2 bike jerseys: Choose among Ajax Tavern or The Little Nell jerseys
  • 2 water bottles.

A Little Nell Adventure Specialist can provide you with a map of rides in the area for you to explore on your own and/or a GPS unit loaded with the area’s most popular rides. They can also set you up with a professional cyclist to help you improve your pedaling.

If mountain biking is more your thing, the Smuggler-Hunter Creek Loop is Aspen’s classic intermediate-to-advanced ride. It winds into the beautiful Hunter Creek Valley, passing over smooth single-track, through vast aspen groves, and past the ruins of a few deserted mining cabins. For a more advanced ride, the Government Trail begins with a challenging climb up Snowmass Ski Area, and then traverses across ski runs and through dense evergreens to Buttermilk Ski Area. Here, the trail roller-coasters through aspen groves and thrilling single-track, ending just outside of Aspen.

And if downhill mountain biking sounds fun, check out the new trails at Snowmass, served by the Elk Camp Gondola. The new Valhalla Trail is amazing, and if you are new to the sport, be sure to book a Mountain Biking 101 course.

You’ve earned lunch at this point, so reward yourself. Folks in Aspen swear by The Big Wrap, which offers healthy wraps and salads with fun flavor combinations. Insider’s tip: Bring cash – they don’t take credit cards.


Aspen’s local trail system, accessible from the downtown core, is perfect for half-day hikes. Favorites include the Hunter Creek Trail, a beginner to intermediate day hike; Sunnyside Trail, a great spot to see Aspen valley views; and the Ute Trail, a more strenuous hike because of its switchbacks but worthwhile for the views at the summit. Make sure to pack lots of water. The altitude and exercise can get to you.

Hot Tubbing

It may as well count as an outdoor activity after a two-sport day. Soak your tired muscles.

Insider’s tip: If you stay at the new Residences at The Little Nell, you’ll have access to their amazing rooftop patio with two spacious hot tubs and a pool. There are curving stone walls and multiple seating areas with serene 360-degree panoramic views from Aspen Mountain to Independence Pass.