Fall is a magical time of year in the mountains, and a perfect time to come to Aspen for a weekend or week-long escape. Aspen lodging deals abound, the weather is beautiful and there is lots to do! Check out this fall bucket list of special fall activities in Aspen happening now!
1.Take a Custom Fall Hike
Fall hiking is in its glory in September and October, as aspen leaves turn to vibrant gold and cooler temperatures encourage long walks in the woods. For a memorable and educational take on this favorite fall activity, hire an expert naturalist to guide you on your fall journey. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies can provide an expert Naturalist guide for a fee per hour; the more in your group (up to 10), the more affordable the rate per person. Customize anything from a family-friendly adventure exploring Beaver, Birds of Prey or Bear at the ecology-rich Hallam Lake, to challenging half or full day hike on the beloved American Lake Trail or Lost Man Loop. All of the destinations offer an unrivaled look at Aspen’s incredible plant and wildlife diversity with educational annotation from one of ACES’ expert local guides. aspennature.org
2. Bike Maroon Creek Trail
One of the most iconic road rides in Colorado, the Maroon Creek Trail presents unparalleled views of Aspen’s famous Maroon Bells in the foreground. This access road is closed to motor vehicles, and the public bus service that runs through the summer comes to an end in September. That means that beginning in October, cyclists have the access road all to themselves (as long as weather permits). Prime leaf season will linger for a few more weeks, enhanced by an early-season dusting of snow along the peaks. A perfect fall biking experience with stellar colorful views awaits on this classic Aspen ride!
3. Bands & Ball at the Belly Up!
Belly Up! Aspen is well known as a forerunner in the local music scene. This venue brings in incredible talent all year, notwithstanding the off-seasons! Look forward to amazing live music from concert greats such as Tower of Power and Tea Leaf Green (October), and John Popper, B.B King and Stephen Marley (November). Multiple weekly concerts populate this jam-packed live music calendar. Did you know Belly Up! is also a favorite spot to watch your favorite NFL teams? Swing by to watch Sunday and Monday night football in one of the most lively football bars in town. bellyupaspen.com
4. Peruse Local Art at Aspen Art Museum
The Aspen Art Museum, a respected center for modern art in the mountains, has a long-standing tradition that encourages community involvement while cultivating a love for modern art. These missions are at the helm of the Roaring Fork Open, an annual exhibition that celebrates the works of the very vibrant local and regional art community around Aspen. Now in its 33rd year, the Roaring Fork Open brings together the works of 125 Roaring Fork Valley artists to the museum, each selected by collaboration between the artist and the guest curator for the event, James Surls. An opening reception on Thursday October 3 from 6-8pm introduces the beginning of the event, which is on display from October 4-27, 2013 at the Aspen Art Museum. aspenartmuseum.com
5. View a Feature at the Aspen Filmfest
The Aspen Filmfest screens documentaries, independent films and foreign language films in true mountain film festival style. Filmmakers are on hand to lead discussions and shed light on the making of this diverse selection of films that is sure to delight autumn film buffs. Film screenings take place at the Paepcke Auditorium at the Aspen Instutute, and the Isis Theater; the Filmfest Café provides food and drink before selected screenings. For a full schedule, ticket information and film descriptions visit aspenfilm.org.
*photo credits photographylife.com, aspenartmuseum.org