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Aspen & The Roaring Fork Valley

The summer heat is coming... plan ahead for your escape

Traveling to Chamonix, France was not feasible last year so my family opted for a ski vacation that’s easier to get to in Colorado! Visiting Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley can be an ideal way to enjoy some cool weather and a little skiing before the summer heat returns to Florida.

Aspen is known for its incredibly dreamy winter experiences and celebrity sightings. And this year is even more special because this world-famous resort destination is celebrating 75 years of skiing, offering guests four world-class mountains to choose from: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. These mountains offer a wide variety of terrain perfect for everyone from beginner to expert.

Runway to Slopeside in Minutes

Aspen is in the Roaring Fork Valley, southeast of Vail, and there are plenty of ways to reach the ski resort. Few mountain resorts have the airport proximity that Aspen Snowmass enjoys. Located just five minutes from Buttermilk (and 10 minutes from Snowmass and Aspen Mountain), the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport accommodates flights from many major U.S. airports.

As a group of ten, we opted to stay in an Airbnb home for two weeks outside of Carbondale because, within 35 minutes, we were either on the slopes at Aspen Snowmass or Sunlight Ski Resort, outside Glenwood Springs. With nearly 730 skiable acres and a 2,000 vertical foot drop, Sunlight offers big skiing at an affordable price. And you can enjoy the best après-ski fun at the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort.

According to Kim Huber, a travel advisor with Cruise Planners, Aspen is unique in that, even though it is known as one of the most desirable ski destinations in the world, there are plenty of other activities.

“It's an absolutely gorgeous area,” she said. “And the skiing is usually great through March and April, but there’s plenty to do throughout the year, even in summer. There are a lot of places to go hiking and camping. Fly fishing is very popular there. Plus, summer is when they host a lot of art and music festivals.”

Where to Stay?

Our Airbnb called “AspenWood,” located between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, was perfect. Located on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, it’s only 35 minutes to Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort and Sunlight Ski Resort in Glenwood Springs. This beautiful river compound was like our own tiny resort, but without the crowds. With unsurpassed views of the river, two fireplaces in the great room, a gourmet kitchen with amenities fit for a professional chef, and an 8-person hot tub overlooking the river, we wished we could have stayed longer!

Ski Resort Lift Tickets & Rental Gear

The Aspen Snowmass ski season runs through early to mid-April, depending on the mountain. All four of Aspen’s mountains are open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, and one lift ticket gets you on all four mountains — sweet! Be sure to book seven days in advance and save up to 45%. If you need to rent skis or snowboards, Stapleton Ski Shop and Up Snowboard Rentals and Miller Sports is located in the heart of Aspen. Or better yet, reserve your skis/snowboards with Ski Butlers, who deliver all your equipment rentals directly to your accommodations.

Kim added that, for many people, the main reason to go to the Rocky Mountains in summer is to enjoy nature.

“At night, the star-gazing is spectacular! There’s hardly anywhere in Central Florida where it’s dark enough to see the Milky Way and all the stars, but in the mountains of Colorado, you can find plenty of places.”

  • Fly fishing on the Roaring Fork River in Colorado