The Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail is an easy, short trail meandering along the creek.
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail: Getting there
From the roundabout west of Aspen, take Maroon Creek Road.
Check the sign just past the roundabout for road closure status. During busy times & the summer, cars are only permitted past the guard gate to the Maroon Lake parking lot before 9am or after 5pm. On these days, park at Aspen Highlands and take the Maroon Bells bus (runs approx. every 20 minutes). If driving, a $10 fee applies for a 5-day pass.
Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail: The hike
From the parking lot, follow the trail to the lake.
The trail continues to the right of the lake. At the “Scenic Loop Trail or Crater Lake” marker, keep left.
Cross the bridge over Maroon Creek and continue on the trail.
The trail forms a loop through the meadow and trees.
The trail is approximately 1 mile roundtrip.
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Smuggler Mountain is a popular hike with the trailhead located in east Aspen.
Smuggler Mountain: Getting there
From Main Street & Mill (corner of the Hotel Jerome), take Mill to Gibson. Turn right & at the Y intersection, keep left onto South Avenue. Turn right onto Park Circle to Smuggler Mountain Road. There is parking on the right & and a 2nd lot is just above.
Smuggler Mountain: The hike
The Smuggler Mountain trail is a fairly steep 1.5 mile climb that ends at the observation deck overlooking Aspen.
Smuggler Mine sits at the base of the mountain. The trail is actually a multi-purpose dirt road shared by hikers, bikers, runners & dogs and is quite heavily used, especially on the weekends.
At the top is an observation deck with stunning views of Aspen.
The Maroon Bells Crater Lake Trail is a moderate trail up to Crater Lake and the West Maroon Trail.
Maroon Bells Crater Lake Trail: Getting there
From the roundabout west of Aspen, take Maroon Creek Road. Check the sign just past the roundabout for road closure status. During busy times & the summer, cars are only permitted past the guard gate to the Maroon Lake parking lot before 9am or after 5pm.
On these days, park at Aspen Highlands and take the Maroon Bells bus (runs approx. every 20 minutes). If driving, a $10 fee applies for a 5 day pass.
Maroon Bells Crater Lake Trail: The hike
From the parking lot, follow the trail to the lake. The trail continues to the right of the lake. At the “Scenic Loop Trail or Crater Lake” marker, keep right.
The first part of the hike is a steady climb up switchbacks through the trees.
As the top of the switchbacks, you will pass through a rock field. Crater Lake is just beyond the rock field.
The Crater Lake trail is an approximate 3 mile roundtrip from Maroon Lake.
If you are feeling up for some more hiking, go past the lake to the West Maroon Trail.
West Maroon Trail is a 10.2 mile hike to Crested Butte over West Maroon Pass. Adding on an additional mile or so from Crater Lake before turning back is a beautiful additional hike in mostly solitude.
Each year Aspen celebrates the 4th of July with a full day of activities and fun old-fashioned style!
Boogie’s Diner Buddy Charity Race
The 4th of July activities kick off at Boogie’s Diner with a 5K charity run and a 1 mile family & canine walk benefiting the Buddy Program.
People & dogs of all ages run, walk & stroll though the streets of Aspen, while their participation provided funding to support more than 650 local Aspen youth through mentoring and other vital youth services.
Aspen’s Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade
By late morning, thousands begin to gather on the streets of downtown Aspen for the 4th of July parade. The crowds cheered as fire trucks, floats, bikes, and more provided color and excitement to the annual parade.
Picnics, Music, a Carnival & Dancing in the Streets
The afternoon & evening were filled with picnics, a free concert by the Aspen Music Festival Band at the Benedict music tent, and a party in the streets of downtown Aspen to finish out the day.
I confess, I used to think of Riesling in that one word: sweet.
Then, a miraculous thing happened.
We went to the Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits Festival and the heavens parted (it did rain, so only a slight exaggeration) and lo and behold, there were Rieslings that were another word: dry.
Life as a Riesling disciple
Friday afternoon when we were sitting at Ajax Tavern planning our Saturday agenda at Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, I stated to our son, “Oh, there’s a Riesling tasting. You know they’re not all sweet.”
Sometimes I forget he’s a certified sommelier – so yes, I got the smirk, eye roll and the, “You think?”
He then told me that Paul Grieco was leading it, so yes, it was a good choice.
Two roads sometimes lead to the same path.
A man with a grape mission
An evangelist of the Riesling grape, Paul Grieco will, within 45 minutes, convince you that there is no reason for a white wine list to contain anything but Riesling and the juice should have your uncompromising devotion.
Okay, while you may not be instantly converted as a Riesling disciple, Mr. Grieco delivers his message with such mischievous, authoritative conviction that it is hard not to quickly exalt the Riesling with great admiration.
Reasons to love Rieslings: The Wines
The Riesling seminar was a walk through Rieslings from around the world, from dry to that other word, sweet.
When asked the price point of one of the wines, Mr.Grieco simply stated, “They’re all priceless.”
Outside in Aspen is a unique event that offers a chance to…
Attend one of 10 adventure clinics with elite athletes in rafting, kayaking, climbing a 14er, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, road biking, rock climbing, trail running, and fly-fishing
Win a $6000 bike, a $2000 camera and many more prizes
Hang out at The Sky Hotel for the welcome party and après pool party with DJ and prizes
Check out the demos, exhibitors, family adventure program, and get a free chair massage at Adventure Base Camp
Enjoy a beverage at the Saturday Beer Garden with live music from Jes Grew
Hear a panel of elite adventure athletes and Outside editors discuss outdoor-related issues and topics
Kicking it off
Outside in Aspen kicked off at the Sky Hotel on Friday night where guests were welcomed with music, appetizers and, thanks to Kru, the vodka flowed like wine.
Mountain biking the Rim Trail in Snowmass
We signed up for mountain biking at Outside in Aspen for a couple of reasons.
We had only mountain biked twice before. The first time was in Nevis. I got hit by a goat, it broke the bike and I had to walk all the way down. The second time was in Beaver Creek last year in August. We rode up Cinch, it was super hot and not exactly exciting.
With Outside in Aspen, we had a chance to ride with Sari Anderson, and one thing I’ve learned over the years is to never pass up an opportunity to do anything with an expert.
Johnny and Trevor of Blazing Adventures at Snowmass were our guides and took excellent care of us.
We did the Rim Trail at Snowmass – 17 switchbacks up to the ridge and then a single track trail with great views.
It was a great morning – not sure if I’m ready to give up my road bike, but learned a ton and had a lot of fun!