Tags Posts tagged with "Aspen"


By Deb Stanley, Examiner.com

Want to have some fun? Don’t miss the Grottos Trail on Independence Pass near Aspen. The “Grottos” are a series of caves carved by the Roaring Fork River, and the same trail leads to a series of cascades. The trailhead is on Independence Pass, about nine miles from Aspen (directions below).

From the parking lot, walk across the bridge and turn left. Just 500 feet from the trailhead, a sign at a trail split points hikers going to the grottos to the left. Hike up the hill just 0.2 miles from the trailhead to the “grottos” in the rock on your left.

In this spot is a series of caves and rock formations. Come early in the summer and you’ll see why these caves have been nicknamed the “ice caves.” No matter what time of year you come, you’ll need some climbing skills to get down into the formations. And remember, it’s always easier to get down into a hole, than to climb back out, so if you decide to climb down to the caves, make sure you have a plan for climbing back out. Once inside, it’s time to explore. There are a couple “rooms” here depending on how wet and muddy you’re willing to get. You won’t need a headlamp though, the sun shines into the grottos just enough.

When you’re done exploring, head back to the trail and continue uphill to a series of signs pointing you toward the “cascades.” When you lose the trail, just keep heading toward the loud sound of water crashing over rocks. You should find the “cascades” — a series of small waterfalls. Even in late summer, in a dry year, the cascades here were still flowing in several places and directions. This spot is like a playground for water.

When you’re done exploring and taking photos, return the way you came.

Details: Walking to the grottos and cascades (along with lots of exploring) was 0.75 miles round-trip with 150 feet of elevation gain.

Directions: From Aspen, take Highway 82, 0.4 miles past the mile marker 50 sign to the signed, Grottos trailhead. Turn right on the dirt road down to the parking lot.

In the area, don’t miss the ghost town of Independence and Weller LakeClick here for more great hikes in Colorado and throughout the west.

Don’t miss any of my hiking reports. Follow me, DenverHikingExaminer on Facebook.

Courtesy of www.colorado.com

By Carri Wilbanks, Examiner.com

Headed to Aspen this summer? Well, after seeing this line-up of cultural events and outdoor activities you will want to head West to the Roaring Fork Valley!

Outdoor Plays by Theatre Aspen

Talk about a unique theater experience – Theatre Aspen’s shows are staged at beautiful Rio Grande Park, just steps off Main Street. Imagine a backdrop of Aspen Mountain and nights dotted with starts, all the while watching Broadway actors as well as local talent put on a tremendous show. Coming up this summer:

Les Misérables: June 21 – Aug 17

Fully Committed July 5 – Aug 15

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – July 11 – Aug 17

Theatre Aspen
110 E. Hallam St.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-9313

Adrenlaine Rush With Blazing Adventures

Keywords here: Rafting, Inflatable Kayaks, Jeeping and Hiking. Here are three trips offered from this outdoor adventure company.

  • Whiskey River: Get ready to get whisked away on this trip down the Middle Roaring Fork. Take the trip in either a ducky or raft, followed by a stop at the Woody Creek Distillery for a tasting of locally made spirits.

*Available Tuesdays & Fridays.

*Cost: Ducky’s: $112.50 per person. Rafts: $112.50 per person

  • Cathedral Lake Hike: Trek to a stunning spot with a guide to a lake which is named for its unique feature of a cathedral stone wall.

*Round trip distance: 6 miles

*Cost: $98.50 per person, includes lunch.

  • Standup Paddle Board Tours: Learn the latest way to ride the waves. Instructors will teach you skills such as balance, paddling techniques and safety moves. Expect a great core workout! Trip finishes with a riverside BBQ lunch at a private river park near the Glenwood Canyon.

*Cost $158.50 per person. Includes lunch, rentals of wetsuit, booties, helmet and needed gear.

Blazing Adventures
555 E. Durant Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 923-4544

Discover Culture at Aspen Art Museum

The Aspen Art Museum continuously rotates contemporary art from artists from around the world. Head here to check out a few of the innovative exhibitions of the summer:

  • Lorna Simpson: Works on Paper

July 26 – September 22, 2013

Through drawings and collages, this artist examines ways gender and culture shape the experience of life in our contemporary multiracial society.

Aspen Art Museum
590 N. Mill St.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-8050

Connect with History at Aspen Historical Society

Learn the history of this 1888 Queen Anne style built by Jerome Wheeler. Inside you can find- Seasons of the Nuche: Transitions of the Ute People. The exhibit explores the past and present of Native Americans in the American West. The exhibit journeys through the loss of their culture, territory, language and forced assimilation and their position in the world today.

Open Tues. – Sat. 1 – 5pm. $6 adults, $5 seniors (admission fee also includes the Holden/Marolt Museum) Children under 12 Free.

Aspen Historical Society
620 W Bleeker St.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-3721

Step into Nature with Aces (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies)

Learn about ecology, natural history and stewardship. Here is the line up of ongoing programs:

Starting on June 15- travel along mountain streams, over ridgelines, and through beautiful valleys with ACES’ naturalists. Options include:

  • Aspen Mountain: tours offered daily on the hour from 10 am to 3 pm. Meet at the top

of the Aspen Mountain gondola.

Discovery Center in the Snowmass Village Mall.

the Maroon Lake information center.

This hike has it all: explore the historic silver mining ghost town of Ashcroft and wander up along Castle Creekon this a 3.5 mile round-trip hike. Includes a gourmet lunch at the Pine Creek Cookhouse.. $75 includes tour and lunch. (Unless ordering a la carte for $38).



(Credit, Destination Hotels and Resorts)

By Billie Frank, Examiner.com

Aspen is a diverse town. It is a Mecca for the rich and famous, but it is more than that. In winter it attracts skiers from all economic strata. Those with leaner bank accounts finance their habit by filling the many service jobs in town. Frequently, they live elsewhere and commute. Housing in the Roaring Forks Valley does not come cheap. In the summer the area attracts outdoorsy types for the wide variety of activities available; world-class musicians for the Aspen Music Festival and some of the best minds in the world come to the Aspen Institute. Some come just to relax and enjoy the wonderful mountain scenery and fresh air.

There are all sorts of accommodations for visitors. Four and five-star hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, home and condo rentals and campsites cater to all economic levels, well sort of. The budget options are few and hard to find and the term “budget” is relative; no $50 a night rooms in Aspen.

A great option if you want to save on dining out is a condo rental. We stayed at The Gant, a condotel (part hotel, part condo) on the southwest end of town. The property offers luxury-hotel amenities; a front desk, bellmen, concierge, daily housekeeping and shuttle service. Guests can leave their cars and not deal with parking hassles when they go to town.

The complex, built in1974, underwent a complete exterior renovation three years ago. A vast majority of the privately-owned condos are rented out. The management company, Destination Hotels and Resorts has rigorous standards. The units are inspected every eighteen months both by the company and by an independent service. If they don’t meet or exceed the standard they are not rented out. The units, from one to four bedrooms are divided into three categories:

Standard: These units have clean and comfortable furnishings. The décor is dated or basic. They tend to have older kitchens and baths.

Deluxe: These units have high quality furnishings and décor with upgraded kitchens and baths.

Premier: These units feature luxurious furnishings and décor including artwork, designer lighting and top-of-the-line kitchens and baths.

Our Deluxe one-bedroom unit had a good-sized great room with a dining area, balcony, fireplace and a well-equipped granite and stainless kitchen. There was a granite bath and a small bedroom. We were there during a hot-spell. The great-room cooled by a ceiling fan stayed pretty comfortable. We used a fan in the bedroom. Aspen gets about three hot weeks a year and many places are not air-conditioned. If this is important to you, ask.

The Gant has five tennis courts (two-hard surface, two are clay) and two lovely landscaped pool areas with jetted hot-tubs. The chaise lounges around the pool are a great place to relax in the sun. If you want to cook dinner out, there are gas grills for guests’ and residents’ use and tables shaded by umbrellas for alfresco dining.

Other lodging options:

If five-star service is your goal, check out The Little Nell. The St. Regis Resort has four-stars and the historic Hotel Jerome four-diamonds. They are other luxury hotels and condos to choose from. There are companies that specialize in Aspen rentals; the international Five Star Destinations, and locally, Joshua & Company and Frias Property of Aspen.

If you are on a budget, this is the time to resort to the Internet discounters such as Expedia, Travelocity, etc. They may offer the best prices or try bidding on Priceline, you never know. The lowest price accommodations run close to or over $100 per night depending on the season. There is nary a chain motel in sight. Glenwood Springs about an hour drive and Carbondaleabout 45 minutes away have some national chain options and some less expensive lodging in general.

If you want to be in Aspen on a budget, the no frills Mountain Chalet and the St. Moritz (with some shared baths) fare well on Trip Advisor (which should always be read with a large grain of salt). Other more reasonable lodging choices are Aspen Mountain Lodge, the Annabelle Innand Mountain House Lodge. Also In summer there is the camping option.

If you want to save more, the slow season with lower rates is between ski season and summer and then the end of summer season and the Christmas holiday season.

We were the guests of The Gant while in Aspen. Their generous hospitality has not influenced this article in any way.


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