While Aspen has made a name for itself as a winter destination with world-class skiing, there’s much more to the city than its snowy slopes.
Whether you need a break from the powder or just aren’t that into downhill skiing, here are seven other awesome things to do on your winter vacation in Aspen.
1. Visit Aspen Art Museum
Nestled in the heart of downtown, the Aspen Art Museum features rotating exhibitions of innovative international contemporary art, along with year-round workshops and community activities. Bonus: The building itself is an architectural masterpiece and boasts unparalleled mountain views from its rooftop. Oh, and admission is free.
2. Hop on a Fat Bike
When the slopes are more packed than powdery — and avalanche conditions aren’t high — spend a day taking in Aspen’s beauty by pedal power on a fat bike. Routes like the Rio Grande Trail or Maroon Creek Road to Maroon Bells are perfect for beginners. Stapleton Ski can set you up with a fat ride for a fab time.
3. Go Fly-Fishing in the Roaring Fork Valley
Get off of the mountains and head to the river — the upper Roaring Fork River and its tributary the Fryingpan River to be specific. These gin-clear waterways are known by Aspenites as winter fly-fishing hotspots worth skipping the slopes for. Pick up your Colorado fishing license, and book a tour with a local guide who’ll take you straight to the area’s top trout.
4. Try Your Hand at Ice Climbing
Up for an extraordinary excursion? Along with pure powder, Aspen is home to some ideal ice … for climbing, that is. Pull on your helmet and crampons — conveniently provided by your Aspen Expeditions guide — and get ready to scale a frozen waterfall. All levels of experience (or inexperience) are welcome, and advanced climbers have the option to take cool road trips to popular ice routes.
5. Strap on Cross-Country Skis or Snowshoes
While still technically skiing, the cross-country version of the sport lets you enjoy Aspen at a more relaxed pace. Beginners and experts alike can glide through 60 miles of snow-blanketed cross-country skiing trails in the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System. Much of this terrain also makes for great snowshoeing. For an especially unique experience, book an Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) naturalist guide to lead you through the mountains. You can even have the tour customized to interests like geology or wildlife.
6. Take a Snowmobile Tour
If you have a need for speed and adventure, make a reservation for a guided snowmobile tour from T-Lazy-7 Ranch. Soar through aspen groves and otherwise inaccessible parts of the White River National Forest, marveling at the alpine scenery as you go. Special tours include hot lunches inside of cozy rustic cabins, after which you’ll hop back on your snowmobile and whoosh by frozen waterfalls or toward the base of the snow-streaked Maroon Bells.
7. Get Your Om On
Breathe in the crisp mountain air and take a break from the Aspen outdoors with a yoga class or two. The city has numerous studios — O2 Aspen, Shakti Shala and Arjuna Yoga to name a few — so you’ll have your choice of classes, from soothing stretch and meditation sessions to warming hot vinyasas or courses tailored for winter athletes. You can even find hot Pilates or hula hoop workouts!