Snowmass, Colorado is probably best known for its white slopes and its five-star ski resorts to which people flock in the cold months. What many people don’t realize is that fall is an equally great time of year to visit. Visitors in the fall can experience the elegant beauty of the leaves changing, more mild fall temperatures, and seasonal Snowmass activities which are typically unavailable after snowfalls in the area. If you are looking for a great fall adventure trip, take a look at our guide to a fall journey in Snowmass!
Day 1: Scenic Hiking Around Snowmass
Snowmass Village is nestled in the Brush Creek Valley and is surrounded by more than 90 miles of scenic mountain hiking trails that offer endless options to explore the scenic views and plant life. The best place to start is with one of the two-hour naturalist-guided walks that leave from Snowmass Mall. There are multiple different walks depending on what you want to observe, but the Nature Trail and Ice Age Discovery tours offer the best insights into the local flora and fossils that were recently found in the area. These two hikes are both free and each are about one and a half miles in length and take about an hour and a half. Taking these two hikes on day one is the perfect way to kick off your vacation.
Day 2: Mountain Bike Through Snowmass
If you love the hiking opportunities around Snowmass, you will love to add the adrenaline rush of mountain biking to that experience. Visitors can race down the dusty trails that are carved into slopes that will soon be covered in snow. No matter your experience level, there is an option for you. There are local paved trails specifically designed for mountain biking, or you can venture out and try one of the more difficult off-road trails. There are several local sporting goods stores that rent equipment by the day or longer so that you can explore on your own time. One of our favorite spots to bike through is Elk Camp, where you can take the gondola up and ride down!
Day 3: Local Museums
Snowmass and Aspen both have a beautiful collection of art and history museums, making the area one of the best places to visit in Colorado. The Aspen Art Museum is an amazing collection of international contemporary art that should be your first stop to enjoy. This non-collecting institution presents the newest and most important evolutions in international contemporary art. Since the museum is a non-collecting institution, you know that it will feature different exhibits every time you go. Next, take a look at more local history with the Historical Society’s Wheeler/Stallard Museum. This facility hosts various exhibits and maintains archives of Aspen’s interesting history and pre-settlement past. After that, we suggest wandering around the town and peaking into the various smaller galleries. This town is chock full of great museums.
Day 4: Environmental Tours
For a truly unique outdoor experience, we suggest that you connect with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) to schedule a guided snowshoe or skiing tour. Be sure to visit their Hallam Lake location which features animals, including their resident birds of prey. One of our favorite places to explore the natural beauty is Castle Creek Road. If you get there early, you will have the day to spend hiking to Cathedral Lake or up Castle Creek and dine at the Pine Creek Cookhouse.
Day 5: Lost Forest Adventure Center
Lost Forest Adventure Center is the perfect place for a day of excitement. This adventure park features many different Snowmass activities to enjoy. Along with their rock wall, Lost Forest also features a rope challenge course perfect for those who don’t fear heights (or even those looking to conquer their fear of heights). The crown jewel of the Lost Forest is the Alpine Coaster. Riders control the hand brakes as they fly down the gravity slide at their own speeds. The views from the coaster are breathtaking, so make sure that you go through at least twice; once to set your speed record and once to enjoy the views. Lost Forest is open on weekends through September.
Day 6: Aspen Saturday Market
If you are going to be staying in Snowmass over the weekend, we highly recommend checking out the Aspen Saturday Market. Visitors to the market can sample the freshest Colorado produce and farm to table foods on the streets of downtown Aspen every Saturday until mid-October. All vendors are locally sourced and produce some of the most delicious foods in all of Colorado. Frequently there will be live bands and a family-friendly atmosphere that is purely Colorado. The market has been modified slightly due to COVID restrictions, but the outdoor nature of the event is one of the safest ways to enjoy the beauty of Snowmass.