Summer in Aspen is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are three attractions that you don’t want to miss this summer.
3 Aspen Attractions You Don’t Want to Miss This Summer
Check out these three Aspen attractions that are spectacular to see in the summer:
- The John Denver Sanctuary
- The Rio Grande Tail
- Grottos Trail
Here’s a closer look at each.
Aspen Attraction #1: The John Denver Sanctuary
Address: 470 Rio Grande Place, Aspen
The John Denver Sanctuary is a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the scenery. The Rio Grande Place entrance leads you to a path that takes you through a stunning field of wildflowers. You’ll also find a stone amphitheater where John Denver used to play music – and that still features live performances. This park is home to one of the largest perennial flower gardens open to the public, several etchings of Denver’s lyrics etched into massive river boulders, and manmade wetlands and streams that actually serve as a stormwater filtration system (it cleans the water before it drains into the Roaring Fork River). The space is so idyllic that people often get married in it.
Aspen Attraction #2: The Rio Grande Trail
The Rio Grande Trail is a must-do for any cyclist visiting Aspen. The trail stretches 42 miles from Glenwood Springs all the way to Aspen, following the Rio Grande River the whole way. The trail is mostly flat, making it perfect for an easy ride. You’ll get to take in some amazing views of the river, the mountains, and the valley. The trail is also great for hiking, running, and rollerblading.
The trail hugs the cliffside, which makes it a bit more exciting, and there’s a waterfall along the way. It’s a “rails to trails” project – that means it was once part of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad; in 1997, the train corridor went up for sale. Local governments, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails purchased it.
There are rules for using the Rio Grande Trail:
- Always yield to horses; get off the trail and wait for the rider to tell you when to pass.
- Cyclists can’t exceed 20 miles per hour, and are supposed to slow down and announce themselves before passing.
- Dog walkers must have pets on leashes and carry waste bags to dispose of waste in the right receptacles.
- Everyone keeps right on the trail except to pass; step off the trail if you need to stop.
Aspen Attraction #3: Grottos Trail
The Grottos Trail is a 1.8-mile trail that starts at the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness boundary. The trail is considered moderate to difficult, with an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. The trail is rocky in places and there are some steep sections. But the effort is worth it when you get to see the grottos – massive rock formations that have been carved out by glaciers. The trail also takes you past waterfalls and aspen groves. The trail ends at Crater Lake, a beautiful alpine lake that’s perfect for a picnic lunch.
What Else is Around Aspen?
Check out these links you may find helpful:
- Things to do in Aspen
- 11 great coffee shops to try in Aspen
- The 7 best hikes in and around Aspen for summer
- 5 amazing Aspen restaurants
- Where to learn more about Aspen’s history
- The 5 coolest historic attractions in Aspen
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