Posted on December 3, 2020 by Chris Klug
Happy Ski Season from Aspen Snowmass! Aspen Mountain and Snowmass’s seasons are officially underway. Aspen Highlands will open for the season Saturday, December 12th and Buttermilk will open Friday, December 18th. Aspen Skiing Company has implemented new health and safety protocols, such as mask requirements, social distancing markers, and preferred chairlift and gondola riding. With current Pitkin County Health requirements capping all restaurants to 25% capacity, on-mountain dining is a bit different as well. Read on for a local’s guide to dining on the hill this season.
On-Mountain restaurants, like Sundeck, Elk Camp, and Bumps, fall under the current 25% capacity inside, with minimum 6 foot spacing between tables. 25% may seem small, however, most on mountain restaurants have outdoor dining options for those gorgeous bluebird days. New this year, restaurants operated by Aspen Skiing Company will also feature tents to provide more outdoor seating, ideal for those snowy powder days. There will also be more on-mountain warming huts, like Ruthie’s Restaurant on Aspen Mountain.
Craving that delicious Sundeck double cheeseburger, but nervous to go inside or not sure about table availability? Not to worry, Aspen Snowmass now offers the option to order right off of their mobile app. This option features the main menus at your favorite on-mountain dining spots, as well as a “grab and go” menu option. When you order, you can even set a pick-up time for accurate arrival. You can pick up your order at the designated area outside the restaurant with napkins, condiments and silverware ready to go.
Who doesn’t love gondola and chairlift picnics? If you’re Covid-cautious and want to avoid crowds, bring your sandwich, hot cocoa, and hand sanitizer to the lifts! Fuel up while you go up. Whether you’re diving in on your sandwich on the Elk Camp Gondola, or sipping on hot cocoa on Bell Chair, there are great to-go options in Aspen and Snowmass. Our favorite sandwich and hot drink spot in Snowmass is Fuel, right on the Village Mall. In Aspen, we love Paradise Bakery for hot cocoa, and Big Wrap for gondola grub. Be sure to check out the Pesto Wrapture! For more in-town to-go options, check out eataspen.com
For the latest updates on terrain, chairlifts, and on-mountain dining, check out AspenSnowmass.com or the Aspen Snowmass mobile app. Happy Trails ahead. Pray for Snow!
Posted on July 24, 2020 by Anne Grice, ASID, NKBA
There is nothing better than an inviting outdoor gathering or dining space for entertaining or just relaxing on a summer day. But where to begin?
If you already have an existing deck or patio, it’s a little easier. Make sure to carefully measure and draw it on a plan showing access to your home, any steps, etc.
If you are adding a deck or patio, you may need help from a designer, architect or builder. Once you have the layout on paper, be sure to mark it out on your lawn area to get a feel for the size.
- Make sure any materials or colors coordinate with the paint, stone or other materials on your home.
- Hardscape such as concrete or stone usually look best if it has some curves to it –unless a rectangle works better with your home and landscaping.
- ALWAYS get large and multiple samples to view with your home’s existing finishes
- This is very similar to your indoor dining layouts – allow 30” behind chairs
- Make sure chairs are comfortable – this becomes a hangout space as well
- Umbrellas – there are some great cantilevered umbrellas from Treasure Garden and Tucci that are easy to turn and tilt as needed for great shade. They make heavier ones (on wheels too) if you are in a high wind area.
- Table – think about the material. I don’t love the ones that have open metal work – what happens when you spill? And they aren’t so easy to clean, either! Textured tempered glass within a metal frame is my favorite.
Make your layout work with your space. This area has a low wall surrounding it. The umbrella rotates to work perfectly with the table without impeding the view. | Anne Grice Interiors
Firepit or Chat Area
- I love a round seating arrangement – great for conversation
- You can get a portable gas firepit (the canister is hidden) in many styles now
- If you don’t want or need a fire, you can have a low cocktail or “chat” table in the center
- Chairs should be more lounge type. Swivel and or tilt is nice. Not too low if you have a higher firepit.
- Cushioned chairs can be great for an area like this. Make sure they are made with outdoor filler and outdoor fabric. Higher priced ones actually drain and will not mold or mildew.
These Brown Jordan Parkway Lounge chairs make a great “chat” area. | Anne Grice Interiors
Low walls or Benches
- If your layout lends itself to low walls – this can be a great feature and you can incorporate built-in planters and/or benches here. Adding a cushion to your built-in benches adds comfort and an opportunity for color and texture.
If you have the space and the budget – an outdoor kitchen is a fantastic amenity that you, your family and friend will enjoy for years.
- Layout is important.
- Select your appliances first. There are some wonderful built-in grills and cooktops for outdoors.
- Make sure you think frost proof for any refrigeration in a climate that freezes in winter
- A pizza oven can be a fun and functional focal point for your outdoor kitchen. They can be contemporary or traditional like the one below.
This patio incorporates an outdoor kitchen with pizza oven, firepit, bench seating and dining | Anne Grice Interiors, Viking Construction, Johannsson Architects.
- Think investment, not expense. Quality outdoor furnishings can and should last for decades. Go with reputable companies or use a designer that knows quality.
- Materials are important – Teak can last for years but requires almost yearly (and costly) maintenance to maintain its color. Otherwise it looks very gray like an old park bench. All-weather wicker is great for pool or beachside.
- Weight of pieces – do you want to be able to move pieces around? Teak is heavy. Many chaise lounges have wheels. Aluminum is a quality choice and comes in many finishes.
The strong lines of this Sutherland Beachside Swivel Lounge Chair work great in larger areas.|David Sutherland
- Do you want to be able to lounge or nap? Chaise lounges with cushions are the ultimate luxury! You can also consider a hammock (these can be freestanding, too) or sofa.
- If your space is large, sectionals are great outdoor pieces.
This Sutherland Beachside sectional is not only a striking design but extremely comfortable.|David Sutherland
Faux wicker is a great waterside option. This MU modular lounge from Dedon is a lasting choice for chill-out. | Dedon
- Sling or cushions? Sling fabrics are durable, comfortable and quick drying. Cushions allow more options in outdoor fabric and are the ultimate in comfort.
This Tropitone KOR Relaxed Sling chair is a great quick-drying option for dining poolside or in an uncovered area. |Tropitone
- There are many options for outdoor rugs. These are great to add comfort and color or if you have an unattractive deck or patio finish.
- Fabrics – there are so many choices now. Be sure to go with fade proof, durable and easy to clean choices. Most can be cleaned with a bleach solution.
- Umbrellas – there are so many sizes and shapes now.
This Treasure Garden 10’ x 13’ Umbrella swivels, tilts and covers even a large furniture arrangement. |Treasure Garden
- Covers – don’t forget the covers! Much more convenient than taking in cushions. These keep the fabrics clean and extend the life.
- Lighting – an important part of any outdoor space
- Plants – decorative containers come in many styles. Make sure the style you go with works with your architecture.
Anne Grice is a residential designer based in Aspen, Colorado. Anne believes luxury is in the details and that good design should be lasting. Her firm, Anne Grice Interiors, located in Aspen, CO is in their 24th year and has won numerous awards from ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) and others in almost every category. They do work all over the US. Anne can be reached at email@example.com.
Posted on July 16, 2020 by Emilee Kelloff
This is one of the most well known trails near Aspen, and for good reason. At 3 miles roundtrip and with an elevation gain of 800 feet, this trail is a good hike for beginners and experts alike. Take in breathtaking views of Aspen from the Smuggler Mountain Overlook.
Sunnyside Trail is a moderate hike with rewarding views of Aspen, the surrounding ski areas, and the many peaks of the Roaring Fork Valley. At 4.8 miles roundtrip and 1,700 feet of elevation gain, this hike requires some planning and commitment, but is extremely rewarding.
Photo: Smuggler Trail
If you’re ready to break out your road bike and take down some miles, then the Rio Grande Trail is just the trail to be on. Stretching 42 miles of paved path from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, this trail is not only a great ride, but a great way to see every part of the valley.
The Snowmass Bike Park was designed with every level of biker in mind. With over 3,000 vertical feet of designated downhill trails, this park is a mountain bikers’ dream. The Roaring Fork Valley was recently named an IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center, one of only seven in the world.
Photo: Snowmass Bike Park
With Gold Medal Waters designation, easy access, stunning views and a wide variety of fish, the Frying Pan River is one of the premier fishing locations in the country. Located east of Aspen in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness, it is easy to get to and its convenient location makes it easy to check out other nearby rivers and lakes.
Less than 2 miles from the town of Aspen, Maroon Creek is a great option for a short excursion or an all day affair. With a good variety of fish and stunning scenery, this spot is hard to beat.
Don’t forget to get your Colorado Fishing License before casting any lines in Colorado water.
Photo: Fishing on the Frying Pan River
Rafting/Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP)
For an adventurous, rapid-filled day or a lazy float down the river, The Roaring Fork River has it all. Hop on your SUP or strap into your raft, this river will not disappoint. A great way to take in the Roaring Fork Valley while adding some adventure to your day.
Just 14 miles from Basalt, this expansive reservoir offers plenty of water sport activities. From speed boats and jet skis, to SUPs and canoes, this reservoir is a great day activity for everyone.
Photo: Kayaking on the Roaring Fork River
Located just a short drive from Aspen, this campsite offers great scenery, sounds of the nearby Maroon Creek and great privacy. Hop on the nearby trails for a day of hiking or horseback riding or fish the Maroon Creek.
In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, White River National Forest offers endless serenity and adventure. With eight wilderness areas and 10 peaks surpassing 14,000 feet in elevation, the lush forest is filled with scenic, winding rivers and beautiful wildlife.
Posted on July 3, 2020 by Chris Klug
Happy Fourth of July Weekend from Aspen Snowmass! We are so excited to celebrate our nation’s birthday this weekend. Even though the Old Fashioned Fourth of July Parade, Boogies Buddy Race, and fireworks are cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are plenty of ways to celebrate virtually and socially distanced with the same Aspen flare. Read on to hear about all of the exciting events!
The Buddy Program's annual Buddy Race is normally a downtown Aspen 5K race held on the morning of the Fourth of July. The event also includes a 1-mile family and dog friendly walk/run. This year’s race has gone virtual! Participants can join the Buddy Program from the treadmill, trail or sidewalk and run the 1 mile, 5K, or 5 mile race wherever they are from June 27th to July 4th. For registration and more information, please visit buddyprogram.org
Without the annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July Parade making its way through downtown Aspen during the day, you might think there would be a lack of patriotic spirit. However, there is plenty of celebration in the downtown core! The Aspen Chamber invited local businesses to decorate their windows and storefronts in patriotic fashion. This Independence Day, tour downtown Aspen to view all of the window displays.
If you’re not in Aspen for this holiday, but are craving some classic Aspen, check out the Aspen Music School and Festival free virtual patriotic concert. The Festival and School cancelled their summer season earlier this year. To make up for what would have been, there will be a rebroadcast of past Fourth of July concerts with the Aspen Festival Band. The celebration will begin promptly at 4pm mountain time. To stream for free, go to aspenmusicfestival.com
Have a happy, safe, and healthy Fourth of July weekend, wherever you are celebrating!
Posted on June 18, 2020 by Chris Klug
Happy Father’s Day Weekend from Aspen Snowmass! The official calendar start to summer is this weekend, and we couldn’t be more excited. This weekend also marks the opening of Snowmass Village for the summer season. The Elk Camp Gondola opens this Sunday, June 21st at 10am for summer service. Snowmass is known for its amazing winter resort and family-friendly atmosphere. During the summer, it is a mountain paradise, and still maintains the family-friendly atmosphere. Read on for all things summer in Snowmass!
Hiking is a favorite activity among locals and visitors alike. There are many trails in and around Snowmass Village, and quite a few are on Snowmass Mountain. Hike up the mountain, and take the Elk Camp Gondola down. Or take the Elk Camp Gondola up to explore even more trails. If you’re new to the area, book a local hiking expert for either a half or full day of exploring the Snowmass Rocky Mountains.
Biking has recently become one of the more popular summer activities. The Roaring Fork Valley is designated IMBA Gold Level Ride Center. There are only 7 of this kind in the world, and the only one in Colorado. Snowmass Bike Park is included in this, and offers something for every type of downhill mountain biker. There is over 3,000 vertical feet of trails. The Elk Camp chairlift is also open to hikers and bikers alike during the summer to easily access even more terrain to experience.
Instead of Farm-to-Table Tuesdays at Elk Camp Restaurant, Snowmass is offering Bonus Nights on Tuesday nights. This weekly will include a complimentary ride on the Elk Camp Gondola, Lost Forest activities (including the popular Breathtaker Alpine Coaster), Bike Night in the Snowmass Bike Park, as well as dining services and live music at Elk Camp Restaurant. There will only be seven Bonus Nights this summer, so plan accordingly for a memorable Tuesday night in the mountains.
For more details on any of these offerings, tickets, passes, and information on the COVID-19 policies, please go to aspensnowmass.com/our-mountains/snowmass/summer. Have a great weekend, and Happy Father’s Day!
Posted on June 12, 2020 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! What a beautiful summer day we are having here. It certainly is quite the difference from earlier this week. We received about five inches of fresh snow on Monday night. Everything has melted away, and the trees are now super lush throughout the valley. The Food and Wine Classic is typically the start to summer in Aspen, but this year with the pandemic, The Silver Queen Gondola opening for summer activities feels like the official start to summer.
Aspen Mountain opens for summer service today, Friday June 12th beginning at 10am until 4pm. Passengers are required to wear masks upon entering and exiting the gondola. Lift tickets are also required. The Sundeck restaurant is open for summer dining service, with food and drinks specials Friday through Sunday. For more information, please visit www.aspensnowmass.com
The Elk Camp Gondola in Snowmass is opening for summer service next week, June 21st. This service runs through September. Snowmass summer operations offer bike trails, hiking trails, the Alpine Coaster, The Lost Forest, ropes course, climbing wall, Elk Camp restaurant, and amazing views, of course. Check out the farm-to-table dinners on Tuesday nights. Check out www.aspensnowmass.com/snowmass for all of the summer offerings in Snowmass Village.
Summer in Aspen is definitely different this year without music. With Jazz Aspen Snowmass and Aspen Music Festival being cancelled, it may feel like a quiet summer in town. Luckily, Aspen Skiing Company is hoping to bring back Bluegrass Sundays at the Sundeck upon completion of construction, and as public health orders allow. For updates, check back in with our blog or www.aspensnowmass.com.
Have a great weekend, and happy summer! Stay healthy!
Posted on May 29, 2020 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! After a short work week, we are ready for another great weekend. We’ve had gorgeous late spring weather all week, and can’t wait to take advantage of it this weekend. Pitkin County has moved onto their next phase of reopening this week. Restaurants can now reopen dine-in service at 50% capacity. Lodging may also open at 50% capacity. After a day on the trails hiking and biking, an Aspen restaurant with a great patio is a must. Read on for some of our favorite patio dining spots in town!
The longtime local, and visitor, favorite is Red Onion. During the summer months, Red Onion’s patio is the place to be. Enjoy their American classic menu and great drinks on their patio, situated right in the middle of Cooper Avenue mall. This is the ideal hot spot to be on a late summer afternoon.
Another favorite is Mi Chola on the corner of Main Street and Mill Street. This local watering has been a Mexican spot for decades. The newest incarnation has a funky vibe, delicious Mexican food, and an awesome patio. Mi Chola is a great lunch spot for patio dining, people watching, delicious nachos, and of course, margaritas for the adults. Do not miss out on their Strawberry or Prickly Pear margaritas. It’s heavenly after a long hike in the mountains.
Aspen’s Restaurant Row, located on Hopkins Avenue, is always a popular spot no matter what season it is. In the summer, there is plenty of patio dining. One of our favorite spots is Meat and Cheese. This restaurant also has a farm shop, as well as a fabulous patio. Spots on the patio are coveted all summer long, however, Meat and Cheese does not accept reservations. Do not miss out on their delicious Rotisserie Chicken Board and craft cocktails.
For more information on these restaurants, and up-to-date information on all Aspen Restaurants, go to eataspen.com. Have a great weekend!
Posted on May 22, 2020 by Erik Weinbrecht
Spring is in full effect in the northern hemisphere and as restrictions on some outdoor spaces begin to lift, here are five ways you can enjoy some much-needed sunshine and fresh air while practicing safe social distancing guidelines.
First and foremost, take care of yourself and the members of your household. While some of the heavier restrictions are being lifted, it’s still important to make sure that you stay up to date with CDC guidelines and ensure that you’re washing your hands frequently and wearing a face covering when in public spaces – even while outside.
Just Get Outside
It’s no secret that sunshine offers many health benefits – the good news is that you don’t have to go far to get it. Carve out a part of each day to get outside, even if it’s an hour on your patio, yard or doorstep to get that all-important boost of vitamin D. Enjoying the sunshine doesn’t have to be complicated; if social distancing guidelines in your area permit, take a walk by yourself or with members of your household.
Camping in Your Backyard
You can take your family on a camping adventure in your own backyard. Set up a tent, have a bonfire, roast some marshmallows and tell campfire stories. Try leaving cellphones and other electronics in the house for a truly authentic camping experience.
Go for a Hike
Some trails and parks are beginning to reopen their gates, which means you can lace up your hiking boots and get back into nature. The National Recreation and Park Association offers some guidance like warning other trail users of your presence, allowing proper space or stepping off trails as you pass others, and keeping the recommended distance at all times.
A Bicycle Built for You
Similar to hiking or going for a walk, you can get on your bike and go for a ride alone or with members of your household. It’s important to avoid congested routes so consider riding at off-peak hours, try new paths, and don’t be discouraged if you have to alter your route to find a less crowded path.
Posted on May 15, 2020 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! With gorgeous weather in the forecast, we are ready for the weekend. Aspen Snowmass moved to a Safer-at-Home order this week. With restrictions being lifted and a reopening plan in place, there is a lot of excitement for the upcoming summer season. Large events may be cancelled, but summer is not. Read on for some exciting summer activities that are still happening in Aspen Snowmass.
Biking is a summer favorite in and around town. Whether you’re looking for an easy cruise or a challenging adventure in the surrounding mountains, there is plenty offered. Bike shops are considered an essential business. If you need to rent, get your season tune-up, or just ask a few questions, be sure to head into the shops. One summer biking activity that is family friendly is riding the Rio Grande Trail to the Woody Creek Tavern, which is open for take-out only. Biking this trail and taking food to go for a picnic will certainly be a summer must!
Hiking is another summer favorite because it is a great way to get outside, no matter how long you want to be outside. Hiking trails have been very popular lately with nice weather and plenty of time to kill. If you want to hike for a quick hour, or go for an overnight adventure, Aspen and Snowmass offer great trails. A summer favorite is hiking Aspen to Crested Butte, Colorado. While the current reopening plan might not allow for an overnight in Crested Butte, there are plenty of adventures in Aspen, such as the Four Pass Loop and Conundrum Hot Springs.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP boarding has recently become very popular in Aspen Snowmass. As soon as the weather is warm enough, locals and visitors alike head up Independence Pass to Stillwater to float the day away. You can bring your own, or rent SUP boards from local bike and raft shops in town. Another popular SUP destination is Ruedi Reservoir in Basalt, if you’re up for about an hour drive from downtown Aspen.
Summer in the Rockies is magical. This summer might even be more magical with an emphasis on being outside with close friends and family during these strange times. Have a great weekend!
Posted on May 5, 2020 by Chris Klug
Happy Tuesday from Aspen Snowmass! What a gorgeous spring day to celebrate. Whether you partake in the trendy Take Out Tuesday, the delicious Taco Tuesday, and annual favorite Cinco de Mayo! There are plenty of ways to partake in today’s triple threat holiday, while supporting local restaurants and giving yourself a break in the kitchen! Read on for tasty takeout options very close to home.
Aspen local favorite, Mi Chola, is open today from 12-8pm. This Mexican restaurant on Main Street is offering a take-out only option. There is also a walk up window to directly to their bar! Stop by for drinks to go, and delicious Mexican cuisine to go. Absolutely be sure to try their amazing enchiladas. Call ahead for your margaritas and tacos. For more information, go to www.eataspen.com
Snowmass Village’s only Pan-Latin restaurant, Toro located in the Viceroy, has delectable specials to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy tequila lime shrimp tacos, short rib tortellini, tomato basil soup, and/or a tuna melt! Patrons have the option to pick up or delivered. If you are in the Snowmass Village area, Toro will deliver. Visit www.eatsnowmass.com for more information and more daily specials!
If you’re further down the Roaring Fork Valley and hoping to stay closer to home, check out Free Range Kitchen and Wine Bar in Basalt. Their delicious regular menu is always available, but for this holiday, be sure to check out their Cinco de Mayo special! Taco Party for Two is offered for $35 and includes six tacos, fiesta salad, cilantro lime rice, and local black beans. There are four taco options, which offers something for everyone. For more information, and other specials, go to www.freerangebasalt.com
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Happy Taco Tuesday! Happy Takeout Tuesday! Enjoy this triple threat holiday.