Posted on June 17, 2022 by Chris Klug
It’s officially one of the biggest weekends in the culinary and wine world as the Food & Wine Classic is underway in Aspen! When the most famous chefs and winemakers from around the globe commune in one location, scoring tickets is bound to be difficult. Passes have been sold out for weeks leading up to this weekend, but you don’t necessarily need a pass to enjoy town and get some delicious treats and drinks. Here are some ideas for how to spend your weekend.
The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) will be open all weekend featuring their new “Mountain/Time” exhibition exploring the ideas of re-mapping, migration, Indigenous geographies, storytelling and time in themes inspired by the intertwined histories and geographies of the mountains and their ecological systems. Grab a glass of wine from the rooftop café and explore the exhibit for your own personal, air-conditioned wine tasting event.
Kemo Sabe, the little hat store with a huge reputation, will be open all weekend offering drinks and hors d’oeuvres for those shopping and browsing their intimate western collection. If you don’t already have a branded Stetson from Kemo, this is a great weekend to stop in and get one as the sun will only continue to get hotter over the next month.
The Aspen Saturday Market will be open tomorrow morning starting at 8:30am. You may not be able to walk around with wine in-hand, but there is no shortage of food to be had. Our favorites are the pastries from Louis Swiss Bakery and the kettle corn stand!
Views and rooftops more your speed? Stop by the W rooftop for a delicious watermelon mojito and look over the Food and Wine tents as you laugh about having better views!
Lastly, depending on what kind of food you are looking for, almost every restaurant in town offers custom menus featuring fantastic wine pairings this weekend. Finding a table might be difficult at peak hours, but if you look for reservations between standard lunch and dinner times, you can probably find a seat and enjoy the specialty pairings while they last. However you spend your weekend, please be safe and enjoy the start of summer in our special mountain town!
Posted on May 13, 2022 by Chris Klug
Summer is right around the corner! This means there will be events almost every week in Aspen Snowmass ranging from concerts, speakers, races and plenty more. While there won’t be a shortage of things to do, you’ll want to plan ahead for some of the big events that have been staples in our small mountain town for years. If you want to experience an Aspen summer in full form, don’t miss out on the following events.
Aspen Food & Wine Classic – June 17-19 – Tickets Here
The Aspen Food & Wine Classic is the ultimate foodie and oenophile event. For just three days out of the year, the top names in food and beverage gather for this incredible festival. Attendees get to meet celebrity chefs, taste incredible dishes and frequent a mix of more than 80 classes and talks. Currently only wait-list tickets are available, but they typically add more tickets as we get closer to June.
Aspen Ideas Festival – June 25-July 1 – How To Attend
For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been the nation's premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. With topics ranging from sustainability, health, energy, mindfulness, politics and much more, anyone can find speakers and events that interest them. It’s special that we get such a diverse group of intellectuals in our small mountain town. We are very excited to attend!
Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) – September 2-4 – Tickets Here
If you haven’t heard about JAS and you live in the valley, get your head out of the sand! Every summer this is the biggest music event from Aspen to Rifle. Located in Snowmass, JAS has brought names such as B.B. King, The Black Crowes, Steve Miller Band, Hozier, Mumford & Sons, and many more! This year you can see Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Leon Bridges, Little Big Town, Zach Bryan and Black Pumas among others. This is a family friendly event with delicious food, drinks merchandise from local vendors.
Aspen Music Festival – June 30-August 23 – Tickets Here
Founded in 1949, the Aspen Music Festival and School is regarded as one of the top classical music festivals in the United States, noted both for its concert programming and its musical training of mostly young-adult music students. The typical eight-week summer season includes more than 400 classical music events—including concerts by five orchestras, solo and chamber music performances, fully staged opera productions, master classes, lectures, and children’s programming—and brings in 100,000 audience members. You’ll also find music students scattered throughout town as they showcase their talent.
Bonus: Free to Attend: Snowmass Concert Series & Aspen’s Saturday Farmers Market
Starting June 16, Snowmass will be kicking off the much-anticipated FREE summer concert series with band Hot Buttered Rum. These free afternoon concerts are beloved by locals and always deliver. Just be sure to bring an umbrella because it almost always drizzles on Thursdays in the summer. Don’t ask us why! Lastly, the Saturday Farmers Market starts on June 11 and features the best in local food, clothing and wares. Start your Saturday off with a hike up Ute or Smuggler then walk into town to enjoy the market. At least that’s how we prefer to do our Saturday mornings! Happy springtime and we hope to see you soon.
Posted on April 22, 2022 by Chris Klug
Early Season Guide to Mountain Biking in the Valley
This weekend marks the last resort closing day of the 2021-2022 ski season, as Ajax will host closing festivities on Sunday the 24th. As sad as we are about saying goodbye to pow days and bluebird corduroy laps, we welcome the cycling season with open arms! Most upper valley trails remain closed, but there are already plenty of trails to ride in the lower valley. Use this blog post as a cheat sheet for where to ride and when.
In Carbondale, Crown BLM, Lower Prince Creek Trails, Red Hill BLM (aka Mushroom Rock), and some sections of Lorax Trail and Thompson Divide are open for business and have been for about a week. It is fair to expect wet, muddy, icy or snowy conditions on the more shaded areas of the trails, but for those itching to get out there, these trails are waiting for you! Please avoid any soggy trails even if open, so as not to cause trail damage and erosion. We would recommend a climb up Buckhorn to the Traverse or Mushroom Rock to get the rust from last season off and make sure your bike is still working properly.
Closed Until Late May
Sunlight Mountain, Hay Park Trail, Basalt Mountain, Arbaney-Kittle Trail, Sky Mountain Park, and Smuggler Mountain/Hunter Creek all have a May 22nd bike access dates for those who still need a month to mourn the loss of skiing. Snowmass Bike Park, however, typically opens in mid-June. Sorry, park rats, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer than everyone else.
If you can’t wait to get out there but want conditions to settle for a week or two, now is a good time to get your bike tuned and ready for the season. Wait times are already getting up to two weeks out and the season will be in full swing before you know it. It’s also a great time to head to the desert to Fruita, GJ and Moab. Hope to see you on the trails soon!
Posted on June 4, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! Summer is here in the mountains, despite what the calendar might say. Masks ordinances and social distancing requirements have been lifted in Aspen and all of Pitkin County, as of yesterday. Just like all of the weekly changes in health ordinances, the local live music scene has evolved drastically since our last blogpost about live music this summer in Aspen Snowmass. Read on for everything you need to know, with the most recent updates, in local live music!
Weekly live music events will start to happen as soon as next week— yahoo! Snowmass announced in February that there will be no Thursday Night Concert Series this summer due to Covid-19 concerns. However, this decision has been reverted. Snowmass Thursday Night Concert Series will start on Thursday, June 10th and happen every Thursday through August 26th with a Fourth of July bonus concert. The Fanny Hill venue will open at 5:30pm and the shows begin at 6:30pm. Bring a picnic setup, and be sure to support the local food and beverage vendors inside the concert grounds. For lineups, head over to gosnowmass.com.
The Belly Up has been announcing concert dates starting as soon as the end of June. Latest musical acts to adorn the Belly Up calendar include Kygo on the Fourth of July, Eli Young Band, Fisher, Leann Rimes, and local favorite Big Wild. Belly Up will open at 100% capacity with no mask restrictions. However, 80% of the crowd must prove to be fully vaccinated. The other 20% must show a proof of negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the show. For the most up to date announcements on Belly Up’s concert scheduling, head over to their website bellyupaspen.com or check out their social media @bellyupaspen. Be sure to sign up for their newsletters for the best ticket options.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s June Experience is back for 2021. This year’s event will be held from June 24th through June 27th at various locations in downtown Aspen, including The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, Belly Up, and Here House at Local Coffee. VIP Passes and General Admission Passes are currently sold out due to capacity restrictions. Singe admission tickets are still available at jazzaspensnowmass.org. Do not miss out on this event! There will be 18 performers, including The Family Stone, George Porter Jr., The Motet, and Juanito Pascual. Like Belly Up, there will be no mask guidelines. JAS June Experience is one of the summer kickoffs in Aspen for 2021.
Labor Day Weekend is the traditional end of summer, and a fabulous weekend of Live Music in Snowmass Village. Jazz Aspen Snowmass hosts their Labor Day Festival in Snowmass’s Town Park for the entire weekend. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, but all of the musical acts booked for that year committed to performing in 2021. These acts include the one and only Stevie Nicks, Kings of Leon, Eric Church, and Maren Morris. There will be two more acts announced later this summer. Tickets from 2020 will be honored in 2021, but there are still available at axs.com/jasaspen. This is one of our favorite events of the year, so do not miss out!
Have a great weekend! We can’t wait to see you all this summer, and hope to see you at the first Thursday Night Concert on Fanny Hill next week!
Posted on May 21, 2021 by Lilly Thiemann
Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains, residents of the Roaring Fork Valley are particularly in tune with the drastic effects carbon-fueled transportation has on the earth. As a physically active region of the country, the Roaring Fork Valley prides itself its easy accessibility to biking paths, hiking trails, ski runs and bodies of water for swimming, rafting and paddleboarding. The ideal climate during all seasons makes walking and biking to work the standard. For these reasons, most commuters either opt for public transportation or their personal bikes to travel into town each day. But how can we make environmentally-conscious transportation even easier on our residents? Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s sponsorship of the WE-cycle Ride Share Program is here to save the day.
Ernie F., a part-owner of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Real Estate and longtime Aspen community member, described WE-cycle as the perfect transportation solution for a location like the Roaring Fork Valley. The concept of bike sharing in a smaller location came about after witnessing how effective it was in several larger cities and towns. “Aspen has a vehicle congestion and parking problem, so bikes are a logical solution,” Ernie said.
WE-cycle director Mirte Mallory agreed, mentioning how ride share programs “thrive in communities with commercial, activity, and residential centers that are connected with relatively flat and safe bike routes. Aspen’s significant and well-defined bike lanes and routes indicate that bikes are welcome and encouraged. These clear definitions and delineations build confidence in riding.” Road safety and general sanitation are key principles to Mirte and her team. WE-cycle places a massive emphasis on rider safety. “Our riders' health and safety are WE-cycle’s top priority. We are taking extra precautions and steps to keep the bikes and high touch surfaces clean as well as following best practices with our staff procedures. Please join us in following public health guidelines.”
Though COVID-19 is a topic we’d all like to hear and speak about less frequently, it’s important to consider how WE-cycle recognizes and addresses issues related to it. “COVID-19 has forced all of us to change our behaviors and adapt in new and unexpected ways. We’re discovering new ways to enjoy the outdoors and often spending more time outdoors,” Mirte continued. “Bike share is a great way to alternate how you get around town, and is a socially distanced, outdoor and healthy mode of travel.”
Ernie identified another positive byproduct of WE-cycle’s existence: “For commuting to work, joy riding or hopping from place to place, this is a great solution. Imagine 50% fewer cars in town, and 50% of transportation occurring on bikes! Fantastic!” Locals are notoriously disturbed by personal vehicle use in the small towns of the Roaring Fork Valley, where resources are in close, walkable proximity. The use of this ride share program offers free, convenient access to those who do not truly need to be operating a vehicle.
Mirte concurred, mentioning the included convenience of operating on your own schedule, “From a local and commuter perspective, WE-cycle provides a fast, efficient, and often the most direct route from where one is to where one wants to be. It complements the bus routes and can be used on one’s own time, one’s own schedule, and one’s own route.”
Given the frequent tourism in the Roaring Fork Valley, Mirte believes this program will support this crowd as well. “The program gives visitors a genuine taste of a local’s experience. We hear from riders that they have seen a similar program in their city or in places they have visited and been intrigued to use it, but hesitant given the traffic. Aspen offers a calmer environment to try riding a bike for travel rather than purely recreational purposes.”
While traffic and the lack of parking are certainly an annoyance that this program can help reduce, the true mission of WE-cycle is to assist in alleviating the environmental impact of carbon-fueled transportation. “Wasteful, short trips in and out of town, fumes, and pollution are reasons this program is so vital to the Roaring Fork community,” Ernie said. “Once people start using bikes, they get hooked, and it becomes a mainstay for short distance transportation.” Mirte insightfully offered that “often, people discover a freedom and independence in getting around town by bike and using bike share in Aspen becomes a catalyst for using similar resources or even riding a bike more frequently, when they return home.” This reduces the environmental impact of carbon-fueled transportation in the cities where WE-cycle is provided, as well as in the hometowns of visitors.
WE-cycle offers traditional, pedal-powered bikes, as well as a new addition of electric powered e-bikes. Whether you’re seeking a good old-fashioned, calorie-burning ride or some technologically-engineered assistance in the altitude, WE-cycle has you covered. Ernie had some insights regarding the new addition of e-bikes: “biking in the Roaring Fork Valley is seeing a huge increase recently in part due to e-bikes.” Residents and visitors are more apt to use a WE-cycle bike now since they have options in their form of transportation. “Locals love WE-cycle for convenience, no parking fees and tremendous cost savings.” Signing up is easy and fast! Download the Transit app and create an account. “Once signed up,” says Mirte, “WE-cycle will be there for you when you need a spontaneous ride to get to a meeting, to a meal, or to squeeze in an errand. Think of WE-cycle as a bike waiting at your beck and call.
For those concerned about the competition WE-cycle could provide to the local small businesses which offer bike rentals and cycling paraphernalia, Mirte assures that “WE-cycle is designed to complement not compete with the bike rental shops. The pricing structure is designed to incentivize short in and around trips and to discourage longer recreational type rides. WE-cycle promotes the local bike shops on system maps and encourages anyone interested in extended rides to rent a bike!” .
As there are seemingly endless reasons to use this ride sharing system, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty is incredibly proud to be the community sponsor. With the fate of our precious valley in mind, we hope everyone sees and capitalizes upon the benefit of environmental protection, cost savings, convenience and the pure joy of riding a bike! 255 WE-cycle bikes located at 49 stations are available in Aspen, Snowmass and Basalt now through the fall. Do your mental health, your physical fitness, and your planet Earth a favor -- burn carbs, not carbon!
When riding your WE-cycle bike, document your trip on social media and tag us @aspensnowmassSIR with the hashtag #BigBlueGoesGreen!
*Overtime fees for rides over 30 minutes: silver pedal bikes: $0.50/min | blue e-bikes: $5.00/min
Sign up on the app Transit or at we-cycle.org. WE-cycle is here to help you get rolling: 970.205.9222
Posted on May 7, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! It has certainly quieted down this week, and it really feels like spring in the mountains. We received some fresh snow earlier this week, and are headed towards a sunny, bluebird weekend. Classic Colorado Spring! With summer on the horizon, we can’t help but look forward to activities and events we’ve been missing for over a year now. One of those is live music. Read on for everything you need to know about live music in Aspen Snowmass this summer!
Weekly live music events will start to happen as soon as July. Snowmass announced in February that there will be no Thursday Night Concert Series this summer due to Covid-19 concerns. However, the Belly Up has been announcing concert dates starting as soon as July 1st. Musical acts include deadmau5, Louis the Child, Melissa Ethridge, and The Beach Boys. For the most up to date announcements on Belly Up’s concert scheduling, head over to their website bellyupaspen.com
Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s June Experience is back for 2021. This year’s event will be held from June 24th through June 27th at various locations in downtown Aspen, including The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, and Here House at Local Coffee. VIP Passes and General Admission Passes are currently sold out due to capacity restrictions. Singe admission tickets are still available at jazzaspensnowmass.org. Do not miss out on this event! There will be 18 performers, including The Family Stone, George Porter Jr., The Motet, and Juanito Pascual. JAS June Experience is the summer kickoff in Aspen for 2021.
Labor Day Weekend is the traditional end of summer, and a fabulous weekend of Live Music in Snowmass Village. Jazz Aspen Snowmass hosts their Labor Day Festival in Snowmass’s Town Park for the entire weekend. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, but all of the musical acts booked for that year committed to performing in 2021. These acts include the one and only Stevie Nicks, Kings of Leon, Eric Church, and Maren Morris. There will be two more acts announced later this summer. Tickets from 2019 will be honored in 2021, but there are still available at axs.com/jasaspen. This is one of our favorite events of the year, so do not miss out!
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 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!