Our Team's Top Leaf-Peeping Drives, Hikes and Sweet Spots

Posted on September 9, 2022 by Chris Klug

Temperatures in Aspen are finally starting to cool from the Indian summer we’ve experienced over the last two weeks, and with the cooling temperatures comes arguably the prettiest time of year in the valley! As locals, we are so lucky to welcome the changing of leaves every year. With how amazing the winters and summers are, we often take the off seasons for granted. It’s good to remind ourselves and acknowledge that people not only travel to Aspen to ski in the winter and hike in the summer but some travel solely to see the mountains in the fall as they catch on fire with vibrant yellows, oranges, reds, and every color in between. This year, we can expect the hills to really light up given the amount of rain we saw this summer. We are already starting to see tinges of yellow at higher altitudes so be ready to get out there over the next 3 weeks to experience the colors in full form. Keep reading for our team’s favorite drives, hikes, and sweet spots to take it all in!

Best Drives

The two most obvious and well-known leaf-peeping drives are up Maroon Creek and Castle Creek. They are easily accessible, not far from town, and almost any vehicle can make it up just fine as the gradient is not steep. These drives are iconic on their own. Add in the fall colors and you’re in for a drive you won’t soon forget! Independence Pass also offers fantastic views and colors, but it is steeper and a bit more treacherous than the previous drives. If heights and steep cliff drop-offs aren’t for you, stick to Maroon and Castle. For those with vehicles equipped to handle an off-road adventure, try Little Annie’s Road up the backside of Aspen Mountain or Express Creek up to Taylor Pass for an exceptionally rocky ride. Worth it for the views, though!

Best Hikes

If you want to hike to some great views points but don’t want to deal with steep grades, difficult terrain, or venturing far from town, try Smuggler Trail to BTS (Behind the Sign) Trail in Hunter Creek or Sunnyside near Cemetery Lane! Both offer gradual and smooth gradients while leading you to some great viewpoints where the Town of Aspen is visible among the colors. For those wanting to get farther from town, American Lake Trail, Capitol Lake Trail, and Crater Lake Trail are some of the most gorgeous yet still easily accessible trails in the Aspen Snowmass area. Seeing the fall colors reflect off the glassy alpine lakes is one of the most beautiful sights our valley has to offer.

Sweet Spots

If multitasking is your thing, it’s hard to beat fly fishing in the gold-medal Frying Pan River while taking in the colors all around. Something about the meditative nature of fly fishing combined with the vibrancy of the trees makes life feel rather surreal as the water rushes past you. On the other hand, if the opposite of multitasking is your thing, enjoy a leisurely ride up Silver Queen Gondola and relax as you soak up the colors surrounding Aspen. However you decide to take it all in, we hope you have a rejuvenating and pleasant start to the off-season. Have fun and stay safe!

Categories: Off Season | Hiking | Outdoors

Staying Busy in the Shoulder Season

Posted on May 6, 2022 by Chris Klug

The spring off-season is always a welcomed time of year after a busy winter. It is a time to reflect on the last 6 months and plan for the next 6 while enjoying some much-needed R&R. However, despite the many restaurant and store closures, there are still plenty of ways to stay busy and entertained this May. See below for a few of our recommendations.

May 7th: Thrift Shop Prom at TACAW - $30/Person

“It’s prom season for everybody! Who are you going to ask to go with you? Who will be the prom queen or king? Get together with your community as we celebrate the prom season to benefit our friends at KDNK. We will offer music from all eras, taking you back in time and even pretending like this is our first prom. DJ The Guest will be spinning the tunes. Don’t have a get up for the prom? No problem, you can stop by select thrift shops in the Roaring Fork Valley and they will have special racks set up with thrift shop attire. We can’t wait to see your outfits! Let’s transform Willits into a prom haven!” -The Arts Campus at Willits

May 8th: Aspen Art Museum Mother’s Day Brunch - $85/Adult, $30/Child under 12

“Treat someone special to a Mother’s Day Brunch at the Aspen Art Museum! Join us at the Rooftop Café from 11 AM–2 PM for a delightful brunch service with an incredible view of Aspen Mountain. Chef Amy has prepared a carefully curated menu that includes a buffet of homemade Belgian waffles, vanilla bean muffins, quiche, and other mouthwatering options, together with bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys. Tables are limited, so be sure to book today!” -Aspen Art Museum

May 21st: 28th Annual Ride for the Pass - $25/Adult, $10/Child under 12 

“The Ride has two finish lines: The first at Weller Lake turnout, just over two miles from the starting line for families and recreational riders, and the second at the Independence ghost town ten miles from the start. All riders doing the ten-mile Independence route are timed and included in the competitive category for their respective age groups; all Weller riders are untimed.  In addition, E-bikes—category 1, pedal assist ONLY—are welcome to ride.  They will be in their own, untimed category, starting 15 minutes after the timed riders, and will NOT be eligible for prizes associated with placing.  Winning times to Independence are usually around 40 minutes, with most riders finishing in less than two hours.” -Independence Pass Foundation


May 28th and 29th: Gary Clark Junior at Belly Up – Starting at $115/Person

Clark is one of today’s best traditional R&B artists and this concert will be one to remember. See a snippet of Clark’s bio below.

“Clark achieved global impact following his first Grammy Award in 2014 winning Best Traditional R&B Performance for the track “Please Come Home” from his Warner Records debut album Blak And Blu, and seemingly never left the road. Throughout 2019 Clark ascended to greater heights with the release of This Land – his third full-length studio album which bowed at #6 on the Billboard Top 200, marking his third consecutive Top 10 debut. The album and single of the same name attracted acclaim from the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and more.” -Belly Up, Aspen

Our team at Klug Properties hopes this off-season treats you well whether you decide to stay busy or enjoy a slower pace of life for a month or two. As always, please reach out with any questions big or small. We hope to see you on the trails soon!


Aspen Colorado - Off Season Approaches

Posted on September 7, 2010 by Chris Klug

September is one of my favorite months of the year. The colors in the weeks ahead should start to turn and make for a spectacular show. The trails and peaks are uncrowded and you can easily get a table at your favorite restaurant. It's starting to get cold in the morning; I'm not sure I'm yet ready for it. Hopefully we will have a prolonged "Indian Summer." Moab is just three hours away if not. I'm looking forward to sneaking in a few weekend Moab trips this fall. Always great ways to recreate in Aspen or close by. Where are the deals? I think with the busy summer wrapping up and off-season approaching the timing is good if you're interested in buying in the Roaring Fork Valley. Some sellers will start to get anxious with less people in town and less showing activity. Interest rates continue to be at historic lows and there are certainly plenty of options for buyers with increased inventory available. I've toured nearly all of the up valley listings this summer and am up to date on what's available. I know where the deals are! That being said there are deals being done and properties selling, more so in Aspen than Down Valley. The West End of Aspen has seen a number of recent closings. Let me know if I can help you find the right home for you in the Roaring Fork Valley or assist in selling your property. Thanks for keeping me in mind when real estate becomes a priority in your life. Enjoy the off-season. Call with any questions about real estate or favorite fall hikes or rides. If you're not currently local, come back and see us soon.





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