When I was in my mid-twenties (and living in the United Kingdom), the notion of doing a hike as recreational activity was inconceivable. At this stage of life, I enjoyed a sedentary pace, and preferred to frequent trendy bars. Add into the mix bad weather (normally associated with Northern England), and the temptation was easy to resist.
However, as I became older and more health conscious, these type of pursuits became more attractive. In fact, walking has become an integral part of my routine, and it is an essential part of my holidays. Therefore, I absolutely love visiting Aspen during the summer months.
As I have broadly detailed in various other articles about Aspen, the region is an exciting place to visit during any time of the year. Obviously, most people associate the town for its world-class skiing resorts and glamourous après ski. However, this picturesque town situated at high altitude in the Colorado Rocky Mountains has many other energetic activities including a number of phenomenal hikes. To illustrate this point here are some of the best hikes in Aspen.
Smuggler Mountain Trail
Smuggler Mountain Trail is more of a dirt road than a mountain trail. However, the three-mile walk is definitely worth the effort because of the splendid views of downtown Aspen that can be seen from the summit. It also happens to be very conveniently located if time is at a premium.
If you desire a strenuous walk or run after a large breakfast or lunch, then Ute Trail is highly recommended. Even though the track is only three miles long, it is pretty steep and there is also the chance of falling rocks. On the plus side, it is pet-friendly so your canine companion can join you for the excursion.
East Snowmass Trail
During the summer months, once the snow has completed melted, you might seek out a challenging hike in Snowmass Village. East Snowmass trail is 8.5 miles long and is rated as difficult. As well as hiking, the trail is also suitable for horseback riders and happens to be dog-friendly. My advice is to take your camera so that you can take some pictures of the iconic ‘Maroon Bells’.
Capitol Creek Trail
If the weather is nice and you have time to spare, then Capital Creek Trail is definitely worth the commitment. In order to access the trailhead, a decent 4-wheel car is a necessity, as the last mile is literally just a dirt road. Once you arrive, you have the option of either the Capitol Creek Loop, or the longer Capitol Lake Trail.