Over the last few months, I have become absolutely captivated by Aspen. Most people only associate this amazing city with skiing and celebrity lifestyle. Sure all of this is true, and it is one of the most glamorous locations in the world.
Real estate in this region is phenomenally expensive, and many of the residences are architect designed. However, this former ‘Colorado Silver Boom’ mining camp is steeped in history, and its origins are absolutely fascinating. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to be earning big bucks to vacation here.
As I have mentioned in several other articles, Aspen is an enjoyable place to vacation in all seasons. However, to most people, the first words that normally come to mind are skiing, luxury, glamour, and celebrity. If you are visiting during Winter, you will likely be enjoying snow type activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice climbing. Therefore, you probably will be riding on the Silver Queen Gondola pretty frequently.
Up until the 1940s, Aspen was mainly associated with the ‘Colorado Silver Boom’ of the late 19th century. This all changed when successful Chicago industrialist, Walter Paepcke established the Aspen Skiing Company (as well as many other cultural institutions).
Over the next couple of decades three major ski resort areas opened (Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass), and a completely new era began. Subsequently, the company commemorated its 40th anniversary in 1987, by opening the Silver Queen Gondola. Most impressively, this is the longest single-stage gondola in the entire world.
If you are visiting Aspen during Winter, the Silver Queen Gondola will transport you to the top of Aspen Mountain and give you access to 75 trails. However, if skiing isn’t your thing, then a great option is purchasing a foot pass for $36 (which includes a $10 lunch voucher).
This sounds like an idyllic treat during Summer because you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views from an elevated height of 11,212 feet. At the summit, there is the fantastic Sundeck Restaurant, the world’s highest official disc golf course (Summertime), and a gateway to miles of bicycle/hiking tracks. As an added bonus, animal lover’s can even take their beloved Pets on Gondola cars that are marked with a paw print.