Originally named Ute City in 1879, Aspen, Colorado has gone from a stronghold of resistance against the Ute Indians to an area that exceeded Leadville in silver mining to a haven for the rich and famous as well as skiers from around the world. Here are just a few ideas for you to consider before you visit.
1. It’s highly likely that you’ll spot a celebrity on the chair lift next to you.
Over the years, Aspen has been a magnet for the rich and famous. Don’t be surprised if you see such people as Johnny Depp, Kevin Costner, or the Kardashians walking down the street or having a drink at the next table. You will also see numerous high powered political figures and business people from around the world from the President of the U.S.A. to a Prince from England. Aspen has been known as the playground for celebrities so keep your eyes open for your favorite personality.
2. People flock to ski these hills for a reason.
You will find four world-class ski resorts around Aspen that include Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Snowmass. The four resorts combined boast over 3,300 acres of skiable terrain on 336 trails that have a total length of more than 150 miles. The terrain at each resort is slightly different with Aspen Highlands for expert bowl skiers; Aspen Mountain is geared towards advanced skiers; Buttermilk is perfect for novice to intermediate skiers and Snowmass is ideal for intermediate skiers.
3. Bring your camera to capture the surrounding landscape.
Aspen offers access to several surrounding wilderness areas which include Maroon Bells-Snowmass, Raggeds, West Elk and Hunter-Fryingpan. There are numerous hiking trails for day use and overnight backpacking trips where you will find solitude while indulging in breathtaking scenery and wildlife. Always remember to Leave No Trace when hiking on one of the nearby trails like the Maroon Creek Trail.
4. Drive the historic byway between Leadville and Aspen.
Originally known as Hunter Pass, Independence Pass is a heart throbbing drive that will take you from Aspen to Twin Lakes. As you drive on this Scenic and Historic Byway, you will reach an elevation of 12,095-feet above sea level while crossing over the Swatch Mountain Range. The incredible panoramic views include high mountain basins surrounded in a mountain backdrop and the wildlife is plentiful from elk to bears to ptarmigan.
5. Aspen is known as a cultural hub for festivals and events.
Whether you are visiting in the winter months or during the summer there are a number of interesting and entertaining festivals as well as events that take place in Aspen. Extreme sport enthusiasts flock to the town during January to watch the acrobatics of the X Games. Music lovers from around the world attend the Aspen Jazz Festival as well as several other musical events in the summer.
6. You can explore Colorado’s mining history.
Aspen was founded during one of the many silver rushes that occurred in the state in the 1880s. Many of these small silver mining towns are ghost towns today. You can take a short drive from Aspen to Ashcroft, Independence or visit the Crystal Mill near Marble.
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