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Summer Road Trip Guide to Aspen Snowmass

Although Colorado is known for its world class downhill skiing and other winter sports, the hidden gem is the summer. There’s an old saying that captures this perfectly, it goes, “you come for the winter but you stay for the summer” and after vising Aspen Snowmass in the summer, you’ll know why! If you are coming from the front range area there are a few classic summer road trips that end in the summer paradise of Aspen Snowmass, here are our two favorites: 
Glenwood Canyon: This route follows I-70 West up and over Vail pass, through Glenwood Canyon and south via Highway 82. Here are the highlights. 
  • Idaho Springs & Georgetown: Conveniently located just off I-70 Idaho Springs sports the awesome local brewer Tommyknocker and a beautiful main street. Just up the road, Georgetown is the home of the Georgetown Loop Railroad, for $3 you can take the 30-minute rail ride into the mountains! 
  • Vail Pass & Shrine Pass Road: The long winding road up vail pass takes you through beautiful Aspen groves and alpine meadows. For a special treat in July you can exit at the rest area and head up Shrine pass road for a beautiful wild flower display. 
  • Glenwood Canyon & Hanging Lake: Considered the most beautiful part of the drive, Glenwood Canyon sports lush forests hanging from towering cliffs. For an athletic stop head up to Hanging Lake and see this unique and beautiful alpine lake. The hike takes 2-3 hours so be prepared with food and water! 
  • Glenwood Springs, Carbondale & The Roaring Fork Valley: Exit I-70 and head south on State Highway 82. The first town off the highway is Glenwood Springs and it is known for its delightful hot springs located just off the Colorado River. As you head south towards Aspen make sure to stop in Carbondale and enjoy a Fat Belly Burger while you look over Mount Sopris. 
Independence Pass: This route leaves I-70 at exit 195, just before Copper Mountain, and winds its way over Fremont Pass to Leadville, up and over independence pass and then onwards to Aspen. Here are the highlights: 
  • Leadville: Featuring the National Mining Hall of Fame Leadville is a town steeped in Rocky Mountain History. Make sure to enjoy the museum and the view of the spectacular Sawatch Mountain Range. 
  • Twin Lakes & Colorado’s Highest Peak: As you leave Leadville will you shortly come to the two huge Twin Lakes and the small town of Twin Lakes. Over the lakes you will be greeted with a view of Colorado’s highest peaks! Mount Massive, Mount Elbert and La Plata Peak. Take lunch in Twin Lakes or stay overnight and attempt to summit one of the surrounding mountains!
  • Independence Pass: An engineering feat all on its own this hairpin highway will remind you of the tightest, most beautiful roads in the Alps. Independence Pass is hands down a scenic highlight and is even considered one of the most beautiful places in the state of Colorado. Make sure to drive slowly, enjoy the scenery and stop at the very top of the pass to stand on the continental divide! 
Want to come and enjoy these beautiful drives through the Colorado Rocky Mountains? Check out our last-minute lodging deals and ensure you have a place to stay when you arrive in Aspen Snowmass! Booking for later in the summer? Here are some of our favorite options: 
  • Aspen Square Condominium Hotel: This beautiful condominium hotel offers all the amenities of a hotel and a condo. 
  • Annabelle Inn: One of the finer Aspen hotels the Annabelle Inn combines the feel and beauty of a classic mountain chalet with all the modern amenities. 
  • Snowmass Mountain Chalet: The Snowmass Mountain Chalet features a delightful complimentary full hot breakfast and classic resort amenities. 

Call a Local Vacation Expert

Let us do the work for you! Call us at 888.649.5982 - we are happy to help you find the perfect Aspen Snowmass vacation package.