Aspen Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best Places to Visit in Colorado
Credit

Courtesy of Inc./None

Free Things To Do in Aspen

If you have extra time, John Denver Sanctuary is worthwhile.
  • #2
    Things to do in Aspen
    View all Photos
    #2 in Aspen
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If there's one reason to rent a car in Aspen, it's to take the 20-mile drive through Independence Pass. This scenic road is one of the highest in North America, meandering along the Continental Divide at a whopping 12,095 feet above sea level. Get ready to feel like a daredevil as you navigate tight turns along towering cliffs and through thick forests. When you're ready to stretch your legs, a paved hiking trail leads to a sightseeing platform where far-reaching views of the Continental Divide are sure to make your jaw drop.

    Those who cruised through Independence Pass say the scenery is truly breathtaking, adding that there are spots along the way to stop for a picnic and snap photos. Although travelers agree that a drive down Independence Pass is a must, they also advise that you proceed with caution because of the daunting nature of the narrow, winding road. (Some go as far to say if you are prone to carsickness, this is not a trip for you.) 

  • #5
    Glenwood Springs
    View all Photos
    #5 in Aspen
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    While you'll have no trouble finding ways to fill your time in Aspen proper, you would be remiss if you visited the Roaring Fork Valley and didn't make a stop in Glenwood Springs. Sitting about 40 miles northwest of Aspen along Route 82  near the junction of I-70  Glenwood Springs offers just as many spots to hike as its more popular neighbor, not to mention fishing and whitewater rafting opportunities. The town is also home to an intricate collection of caverns that are worth exploring

    But it's not caves and trails that earn Glenwood Springs a good reputation among travelers in-the-know  it's the town's legendary hot springs. Formerly known by regional Native American tribes as the Yampah Hot Springs, the Hot Springs Pool has been used by Native American tribes for centuries; and the bubbling pools have catered to such legendary clientele as President Theodore Roosevelt, the unsinkable Molly Brown and the notorious Al Capone. Swimmers today mention that a visit to the pools can be pricey (adult rates range from $15 to $22, depending on the season; bring your own towels to save some money). However, the admission fee allows you to stay and soak for as long as you like. Travelers say a soak in the hot springs is quite relaxing and rejuvenating after a few days of skiing; some previous visitors also recommended visiting during the evening for a less crowded experience.

  • #11
    John Denver Sanctuary
    View all Photos
    #11 in Aspen
    Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Anyone who's a fan of John Denver's music knows that the famous singer-songwriter was a big fan of Aspen; he immortalized the town's beauty and character in several of his songs, including his famous "Aspenglow." The town decided to pay tribute to its favorite musician (who died in 1997) with the John Denver Sanctuary, a memorial nestled near the Aspen Art Museum in Rio Grande Park. The memorial is composed of several stone slabs bearing the musician's name and some of his lyrics. Travelers strongly recommend a visit, even if you're not a diehard Denver fan, noting the area's beautiful flower garden and the impressive inscribed boulders.

    The John Denver Sanctuary is always open and admission is free. For more information, visit the Aspen Chamber of Commerce website.

Explore More of Aspen

Recommended

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019

The 16 Best Seattle Tours

Explore the Emerald City's natural beauty and urban offerings with these guided excursions.

Lyn MettlerJune 12, 2019

The 24 Best London Tours

Whether it's your first time in London or you're a repeat visitor, you'll experience a side of the city you've never seen with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJune 6, 2019

The 21 Best Paris Tours

Enhance your visit to the City of Love with one of these top tours.

Claire LawtonJune 5, 2019

The 20 Best New York City Tours

These guided tours help make the most of your time in the Big Apple.

John RodwanJune 4, 2019

The 24 Best Rome Tours

Enjoy the efficiency of an organized tour led by experts who bring Rome's history to life.

Kyle McCarthyMay 31, 2019