Silver Queen Gondola

#7 in Best Things To Do in Aspen
Silver Queen Gondola picture
Courtesy of the Colorado Tourism Board

Key Info

520 East Durant Avenue

Details

Recreation, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.1scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The Silver Queen Gondola travels 2.5 miles from the heart of Aspen to the 11,000-foot-high summit of Aspen Mountain. Once you reach the top, there are plenty of opportunities to hike, dine and even take in some live music. A sundeck and eatery greets visitors at the top of the mountain and makes for a great spot to relax, grab a drink or a bite and take photos of the surrounding landscape.

Despite the promise of a fantastic view, some travelers say that gondola tickets are as steep as the incline. (You can save some coin by purchasing your tickets in advance.) Even though the prices are high, travelers agree that a ride on the Silver Queen Gondola is a must for visitors to Aspen, citing the fantastic views and the enjoyable journey up the mountain.

The ride up the mountain takes approximately 20 minutes; once you reach the summit, you'll find a full-service restaurant, several hiking trails and a variety of outdoor activities (including guided nature walks offered by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies). You can catch the Silver Queen Gondola from downtown Aspen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day from June through September in the summer, and during Aspen Mountain's regular operating hours from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the winter. For more information, check out the gondola website.

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#1 Maroon Bells

Rising more than 14,000 feet, these twin peaks are a favorite spot for hikers and wildlife-watchers, boasting beautiful vistas and breathtaking scenery. In fact, Maroon Bells' jagged peaks and multicolored slopes make it one of the most photographed sites in North America. The surrounding area features numerous trails and campsites, granting you a variety of viewing points from which you can capture the perfect shot.

Whether you choose to head toward the summit or to lazily stroll around the beaver-laden Maroon Lake, this is sure to be one of the highlights of your Aspen trip. Recent travelers praise the uninterrupted beauty of this area, calling the Maroon Bells "stunning," "awe-inspiring" and "one of the loveliest places on earth." Some say it's the perfect place for a day of hiking and a picnic lunch. Past hikers recommended getting to the mountains early as the area can get crowded.

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