As summer comes to a close, Aspen's lush green leaves will soon show off golden fall hues. With leaf peeping being a favorite autumn pastime of Aspen's visitors and locals alike, we decided to put together a list of our top 5 leaf-peeping spots around town:
1. Maroon Bells - These peaks are the most photographed mountains in North America! Colorful reflections of the Bells off of Maroon Lake are absolutely gorgeous when the surrounding aspen tree leaves change. For the best pictures, we recommend getting up to the Maroon Bells in time for sunrise. Reservations are required this year and can be made online here.
2. Silver Queen Gondola - Take a ride to the top of Aspen Mountain to experience Aspen's fall foliage from a bird's-eye view. If you prefer to hike to the top, the challenging Ute Trail will lead you to stunning views of the Elk Mountain Range.
3. Hunter Creek Valley - Tucked away, yet easily accessible from town, the Hunter Creek Area offers numerous trails for hiking and mountain biking, so you can leaf-peep while enjoying your favorite fall activity. Trails will lead you to pristine creeks, peaceful meadows and mesmerizing aspen groves.
4. Ashcroft/Castle Creek Valley - Get a great workout with event better scenery! Castle Creek provides the sound track to your bike ride among the Aspen Groves. Take a lunch break at Pine Creek Cookhouse for lunch, and finish the journey through a spectacular aspen grove back to Ashcroft.
5. Independence Pass - Independence Pass closes in the winter, so be sure to take advantage of sunny fall days in the area with a scene drive or bike ride up the pass. There are also several hiking trails and recreational areas to enjoy along the way.