Aspen's assorted mix of locals is what contributes to the character and charm of this great town. Christy Mahon is a well known Aspen local and Colorado native who fell in love with climbing and skiing in the valley, but ultimately stayed because of the culture and unique community. Find out more about Christy and her Aspen recommendations below:
ACRA: How would you describe Aspen culture and community?
CM:Aspen is a classic, old-fashioned ski town, which happens to have a pretty incredible history of big ideas and living in the mountains. I think Aspen is a thoughtful place - from the people who live here, to being environmentally aware, to the network of trails, to having an ethos of connecting ‘mind, body, and spirit'.
ACRA: Do you have any favorite summer/fall events to attend in Aspen?
CM: Besides the natural annual event of the Aspen trees turning...
two awesome Colorado trail running races happen in Aspen in September - the Golden Leaf Half Marathon and the Lead King Loop.
Aspen Film Fest at the end of September is a great way to see some of fall's best movie releases, including foreign films and documentaries. Directors, actors, and producers are often there to give the event some fun, film festival flare.
ACES' Harvest Fest on Saturday, October 18th at Rock Bottom Ranch is a true seasonal event for the whole community, including pumpkin carving, apple cider pressing, farm tours, lunch, music, wine & beer.
ACRA: If you could recommend one hike in the Aspen area what would it be and why?
CM:Oh there are so many, but the hike to Willow Lake continues to be one of my favorites. It can be a long day hike but worth the effort and not too hard. The lake is nestled in this stellar alpine valley above tree line and is a great spot for a picnic, tent, or even a launch pad for a hike into another valley.
ACRA:Can you give some tips for those looking to bag their first 14er?
CM:You will have the most fun if you do a little research and pick a peak that's best for you and your ability. To ensure success - build up some experience, be hydrated, take the proper clothes, and study where you are going and what you are doing. Don't forget to take in the scenery, note the surround ecology, and enjoy the feeling of achievement afterwards.
ACRA:What is your idea of the perfect day in Aspen?
CM:Getting out for an all day adventure in the Maroon-Snowmass Wilderness then coming back to town just in time to bask in the late afternoon sun with good food and good friends. If there were more hours in the day, I'd fit in a yoga class and time at the spa!