No matter what your speed, there are some breathtaking walks—one for each day of the week—around Aspen.
Whether a local or a guest, a walk in the woods should be part of the daily regimen. Ah, but where to go? Here are seven suggestions, one for each day of the week. Some are near town, while others are a bit farther afield. Some are perfect for a summer stroll, while others require a full-on commitment. Please, leash your pet and pack out your trash. Above all, take in those staggering views.
The lower trail is the "Rodeo Drive" of Aspen hikes. See and be seen is the mantra for many, but the real scene is the view of town from the platform. Dress like you mean it. Details: 2.7 miles round trip, 800 feet uphill
Tuesday: Lost Man Lake
Head east up Independence Pass for one of the West's best hikes. The perks: high altitude, mountain wildflowers and alpine lakes. It’s a point-to-point trek that requires some planning and will take the better part of a day, so leave early. Details: 8.7 miles round trip, 1,390 feet uphill.
Wednesday: Ute Trail
The Ute puts the switch in switchback. Leave from town, and walk to the trailhead; then it’s a steep mile to the rocky overlook. It’s the one trail you’ll brag to your friends about conquering. Details: 2 miles round trip, 1,000 feet uphill
Thursday: Maroon Lake Loop
The iconic Aspen selfie features you and the Maroon Bells, perhaps the most photographed peaks in America. Take the Upper Loop, a 2-mile visual jaw-dropper, but an easy, reasonably flat hike. Don't mind the tourists; the mountains are the attraction. Oh, and make a reservation. Details: 2 miles round trip, 160 feet uphill
Before and after the lifts close on winter days, this is the domain of the uphillers. But in summertime, it offers a challenging uphill walk with a stunning view as your reward. Leave from the Inn at Aspen or the base of the Tiehack. The trails are tougher than the road, but both will test even the hardiest of hikers. Details: 4.5 miles round trip, 1,800 feet uphill
Saturday: The Red Butte Trail
Perhaps you don’t have much time, but still want a challenge, a high-intensity workout and a killer view? This is your hike. Half a mile up, half a mile down with some very steep rocks along the way. Epic views above the Aspen Golf Course give a different perspective of the valley. Details: 1 mile round trip, 470 feet uphill.
Sunday: Town Walk
What? You’ve worked hard all week, so take a day to stroll through the streets, the nooks and crannies of the downtown core. Shops, coffee houses, fountains and dogs. Maybe the best day of the week.