As we watch the Aspen leaves turn from green to gold and the ripe fruit of summer’s bounty fall to the ground, we welcome the beginning of autumn in the Roaring Fork Valley. Arguably Aspen’s most stunning season, fall is also the shortest season of the year. While the season often turns to winter with the blink of an eye, there is much to do and see in the brevity of fall. We’ve put together a bucket-list-worthy itinerary of activities to enjoy this fall season as we harmonize with the transition of seasons.
Hit the Road for a Scenic Drive Through Fall Foliage
Enjoy the majesty of fall colors by taking a scenic drive on North America’s highest paved pass, Independence Pass. In just 45 minutes you can reach the top of the pass where the Continental Divide creates a partition in the landscape. Weave through groves of aspen trees and towering peaks on this narrow road to take in the best of Colorado’s fall colors. The pass closes on a tentative basis, typically sometime in October before the weather brings snow to the high peaks, so plan your adventure accordingly.
Independence Pass, Highway 82
Explore a Silver Mining Ghost Town
Before Aspen was a mecca for art, culture, and extreme recreation, it was a landscape belonging to the Ute Indian Tribe and then silver miners. Eleven miles south of Aspen, on Castle Creek Road, stands a handful of the original structures of Ashcroft, a town built and sustained by silver miners in the 1800’s. Now uninhabited and considered a “ghost town,” Ashcroft is a perfect spot to explore on a golden, fall afternoon. The drive alone is worth the journey, as the aspens change color and the road becomes less trafficked by tourism.
Ashcroft Ghost Town, Ashcroft, CO
Take a Seat at Aspen Film’s FILMFEST
Every fall, Aspen Film presents the industry's newest, acclaimed films of the year. Cinephiles and film buffs alike have the opportunity to immerse themselves in top filmmaking from across the globe from September 21st - 26th at Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House, the Metropolitan’s Isis Theater, and the Crystal Theater in Carbondale. FILMFEST audiences are often some of the first in the country to view award-winning films that will continue to tour the globe in independent festivals. To view the festival schedule and purchase tickets, visit their website.
The Historic Wheeler Opera House in Downtown Aspen
Cast a Line on the River
The Roaring Fork Valley is an epicenter of famed trout fishing throughout the year, particularly in the summer months. However, the network of rivers throughout the Valley often flourish during the fall months due to the summer’s mayfly hatch. Wading the river solo or with comrades is an invitation to be present with the natural world around and below you, as the trout swim upstream looking for a feast before the weather shifts. For a weekly fishing report update on the area, please visit the Frying Pan Anglers website. The report is updated every Sunday.
Fishing on the Frying Pan River
Pedal The Rio Grande with WE-Cycle
Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to be a sponsor of WE-Cycle, the Roaring Fork Valley’s community-focused bike share program. This fun, healthy, environmentally-conscious solution to transportation isn’t exclusively for commuting around town. We suggest taking a scenic ride down the Rio Grande Trail, which provides an escape from the hustle and bustle just minutes from downtown Aspen. Perfect for a lunch break ride or a weekend jaunt with the family, WE-Cycle stations can be accessed within minutes from every hub in downtown Aspen. Feeling like going the extra mile? Ride down the Rio Grande Trail to the newly renovated and reimagined Woody Creek Tavern for a casual lunch - where you'll be shaded by colorful autumn leaves and greeted by colorful local characters.
As summer comes to a bittersweet close, we welcome the abundance of fall’s beauty and its opportunity to reset after a busy summer season of work and play. We encourage you to take the extra minute in your day to take in the stunning scenery - after all, it will be dusted with snow before you know it!