Plan Your Trip

Aspen is a great little city, and you’ll have so many options for entertainment or leisure that you may want to plan your trip in advance. Four airports regularly service the area, and shuttle and rental car options are easily available.

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association is the place to go to check out what’s going on in town, and Stay Aspen Snowmass will offer you great deals on hotels and packages. And of course, we at the Wheeler are always willing to help with your cultural planning, so call or email us!

Once You’re Here

Aspen is one of the most visitor-friendly towns going, and local residents are always happy to give directions, recommendations, or even a short history lecture if you ask them. Our local Chamber has information stations in Rio Grande Place, at the Wheeler, and on the Cooper Street Mall, as well as at the airport, all staffed with people anxious to help. We’re very proud of our beautiful mountain town and love to show it off!

There are some true “intersection points” in Aspen, so if you want to be in the thick of All Things Aspen, make sure to visit Victoria’s on the Mill Street Mall for coffee, Explore Books on Main Street for a little browsing, or Paradise Bakery at Galena and Cooper for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon treat. In summer, there’s free music throughout the downtown. Enjoy the dancing fountains right across from the Wheeler Opera House. It’s all good, and it’s all Aspen.

If you’re in the mood for a good walk, the Rio Grande trail and bike path runs from just below Clark’s Market all the way to Basalt – walk or ride as much or as little as you’d like. For a more vertical climb, the Hunter Creek Trail is located just off Lone Pine Road on the north side of the bridge. Take Mill Street down to the river and across, bear left as it forks, and then right onto Lone Pine Road. Look for the trailhead on the left just past Hunter Longhouse. For the Smuggler Trail, bear right as Mill Street forks just past Aspen Art Museum and continue up the hill. You’ll have plenty of new friends and neighbors to help you find your way for any of these great in-town walks.

Local Climate

During the winter months, daytime highs might reach only 30 degrees Fahrenheit, but our proximity to the sun coupled with our “rare air” and abundant reflective snow call for “layering” clothes. Several lighter layers that can be taken off and put back on are the best way to dress for winter. Nighttime temperatures can drop below zero. Snowfall might vary from year to year.

The average summer daytime temperature is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit; evening lows average between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity is low. Dress in layers, include a jacket for the afternoon shower or after the sun goes down. You won’t regret it!

Mountain weather changes rapidly and often without warning. Although the Aspen area is blessed with copious amounts of wonderfully sunny and warm weather, conditions can change in minutes. Prepare for changing conditions by always carrying layers and a pocket raincoat. And a hat!

Summer and Winter Care

With the high altitude there is less atmosphere to filter out the ultraviolet rays of the sun. In the winter the ultraviolet radiation is increased significantly with the reflection of the sun’s rays off the snow.

  • Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every four hours.
  • Wear a good pair of sunglasses with adequate UV protection – the eyes can burn too.
  • Don’t forget that you’re at risk even if it’s a cloudy day.

Altitude Sickness

Not everyone suffers altitude sickness, but many do. There is 70 – 80% less oxygen and less humidity available at 9,000 feet than at sea level. Symptoms may include: nausea, insomnia, diarrhea, constipation, “gas,” restlessness, shortness of breath, fast heart beat, headache, nasal congestion, cough, and fatigue. The good news is that your body should acclimatize quickly, although some acclimate much more quickly than others. Here’s a checklist for what you can do to minimize your symptoms:

  • Don’t overdo it. Physical exertion will affect your response to altitude. So take it easy for the first day.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, caffeine and salty foods. With alcohol, one drink will hit you like two and a half. Go easy.
  • Eat lightly.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Overexertion and lack of sleep can result in more severe and persistent altitude symptoms.
  • Listen to your body. If you experience any symptoms, decrease your activity.