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16 Days in Aspen/Snowmass area and Southwest Colorado

16 Days in Aspen/Snowmass area and Southwest Colorado

May 12th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 108
16 Days in Aspen/Snowmass area and Southwest Colorado

Hi! My wife and I and our 12 and 14 year old boys are going to be in Colorado for about 16 days from June 23 - July 9. The first week we will be staying in Snowmass and the last 9 days or so we want to spend in Southwestern Colorado. We were thinking about staying in Telluride for that last 8 days or so but from reading other posts, it seems that many of you would advise against Telluride for more than a couple days.

We hope to do some white water rafting, possibly horseback riding and a lot of hiking. We would also enjoy visiting pretty little towns and historic sites.

We would love suggestions for:

1. Things not to miss in the Aspen/Snowmass area (especially scenic areas, drives and great day hikes).

2. Where to spend that last 8 - 9 days. We prefer not to move around too much so a place to base from would be ideal.

3. Things not to miss in the areas you recommend in Southwestern Colorado (especially scenic areas, drives and great day hikes).


Steve_P is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,299
You might want to consider Durango for the last 8 days. You could do a day-trip to Telluride/Ouray. Ride the Durango-Silverton Narrow Guage. Visit Mesa Verde. Do some river rafting. Or split the time between Durango and Ouray.
martym is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,493
The Aspen loving folks will jump on me as they have in the past but I don't think that the immediate Aspen area in the summer time would be all that exciting for boys. I think it is a great adult community, the music festival is great, and so is the scenery. Leadville over Independence Pass would be interesting. Rent some bikes and do the Mineral Trail Loop -- I know the boys would love that. The outdoor hot spring pool in Glenwood Springs is unique. And, again, bike the Glenwood Canyon trail next to the Colorado River. Pack a lunch a hike off the canyon trail to Hanging Falls.

I would vote for Durango and at least one over night in Mesa Verde since you are in the area. Still thinks of those two boys after our two sons.
fmpden is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 620
Although I'm much more partial to Aspen in the summer than I am to Vail, I have to agree with fmpden that your two young teen boys may be closing in on boredom after day 2 in Aspen.

If your lodging isn't set in stone yet, I'd suggest considering staying in Glenwood Springs, and making Aspen a day trip. There's a huge hot springs pool and whitewater rafting on the Colorado River right through Glenwood Springs. A bike trip through the 15 miles of Glenwood Canyon would be great too. Take the bikes up the canyon to Grizzly Gulch or Bair Ranch, or even to Dotsero and bike DOWN the canyon - unless of course, you want to bike UP the canyon.

Note that most hiking in Colorado entails a lot of UP to get somewhere....and then a lot of DOWN to get back.

In Aspen, take the shuttle bus up to Maroon Lake. There are some easy hikes around and back of the lake to do. Also, drive up to and over Independence Pass - there may even be some snow left up there.

If the boys like to fish, consider giving them a guide for a day to teach them how to flyfish.
furledleader is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 108
Thanks for your responses and I apologize for not responding back earlier. We were out of the country for a few days and I wasn't able to concentrate on this.

With respect to the Aspen part of the trip, we are tied to this area because we bought the use of a condo in a charity auction. I have been to Aspen over 20 summers with my family so I am somewhat familiar with this area.

For the remaining 8 days or so, we thought the Southwest part would be neat and we'd heard alot about Telluride. It sounds like it would be good to spend some time further south also.

It is also important to note that my wife doesn't like to move around every couple days so we would like to stay 3 - 5 days in a couple places.

The questions I have are:

1. Is Telluride a place we could base from for 4-5 days?

2. If we want to see Mesa Verde and Durango, would it work to base in one place (maybe Durango) to see both?


Steve_P is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,493
The short answer is sure, you can make it work. My personal opinion is that MVerda is best visited by an overnight. Part of the problem is that MV is hard to get to. From the highway you have a slow 15 mile drive into the Park. Be great to get into the park about mid day, stay at FarView overnight, spend most of the next day in the park and then go to Durango that evening. There tours that need reservations generally the day before. Telluride is a ski resort, Not a great deal different from Aspen, Durango is more interesting activity.
fmpden is offline  
May 22nd, 2008, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,390
I agree that Telluride doesn't seem to have enough to offer for more than a couple of days. It's a great town, but Durango is better.
cabovacation is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
As a teenager living in Aspen I know your boys will love spending time here this summer. I agree the hot springs are fun but you should try to checkout the fairy cave too. They're so cool and there are some rides there too. In Aspen you should hike the hunter creek loop and go to the saturday market. They're both fun and beautiful sights. Don't forget to go to boogies, you have to try a milkshake!!!!!! it's too bad you won't be here for the 4th because the parade is great fun! Hike or ride the Gondola up Aspen mountain. Great but kind of hard to hike. Lunch at the Big Wrap is a must for anyone staying in Aspen, but long lines! (It's worth it!!!) Rafting in glenwood is also great fun. have a great time in Aspen!!!!
luvcoco22 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 26
If at all possible you will want to go to Mesa Verde. I would suggest staying 2 nights at Far view lodge. Going through the many ruins is fun for the kids. The lodge, especially if you get a room on the edge of the mesa are great and the restaurant is first class.
algalli is offline  
Jun 8th, 2008, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
I agree with mesa verde!
luvcoco22 is offline  
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