When to Go
Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley are a year-round destination. If it's skiing you're after, February and March historically have the best snow (deepest base and most terrain open) plus the warmest winter weather. Aspen summers are legendary for their food, art, and music festivals. Although more than 6,000 locals call Aspen home, the area population swells to more than 14,000 during ski season and to more than 21,000 in summer. June and early July are best for rafting (snowmelt makes for high-octane rapids); most high-country biking and hiking trails are cleared of snowdrift by mid-June, when brilliant wildflowers emerge and remain in bloom through early August. Mid-September brings hotel-room deals, cooler days, photogenic snow dustings on the Maroon Bells, and flame-orange aspen groves.