September 26, 2022

Insider’s Guide: Fall Hiking in Aspen and The Roaring Fork Valley

Insider’s Guide: Fall Hiking in Aspen and The Roaring Fork Valley

In Aspen, fall is one of the most remarkable times of the year. Filled with daily sunshine and nights with crisp cool air, you really can't go wrong with a visit to Aspen during the autumn season. With an abundance of ways to see the fall foliage in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, one of the Gary Feldman Group’s favorite ways is by foot. Make the most of these picturesque views with this guide to fall hiking in The Roaring Fork Valley.


Government Trail

Bike or Hike 6.6 miles on Government Trail. From Snowmass to Aspen, the trail is great for backpacking, camping, and hiking, and it's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring.


American Lake

This 6.8-mile heavily trafficked trail climbs steeply through Aspen groves, forests and meadows to a high mountain lake just below the timberline, offering hikers a good workout and a great way to acclimate to some of the area’s more challenging trails.


Smuggler Trail

One of the most popular recreation areas is Smuggler Mountain Road. Any spring, summer or fall afternoon, Smuggler Mountain Road is busy with Aspenites hiking, running, mountain biking or walking their dogs. Smuggler Road provides a short (1.5 mile) workout with great views of Aspen from the lookout point.


Ute Trail

Ute Trail is a difficult trail you can hike and run that is only a quick trip from downtown. This single-track switchbacks up the mountain to the overlook, 700 vertical feet up, and then continues to the summit of Ajax Mountain. Pack appropriate hiking shoes for this one!


Hunter Creek

The Hunter Creek Loop is 5.5 miles round-trip and is located less than a half mile from the heart of Aspen. The trail starts at 7,850 feet and ascends to 8,800 feet. For a hike so close to the heart of town, Hunter Creek offers incredible views and a great workout. The Hunter Creek Trail is accessible near the Aspen Art Museum off Red Mountain Road.


Sunnyside Trail

Generally considered a challenging route, Sunnyside is a beautiful and rewarding trail up Red Mountain with stunning views of the valley below and Elk Mountain Range peaks. Dogs are welcome and may be off leash in some areas.


The Rio Grande Trail

The Rio Grande Trail begins on Puppy Smith Road and is a manageable hiking and biking trail that extends for miles. With an elevation of just under 8,000 feet and a low level of difficulty, this is one of the less demanding, more rewarding hikes the Aspen area has to offer. 


Red Butte Trail

Located just 2.5 miles from downtown Aspen, the Red Butte Trail offers hikers a quick .6-mile expedition. This single-track trail winds up the geographical uplift known as Red Butte and provides stunning views of the valley.


Experience the variety of vivid colors on the hiking trails surrounding Aspen. Fall is also a great time for buying or selling a home in The Roaring Fork Valley. To find out more about what to see and do, how to put your home on the market, or find the home you have always dreamed of in the area, call 970.948.3737, email [email protected] or visit

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