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The Best Time to Visit Aspen in 2024 | When to Go

The Best Time to Visit Aspen in 2024 | When to Go

What's the best time to visit Aspen?

The best time to visit Aspen is between December and February, when the winter season offers fresh snow for skiing, snowboarding, and other mountain activities. With an average of 200 inches of snowfall annually, these months promise peak skiing conditions and less crowded slopes, especially after the holiday season.

Besides skiing, Aspen offers unique experiences like the silver queen gondola ride for breathtaking views and snowmobiling tours in the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, making it a winter paradise even for non-skiers.

Aspen, Colorado, is known for its rich history. However, the image of this delightful city has drastically changed over the years. This resort town is in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

You’ll find Aspen in the White River National Forest, which is home to the Aspen Skiing Company. It’s widely known as one of the top ski destinations in the world.

But Aspen isn’t only a winter destination. The area is popular during the summer for hiking, biking, and warm-weather outdoor activities.

Aspen gets its name due to the abundance of Aspen trees in the area. These trees are the most widespread tree in North America, known for being part of a cluster of similar trees.

The Rocky Mountain scenery, culinary excellence, and luxury accommodation options ensure that Aspen is the winter vacation of your dreams. But while there’s much to see and do in this winter playground, when’s the best time to visit Aspen? Here’s our take.

Overall Best Time to Visit Aspen

View from the slopes in Winter with few people on the hill during the overall best time to go to Aspen

David A Litman/Shutterstock

The overall best time to visit Aspen is between December and February. The winter months offer you the best chances to hit the slopes because the mountains have fresh snow.

The most popular activities to do in Aspen revolve around the mountains. Whether skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing, Aspen winters are sure not to disappoint. December in Aspen brings an average high temperature of 34F and a low of 10F.

In addition, Aspen gets around 200 inches of snowfall annually to lure winter lovers from across the country. If you’re looking for a quieter winter visit, try booking your trip for January or February. The holiday crowds would’ve left the slopes by then, and there are more manageable prices during that time.

Also, you don’t need to worry about the snow melting because there are optimal ski conditions during February. During January, Aspen welcomes everyone to the X Games. These Games are free to attend for all fans of winter sports.

Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, there are many more activities to do in Aspen during the winter. One of these activities is the silver queen gondola ride.

This gondola ride goes more than 3,000 vertical feet from the base of Aspen Mountain all the way to the top. Anyone who enjoys photography will love the picturesque views from the top of the mountain.

Maroon Bells Scenic Area is another stunning location for anyone who wants to see beautiful landscapes and take memorable photos. This mountain area is secluded and accessible via snowmobiling tours.

Cheapest Time to Visit Aspen

Gorgeous mountain view of a resort with a lap pool outside during the cheapest time to visit Aspen

Aspen, Colorado / USA – April 9, 2016: A view from the end of the “Lap Pool” located at the Aspen Meadows Resort featuring beautiful surrounding/Dstarj/Shutterstock

Typically, the cheapest times to visit Aspen are in the off-season, between September and November, then again in February and April.

During September and October, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that many places are still closed due to the off-season. However, there are still many activities to enjoy.

Also, travel expenses drop nearly 50% during this time of year as there is less demand. The warm weather during the fall is perfect for spending your days outside.

Least Busy Time to Visit Aspen

Gorgeous Spring view of the downtown area looking up into the mountains for a piece on the least busy time to visit Aspen

Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Aspen are during the quietest months between September and November, then again in April through June.

The cheapest and least busy times to visit Aspen are essentially the same months. The least busy time to visit Aspen is known as the off-season.

The off-season is when you see the fewest tourists and visitors due to no snow or skiing happening on the mountain. Also, between April and June, the ground is significantly muddy and not safe for hiking because of the recently melted snow.

If winter isn’t your favorite time of year and you want to relax on your trip, you’ll want to visit Aspen during these quiet months. However, you’ll find more locals around during this time.

Worst Time to Visit Aspen

POV of a person walking across a bridge during the Summer, the worst time to visit Aspen, due to the closed shops and lack of snow

Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

The worst time (not that there’s ever a bad time to visit) to go to Aspen is during the springtime. Typically, between April and June is the worst time to visit Aspen.

Since ski season is over, the permanent residents of Aspen tend to stay indoors. Also, September and October are the worst times to visit Aspen. Normally, everyone that visits Aspen wants to experience the adrenaline on the slopes.

However, it’s much warmer and less populated during September and October. Aspen is known for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.

However, the fall and spring don’t offer many activities for people on vacation. It’s important to know that if you come during the fall or spring, only a few events are going on during that time.

Also, some hotels and restaurants are closed for the season. Some stores in Aspen only sell skiing equipment or winter merchandise, so they’re not open during these quieter months.

Aspen by Month: Climate & Activities

Snowy scene alongside a road with gorgeous yellow trees in the Winter during the best time to visit Aspen

Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock

Still unsure about the best time to visit Aspen? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:

January

Winter temperatures in Aspen range from -9 to -1°C (16-30°F). Revel in world-class skiing and snowboarding across Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. Take a scenic sleigh ride, explore winter trails on snowshoes or cross-country skis, and indulge in the lively après-ski scene in downtown Aspen.

February

Similar to January, February in Aspen maintains cool temperatures between -4 to 1°C (25-34°F). Enjoy the tranquility of the slopes, spot diverse bird species, and take advantage of clear winter skies for stargazing.

March

As spring emerges, temperatures range from -3 to 3°C (27-37°F). Engage in late-season skiing and snowboarding, transition to spring activities like hiking and biking, witness blooming wildflowers, and partake in cultural events such as the Aspen Shortsfest.

April

Spring temperatures in Aspen range from 0 to 7°C (32-45°F). Time time is ideal for enjoying quieter slopes, hiking, and biking trails, witness Aspen’s transition to a springtime atmosphere.

May

In May, Aspen sees temperatures ranging from 3 to 13°C (37-55°F). We suggest exploring scenic trails, reveling in blossoming flowers, and enjoying the town’s cultural offerings.

June

Summer arrives with temperatures between 7 to 18°C (45-64°F). June beckons for hiking, mountain biking, and exploring Maroon Bells. Experience the Aspen Food and Wine Classic and the Ideas Festival.

July

July maintains warm temperatures from 10 to 23°C (50-73°F). This time is perfect for engaging in outdoor activities like river rafting, attending the Aspen Music Festival, and savoring the vibrant atmosphere.

August

In August, temperatures in Aspen range from 10 to 23°C (50-73°F). We love hiking, exploring Maroon Bells, and attending the Aspen Institute Security Forum.

September

As fall begins, temperatures range from 7 to 17°C (45-63°F). Enjoy a pleasant transition with opportunities for hiking, biking, and attending the Aspen Filmfest.

October

October sees temperatures ranging from 1 to 12°C (34-54°F). This month is the perfect time for fall foliage hikes, exploring the town’s art scene..

November

Fall temperatures range from -2 to 8°C (28-46°F). It’s for enjoying the quiet pre-winter atmosphere, exploring art galleries, and preparing for the upcoming ski season.

December

In December, winter returns to Aspen with temperatures ranging from -5 to 3°C (23-37°F). We suggest skiing and snowboarding, attending festive holiday events, and admiring the town adorned with holiday decorations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Crystal Mill Wooden Powerhouse as seen from across the river for a piece on the best time to visit Aspen Colorado

Kris Wiktor/Shutterstock

Do you still need help deciding the best time to visit Aspen? Here are some frequently asked questions about the best time to visit.

Why is Aspen a great place to visit in the winter?

Aspen is a great place to visit in the winter due to its popularity and notoriety as being one of the best places to go skiing or snowboarding. Aspen has four skiing areas that result in 5,300 acres of skiable terrain.

Also, Aspen is known for having impressive dining choices and innovative contemporary art scenes. In addition, there’s lively nightlife in downtown Aspen that people enjoy visiting during the winter.

What are the four Aspen Snowmass Mountains?

The four Aspen Mountains are Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. Aspen Snowmass is the most well-known resort in the area.

It has a few beginner trails, but most of the trails are for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Aspen Mountain, also called Ajax, is for intermediate and expert riders with blue, black, and double-black diamond trails.

The Aspen Highlands has no beginner runs. However, it’s a favorite for locals and visitors looking for a challenging mountain. Buttermilk has the most easily rated trails and is known to be the best for beginners.

Are the roads in Aspen closed in the winter?

Yes, the Colorado Department of Transportation closes multiple roads in and out of Aspen during the winter.

How do you get around Aspen?

Aspen is known to be walkable at most times during the year, but during the winter, it’s cold and uncomfortable to walk around.

Aspen has eight free shuttle routes that operate throughout the day. Many of these shuttles take you to downtown Aspen, mountain entrances, and ski resorts.

What are the best events in Aspen during the winter?

The most popular events in Aspen during the winter are 12 Days of Aspen, Wintersköl, the Winter X Games, and Ullr Nights. There may also be skiing and snowboarding competitions.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Aspen?

It’s safe to say we’ve covered a lot of information in this guide, so let’s remind you of the best time to visit Aspen before you go. Overall, the best time to visit Aspen is December through March.

Winter may not be your favorite time of year, but outdoor activities and attractions are beginning to open for the busy season. This time of year can be crowded, but if you plan your vacation ahead of time, you can find great deals on flights and hotels.

But regardless of which time you choose to visit, you’re sure to be greeted with fresh air, friendly locals, and enough outdoor activities to warrant a return trip. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Aspen today!