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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Aspen in 2024 (Expert Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Aspen in 2024 (Expert Take)

What's the best time to visit Aspen?

The best time to visit Aspen is December to February for skiing with peak snow conditions and vibrant après-ski events like the X Games. Alternatively, June to early September is perfect for non-skiers, featuring hiking, horseback riding, and festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival. Note that both periods see high demand for accommodations so be sure to book early.

Stunning Aspen, nestled high in Colorado’s mountains, is one of the most popular ski resorts in the United States, but it also has opportunities for year-round recreation.

Aspen’s main draw is, of course, skiing, and you can try your hand at the famous powder at several ski areas, such as Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, and Buttermilk. Visit outside of ski season, and you can go on scenic hikes, drives, or horseback rides in areas like Maroon Bells.

After skiing or hiking, relax in the quaint town with a cold glass from Aspen Brewing Company. Many of Aspen’s activities are seasonal, so it’s important to know when to visit. Keep reading to learn more about the best time to visit.

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 best time to visit Aspen is during the peak of ski season, which lasts from December to February. If you don’t like skiing, then come between June and early September.

Since the main draw of visiting Aspen is the opportunity to ski at the many mountains around town, it makes sense to time your visit for the peak of ski season. Winter in Aspen is long, with snowfall from November to early April, giving you plenty of opportunities to enjoy some powder.

We recommend visiting December–February because that is when ski conditions are the best. According to snow forecast averages, December, January, and February have the best conditions.

December has, on average, 14 snowy days with 64 inches of snow. January follows closely behind with 13 snowy days and 56 inches, while February has 13 snowy days as well. Before visiting Aspen, you can always check the exact snow conditions online.

Sites like Aspen Snowmass offer detailed reports for all four mountains and trail conditions, so you know what to expect. Thanks to the plentiful snow, the ski resorts around Aspen are in full swing around this time.

All of the trails, ski lifts, and ski-related businesses are open during this time.

The après-ski atmosphere is also the most fun it gets during the year. The resorts are packed, and there are plenty of parties and events to show you that Aspen isn’t just snowy mountains and pristine nature.

Some of the most popular events include:

However, if you’re not interested in skiing much, then summer (June–early September) is the best time to visit. The summer season in Aspen is glorious.

All the snow has melted, and the mud has dried, meaning that the hiking trails are good to go. Local dude ranches offer horseback riding and other activities. Summer is also the busiest season in terms of festivals in Aspen.

The best events include:

Keep in mind that both summer and winter are popular times to visit Aspen, so expect higher hotel prices and occupancy rates.

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

The cheapest time to visit Aspen is during the spring (March–May), when the area receives the fewest visitors. At the beginning of the spring, from March into early April, you can still ski but pay much less for your accommodations than you would during the peak season.

Aspen has snowy days well into April, and the snowpack at higher altitudes is still in good shape in April. There is a bump in prices around spring break times, but overall, early spring skiing is much more affordable than winter.

In early April, Aspen hotels are heavily discounted. You can find discounts of 30%–40%. Since accommodations are your biggest expense when coming to Aspen, this is a big deal.

Visiting Aspen during the week is generally more affordable. Hotel prices tend to be lower during the week. Lift tickets are also less expensive on weekdays by $15 compared to the weekend.

May is probably the cheapest month to visit Aspen. This is the end of ski season, but the summer high season hasn’t started yet. Hotels in early May offer discounts of 20%–40%.

Many hotels are closed for business during this time, and not all trails are passable due to snowmelt, but it’s a great time to explore the scenery without spending a lot of money.

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

To beat the crowds but still have some good weather, fall (September–November) is the best time to visit Aspen. Fall in Aspen is crisp and cool but beautiful. Average high temperatures in October are 58 degrees Fahrenheit, but already fall below freezing at night.

Thanks to the spectacular fall foliage, the mountains are at their most beautiful. This is a great time for nature lovers to visit. While you will need to bundle up, it’s still great weather for hiking, cycling, and for the brave, even camping.

The first snowfall is usually in mid-October, so trails are passable for most of the season. While spring has fewer visitors in absolute terms, in autumn, you’ll also have many trails to yourself.

Things in the town of Aspen itself are a bit slow during autumn as hotels prepare for the high season, and some businesses may be closed. Locals do their best to liven up the season with festivals, which are even more fun because they draw mostly a local crowd.

Our favorite events include:

Towards the end of the fall season, you can even get the jump on the ski season! The ski season usually opens in the last weeks of November, and you can ski without the worst of the crowds that come later on in the season (just expect a few more people around on opening day).

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 to visit Aspen is during the late spring (mid-April to May) when opportunities for many outdoor activities aren’t the best. Spring is the most unpredictable weather in this part of Colorado.

Even though things begin to warm up during this season, they don’t warm up by much—average high temperatures in April are still just 53 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nighttime temperatures drop below freezing well into May. April and early May have some of the most unpredictable weather in this region. Some days are nice and sunny, followed immediately by snowstorms and temperatures that drop below freezing overnight.

The transitional period is also unpleasant on the mountain. The ski season ends by mid-April, and even before then, conditions on the slopes are unpredictable.

At lower altitudes, snow starts to melt by April, which has the unfortunate effect of turning trails into mud instead of making them passable for hikers. Many businesses also close completely for the season.

That being said, there are some benefits to visiting in the spring, like more affordable prices and fewer crowds. It’s also the best season for cyclists, as roads are cleared of snow but not open to cars yet at high altitudes.

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 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..


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.


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

Here are just a few of the most common questions people have asked about visiting Aspen:

How many days do you need in Aspen?

You should spend at least five days in Aspen if you are on a ski vacation. Even if you’re visiting during the non-ski season, spend at least three days in the town.

What month does Aspen get the most snow?

On average, Aspen gets the most snow in March, which has 13 snow days a month and 71 inches of snowfall. The early spring is a surprisingly good time to go skiing in the area.

Is Aspen expensive to visit?

Aspen is one of the more expensive ski towns to visit. You can save money by visiting during a shoulder season and choosing budget accommodations.

Does Aspen have an off-season?

Aspen has two off-seasons, spring (April–May), and fall (September–November). Expect fewer crowds but beautiful nature.

Is Aspen always cold?

Aspen isn’t always cold, and summer temperatures can reach up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is cold for most of the year.

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

The best time to visit Aspen depends on what activities you want to do. Skiers should come in the peak of winter, from December to February, while hikers and cyclists should visit during the short but pretty summer, from June to August.

So, with so much to see and do and countless amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Aspen has to offer. Happy travels!