Tons of Aspen Colorado Activities in a Beautiful Little Valley
Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley – a narrow gash of land just west of the Continental Divide – offers an abundance of summer vacation activities.
Carved out of the Elk Mountains on the western edge of the Rockies, the Roaring Fork Valley begins near 11,000-foot Independent Pass, and is shaped by the mighty flow of the Roaring Fork River. Almost the entire valley is cloaked in the evergreens and spindly aspens of the White River National Forest – the most popular forest destination in the nation – according to the United States Forest Service.
There is no question the hottest hiking and backpacking location in the Roaring Fork area is the Maroon Bells area near Snowmass. The Maroon Bells are twin peaks of red mudstone rising to over 14,000 feet. The unusual topography of the area leads to spectacular views. A free shuttle bus runs regularly every hour all through the summer to Maroon Lake, a popular jumping off point with numerous trailheads.
The Maroon Bells also lure campers to the area’s spectacular panoramas. The isolated meadows of a glacial valley with natural, wild pastureland pulls in visitors in droves.
Campers looking to get off the beaten path flock to Carbondale, which looks north to the southern face of Mount Sopris.
Carbondale is seated at the convergence of two of the area’s major rivers. Along with many private sites and RV parks, the Forest Service operates the wonderful campground at Avalanche Creek, which has just 13 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. A minimal fee for overnight stays is charged but the panoramic views from above 7,000 feet, the teeming waters of the creek, ready access to numerous mountain trails, and the relative isolation just ten minutes from town pulls in huge crowds for summer vacation activities in the valley.
Colorado and the federal government also administer and maintain tons of totally free campsites throughout the Roaring Fork Valley; however, little areas of private property dot the landscape so be aware of markings designating private land.
The Ruedi Recreation region, only a few miles from Basalt on the Fryingpan River, includes Ruedi Reservoir. The reservoir is popularsuitable for water-skiing and boating, and the thick pines and aspens shrouding the area provide a wealth of hunting opportunities.
Much of the Roaring Fork River is designated as Gold Medal fishing and there are ample professional fishing guides who know the waters well. The rivers run very high during the spring melt when the snowcaps are transformed into rushing river currents. In the summer, though, the Roaring Fork, Frying Pan, and Crystal Rivers can be waded or float fished.
From Aspen to Glenwood Springs there is no shortage of choices for summer vacation activities. And the choices go far beyond campsites and fishing holes. Kayaking and rafting are also hugely popular in the area.
Consider a Aspen Colorado Vacation for your summer excursion
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