The long Labor Day Weekend gives Santa Feans an excuse to get out of town. It is a beautiful ride up US 285 and over Independence Pass; great fun awaits you. Aspen’s main claim to fame is as a ski resort, this historic mountain mining town offers way more than slopes. There are lots of warm-weather outdoor activities too and there are plenty of things for more sedentary visitors, too.
If you have a great sense of adventure, fly the friendly skies in a hot-air balloon. Above it All Balloons was recommended by an Aspen travel pro. The four-season activity goes up just after dawn and offers a bird’s eye view of the mountains and other fabulous scenery. A champagne brunch is served on touch-down.
Shopping is a great sport in Aspen. This small town looks a bit like Rodeo Drive East. The streets are loaded with luxury names: Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Frette’s luxury linens and my personal favorite, Luis Vuitton in case you have a luggage emergency while in town. That these world-famous designers are in a place this size is a testament to the money that comes through this town.
Rafting Labor Day there are still trips on the Colorado River out of Glenwood Springs. Usually ending in late August, due to the abundant rainfall this year they are still running..
Mountain biking is a fun and strenuous activity awaiting you in Aspen. If you don’t have you own bike, you can rent one. Make sure you ask about the best trails for your interests and skill level.
Rock-climbing is another outdoor adventure awaiting you in Aspen. Whether you are a novice or have experience, Aspen Expeditions has a climb for your skill-level.
If you are a real daredevil, try paragliding.
Ride up Aspen Mountain in the Silver Queen Gondola. At the top there are lots of things to do. Dine at the Sundeck Restaurant or take a hike or a nature-walk. The world’s highest disc golf course is on top of the mountain.
Take a drive or a bus (in summer car access is restricted) to Maroon Bells Scenic Area, part of the White River National Forest. The Forest Service’s website calls these mountains the “the most photographed peaks in all of North America”. You can hike, bike, picnic or just sit and enjoy the beauty.
There are lots of lodging and dining options. If you want to see more green and get a different view of the majestic Rockies, a trip to Aspen is a great way to spend the holiday.