As lovers of Colorado mountain life, we don’t wait until winter to get our Aspen on. We’re drawn by the promise of crisp air and the alluring patchwork of fall colors, when the leaves of the native Aspen trees turn shades of yellows, golds, and oranges, in beautiful contrast to the swaths of dark green conifers.
Known as the “Quaking Aspen” because its round leaves tremble in the slightest breeze and make a whispering rustle unlike any other sound in the forest, America’s liveliest trees create a stunning autumnal vista. It’s a beautiful send off to summer and a wonderful welcome for the season to come.
Below, our Cuvée-curated favorite spots for drinking in the best of Aspen in Autumn.
Just 10 miles west of Aspen are the most photographed mountains in North America, Maroon Bells, distinctive bell-shaped, wine-colored peaks towering above the glacial Maroon Creek Valley. Locals call the 14,000-foot peaks “fourteeners” or “14-ers,” a reference to the fact that Colorado has 58 mountain peaks at that elevation, the most of any state.
More than 300 million years of geologic activity went into creating the rugged alpine terrain, making for some fantastic backcountry adventures. With six scenic hiking trails at different levels, various camping sites and biking paths, there are many ways to commune with Aspen’s natural habitat, even more bewitching during this season for the sheer beauty of its changing foliage.
If you want to understand the lay of the land, take the popular hiking trail up Smuggler Mountain, where the view from the 1.5-mile observation deck isn’t just inspirational—it’s informational. You can see downtown Aspen and all four Aspen-Snowmass ski resorts, along with the valleys that separate them, as well as glimpses of the iconic peaks that loom behind.
Cuvée-Style: Look to your Cuvée Experience Curator to arrange the excursion, complete with a Go Pro to capture the moment, and a post-hike picnic.
Colorado is known as the epicenter of mountain biking, with superior trails near all the major cities. On weekends through October 2, you and your bike can hitch a ride on the Elk Camp Gondola up Snowmass Mountain to a network of biking trails, each with its own scenic beauty and skill level, including nearly 3,000 vertical feet of specially built purpose-built downhill trail, designed with bikes in mind, incorporating features like rolling terrain, banked turns, and jumps for an epic ride.
The Fryingpan River flows 14 miles from Ruedi Dam to its confluence with the Roaring Fork River, a stretch designated as Gold Medal trout fishery. Here you’ll find wild trout—Browns, Rainbows, Cutthroats and Brookies—in year-round hatches. New anglers can hire a guide to learn how to read the waters as well as casting and fly techniques. But you’re on your own for the tall fish tales!
The Roaring Fork Valley hosts many top-notch golf courses, including several designed by Jack Nicklaus, with a variety of terrain for players of all skill levels. Mid-week tee times are easy to get, and the mellow weather and colorful foliage only enhance the experience.