The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


Five Things to do in the Valley this Summer

Andrea Lee
Two people paddle boarding down the calm water of Stillwater

Every year people in this valley complain about being “stuck in the valley.” However, summer is supposed to be fun and liberating. No one should feel “stuck” where they are. When you love where you live, you will be happier. That’s why I have composed a list of five things you can do in the valley this summer. In 2023 27,000 tourists visited Aspen over the summer. This is the destination for the summer.

  1. Paddleboarding

Stillwater is just a little ways up Independence Pass. If you live in this valley, you probably know or have heard of it. It is a section of the river with a slow flow where you can peacefully explore through wetlands full of wildlife. Activities include paddleboarding, swimming, laying out on the beach, bridge-jumping, and swinging off of the rope swing. If you live further down the valley or you would like to swim in calmer waters, Dinkle Lake is a perfect option. It is a small pond where you can either swim, paddleboard, or enjoy an afternoon picnic. Although there is no bridge or rope swing, it might be a better alternative for people down valley.   

  1. Hiking up to Snowmass Lake.

This challenging yet rewarding hike is a 20.7 mile hike round trip. If you want to complete this hike, make sure you plan on hiking all day. However, reaching Snowmass Lake is definitely worth the effort. The lake has crystal clear blue waters, and the snow-capped mountains are tall and magnificent. Although swimming is allowed, the lake contains snowmelt icy waters that will definitely get you shivering.  Fishing for cutthroat and rainbow trout is also permitted if you have a permit.  

  1. Eating at Red Fox Frozen Yogurt

When it is a hot summer day and you need a sweet treat, pop over to Red Fox Frozen Yogurt. The creamy frozen yogurt has many options and includes customizable toppings.  It is a charming kiosk located next to the Art Tee Gallery and the dancing water fountain. It is only open during the summer from 12:00 am to 9:00 pm.

  1. Listening to Live Music

There are many live music events in Aspen. My favorite live music event is Jazz Aspen. It is arguably one of the best things to do in the valley this summer. Jazz Aspen includes socializing with friends, eating delicious food, taking photos, and singing along to live famous artists. If you are a social butterfly, I definitely recommend it. There are also activities for kids in the Jas Kiddie Corner which features clowns, balloons, face painting and games. The artists playing this year are Brandi Carlile, Sting, Tim McGraw, Lukas Nelson, OneRepublic, The Black Crowes, Michael Marcagi & The War and Treaty.

  1. Camping at Silver Bar Campground

If you are interested in camping, I recommend staying a night or two at the Silver Bar Campground. Get away from ‘the city’ and spend the night in the mountains with friends and family building fires and making s’mores. This is a tent-only campground and sits at over 8500 feet making it a perfect escape from a hot summer day. It is a pretty campground that you can hike to the Maroon bells from and includes breathtaking views.

Summer is a time to explore new options and try new activities. During the school year we are constantly inside. The average American spends 86.9% of their life inside, so make an effort to go outside and enjoy your summer. Exploring these outdoor activities can reduce stress, improve your mood, and connect you to your community. Summer should be fun, so make it fun. Take this summer into your own hands. Make an effort to make this the best summer yet. 

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