September 28th to 30th Weekend
I hope everyone was able to get out and have a great fall color this year. It certainly was the best weekend of the season in terms and weather and color.
Aspen, CO is one of the places in my bucket list, so it took almost 2 years to plan it. Aspen is beauty is there all over the year, but there are a few months where Aspen adds more beauty to its looks. Especially the ending of September last week and the first two weeks of October. The fall season is one of the most beautiful times to visit Aspen, because of the Aspen Leaf 🍂 🍂 . Aspen Leaf has a distinct look and it not similar to Mapel Leaf. “Aspen leaves are smooth, bright green to yellowish-green, dull underneath until they turn brilliant yellow, gold, orange, or slightly red in the fall. The leave’s small stem (petiole) is flattened along its entire length, perpendicular to the leaf blade.”
Fall is an expensive time to travel especially when you are planning Aspen. It’s better to book the places well in advance, there are few ideas about the places where you can stay. Below are the best cities which you can add to the list of places to stay.
Snowmass Village:- 1st in the list because it is closest to the iconic place Maroon Bells, Aspen Downtown, Independence Pass, Twin Lakes, and Kebler Pass.
Places to stay in Snowmass village:- Airbnb is the best way to hire a condo or apartment for your stay. But you can try some hotels too.
We stayed in Mountain Lodge Stone Bridge Inn ( Highly Recommended)
Aspen Downtown:- Expensive but has a history associated with it.
Must visit places while you stay in Aspen.
- Maroon Bells ***
- Independence Pass ***
- Twin Lakes **
- Boreas Pass **
- Kebler Pass *
- Castle Creek Road *
A few important things to note, Aspen is full of mountain driving which has winding roads, steep inclines road and steep slope roads. So I believe if you hiring a vehicle for the road trip please try to take the 4*4 wheel drive vehicle because some passes will have off-road conditions too.
Chicago to Denver:- Flight
Denver to Aspen:- By Road.
28th September 2019:– Flight from Chicago to Denver, landed around 8PM in Denver. Hired a 4 wheel drive jeep from enterprise on the Denver airport, and then started for Aspen. On the way, we tried to find an Indian restaurant to have dinner, and in Denver, there are many Indian restaurants that have Nepalese cuisine touch. We picked one of the restaurants on the way and started for Aspen. We reached Snowmass village, we were staying in the Stonebridge Inn.
Chicago > Denver > Snowmass Village
29th September 2019:- Plan for the day
Stonebridge Inn >> Aspen Downtown >> Independence Pass >> Twin Lakes >> Boreas Pass >> Stonebridge Inn
Stop 1:- Aspen Downtown – its a surreal place, just park your car in the parking and just walk around. It’s a beautiful small town, with loads of places to see around. There are so many coffee shops and small restaurants in the city. Paradise Bakries & Cafe is must visit the place, must try butter croissant and hazelnut latte. We had breakfast at the cafe and left for Independence Place.
Stop 2:- Independence Pass:- It is an amazing drive to independence pass from Aspen, winding roads with incline, and slope almost 7% some times. Once we reach Independence place the view is breathtaking.
Stop 3:- Twin Lakes – After we spend some quality time in Independence place, we started for Twin Lake. The drive is beautiful it takes you through the country roads and it has some authentic countryside restaurants. Once we reached Twin lakes we have spent loads of time, especially pack the lunch and you can have.
Stop 4:- Boreas Pass – After finishing lunch we started for Boreas pass, Just to add the note that Boreas Pass falls off-road, the road is paved, not tar. And as it’s off-road you need the 4 wheel drive vehicle. And it is a difficult drive. Just be careful.
30th September 2019:- Plan for the day
Stonebridge Inn >> Maroon Bells >> Denver >> Chicago
Final Place:- Maroon Bells – This is the most visited and most clicked place by photographers for landscape photography. Maroon Bells is one of the most captured places of all time, especially for landscape and astronomy photography. Few things to remember if you plan to visit for Maroon Bells.
- There is limited number of parking spots available inside the park near the Maroon Lakes. If you are coming in the weekend to visit make sure you reach the park gate at least by 5:30 AM, or else there is hard to get the parking.
- If the parking is not available then please do drive back to Highlands Park Hotel, and you can take the bus back to the park.
- If you are going early morning please take heavy jackets, because in the autumn time early morning is really cold.