Summer Activities in the Roaring Fork Valley
The Roaring Fork Valley is world-famous for its winter recreation. However, in our opinion, it truly shines during the scenic summer months. From Rifle to Aspen, there is no shortage of fun to be had and places to be explored during long summer days.
Although we would love to give you all our summer tips, you probably don’t have time to read a list a mile long. Instead, we’ve distilled them into a local’s guide to summer activities in the Roaring Fork Valley that features the very best of what each town has to offer.
Rifle and New Castle Summer Activities
Visit Rifle Falls State Park
Explore the natural wonder that exists in this stunning green oasis. The falls and the state park are a must see when visiting the area.
Go Camping at Rifle Gap State Park
Break out your tent and a fishing pole, paddle board or boat and head up to Rifle Gap State Park. The park’s reservoir is the ideal place to cool off when things heat up.
Glenwood Springs Summer Activities
Take a Dip in Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
A local favorite for over 130 years, the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is a surprisingly good way to cool off in the summer months despite its name.
Let the Adrenaline Flow at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Take a scenic gondola ride from Glenwood Springs to the only mountain-top theme park in America. Explore an impressive set of caverns and half a dozen thrill rides like the Alpine Coaster, Giant Canyon Swing and Soaring Eagle Zip Ride.
Redstone & Marble Summer Activities
Visit Crystal Mill
Take a trip up past Redstone and Marble to the iconic Crystal Mill (pictured above). You’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to get there or you will need to hike the 8.2 mile out and back from the town of Marble.
Experience Slow Groovin’ BBQ
While this isn’t a list of restaurants to visit, many consider dining at Slow Groovin’ BBQ in Marble an exceptional summer activity all in itself. Get there early because lunch gets seriously busy in the summer months.
Carbondale Summer Activities
Visit The Launch Pad
Carbondale is known throughout the valley for its thriving art scene. Visit the epicenter of it all at the Launch Pad. This gallery always has an impressive exhibition to be taken in.
Climb Mount Sopris
Mount Sopris is the most prominent mountain in the skyline from Basalt to Glenwood Springs. While the view of it from any town in the valley is great, the view from the top is even better. It’s a big 12.9 mile hike and some choose to split it into two days, camping overnight at Thomas Lakes.
Basalt Summer Activities
Fish the Frying Pan River
Known throughout the country for its exceptional fishing, fishing on the Frying Pan is a must for any angler that lives or visits the valley. Even if you aren’t a seasoned angler, one of the local guide services can help you wade into its Gold Medal waters and catch a monster.
Paddleboard on Reudi Reservoir
Sitting above the town of Basalt, Reudi Reservoir is a favorite summertime oasis for locals when things get hot. Connect with local paddleboard maker Shaboomee and book a paddleboard rental to take out on the reservoir.
Snowmass Summer Activities
Explore the Lost Forest
New to the valley, the Lost Forest is a new adventure area at Elk Camp on Snowmass mountain. It has everything from a climbing wall and zipline to an elevated challenge course and alpine coaster. Adventure is guaranteed when visiting the Lost Forest.
Go Downhill Mountain Biking
Rent a bike and ride at Four Mountain Sports in Snowmass and ride the Elk Camp gondola up the mountain. Once you hit the top, zip down trails designed for riders with intermediate to expert skill levels in the Snowmass Bike Park.
Aspen Summer Activities
Ride the Rio Grande Trail to Woody Creek Tavern
Rent a bike from one of the many local bike shops and ride the Rio Grande trail from Aspen down to the Wood Creek Tavern. This great little eatery is a local favorite with a rich history. When you’re done, jump on a bus back to town.
Take a Gondola Ride to the Sundeck
One of the best ways to experience Aspen in the summer is by getting up above it. Jump on the Silver Queen Gondola and zip up to the top of Aspen Mountain where the Sundeck Restaurant and all kinds of family-friendly activities await.
We hope this locals guide to summer activities in the Roaring Fork Valley has inspired you to make some new plans and dream up some new adventures here in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Photo credit: Max and Dee Bernt