Colorado/Sept/Oct. Visit to Colorado
Hi. I have actually received recommendations from you before and we are finally taking our trip to Colorado. We decided to visit the Aspen area based on your suggestions. As of today, we are booked into a hotel for 6 nights in Aspen, using this as our base. My husband can be very antsy and likes to visit a variety of places. I was wondering if we should split our visit and stay in Aspen for part of the trip and somewhere else as well. We like hiking, horse back riding, site seeing, shopping, the usual. What other area would you suggest? BTW, we are leaving on Sept. 26 and returning on Oct. 3. Hope that helps. Thank you so much.
Sorry for the delay in answering--I did not receive the original e-mail........
Honestly, with only 6 days, there is plenty to do in Aspen itself to keep you busy. If you want to explore some other areas that are still day trips, you could head down to Grand Junction (about a 2 hour drive each way) to visit the Colorado National Monument, or you could also taste some Colorado wines at the wineries in Palisade. Of course, you also need to make the drive up to the top of Independence Pass while you are there--the road can be a little scary in spots, but the scenery is amazing, and there is a ghost town near the top.
Glenwood Springs is only 40 miles down the road from Aspen, and there you can soak in the world's largest outdoor hot springs pool, tour some caves, visit Doc Holliday's grave, etc., and you can also ride a bike on the bike path through Glenwood Canyon. Hanging Lake is also a great day hike from the Glenwood Springs area.
Another great day trip would be a ride through the Crystal River Valley to Redstone and Marble along Highway 133 south of Carbondale.
If you do want to other places, at that time of year, I would HIGHLY recommend heading down to Telluride and Durango (if you head down through the Crystal River Valley, you can continue on along that route to get down to the Southwest part of the state). US550 from Ouray (pronounced "your-a") to Durango is consistently rated as one of THE most scenic drives in the US--and you will be out here right at what is usually the peak of our fall colors, so it will be even MORE spectacular than usual. This would definitely not be a day trip from Aspen, so you would want to spend the night in either Durango or Telluride, so that you have enough time to stop, take photos, etc.
Does that help?