Endless sunshine and outdoor opportunities make Aspen an adventurer’s dream. Throughout the summer and fall, Aspen hosts various outdoor adventure races and events from cycling to high-altitude trail running, as well as sporting events in rugby and volleyball. In addition to the outdoor races and sporting events, there are numerous experiences offered by local guiding services to tailor an Aspen experience completely to guests’ desires. Below are highlights for this summer's races and events:
- Power of Four Mountain Bike Race, Aug. 5 – This unique mountain bike race combines single and double track trails across the four ski areas of Aspen Snowmass into one challenging course. New for 2015, participants will have the option of racing a shorter course that covers only Snowmass and Buttermilk.
- Power of Four Trail 50K, 22K & Vertical K Race, Aug. 5-6 – The Power of Four Trail Race Series offers three different races in Aspen Snowmass including the 50K race, 22K race and the event’s signature race, the challenging 50K Ultra that covers the four Aspen Snowmass mountains.
- Aspen Backcountry Marathon, Aug. 12 – The Aspen Backcountry Marathon route is exclusively on high country dirt trails in the beautiful backcountry with views of the Elk Mountains and the city of Aspen.
- Grand Traverse Mountain Run & Bike, Sept. 2-3 – The fourth annual Grand Traverse Mountain Run & Bike will take place on a fully supported trail from Crested Butte to Aspen, a 40-mile course. Participants may choose to do the race solo or as a team of two. The races will start in downtown Crested Butte on Elk Avenue and finish at the base of Aspen Mountain.
- Golden Leaf Half Marathon, Sept. 23 – Named by Trail Runner as one of “America’s 14 most scenic races”, the Vasque Golden Leaf Half Marathon on Sept. 27 is a race like no other. It gains 970 feet in elevation on a narrow, winding single-track before peaking out at 9,400 feet above sea level.
Aspen Ruggerfest Sept. 14-17 – The 50th annual Aspen Ruggerfest returns to town in September. This is the only all-ages, full-contact rugby tournament in the world, with teams from around the country competing for the championship title.
Motherlode Volleyball Classic Sept. 2017 – Nearly 700 teams from all over the country come to Aspen to compete in the annual Motherlode Volleyball Classic, one of North America’s largest and most popular beach volleyball events.
For a complete calendar listing of races, sporting events, arts and culture performances, and more, visit the online Aspen summer calendar.
Hiring a professional guide from a naturalist to a mountaineer is a great way to quickly and safely gain new skills for outdoor adventures and explore the Aspen area from a new perspective. Aspen has many professional guiding services including the following:
- Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) offers a variety of daily programs including free daily tours at the Maroon Bells, on Aspen Mountain and at Snowmass with an ACES naturalist guide. ACES naturalist guides are also available to hire at a price of $50 per hour for guided, personalized adventures that can be tailored to the groups athletic ability and interests, be it geology, fauna and flora and more. ACES can provide transportation as well as snacks and lunch.
- Professional guiding service Aspen Alpine Guides offers a full roster of year-round mountain guiding adventures as well as technical mountaineering instruction. Their most popular adventures include the “Leave the Boys Behind,” guided 14’er (a peak higher than 14,000 feet) peak climbs and backcountry overnight hut trips.
- Aspen Expeditions offers private and group lessons and courses in mountaineering and rock climbing.
- Water lovers take to the rivers on a variety of equipment including whitewater rafts, kayaks and stand up paddleboard with Aspen Kayak and SUP Academy, Aspen Whitewater Rafting, Blazing Adventures and other local outfitters.