Aspen’s smaller and lower-key cousin has really turned up the volume in recent years, adding weekly summer events, concerts, festivals, new lodging and living options and enough to do for families, athletes and art enthusiasts, as well as a literal mountain stacked with food choices for even the most discerning diners.
Nestled in the shadow of the distinctive Mount Daly—the peak’s southwest face features a large diagonal stripe of lighter rock that’s visible even from the center of town—the Town of Snowmass Village has a full calendar of new and returning favorites on tap, with development projects, summer activities and experiences debuting this summer.
A new public art installation debuts down the road in Snowmass Town Park this summer around the art of yarn bombing—or, wrapping colorful-knitted and crocheted pieces to objects in public spaces. Trees and other stationary objects in the Town Park area were selected and are being wrapped in June. The result: a colorful spectacle of yarn-wrapped objects and arbors and a whimsical experience for all. The installation will remain in place throughout the summer season.
The Collective Snowmass, the hub for community activity in Base Village, features a robust lineup of weekly programming, including chess club, comedy nights, bingo nights, art shows, storytelling, educational workshops, salsa dancing, live music and more—you name it. The kid-friendly epicenter also houses yard games, splash pads and other activities on its lawn and an interactive game lounge and selfie den inside.
Don’t miss out on Chef Mawa McQueen’s Latin-inspired Mawita restaurant, which opened in The Collective this winter. Movies Under the Stars, a family favorite event, returns to the lawn on most Saturday nights starting in July. After a successful first go in the winter, The Collective’s Drag Queen Bingo Brunch series rolls into the summer, taking place once a month on Sundays (June 11, July 16, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10). The event, featuring the fabulous Drag Queen Kendra, is $25 for two bingo cards and proceeds benefit AspenOUT, the local nonprofit supporting the Valley’s LGBTQ+ population.
New to the Village Mall, in the former Slow Groovin space, The Tavern—a gastropub featuring live music, trivia nights, nachos and other pub grub—opens its doors in time for Fourth of July festivities. Aurum enters its second season in the Base Village, offering seasonal small and large plates and not-to-be-missed lemon parmesan fries. Classics such as the longtime locals’ hangout spot, The Stew Pot, is the perfect place to plant post-hike for a frosé cocktail and a simple salad or sandwich.
Part leisurely stroll, part scree-filled switchback monster, this trail follows an old irrigation ditch and starts out flat with gentle grades and views of Mount Daly and the Maroon Snowmass Wilderness Area. For hikers looking for a mix of shade and exposed terrain, gentle walk and glute-buster all in one, you’ll get your fix on the Ditch.
A short but sweet route along Brush Creek, the Nature Trail travels through lush riparian zones, wildflower-filled meadows and aspen and conifer stands, providing a small sample of ecosystem types found in the surrounding Rocky Mountains. It’s rated advanced for its technical challenges for mountain bikers but the .85-mile trek is not terribly challenging for hikers.
Do you hike for views? You’ll get this in spades, and a big payoff at the top, hiking this steady switchback traverse. The overlook at Spiral Point offers a 360-degree view of the valleys, reservoir and peaks. The other summit reward is the Yin-Yang platform, where most hikers turn back. If not yet out of steam, continue on the ridgeline to Rim Trail North (South to North is the recommended direction of travel).