In the Aspen valley, there’s plenty to do at any time of year, but September is quite special. Once the summer tourists have departed and before the skiers arrive, you’ve got the perfect opening for a vacation that’s filled with fun, but without the frenzy.
Many of Aspen’s September activities take place on an annual basis; that said, some years experience interruptions in planned events. While our list of September favorites is meant to be a great guide, you’ll want to confirm specific dates and times before cementing your plans.
Aspen September Activities
The Lost Forest in September
You can experience the Lost Forest at Snowmass each weekend (Friday through Sunday) during September, balancing the adrenaline with relaxation due to smaller fall crowds, cooler temps, and calming color changes. You can choose a mellow adventure visiting ponds, creeks, and hiking trails — or chase bigger thrills with the alpine coaster, ropes adventure course, zipline, and a climbing wall.
Snowmass Bike Park
Bring your own mountain bike or rent the latest models at Snowmass Bike Park to experience September’s splendor on singletrack among and around the evergreen forests and aspen groves. You can ride the Elk Camp Gondola with your bike and cover up to 25 miles of downhill biking trails while descending nearly 3000 vertical feet — all the fun with much less effort!
September Birding in Aspen
ACES (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies) offers weekly morning birding sessions led by a guide for those who’re interested in the local seasonal birds. Birders of all levels are invited to attend the sessions at Hallam Lake Nature Preserve (in downtown Aspen) or Rock Bottom Ranch (downvalley in Basalt). Attendance requires advance registration and a $25 fee for non-members. ACES does, of course, welcome new members; membership provides event discounts, as well as support for an organization committed to protecting our natural resources.
September Farm Tours
If you’re curious about local seasonal farming practices, you can head downvalley to Basalt most days of the week to experience a midday farm tour of Rock Bottom Ranch. Learn about the animals and gardens while being introduced to scientific vegetable production and the benefits of a rotational livestock grazing system. Donations are suggested.
Guided Nature Hiking Tours in Aspen
If you’d like to experience September in Aspen through the eyes of a professional naturalist, hiking guides are available by the hour through the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Visit some of the Aspen staples such as Linkins Lake, American Lake, Cathedral Lake, or the Lost Man Loop. Hear local stories and learn the area’s history while enjoying September’s cooler temperatures and changing colors. View the guided hike options on the ACES website.
The Maroon Bells in September
Get yourself a shuttle reservation to visit the Maroon Bells through the Aspen Chamber’s website, and you’ll have a chance to see the Bells in hypercolor. You can reserve a time between 8am and 5pm to arrive at Aspen Highlands and board the RFTA shuttle. Be sure to bring your camera to record the stunning September views of the Bells from Maroon Lake. Another option to extend your experience is to bring a bike along on the shuttle, then pedal your way downhill from the Bells back to Aspen.
Aspen’s September Events
The Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience
Historically, Aspen Snowmass welcomes September with the JAS Labor Day Experience, an annual pop music festival featuring multiple renowned artists which draws close to 10,000 daily spectators. Visit the Labor Day Experience website for event status and information on the official schedules, headliners, and tickets.
September’s Snowmass Balloon Festival
For more than 45 years, locals and visitors to the Aspen valley have enjoyed an eye-catching air show at the Snowmass Balloon Festival each mid-September. September’s Balloon Festival includes hot air balloon launches during three consecutive mornings, and a Friday evening Balloon Night Glow. Check the Aspen Snowmass website for parking information and itineraries.
Most years, between 30 and 50 teams of male and female ruggers from across the country and overseas convene in September for a rugby-filled weekend. play multiple rugby matches on two downtown Aspen pitches over the course of a weekend. Check the Ruggerfest website for event status and updates.
Ask Our Concierge
If you’re staying with Alpine Property and you’re not sure where to start — or how to fully maximize the September memories you make in Aspen Snowmass — we invite you to contact our concierge for personalized recommendations or reservation assistance. We’ll make sure your stay is one to be remembered.