This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Aspen. To help you make friends with Aspen before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Aspen is the county seat of Pitkin County, Colorado. Situated in between the remote convergence of the Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range and the Elk Mountains, it is a quiet and unassuming but altogether popular city that sits atop the mountains' conflux at an elevation of some eight thousand feet above sea level.
Initially founded sometime in the later nineteenth century, when a ground of miners settled near the area in spite of the presence of hostile Native Americans, Aspen was originally called Ute City, in honor of the first inhabitants of the area -- the Ute Tribe of Indians. The small community, wholly reliant upon silver mining, trapping, and general trade, was shortly thereafter renamed Aspen, and remained dependent upon its silver mines as a source of income. This would later spell downfall for the city, when, soon after the city was founded, the silver industry of Aspen collapsed. The city’s financial reputation was salvaged sometime in the later thirties by the enterprising industrialist, Walter Paepcke. Today, Aspen is generally known for its stretch of stores that cater to tourists, and for its famed ski resort located at Aspen Mountain.
Aspen is also famed for its breathtaking scenery, and if you ever pass by Aspen for a vacation, places like the Maroon Bells at the Aspen Highlands boast some of the best scenic trails. For bikers, mountaineers, or hikers, places such as the Rio Grande Trail, Independence Pass at Highway 82, and the John Denver Sanctuary at Rio Grande Trail make for excellent go-to places. For visitors who are after a little art and history, the Wheeler Opera House, the Theatre Aspen, and the Independence Ghost Town should provide just the right dose of history and fine culture. Then of course, there are the innumerable ski resort places that open during the wintertime, with Aspen Mountain’s own historic resort topping the list.
There aren't a lot of hostels in Aspen, but for the gourmand in every traveler, Aspen boasts more than a hundred restaurants, eateries, and pig-out spots, which boast mouth-watering fare at very affordable prices.
For individuals who won’t settle for anything but the best places to crash, there are many accommodation options here that offer excellent services at very affordable prices, including hostels. Because Aspen can become jam-packed -- especially during the holidays and in the wintertime -- booking your Aspen hostel days or even months in advance may be necessary.
Written by local enthusiast for Aspen hostelsAngelica Burrage