Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, far away from overcrowded cities, you’ll find a hidden oasis in the Roaring Fork Valley. People from all over the country flock to this stunning location, where they can have their pick of living in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, or Glenwood Springs. Each of these five communities has its unique charm and environment; there’s something for everyone who wants to experience the Roaring Fork Valley.
The Roaring Fork Valley is very popular with families due to its wide variety of outdoor activities and options to get involved with the community. In the summers, you can get outside and hike along various mountain trails. In the winter, ski the slopes all day long! The outdoor possibilities are limitless. If you’re looking for a quaint, active community that the whole family can enjoy, look no further than the Roaring Fork Valley.
There are so many reasons to love the Roaring Fork Valley, so let’s dive in!
For the small towns in the Roaring Fork Valley, winter is the busiest time of year. People from all over the country come to the valley for its unique and luxurious skiing opportunities. If you happen to live in the Roaring Fork Valley, you are one of the luckiest people in the country, as you get to experience the winters that many people travel hours just to experience. Pack up your car, gather your family, and hit the slopes!
One local favorite ski destination is Aspen Highlands, which features long ridge trails and steep descents. It’s one of the quieter mountains and has a breathtaking summit at 12,392-feet. If you’re bringing the kids along for a day on the slopes, try skiing at Buttermilk. This family-friendly ski resort has hosted the Winter X Games. It regularly hosts special events, snow bike lessons, tubing, ice skating, and various exciting tours that people of all ages can enjoy.
Want an all-day skiing adventure with a lower price tag? Look no further than the Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort, where you will enjoy one of the steepest runs in the state at Heathen Falls and some of the longest trails at around 2 miles.
In the Roaring Fork Valley, you’ll never experience a shortage of ski trails and family fun. Before you go, make sure you’re stocked up on all the right mountain gear. If you need some new equipment, head over to Cripple Creek Backcountry Carbondale or Bristlecone Mountain Sports, or Sunlight Bike & Ski Shop before hitting the slopes.
Outdoor Mountain Sports
Although winter is when the Roaring Fork Valley comes alive, there are plenty of exciting and fun activities in the area available throughout the year. When the sun heats up and the freeze thaws, grab your athletic gear and get outside with a variety of warm-weather activities.
Enjoy the Roaring Fork Valley’s gorgeous scenery by bike! The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association has created and maintained a stunning array of mountain biking trails throughout the area. Choose a location and a difficulty level ranging from “easy” to “hard.” You’ll be biking on some of the best trails in the nation -- the area’s trails have been lauded as a gold-level ride center destination by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
If you want to enjoy the serene mountain views but try something completely different, head over to the Roaring Fork River to experience some of the best whitewater rafting in the state! Your entire family will have the thrill of their life gliding down the rapids on a tour led by expert guides, enjoying the area’s breathtaking scenery.
Book a tour with Whitewater Rafting, LLC. to enjoy everything from Class II rapids that promise a more leisurely ride for kids to Class IV rapids for more experienced thrill-seekers. Voted Local’s Choice for thirteen years in a row, these fantastic tours will provide you with memories that last a lifetime.
There’s nothing like a simple hike in the Roaring Fork Valley’s great outdoors. One of the most famous hiking locations in the area is Hanging Lake. This brisk mile-long trek provides emerald waters, gushing waterfalls, and marvelous cliffside views. Aspen and Snowmass Village are both filled with fantastic trails to explore with difficulties ranging from easy to moderate to challenging. If you’re really in the mood for an adventure, explore the iconic Maroon Bells by exploring the trail at Crater Lake, a 3.45-mile hike from the visitor center up the base of the mountain. Great news -- the hike is pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the journey!
There’s no limit to the fantastic golf courses in the Roaring Fork Valley, and most have a magnificent view of the mountains to boot. One of the top golf clubs in the valley is the Ironbridge Golf Club, tucked away in the mountains with a 360-degree view of the range. The Roaring Fork River and a couple of ponds come into play, and this course is famed for its back-nine. If you’re new to the sport, you can hone your skills at the driving range, and there’s even a Junior Golf School for the kids to enjoy.
River Valley Ranch is another spectacular course in the area, featuring 18 holes and designed by acclaimed golfer Jay Morrish. Crystalline rivers snake through the course, which offers sprawling mountain views; the grounds are meticulously maintained, and golfers love the challenge of elevation changes and difficult terrain. After a long day out in the sun, dig into a delicious meal while taking in the breathtaking views from the patio. In the winter months, the golf course doesn’t shut down, but instead of playing on the course, you can stay warm in front of their central fireplace in the dining hall or make s’mores on the patio over a roasting fire.
For a true family adventure, get an annual pass to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and have fun all summer long! Take a cave tour and marvel at the natural wonders hidden inside Iron Mountain. Race with your family on the 3,400-foot Alpine Coaster, glide through the sky on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride or fly in the air on the Giant Canyon Swing.
During the day, stop for a snack at the Lookout Grille before heading back out to the exciting thrill rides. For another adventure, try the Lost Forest in Aspen, which features a climbing wall, disc golf, a treeline challenge course, and an alpine coaster. There are ponds for fishing, trails for biking and hiking, and when you need a boost in energy, grab a bite at the clubhouse. You’ll become immersed in nature, and with these many fun activities, your family will want to stay all day!
Everyone in your family will love the Penny Hot Springs in Carbondale. Situated beside the Crystal River, you can enjoy peace and quiet while soaking in the warm water. For the best experience, visit Penny Hot Springs in June and July when the river run-off hasn’t filled the pools, and the temperature is perfect.
Over in Glenwood Springs, visit the Iron Mountain Hot Springs as well. Located on the scenic banks of the Colorado River, this stunning hot springs resort offers an incredibly luxurious experience. The whole family can enjoy the water from the 70’ x 35’ family pool, filled with 100,000 gallons of fresh water that are geothermically heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. For the ultimate relaxation, take a dip in the whirlpool spa right by the pool! Iron Mountain is also home to sixteen smaller hot spring pools containing over fourteen different minerals and heated between 99 and 108 degrees Fahrenheit. The pools connect via heated walkways for your comfort and convenience, and Iron Mountain has ensured that all soaking pools are within the “quiet zone,” creating a peaceful atmosphere.
In the Roaring Fork Valley, there’s so much to do that you’ll rarely witness your kids staying inside to watch TV or play video games. They’ll want to get outdoors and participate in one of the many activities listed above. From skiing to mountain biking, create an adventure-packed life and share it with your family!
Looking to sell or buy your property in the gorgeous Roaring Fork Valley? At Rimkus Real Estate, we would be thrilled to champion your real estate journey and help you find the home of your dreams. For all inquiries, contact us today!