In both the summer and winter, if you only have a day you must take a ride up the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain. The gondola cabs are all windows allowing for fantastic views as you travel 3,627 feet to the top. Once you get up top, walk to the ledge for incredible views of Castle Creek valley and surrounding mountains. Snap a few photos then get some food at The Sundeck Restaurant. For on-mountain dining the fare of grilled items, pizza, salad, and wok entrees, which you might expect to be like cafeteria food, is surprisingly exquisite. The experience is worth the elevated price you pay for the food to be transported up the mountain.
In the summer, on Sundays there is a different Bluegrass band every week, filling the air with music. In the winter on a sunny day the outdoor patio is lined with people in lounge chairs soaking up the sun. Again, this is a must-do experience while visiting Aspen.
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Scavenger Hunt for Shrines on Aspen Mountain
Scattered around Aspen Mountain are shrines of everything from local legends to celebrities like Jerry Garcia and Elvis Presley. On Aspen Mountain alone there are over 30 shrines. They are tucked away in various nooks and crannies throughout the mountain. Make it into a scavenger hunt and try to find them all.
On Aspen Mountain there is a traveling POP-up Veuve Clicquot Bar called “The Oasis”. This chic bar is adorn with the signature Veuve Clicquot yellow lounge chairs and umbrellas and has a solar powered stereo system for the full bar experience. Enjoy a flute of snow-chilled champagne and some caviar as you take in spectacular views of Aspen to fulfill your “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams”. It is only available on the weekend and every weekend it is in a new location. Get clues through the Little Nell social media sites or search the mountain yourself for the bubbly. The bright iconic yellow will help you in your search.
There is one way to make sure you make first tracks in powder while you are here in Aspen and that is to book a Powder Tour. Transported via Snowcat, you leave the top of Aspen Mountain and venture onto the backside of the mountain in the pursuit of fresh powder. You are in a group no larger than 12 people with two guides leading you to the secret stash based on current conditions. It is an all-day affair with lunch served in a cabin. It is an epic day of first tracks in a safe environment.
On the back side of Aspen Mountain you can go mushroom hunting. Some mushrooms are edible but I wouldn’t recommend eating them unless you are 100% positive they are safe. You can usually pick up a mushroom guide at Explore Booksellers.