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Tips For a Greener Trip to Aspen

Restaurants, hotels, outdoor options, and more to minimize your footprint while visiting this Colorado mountain town.

Courtesy of Tamara Susa/Aspen Chamber Resort Association

Hikers enjoying the beautiful trails and sunsets of Aspen

Courtesy of Tamara Susa/Aspen Chamber Resort Association

Located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the small town of Aspen boasts outdoor recreation opportunities year-round. To help preserve the beautiful natural environment, Aspen has been a pioneer in sustainability—the town runs on 100 percent renewable energy.

That commitment helps minimize your eco-footprint when you visit, allowing you to protect the serene natural setting while enjoying activities like hiking, biking, picnicking, and camping. Here are a few simple ways to enjoy an eco-friendly trip in Aspen.

Greener ways to get around in Aspen

For a blissfully car-free experience, explore Aspen by walking, biking, and using the reliable public transportation system, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA). The RFTA app puts all the information you need at your fingertips. Use it to purchase tickets, view routes, and track bus arrivals.

Thanks to the WeCycle community bike share program, navigating the town by bike is free (for rides under 30 minutes) and a lot of fun. Aspen is also delightfully walkable for those who prefer strolling.

Shop local to support Aspen’s small businesses

Aspen is known for shopping. You’ll find locally owned businesses selling everything from handcrafted collectibles and personalized cowboy hats to artwork, locally designed jewelry, and distinctive souvenirs. Supporting these independent shops helps boost the economy, employ residents, and reduce carbon emissions.

Check out the Aspen Saturday Market if you’re looking for baked goods, snacks, and fresh produce grown nearby. For a full farm-to-table experience, plan a trip to Rock Bottom Ranch to enjoy healthy fruits and vegetables from local farmers. Use the Roaring Fork + Farm Map to find farms in the area.

Enjoy Aspen’s great outdoors while helping to protect and preserve it

One of the top reasons people visit Aspen is to enjoy the inspiring landscape through activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and wildlife viewing. Guided experiences, such as horseback riding through aspens and meadows followed by lunch at Pine Creek Cookhouse, offer an ideal way to connect with the natural world. Participating in nature activities for all ages with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is another wonderful way to interact with locals and learn about flora and fauna.

When exploring the mountain environment on your own, always stay aware of your surroundings. Also, show respect for wildlife habitats by observing any animals you encounter from a safe distance. These responsible practices will ensure everyone’s safety and preserve the environment for years to com

When hiking or biking, pay attention to closed trails, pack out everything you bring in, make sure your cell phone is charged in case you get lost or injured, and bring a map. Also, tag responsibly on social media by using a generic location tag instead of a specific one. This practice helps prevent overcrowding and reduces the human impact on Aspen’s landscape, preserving its iconic and pristine natural beauty.

Courtesy of Tamara Susa/Aspen Chamber Resort Association

Make a positive impact on Aspen by treading lightly on the trails.

Courtesy of Tamara Susa/Aspen Chamber Resort Association

Sustainably minded hotels and restaurants

In Aspen, you’ll find a wide array of hotels and restaurants dedicated to green practices, aiming to reduce their impact for an eco-luxury vacation. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the area, properties such as the Limelight, Aspen Meadows Resort, The Little Nell, and MOLLIE all champion environmental initiatives, including energy-efficient lighting, refillable shampoo and conditioner pumps, glass rather than plastic cups, seasonal ingredients, and waste minimization.

Dining at restaurants serving locally sourced and organic cuisine, such as Cache Cache, Ellina, and Spring Café Aspen, is a delightful experience. Bosq, a Michelin-starred establishment and James Beard Award semifinalist, takes it a step further with tasting menus crafted from local and foraged ingredients. At The Little Nell, enjoy dishes made with food from Colorado-based sources at Element 47 and Ajax Tavern, known for its truffle fries and Wagyu burger.

Sign the Aspen Pledge

Courtesy of Tamara Susa /Aspen Chamber Resort Association

The green landscape of Aspen

Courtesy of Tamara Susa /Aspen Chamber Resort Association

With a commitment to sustainability, Aspen encourages visitors and locals to sign the Aspen Pledge online and promise to protect the local environment through best practices such as exploring responsibly, staying on trails, getting around car-free, being kind, not littering, and more. Plus, for every online pledge signed, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association will donate $18.80 to the Independence Pass Foundation or the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers.

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