Apothecai’s Guide to Aspen, Colorado
Freeriding in fresh powder is one of my all-time favorite experiences. To feel so much joy, presence, and activated embodiment is surely the point of health itself.
For winter sports, it’s hard to beat Aspen, Colorado. It’s one of the best places I know to reconnect with nature, soak in the stillness of the mountains, activate the body, and ignite my creative coals.
Here are a few of my favorite places and experiences
All of the ingredients at this 100% organic plant-based cafe and juice bar are incredibly high quality, and it shows! Their meals are creative and quick, and they have many options for anyone going gluten free. Founder Sabrina Rudin was born and raised in New York City but grew up visiting Aspen each winter.
This place has clearly been built on love. The food is outstanding and the atmosphere is romantic and cosy. Cheeses are brought in from France for an authentic fondue or raclette experience that is almost impossible to find in the States; dining here is like being transported to the French Alps. The Schokoladepalatschinke, an Austrian-German chocolate crepe, is worth every bite–especially after an active day on the mountain.
Possibly the best coffee in town. The place has a strong community feel with a warm and inviting atmosphere, great music, and excellent local art on display. The organic coffee is roasted in town.
The ideal après-ski experience, these hot springs, on the edge of the Crystal River, are the perfect cure for your aching limbs; the valley they lie in is stunning enough to merit a trip in its own right. Each pool has a different temperature, but they can run quite hot: The water comes out of the ground close to the pools at around 120°F. If you’re feeling brave, you can alternate hot soaks with a dip in the freezing river only a few feet from the pools.
To get there: The pools are easily accessed directly off the road to Redstone. About 15 mins out from Carbondale you will see cars parked on the left; park here and walk down to the pools. In the summer the river is too high to use the pools, so be sure to visit between fall and spring.
For those that prefer more conventional pools, the Ironwood Hot Springs are a highly recommended option for well maintained commercial hot springs on the edge of the Colorado River with incredible views of the Roaring Fork Valley. Their 16 natural soaking pools range from 99 to 108°F.
This spectacular trail gives you the feeling of being in the wilderness while still being easily accessible from town. In the winter, you can rent Nordic Ski gear from UTE Mountaineer, park in the lot by Replay Sports, and join the trail at the Cemetery Lane section, which connects you to the trail that follows the river all the way to Glenwood Springs.
This is not a loop trail so you will either have to turn back half way or take the trail all the way to Carbondale (an adventurous choice that would take several hours) and get the bus back to Aspen.
For Fitness Enthusiasts
For those that like to get their cardio workouts at elevation, there are several options. Aspen attracts hardcore outdoor fitness enthusiasts, and you never know who you are passing on the street–it’s not unlikely that they may be an Olympian.
There is a skin track at Buttermilk that is free to ascend on ascent ski’s or a split-board and you can ride back down the piste. Also the Aspen Rec. Center has a twice weekly master swim class, rock-wall climbing, nordic ski track, ice hockey.
- Nature Conservation,
- Self Cultivation,