United States

Aspen, CO

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Aspen

A former mining camp settled on the Rocky Mountains’ Roaring Fork River, the tony town of Aspen is a recreational mecca. Popular in winter for its four ski areas — Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Snowmass, and Buttermilk — in summer the area boasts  vibrant culture and summer recreation opportunities. Take advantage of the extensive network of bike paths and mountain trails for running in Aspen.

The best road running options in Aspen are the Rio Grande Trail, the East of Aspen Trail along the Roaring Fork River, and the path along Owl Creek Rd. between Snowmass Village and Aspen Mountain. Or, take a loop around the Victorian-era buildings of town. We’ve also put together a few great options for trail running, including on Aspen and Snowmass mountains, and some other more ‘runnable’ trails in the area. There are also great choices for those wanting a real challenge and some elevation. This map is an excellent resource.

Aspen’s bike paths double as an easy way to travel around town. For faster transportation, use the Roaring Fork Transit Authority busses, or the free Downtowner shuttle which runs around central Aspen and Aspen Mountain. Most of our routes are easily accessible right from town, so you’ll have the awesome option of exploring much of Aspen on foot. Note that Aspen sits at 8,000 feet, so altitude is a serious factor.

  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Rio Grande Trail

Aspen, CO

This 42-mile multi-use path spans from Herron Park in Aspen northwest to Two Rivers Park in Glenwoods Springs. A favorite section in Aspen is 8.4 miles from Woody Creek to Herron Park, which has views of Aspen Mountain and the Roaring Fork River.
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East of Aspen Trail

Aspen, CO

7-mile out and back on a popular multi-use trail along the Roaring Fork River. Highlights include wildlife viewing at the North Star Nature Preserve. One of the flatter running opportunities in Aspen. Combination paved and gravel.
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Aspen Village Run

Aspen, CO

The historic village of Aspen makes for a scenic and interesting run. We suggest creating your own route, incorporating galleries and shops along roads lined with Victorian era buildings, and pretty residential side streets.
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ABC Trail

Aspen, CO

A 5 mile out and back on a concrete path, starting at the Airport/Aspen Business Center. Loop with other multi use paths for more mileage.
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Aspen Mountain Trail Running

Aspen, CO

Steep Aspen Mountain offers wonderful trail running opportunities. On the lower mountain, the 2-mile out and back Ajax Trail is a good intermediate option. Or, take the gondola to the summit and run the 2.4 mile East Rim/Cherry Hill Loop.
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Snowmass Mountain Trail Running

Aspen, CO

Snowmass Mountain offers a good variety of trail running options, from 'family friendly' to steep and challenging. The trails are divided into the Bike Park and Elk Camp sections. Some trails are lift service access. Good map w/trail descriptions.
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Sunnyside Trail

Aspen, CO

A more challenging trail run, spanning across Red Mountain. As much as 10 miles out and back, although a good 6-mile out and back option is possible. Highlight is the section through aspen groves -- especially pretty in autumn!
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Hunter Creek Trail

Aspen, CO

The tough and hilly 7-mile Hunter Creek Trail is a popular running route for its proximity to town and fantastic views of the Elk Mountain Range. The first 3 miles are especially popular for jogging -- but still challenging!
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Rio Grande Trail

Aspen, CO

This 42-mile multi-use path spans from Herron Park in Aspen northwest to Two Rivers Park in Glenwoods Springs. A favorite section in Aspen is 8.4 miles from Woody Creek to Herron Park, which has views of Aspen Mountain and the Roaring Fork River.
Explore

East of Aspen Trail

Aspen, CO

7-mile out and back on a popular multi-use trail along the Roaring Fork River. Highlights include wildlife viewing at the North Star Nature Preserve. One of the flatter running opportunities in Aspen. Combination paved and gravel.
Explore

Aspen weather is great for running in the spring, summer, and fall. Summer highs average near 80F (26C), and nights can be cool, generally in the high 40s and low 50s. A layer is needed at any time of year. Although summer is the driest season, mountain weather is changeable and there can be storms.

 

For lodging information, visit the Aspen Chamber of Commerce website at aspenchamber.org/where-to-stay.

STORES

Sporty Aspen has a variety of outdoor gear shops.

Ute Mountaineer  Was super helpful with this running guide!

Aspen Sports

Independence Run & Hike. Group Runs: Saturday 8am in summer and 8:30 am in winter from the store.

GROUP RUNS

For a list of running groups, check out this list from Aspen Trail Finder.

Group Runs: Saturday 8am in summer and 8:30 am in winter from the Independence Run & Hike store in Carbondale.

Aspen Trail Finder also has a great up to date Race Calendar.

Aspen Valley Marathon. July. 1400 feet downhill!  Also a 5k.

Boogie’s Buddy Race. 5 mile race.

Golden Leaf Half Marathon. Wonderful autumn race. Trail run in parts. September.

The Mount Sopris Run off & 4 Mile Fair Run. Last Saturday in July. Carbondale area.

Jingle Bell 5k. Last Sunday before Christmas.