Camping in Aspen

After a few glitches on the road trip out (flat tires and lost keys and such), we had a wonderful two weeks in Colorado and Utah.  We saw new beauties and old favorites!

Here are a few highlights of our first few days, which we spent in Aspen, Colorado at Difficult Campground.

The Aspens and trails right around our campground were gorgeous.

Lots of exploring happened right around our camper.

Everyone was thrilled to be able to dig out warm clothes after June in Arkansas!

Our second day we hiked a familiar Aspen trail, the Maroon Bells.

It is breathtaking.

Because of its popularity, the mountain road to the trailhead is closed to cars for a good portion of the day. You can take a bus to the trail when the road closes at 9am, so the best way to hike it is early in the morning.

We love to pull into an almost empty trailhead parking lot and then finish hiking just as it is beginning to fill up.  That’s what we did this day when we drove the road before 7, but the kids were a tad grumpy about getting up so early.

 

It wasn’t long though before everyone was scrambling over rocks and finding new hiking sticks.  Or bows.

Taido always has a few treats in his pocket to make our hikers smile.  We sat for a long time at Crater Lake while the kids played and fed daring chipmunks before we headed back to the bottom.

Maroon Lake is at the bottom of the trailhead and it always amazes me to see these twin “Bells.”

We hiked this same trail two years ago and everyone has changed so much since then:  (except me…I’m still wearing the same shorts!)

So much taller!  And so much faster on the trail!

 

We caught the 4th of July parade in Aspen, which Ben and Simon loved and Cole and Mary Polly tolerated.

 

We did a new hike in Hunter-Frying Pan Wilderness that I enjoyed.  The Lost Man Trail was much more level than our other hikes, more like meandering than climbing.  Lots of wildflower fields and happy streams.

We spent the mornings hiking and the afternoons playing in Aspen or hanging around our campsite.  The kids rode their bikes through the campsite loop and I sat in my chair and read.

We escaped into the camper or to the public library during the late afternoon mountain showers.

All in all, even with bear scares and burn bans, we spent a most lovely 4 nights in Aspen!

If you go,

we really love this campground: Difficult.  And they take reservations.

and here is more info on hiking the Maroon Bells area found here.

and on The Lost Man Trail, here.

If you have a favorite Aspen hike or activity, please share in the comments!  We’ll be back for sure!