You don’t have to a celebrity or millionaire bank account to enjoy Aspen. There are some great inexpensive and even free things to do and see around Aspen.
Maroon Lake is extremely family friendly. With the Maroon Bells as its backdrop, it is one of the most photographed spots in Colorado. Maroon Lake is 8 miles from Aspen. You can take the bus that runs daily mid-June through Labor Day and weekends through end of September. The bus is $6 for adults, $4 for kids 6-16 and seniors, and children under 6 are free. Maroon Creek Road is open to hikers and bikers for free. It is $10 per vehicle to visit the Maroon Bells Scenic Area.
Pearl Pass Trailhead is 13 miles west of Aspen on Castle Creek Road. From the trailhead it is 10.6 miles round trip. You can drive part of the road to the first creek crossing in all-terrain vehicles. Beyond that, you need a high profile off-road vehicle, which makes it possible to drive all the way up to 12,700’ in Montezuma Basin.
Yoga on the mountain is offered several times a week. It is free. You do have pay for the gondola ride or you can hike up for free.
Ashcroft is three dollars for adults and free for kids 10 and under. It is 10 miles south of Aspen on Castle Creek Road. Guided tours are offered in summer and self-guided tours are available year-round. Dogs are not allowed.