Boasting some of the most expensive real estate and property prices in the entire United States, Aspen may be a very small town, but it's one of the most famous locations in all of North America. Located in central Colorado, Aspen is the county seat and largest municipality in Pitkin County. It has a population of less than 7,000 people, but attracts countless visitors and tourists each and every year due to its unique status as a ski resort destination.
Aspen is located right among the Rocky Mountains, just between the Elk Mountains and the Sawatch Range of the Rockies. The Roaring Fork River can also be found nearby. Founded way back in 1879 as a mining settlement and originally named Ute City, Aspen was actually one of the most productive silver-mining cities in the state for several years, but the Panic of 1893 caused many miners to leave the city. The population of Aspen plummeted in years to follow, until it was eventually turned into a ski resort and became hugely popular.
Nowadays, many celebrities have resort properties in Aspen and spend time in the town, which has become associated with wealth and luxury over the years. Average property prices have risen so much that only very rich people can afford to live in Aspen, so many other people simply visit it for several weeks per year as a vacation.
Elevation of Aspen
When we talk about the elevation of a city, we're referring to how high it is above sea level. The town of Aspen, Colorado, has an elevation of approximately 8,000 feet (2,400 m). The highest point in the city can be found right in the southwest corner of its limits and has an elevation of 8,460 feet (2,580 m), while the lowest elevation in Aspen is located in the northern section of the city at Roaring Fork, which has an elevation of 7,660 feet (2,330 m). Naturally, as Aspen is located among the mountains, it has a very high elevation and is one of the highest municipalities in Colorado.
Visitors to Aspen will need to stay hydrated and wear extra layers to deal with the high-altitude conditions, as it can be quite a shock to some people to move from a low altitude area to a place like Aspen, and their bodies will need some time to adjust. Altitude sickness can even be a problem for some people in Aspen due to its high elevation, so it’s vital to prepare and plan ahead of time if you hope to visit Aspen in the future. Many residents of Colorado are used to high elevations as the state is actually the highest in the entire United States, with a mean elevation of 6,800 feet (2,070 m). When compared with the elevation of Aspen, we can see that Aspen is higher than the state average.
In addition, when compared with some of the state’s major cities like Denver, which has an elevation of 5,280 feet (1,609.344 m); Aurora, which has an elevation of 5472 feet (1,668 m); and Colorado Springs, which has an elevation of 6,033 feet (1,839 m), it’s easy to see that Aspen is higher than most other municipalities in the state of Colorado. However, it is not the highest town in the state. The city of Leadville, located in Colorado's Lake County in the Rocky Mountains, is actually the highest city in Colorado and the rest of the United States, with an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m).
Climate and Things to Do in Aspen
Due to its high elevation and location among the mountains, Aspen has a humid continental climate, meaning that the temperatures can vary quite wildly during a single day. The temperature may be quite high during the day, with average highs of 78°F (26°C) recorded in July, for example, but will drop much lower after the sun sets, rendering nights in Aspen very cold. All of this means that the climate in Aspen is made up of relative extremes; the summer days can be quite warm for such a high location, but the winter nights are freezing.
Naturally, as a ski resort, one of the most popular things to do in Aspen is to ski. The town of Aspen is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and forests to explore, with various skiing companies and routes all laid out. The area is one of the most popular skiing destinations in all of the United States. Even when the snow has melted, various other recreational activities like horseback riding and hiking can be enjoyed in and around Aspen by people of all age, and various special events are held here each year, including the Winter X Games.