There is nothing like a weekend trip to push you out of your routine, see new sites, and get you reinvigorated for the next week. We have a killer weekend warrior itinerary to get you moving and exploring. We’re going to Aspen, CO! You can do Aspen with or without a campervan, but we always recommend the campervan route for optimal fun. Let’s get rolling!
Day 1: Native Campervans HQ to Dillon, CO
Distance: 74 miles Time: 1hr 30 min
It’s Friday afternoon, and you’ve closed your laptop for the weekend and are ready to get out of the office and away from the computer screen. Take a deep breath and let the stress of the week melt away. Put on your weekend warrior cap and get on the road. You’ve picked up your campervan from our Denver HQ and you’re hitting the road to Aspen. Our first stop is Dillon, CO.
Eventually, we’re going to park the van at Prospector Campground, but first, we’re going to do some exploring. Dillon is a small town with a lot of great recreation options. If you’re a watersports person, hiker, or even a fishing extraordinaire, there is something to do for everyone!
Head over to the Dillon Reservoir and rent a canoe or kayak and get out onto Lake Dillion for an afternoon or sunset paddle. Take in the beautiful aspen trees and bask in the sunshine (and knowledge that it’s the weekend!). Once you’re sufficiently tired and fully in vacation mode, head to the Dillon Dam Brewery for a brew and some food. Take in the incredible view of the rocky mountains from the second floor of the brewery. We hear the nachos are DAM good!
Get a good night’s rest because we’re off to Aspen in the morning!
Day 2, Part 1: Prospector Campground to Twin Lakes
Distance: 58 miles Time: 1hr 30 min
Good morning, weekend warriors! We’ve packed the campervan and are off to Aspen. In just 2 hr 21 min we’ll be transported to one of the recreation capitals of the world!
Our first stop is Twin Lakes via Independence Pass. Twin Lakes is a small alpine community on the way to Aspen. It is home to two beautiful alpine lakes with sweeping, magical views of the Rockies all around. We’re only here for a little bit before we get on the road to Aspen, but you have some adventures to choose from!
Twin Lakes offers world class mountain biking, fishing, ghost town exploring and hiking trails. Mountain bikers and hikers can head out on the Twin Lakes Trail. This is a high altitude, 14.8 mile trail, that takes you around both of the alpine lakes. Hikers may not have enough time to do the full loop (unless you’re hiking fast!) but no matter how many miles you tackle, you’ll experience beautiful views at every mile.
If you’re a ghost town junkie, there are several buildings in Twin Lakes Village that are still standing from the 1860s. You can investigate a saloon, two hotels, and some old cabins to get a feel for what life was like for prospectors during the gold rush.
Day 2, Part 2: Twin Lakes via Independence Pass to Aspen
Distance: 37 miles Time: 1hr
After you’ve completed your adventure let’s get back in the campervan and head down to Aspen via Independence Pass! Independence Pass is a 36-mile drive across the continental divide and is a part of the Top of the Rockies Byway. Independence Pass is only open for part of the year, if you’re doing this itinerary in the summer this is a must-do!
Once you arrive in Aspen, let’s stop for a quick bite to eat before heading off on our next adventure. J-Bar is a 19th-century bar that serves specialty cocktails and pub fare. Step into the shoes of Hunter S. Thompson as you walk through the doors. Hunter S. Thompson used to frequent the J-Bar back in the day! We recommend the burger, it was voted Aspen’s best!
Once you’re sufficiently full let’s choose your next adventure. If you’re doing this itinerary in the winter, grab your skis or snowboard and head over to the Aspen Highlands for a fun day on the slopes. Aspen Highlands is a local favorite with sweet powdered covered runs and views over the valley of the Maroon Bells.
For the Summertime
If it’s summertime, grab your mountain bike or your hiking shoes. Mountain bikers should head to Snowmass. Snowmass is a bike park near Aspen with 50 miles of cross-country trails. Beginner to advanced riders can find a trail to match their skill level.
For our hiking enthusiasts, we have a treat in store for you. Head to the Four Pass Loop for a hiking or backpacking adventure. The Four Pass Loop is 25.7 miles through the Maroon Bells – Snowmass wilderness. Just like the Twin Lakes Trail, you don’t have to do the full 25.7 miles but if you want to and have the time to, we highly recommend loading up your backpack and spending a day or two trekking through the wilderness.
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, we recommend Clark’s Aspen for a lovely dinner. Clark’s offers mouthwatering lobster rolls, pan-roasted hamburgers, fresh-baked sourdough, and more. Clark’s also features a fabulous oyster bar.
Park your van at the Difficult Campground and get some shut-eye, we have more adventures in store for you tomorrow. You’ll need to get up early!
Day 3, Part 1: Aspen, CO to Roaring Fork River, CO
Distance: 20 miles Time: 30 min
Happy Sunday! Like we said yesterday, we have more adventures for you. This one is nothing like what we’ve done already! We’re going to make a stop at the Roaring Fork River. Spend half-day rafting down the Roaring Fork River or fly fishing. Here is a great DIY fly fishing resource if you’re an experienced fly fisher!
Roaring Fork River is 70 miles long and flows through several canyons. It is popular amongst tourists and locals alike for water recreation activities. There are a number of outfitters to choose from if you’re looking for guided rafting or fly-fishing adventures.
Day 3, Part 2: Roaring Fork River, CO to Carbondale, CO
Distance: 9.5 miles Time: 16 min
After a fun day on the river, let’s spend our last half-day/evening relaxing in Carbondale. Head over to Penny Hot Springs for a dip. Penny Hot Springs is a picturesque natural hot spring along the Crystal River.
Once you feel ready to move on head over to Fatbelly Burgers for some dinner. Fatbelly Burgers is a burger joint that offers everything from Lamb Burgers to Plain Jane. Feast up!
Hit the hay at Four Mile Road. This dispersed camping spot will offer some of the best night sky views being outside of town. Drink in the views and maybe catch a shooting star because we’re heading back to Denver tomorrow.
Day 4: The Trek Back to Denver
Distance: 175 miles Time: 3 hr
After your last Aspen adventure, head back to Denver HQ and drop off your campervan. We hope that this itinerary offers you an exciting and adventure-filled way to relax and decompress from your weekly stresses. Tag us in your adventure photos @nativecampervans, we love to see what you’re up to!