Aspen Times Weekly: Need to Escape Aspen for the Fourth? |

Aspen Times Weekly: Need to Escape Aspen for the Fourth?

by Amiee White Beazley

There’s no doubt, Fourth of July celebrations in Aspen are epic and idyllic. The parade, the barbecues, the candy literally littering the streets have done their job by attracting thousands of visitors — making Aspen a top Independence Day destination. But while it’s fun for many, for others, namely locals, who would rather not battle the crowds for a slice of shade along Main Street, there are other options in the region that make the holiday a great excuse for some independent exploration.

The Pines Lodge, Beaver Creek

The intimate, elegant 60-room Pines Lodge is home to the award-winning Grouse Mountain Grill and features an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center as well as a small selection of deluxe condominiums and town homes. This Independence Day celebrate at Stars, Stripes and Slides with bounce houses, games and slides before transitioning into the evening with live music beginning at 6 p.m., food, drinks, and a fireworks celebration at 9:30 p.m.

The DoubleTree by Hilton, Breckenridge

The newly renovated DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge is located just a short walk across the street to the Quicksilver chairlift and within walking distance of Main Street. Celebrate Fourth of July with the Breckenridge Independence Day 10K trail run at 7 a.m. The fun continues with the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race which also launches the annual Fourth of July parade at 10 a.m., the July Arts Festival and live music. Enjoy a performance at the end of the night by the National Repertory Orchestra at the Riverwalk center followed by fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

Keystone Lodge and Spa, Keystone

The Keystone Lodge and Spa is surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest and activities like mountain biking, golf and SUP. It also has a state-of-the-art spa with a full range of treatments, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, and an outdoor swimming pool. Start the July 4 morning with a fishing derby followed by the annual bike parade and barbecue with live music featuring Trout Steak Revival and The Burroughs. Of course, you can then cap off the night with a fireworks show.

Grand Summit Hotel,

Park City, Utah

The Fourth of July celebration at Park City is a daylong event beginning with a pancake breakfast. Sign up for the 5K Mountain Fun Run and afterward, head over to Historic Main Street for the Annual 4th of July Parade with more than 70 floats. Spend the rest of the day celebrating outdoors with live music, games, beer gardens, a rodeo and more family fun. At 7 p.m. enjoy a free concert leading up to a spectacular fireworks show.

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Chama, New Mexico

The Cumbres and Toltec is the longest, highest and most authentic steam railroad in America, traversing 64 miles of rugged mountain territory and river gorges, much of it only accessible by train. The railroad is owned jointly by the states of Colorado and New Mexico and crosses state borders 11 times. The annual Fourth of July celebration of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad will be bigger and louder this year with more pyrotechnics added to what already is the largest fireworks display in the Southern Colorado, Northern New Mexico area. For the Fourth of July weekend, the railroad will offer a special sunset and dinner train. The steam locomotive, covered with flags and bunting, will leave Chama, New Mexico, at 4:15 p.m. on July 4 and chug up a steep four percent grade to the top of 10,015-foot high Cumbres Pass, for a delicious barbecue dinner at nearly two miles above sea level. The train will return with sunset views and liquor service aboard, stopping at Chama Wye station so passengers can view the famous Chama fireworks spectacle from the open gondola car. After the show, the train will steam back to Chama station, arriving at approximately 10 p.m.

Amiee White Beazley writes about travel for the Aspen Times Weekly. Reach her at or follow her @awbeazley1.

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