Hitting Aspen/Snowmass for holiday weekend? Here are a few things to know as you go

Staff reports

In what is expected to be one of the busiest summer weekends ever in Aspen, we’ve put together a few things you should know for the Fourth of July weekend. Have fun, be patient and be safe.


Pretty much all the land around Aspen, Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley is under Stage 2 fire restrictions, which means no campfires, no charcoal grills and no smoking outside. These restrictions also are in place for areas including U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands. For the full list of restrictions, go to One small caveat is Garfield County has decided to go back to Stage 1 fire restrictions, but that is only on unincorporated land in the county, not state or federal land.


We don’t have a lot of mask requirements remaining in the area, but one remains with masks required on all public transportation. So, if you’re taking the bus between Aspen and Snowmass (and you really should) or Aspen and downvalley, have your mask and don’t give the driver any guff. Also, the RFTA schedules are on the app Transit and QR codes at the stops, so check them out there.


Couple of things for the calendar: Aspen’s Farmers Market is Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the reimagined Aspen “stationary parade” is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and the bonus Snowmass Fanny Hill concert is Sunday at 6:30 p.m. As for the night skies on the Fourth, there is a laser light show at 9:30 p.m. Sunday out of Wagner Park.


If you were here earlier this week, you likely heard about or the Independence Pass. Rain chances reemain in the forecast around the Glenwood Canyon, so if I-70 closes as it did last weekend, then Independence Pass will become a detour for some (but big-rigs and any vehicles/trailers more than 35 feet are prohibited). It’s about 20 miles from downtown Aspen to the 12,095-foot summit.


According to the National Weather Service and our micro-forecaster friends at, the weather pattern from this past week likely will stay in place. That means the typical summer days with partly cloudy skies and maybe a storm in the afternoon with highs in the low 80s. Saturday and Sunday are looking at less of a chance for rain.


With loaded flights coming in and going and a big number of private planes coming in, the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is going to be buzzing. The new airport director said earlier this week planes will be parked “tip to tip” and the commercial flights are coming in full all weekend as well.


Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola is up and running for the summer as well as the Elk Camp Gondola and Lift in Snowmass. Both are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and sight-seeing tickets start at $31. And remember, if you hike up either mountain, the gondola ride down is free.


With the official holiday on July 5, all of the local and state offices are closed, and be ready to hit the ATM with the banks closed as well.


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