Aspen Climate & Weather

Aspen, Colorado has a reputation as a sunny place with terrific snowfall for skiing. This is a well-deserved reputation. Even though its designation is subarctic, the city enjoys year-round sunshine that is interrupted only briefly by rain or snow. If you are visiting, sunscreen and sunglasses are necessities.

The city of Aspen relies on its intense winter sun to maintain daytime temperatures. These may hover from 20 to 40 degrees depending on the month and other weather factors. On Aspen Mountain, it will be ten degrees cooler, at least. You can expect winter temperatures to be 30 degrees maximum on the mountain, but often they are much lower. When the warm sun is gone, the darkness allows the true Colorado cold to settle over the area, and temperatures drop down below zero.

Colorado spring doesn't really warm up until May. The Aspen sun may fool you into believing that it's not that cold, but the nights will quickly remind you. Rain is frequent, if brief, in the warmer part of the spring.

Summer may see the occasional daytime temperature creeping up to 90 degrees. You may need an umbrella or raincoat because afternoon showers crop up suddenly. Unless you consider 50 degrees or cooler to be warm, you will need a sweater or coat at night

Fall is warm and relatively dry. Snow falls on Aspen Mountain, but it usually skips the lower-lying city. As the fall colors take over the trees, you can expect temperatures in the 70's and cold nights in the 30's.

The higher altitude Aspen Mountain is sunny like Aspen, but obviously it gets much more snow. It also experiences colder days and intensely cold nights. This maintains the snow that skiers seek, but it also means that the sun is multiplied in intensity due to its reflection on the solid white mantle. Like a day on a sandy beach, a day spent skiing on Aspen Mountain can give you quite a sunburn. Wind can be intense as well, adding insult to sunburn-injured skin. Be prepared with gear to protect your skin from the wind, cold and sun. Take extra precautions with sunscreen, and try to cover up as much skin as possible. You don't want to spend your Aspen nights nursing a sunburn when you could be enjoying a nice warm fire or an exciting party.