In Aspen: 3 Can’t-Miss Day Trips

When Candace Gorsuch had no childcare for her four-year-old twins during the pandemic last winter, she did what any Aspen local would do: She took her boys skiing every single day. The two are the youngest in Aspen history to have earned a 100-day pin, an honor typically reserved for lifelong ski bums. Talk about finding the bright side of the pandemic.

Candace Gorsuch

But the slopes are far from the only lure in the Aspen area, assures Gorsuch, who—in addition to her role as Supermom—married into the family legacy that is Gorsuch, working for the eponymous high-end designer ski boutique with stores in Aspen and Vail. (She’s also on the board of the Buddy Program and chairs the Ajax Cup.) One of her favorite weekend activities involves getting out of town (with and without the kids) to enjoy the many beautiful spots just a short drive away. Here are a few of her go-to local escapes.

by Allison Margo


This is a bucket list item for any avid hiker, not only because the idea of walking from one town to the other is pretty cool, but because of the jaw-dropping, upclose views of the majestic Elk Range. Gorsuch loves to make the trek with girlfriends during the Wildflower Festival and stay at the Scarp Ridge Lodge (512 2nd St., Crested Butte, 970.237.5985), a five-star hotel in the heart of Crested Butte. “Once I did the hike with a bachelorette party, and we drank champagne at the top of the saddle,” she says. While some people hike both ways, Gorsuch prefers to relax and travel in style—soaring back to Aspen via a 15-minute helicopter ride.


It’s true Gorsuch might be a little biased when it comes to visiting the home of her family’s flagship store in the heart of Vail Village’s quaint, Alps-inspired cobblestone streets, but she insists that a day trip to Vail is the perfect getaway. “It’s a totally different vibe than Aspen, and it’s only two hours away,” she says. “Enjoy a long lunch at Pepi’s (231 Fore Creek Dr., Vail, 970.476.4671) with a good bottle of wine or a good old German Weizenbier,” she suggests. Rent mountain bikes, ride the lift up with them, then bike down, and, of course, don’t miss the flagship Gorsuch store in Vail Village (263 E. Gore Creek Dr., Vail, 970.476.2294). “It’s a must to visit the store, even if you don’t buy anything,” she says. “It’s gorgeous just to walk through.


Crystal Mill

As the crow flies, Marble is just over the hill from Aspen, but it’s a world away in terms of a true wilderness setting, with no frills other than the spectacular scenery and rugged mountain terrain. There’s no cellphone reception, no gas station or grocery, just endless hiking and extensive fourwheeling on miles and miles of dirt roads and trails. Gorsuch loves to visit the Crystal Mill (11520 Co. Rd. 3, Carbondale), a historic powerhouse built in 1892. “To view the mill and the historic structures in Crystal is intoxicating,” she says. “People are amazed not only about the history but the raw beauty of the river and surrounding mountains. It’s a very special place and never gets old.”

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