Aspen’s humble neighbor and down-to-earth little sibling has plenty to flaunt. Set at the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork Rivers, it's framed by gold-medal trout waters, making this cute but humble town something of a fly-fishing paradise – most Aspen outfitters will bring you down here to cast. Also on the river is a white-water park, constructed in 2017, for kayakers and stand-up paddlers to play in.
The town is tiny but blessed with a historic main-street strip, plenty of tasty dining options and a couple of cute boutiques (read: not Louis Vuitton or Prada). It's only 20 minutes from the Four Mountain slopes and another 20 to artsy Carbondale down valley; stock up on groceries and outdoor gear at the newer Willits Town Center, 4 miles northwest on Hwy 82. Basalt is also the gateway to little-visited Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness area.