Programs & Events

In addition to the below schedule of upcoming programs and events, join AHS for outdoor guided tours and visit our four sites: the Wheeler/Stallard Museum, featuring the exhibition Decade by Decade: Aspen Revealed, the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, and the ghost towns of Ashcroft and Independence.

Image: Water sprays from T Lazy 7 Ranch’s “float” during the Aspen Fourth of July Parade in 1980. Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Times Collection

Holden/Marolt Hoedown
Friday, June 3
4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum (on the bike path on Marolt Open Space, across the 7th St. pedestrian bridge). Parking is extremely limited; please walk, bike, bus or carpool! Limited parking is available at Bugsy Barnard Park across HWY 82. ADA parking only onsite.
Free admission
The community is invited to kick off summer with AHS! This year’s reimagined event will feature FREE admission with Hickory House picnic dinners and beverages, and ice cream from The Dreamery available for purchase on site. Guests of all ages will enjoy live music by Buffalo Joe’s Bluegrass Band, demonstrations of the steam engines and other historic machinery, and activities and games for all ages including visiting farm animals and pony painting with Smiling Goat Ranch, face painting and balloon animals with Kidtoons, and more! Guests can ride the inflatable mechanical bull and try to win big at chicken poop bingo with Farm Collaborative!
This year’s Hoedown is made possible by sponsors Alpine Bank, Event Rents, and partners and vendors Hickory House, Smiling Goat Ranch, Farm Collaborative, Kidtoons Productions, The Dreamery CO, and others.

History Hike (Aspen Mountain)
Saturday, June 18
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Meet at Koch Lumber Park, corner of Cooper and Garmish
Advance reservations required, limit 16 hikers
$10/Free for AHS Lixiviator level and above members
Please dress appropriately as the tour will go rain or shine

Explore the once-rich silver deposits and the tailings that remain on Aspen’s eponymous hill—a maze of tunnels, mines, and mining remnants—on this moderate to difficult hike that ascends the Little Cloud Trail and Summer Road to the top of Little Nell before descending to Gondola Plaza.

NEW! History Hike (Midland Railbed Trail)
Saturday, July 9,
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Meet at Koch Lumber Park, corner of Cooper and Garmish
Advance reservations required, limit 16 hikers
$10/Free for AHS Lixiviator level and above members
Please dress appropriately as the tour will go rain or shine

Experience Aspen mining and transportation history on an easy walk to the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum alongside Aspen’s lesser-known railroad corridor at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Water in the Age of Silver: Touring Aspen’s “Holden Works”
A program offered by Roaring Fork Conservancy in partnership with Aspen Historical Society and City of Aspen Parks & Open Space
Monday, July 25
5:30 pm
Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum (on the bike path on Marolt Open Space, across the 7th St. pedestrian bridge). Parking is limited; please walk, bike, bus or carpool! ADA parking available onsite.
Free, advance registration with Roaring Fork Conservancy is required (opens July 1, 2022)

Discover the largest industrial site in the history of Pitkin County: a then-state-of-the-art silver processing plant known as the Holden Lixiviation Works. Built on the banks of Castle Creek in 1891 by Edward Royal Holden, the plant led to innovative and sometimes destructive uses of water resources for hydropower and waste disposal. Explore the history, the museum, and the remnants of the “Works” (including the newly reconstructed cable derrick) to learn how one of our most precious resources, freshwater, was utilized in a different era. We’ll also examine the effects of time on the riparian area along Castle Creek. Dress appropriately as this event will happen rain of shine. Please call Roaring Fork Conservancy at 970.927.1290 with questions.

Annual Ice Cream Social
Saturday, August 6
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Wheeler/Stallard Museum Grounds, 620 W. Bleeker St.
Free event admission / $3 ice cream bowls / $5 spiked “Aspen Crud” milkshakes

Guests of all ages are invited to celebrate the longstanding tradition of a community ice cream social in Aspen! The free event on the Wheeler/Stallard Museum grounds features a presentation of “A Briefly Complete History of Aspen 2.0”, the theatrical 45-minute crash course in Aspen history featuring song, dance, and character presentations. Ice cream bowls replete with toppings and boozy milkshakes for adults are available for a small fee. Since the mining era in Aspen, ice cream socials have been a popular summer gathering in the community.

Thank you to generous sponsors Paradise Bakery for providing gelato.

NEW! History Hike (Hunter Creek)
Saturday, August 13,
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Meet at the BLM parking lot off Hunter Creek Rd.
Advance reservations required, limit 16 hikers
$10/Free for Lixiviator level and above members
Please dress appropriately as the tour will go rain or shine.

Adventure over the creek and through the woods on this moderate hike up to the Hunter Creek Valley above Aspen. Featuring several historical buildings, the valley was home to one of Aspen’s closest “camps” and features a rich history.

Twilight in the Cemetery: Stories from Aspen’s Ancestors
Tuesday, August 30
Red Butte Cemetery, Cemetery Lane
Sign up for your preferred time slot, (1 ½  hour tours): 6 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
$15, advance registration required, limit 16 per tour slot

As dusk falls on Aspen’s storied Red Butte Cemetery, you’ll hear from some of the notable “residents” through researched museum theatre-style character performances. The late Aspenites will share their stories “in their own words,” while visiting graves from many eras. With characters performed by AHS staff, volunteers, and even a direct descendent, this twilight tour offers a window into the area’s past through authentic personal histories.

NEW! History in Your Backyard: Hunter Creek Valley
Tuesday, September 20
5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Wheeler/Stallard Museum grounds, 620 W. Bleeker St.

$10, registration required at aspenhistory.org

Join AHS for the first installment of a new adult education series that explores the history of familiar places in the Aspen area. AHS historians and guest panelists will explore the history of one of Aspen’s closest “camps” in the Hunter Creek Valley and recent efforts to preserve the historical structures in the area. Panelists will include Hunter Creek Historical Foundation founders Graeme Means and Howie Mallory.