The Roaring Fork Valley is surrounded by recreational land, wilderness areas, and national forests. To the southeast, in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness area, more 14,000-foot summits beckon hikers than anywhere else in the Lower 48.

The often-overlooked Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness Area is one of Colorado's hidden secrets—a thin-air spine of unnamed peaks and excellent trout rivers in the Williams Mountains just east of Aspen. On the other side of the Continental Divide, the Hunter-Fryingpan becomes the Mount Massive Wilderness Area, named for Colorado's second-highest peak, which stands 14,421 feet tall. Most of these wilderness areas are encompassed within the much larger—and more fragmented—White River National Forest.