Aspen Ski Vacation Guide

Aspen is the epitome of world-class skiing. Nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, offering the very best of powder and an incomparable luxury small-town feel, an ski vacation here is legendary. Countless celebrities of all kinds have made it their primary or second home because of the unparalleled majesty of the mountains and the way that the town leaves everyone feeling so comfortable and satisfied.

Ski Levels

There are four mountains that make up the Aspen/Snowmass ski resort. Aspen Highlands offers over 200 acres of ski terrain. While nearly 20 percent is designated for beginners and 30 percent for intermediate skiers, this mountain is a local favorite due to its challenging terrain. Aspen Mountain has nearly 700 skiable acres and nearly 80 trails. It is the most well-known black diamond mountain with excellent in-bounds and out-of-bounds skiing. Buttermilk has over 40 trails on over 400 skiable acres. It is home to the X-Games and has become a favorite among olympic skiiers and snowboarders. Snomass has a vertical rise of 4,406 feet, and is home to 150 miles of trails and three terrain parks.  Known as a place where people with PhDs will sweep floors for a living just so they can be there, the ski patrol and instructors are the crème de la crème. Visitor safety is the number one concern and skiing and riding the mountains is guaranteed to improving visitor’s skills and abilities. Between the awesome setting and the quality of the instruction, it just does not get any better in Colorado.

Après Ski

Après ski may not have been invented here, but it seems to have been perfected here. Guests will find warm spirits, friendly faces, and genuine smiles. Whether guests seek a quiet, intimate or romantic meal, or a rousing good foot-tapping sing-along time with the local musicians (many of whom are actually world-famous artists), guests will find that "Aspenglow" filling and warming their heart. Of course, there are non-downhill activities as well. Aspen offers world-class pampering at several of the day spas. There’s the world-class opera house and all manner of other entertainment. Really, though it sounds redundant, nowhere else can quite compare.

Being that far up in the Rockies, it’s definitely an alpine winter environment. The winds can blow hard and fast, especially on the mountains where wind chills can reach well into the negative double-digits. Be sure to come prepared for the weather; bring good technical gear and powder jackets. Dress in quality layers.

Every skier and snowboarder owes it to themselves to go to the downhill mecca at least once. This ski vacation is an incredible, unbelievably good time, in fact, many people consider it the absolute best! The Aspen experience provides skiers and riders with memories that will last a lifetime, and ensures that they’ll return year after year. It truly is the perfect destination for ski vacations in Colorado.

Aspen Snowboard Vacation Guide

Rider’s Guide

Aspen Mountain gets 300 inches of snow per year and has nearly a dozen lifts including a gondola, a high-speed double and a high-speed quad, 76 trails, and a longest run of 15,840 feet. The mountains are amongst the most challenging, as 48 percent of the runs are rated advanced, 26 percent between advanced and expert, and another 26 percent is rated for experts only. Aspen Highlands also gets 300 inches per year. It has over 130 trails with the longest run 18,480 feet. The runs are rated 18 percent for beginner, 30 percent intermediate, 16 percent advanced, and an absolutely amazing 36 percent expert. Skilled riders and freestyle skiers will not going to bump into too many neophytes or kids here. This is serious snow business.

Parks and Pipes

Snowmass has three terrain parks, however, the other mountains here have their fair share of exhilarating terrain features and massive pipes to explore. Nearby Buttermilk features the top-to-bottom Playstation 3 Crazy T’rain Terrain Park, which is almost two miles long, features roughly 30 rails, and the only 22-foot superpipe in the area. There’s a gigantic kicker that allows for incredible air. Check out Highlands’ Grommets Gulch if you’re looking for a natural halfpipe.

Out of Bounds

Enjoy an old-fashioned sleigh ride at T-Lazy-7 Ranch with Maroon Bells Outfitters and Lodge, where visitors can also take snowmobile tours around the Maroon Bells and through the ghost town of Independence. Guests looking for indoor water sports of the hot, warm, and frozen variety are encouraged to visit the 83,000-square-foot Aspen Recreation Center, which features an NHL-sized ice rink for public ice skating, an aquatic area with a six-lane, 25-yard pool, a fun pool with a two-story water slide, hot tubs, and steam rooms.

Hangout & Hookup

This area is known around the world as a nightlife hotspot. There are so many great places to choose from, Little Annie’s, Cooper Street Pier, J-Bar, The Tavern, 39 Degrees at the Sky Hotel, The Red Onion, The Cantina, and The Terrace Room Bar at the Little Nell Hotel, are just a few of the many popular spots. Taste some great microbrews at McStorlie’s Pub and Eric’s Bar. When it’s dancing time, check out Mezzaluna, which has to be the most famous singles bar in Aspen. Catch some hot or cool beats at Bar Aspen, The Speakeasy, and The Lava Room. For a mellower time with music, try Jimmy’s, The Shadow Mountain Lounge at the St. Regis, The Little Nell Bar, or Syzygy.