Aspen Snowmass

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Aspen (Ajax Mountain), Aspen Highlands & Buttermilk
Aspen (Ajax Mountain), Aspen Highlands & Buttermilk
Downtown Aspen - Hyman Mall | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Downtown Aspen - Hyman Mall | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Historic Independence Square Aspen | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Historic Independence Square Aspen | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Opulent Ski-In/Out Little Nell at Aspen
Opulent Ski-In/Out Little Nell at Aspen
Aspen Mountain is a good all-rounder | Photo: C2 Photography
Aspen Mountain is a good all-rounder | Photo: C2 Photography
Silver Queen Gondola Aspen Mountain | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Silver Queen Gondola Aspen Mountain | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Aspen Sundeck at the top of Aspen Mountain | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Sundeck at the top of Aspen Mountain | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Mountain back-bowls | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Aspen Mountain back-bowls | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Snowmass Village at night | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Snowmass Village at night | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Powder skiing at Snowmass Mountain | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Powder skiing at Snowmass Mountain | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Snowmass Mall | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Snowmass Mall | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Capital Peak Lodge at Snowmass Village
Capital Peak Lodge at Snowmass Village
Snowmass Base Area | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Snowmass Base Area | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Sunshine & groomers at Snowmass Mountain | Photo: Hal Williams
Sunshine & groomers at Snowmass Mountain | Photo: Hal Williams
Snowmass Mountain Coaster | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Snowmass Mountain Coaster | Photo: Jeremy Swanson
Aspen Highlands has the steepest terrain | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Highlands has the steepest terrain | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Highlands Bowl is a go-to on a powder day | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Highlands Bowl is a go-to on a powder day | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Aspen mountains are renowned for dry powder | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Aspen mountains are renowned for dry powder | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Buttermilk (foreground) is a great intermediate mountain & host to X-games | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Buttermilk (foreground) is a great intermediate mountain & host to X-games | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass new years fireworks | Photo: Hal Williams
Snowmass new years fireworks | Photo: Hal Williams

Aspen Snowmass

Readers Ratings

Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass4.5/521
Aspen Snowmass4.5 out of 5 based on 21 reviews
  • Recommend
    90%
  • Would Revisit
    90%

Aspen Snowmass Colorado

You’d have to be “Dumb and Dumber” not to have heard of the incredible skiing to be had in Aspen Colorado. Aspen Snowmass offers a brilliant all-round ski resort experience with world-class facilities. Aspen receives a lot of publicity for the rich and famous that visit, but the real drawcard is the huge amount of terrain available across the four Aspen ski resorts, the light dry Colorado powder, and the consistently great weather.

With the exception of Snowmass, each Aspen ski resort is rather average, but it’s the combination of the 4 ski areas of the Aspen Skiing Company plus the many drawcards of the town of Aspen that make the place special.

Pros and Cons of an Aspen Ski Vacation

Pros 
  • Aspen Snowmass offers a huge amount of terrain across the 4 Aspen ski resorts that are covered on the same lift ticket. The ski areas are also accessible on the Ikon Pass.
  • Aspen Snowmass offers high quality services and facilities, and the Aspen ski school is highly renowned.
  • The town of Aspen is delightful and we’ve rated it as one of the best ski towns in Colorado. Aspen town is host to a large range of restaurants, bars and shops, and some interesting people watching.
  • The nightlife and après ski festivities are a highlight. There are lots of happening bars and the social aspects of an Aspen ski holiday are hard to beat.
  • There are plenty of activities beyond just the skiing and snowboarding at the Aspen ski resorts.
  • You can go cat skiing with Aspen Powder Tours.
Cons
  • Aspen is probably not the place to ski or snowboard on a shoestring, but you pay for the quality that you get including huge terrain, great resort infrastructure, and world class service.
  • Whilst the resorts are close to each other, they are not interconnected via the slopes, but there is a free shuttle that runs between Aspen and the ski resorts.

Aspen Ski Resorts

Aspen Snowmass is made up of four separate ski resorts that are within a 9 mile radius of each other: Aspen Mountain (aka Ajax) looms above the town of Aspen; Snowmass is a 20 minute drive from downtown Aspen; and Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands are only a few clicks away from town. Each of the 4 Aspen ski resorts and their base areas have rather distinct personalities and strengths. See the overview table or you can check out the pros and cons of each on the resort overview pages.

 Overview of Aspen Ski Resorts
 Pros  Not So Good For
Aspen Mountain  Easy access to/from Aspen town
 Apres ski scene
 Beginners
Aspen Highlands  Expert terrain
 Alpine bowl
 Beginners
 Nightlife, glitz
Buttermilk  Beginner terrain
 Terrain parks
 Advanced & expert riders
Snowmass  Large diverse terrain
 Family oriented
 Ski-in ski-out lodging
 Nightlife

The Aspen Snowmass ski resorts provide a ginormous ski area of 5,527 acres, with 362 marked trails that are 319 miles in length, 41 lifts, and multiple terrain parks. The trails have a good spread of variety for beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert riders. Aspen boasts plenty of wide groomed trails, powder bowls, moguls, tree runs, and gated backcountry skiing.

It is easy for hard-core skiers and snowboarders to overlook Aspen because of its glamorous reputation, but rest assured there are plenty of steeps and white knuckle runs to challenge experienced riders.

Similarly, powder hounds sometimes steer clear of Aspen Snowmass because of the misconception that it’s really crowded. Sure Aspen is certainly not a secret ski destination where powder hounds can relish in the powder all by themselves. However in amongst all that terrain there are some secret powder stashes to be found, especially if you hook up with a guide in the know.

Aspen Snow

As is typical of Colorado ski resorts, the quality of the powder is usually very good, and with 300 inches of snowfall per season on average, powder days are reasonably common.

Where is Aspen Snowmass Colorado?

The town of Aspen is 220 miles southwest of Denver International Airport. Frequent ground transportation operates between Denver airport and Aspen. A rental car is another option, although once in Aspen a car isn’t really necessary as there is a free bus and shuttle system that travels around town and between the ski resorts.

Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is another gateway airport, about 3 miles (5km) from Aspen and 6 miles from Snowmass. Flights originate from various cities including Denver, Los Angeles, SLC and Chicago. The downside of flying into Aspen is the small risk of the airport closing in foul weather. You can look at flight options here.

Aspen Hotels & Lodging

Aspen is a historic ski town with a wide variety of accommodation to suit most budgets and tastes. If you want to spend a fortune on lodging in this town you certainly can, but the reality is there are some options for those on a budget. The town of Aspen has hotels, condos, motels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, and plenty of vacation rentals. See the Aspen lodging page for more information.

Snowmass is home to a thriving village at the base of the mountain that has been well planned such that approximately 95 percent of the lodging is conveniently ski in ski out. Snowmass lodging is mainly hotels and condominiums. The other option is to stay in the village at the base of Aspen Highlands but there's not much else to do there other than ski or snowboard.

Aspen & Snowmass Accommodations Listings

Aspen Activities

Aspen Snowmass has a plethora of off-slope activities on offer including ice skating, paragliding, hot air ballooning, the alpine coaster, day spas or a soak in hot springs. Other on-snow activities include snow shoeing and cross country skiing. Aspen is also heaven for any shop-a-holic with designer clothing shops, gift shops, galleries, and plenty of ski and snowboard shops. You don’t need to partake in organised activities to make the most of Aspen. People-watching on the streets or in restaurants is amazing darhling and an activity in itself.

Aspen Colorado Elevation

The elevation of Aspen town is 8,000 feet (2,438m) and the Snowmass Village is at 9,100ft, whilst the top lift-access elevations of the Aspen ski resorts range from 9,900 to 12,510ft (Snowmass), so seaside dwellers may need to take it a little easy for a couple of days. See the altitude sickness Colorado page for more information.
Tours In/Near Aspen Snowmass

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Powder Hunt Trips
HOSTED SKI & SNOWBOARD POWDER CHASER
6 Nights | 5 Ski Days | 1-3 Resorts
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
So if you are looking to only ski or ride powder in North America this season, this tour could be your ticket to powder happiness! Lock in a date for your tour & Ski Ride Tours will choose the best destination just before your arrival based on the best possible snow conditions.
Price p/p From price is average cost and may vary depending on the ultimate destination
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USD 2,800
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Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

15 Night Aspen Instructional Tour
HOSTED INSTRUCTIONAL PACKAGE
16 Days | 15 Nights | 14 Skiing Days | 4 Resorts
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Get the best out of Aspen and improve your skiing with a company that has been giving people the time of their lives since 1995. Resorts including Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 5,913
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Heli Skiing Tours

Telluride Helitrax - Day Heli Skiing
TELLURIDE DAY HELISKIING TOUR
6 Runs of Powder Heaven!
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Solo skiers/boarders, small groups & larger groups can enjoy an epic day of heliskiing at Telluride Helitrax. And if you’re skiing at Vail or Aspen, they can organise a same-day charter flight (fixed wing aircraft) to get you to Telluride. Have an awesome day heli-skiing & be home in time for dinner with the family!
Price p/p From price based on single day of heliskiing (6 runs) per person for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,395
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Cat Skiing Tours

Aspen Powder Tours - Day Cat Skiing Tours
DAY SNOWCAT SKIING & BOARDING ASPEN
Ski the backside of Aspen
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Escape from the moguls and masses in Aspen this winter with a day or more of cat skiing in Aspen's backcountry. With over 1,200 skiable acres you will be sure to get plenty of fresh tracks. These tours book up early so be sure to secure your spot asap.
Price p/p From price based on per person for a private snowcat trip with 8 people.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 688
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