Getting To Snowmass

Getting To Snowmass

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Where is Snowmass Colorado?

Snowmass Village sits at the base of the Snowmass ski resort which is 12 miles northeast of the town of Aspen (a 20 minute drive) in Pitkin County. Snowmass is 197 miles southwest of Denver Colorado.

Don’t get Snowmass Village and the associated Snowmass Ski Resort confused with the town of Snowmass which sits 13 miles away on highway 82 on Snowmass Creek. Also don’t confuse Snowmass Ski Resort with the 14er Snowmass Mountain which sits behind the ski resort.

Flying to Snowmass

There are three options for flying to Snowmass Colorado: Aspen airport; Vail/Eagle airport; and Denver International Airport.

The Aspen-Pitkin County airport (Sardy Field) is only 6.5 miles from Snowmass. In addition to receiving lots of private jets, Aspen airport has commercial flights that originate from US cities such as Denver, Los Angeles, SLC and Chicago. To make searching for flights to Aspen (ASA) easier, use one of the recommended flight search engines that compare flight options from multiple airlines. One downside of flying into Aspen is the risk of the airport closing in foul weather. To get between Aspen airport and Snowmass, you can catch the free RFTA buses that depart regularly. Alternatively some Snowmass accommodations provide complimentary airport transfers, or it’s reasonably economical to catch a taxi or private shuttle to Snowmass.

Another option is Eagle County airport (Vail/Eagle) which is about a 90 minute drive away. This airport is less plagued by weather issues and has a wider variety of routes than Aspen.

Snowmass is 219 miles from Denver International Airport, a drive that takes about 3.5 to 4 hours depending on traffic and road conditions. It’s possible to get a flight from Denver to Aspen, but many find it advantageous from a cost and time perspective just to get ground transportation to Snowmass. There are a multitude of operators that provide shared or private shuttles between Denver airport and the Aspen Snowmass area. It’s also possible to rent a car to get to Snowmass, but you don’t really need a car once you’re there because there’s a good local transport system.

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Driving to Snowmass

The drive to Snowmass is along I70 to Glenwood Springs and then onto highway 82. You can’t drive into Snowmass from the east via Twin Lakes and the Independence Pass, because the pass is closed during winter.

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Most of the Snowmass lodging provides parking for guests. For day trippers there is free parking at the Town Park Station, an area that requires a shuttle ride to get to the slopes.

Paid parking is available close to the slopes in the Base Village parking garage, Two Creeks or Lot E. Weekends attract a premium for the parking fees.

Orientation and Getting Around Snowmass

A huge pro for Snowmass is the abundance of ski-in ski-out accommodation, but one downside is that the village can be difficult to navigate on foot because it is very spread out. The roads are also rather steep, so walking around to go shopping or go for dinner can be somewhat challenging.

The Sky Cabins gondola provides free transport between the two main hubs of Snowmass Village; the mall which is located half way up Carriage Way and the Fanny Hill ski run; and the Base Village which is at the bottom of Carriage Way and the ski area.

A third hub of amenities is the Snowmass Shopping Center (aka Snowmass Center) that houses a restaurant, tavern, grocery store, liquor shop, and a few commercial properties such as real estate agents. This is located on Brush Creek Rd, a little way down from the slopes.

There is a shuttle bus system that runs up and down Carriage Way and to the other lodging areas of Snowmass Village. The shuttle system runs from 6:45am to 12:45am and the routes are pretty extensive. Otherwise there is an inexpensive subsidized Dial a Ride Service.

Getting Around Aspen Snowmass

There is a frequent RFTA bus service to get between Snowmass and the other three ski resorts or downtown Aspen. These depart from the mall bus terminal. The buses are free and they run every 15 minutes from 6:15am to 2:15am. There are a couple of direct services to Aspen Highlands, otherwise a transfer is required – ask the driver for help with this.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

Whilst the other Aspen Snowmass resorts are close to each other and are covered on the same lift ticket, they are not interconnected except via a free shuttle that runs between the four ski resorts (see above).

Aspen Highlands is 8.3 miles from Snowmass by road (20 minute drive). Buttermilk Mountain is 6 miles from Snowmass by road (15 minute drive). Aspen Mountain is 8.5 miles from Snowmass (20 minute drive).

Sunlight Mountain Resort is also reasonably close to Snowmass; about 49 miles to the northwest near Glenwood Springs.