Born out of the late-19th century silver rush in Colorado, Aspen has reached the pinnacle of skiing heaven in the United States and became one of the best ski resorts in US.
The skiing boom took off post WWII as mountain men from the United States and Europe transformed the town to a wintery haven for expert riders. Aspen quickly drew in skiers from all over the world to conquer its relentless terrain. Becoming the host of international competitions only heightened its global reputation as one of the world’s most popular ski destinations.
Today, four neighboring ski areas collectively form Aspen Snowmass and its name remains synonymous with skiing utopia. High-octane slopes, celebrity sightings and family fun make a winter trip to Aspen an unforgettable experience.
Here’s the inside scoop to the four areas of Aspen Snowmass and what makes each a rider’s paradise!
Known locally as Ajax, Aspen Mountain is where the fun and games in this formerly sleepy town all began!
The white-knuckle, steep-sided runs were the brainchild of former US military members and world-renowned European skiers. Its picturesque location overlooking downtown Aspen make it the most convenient place for a powdery extravaganza.
Aspen Mountain is the epicenter of ski culture and many of the world’s most prestigious competitions began coming to town in the 1950s. From scenic glades to challenging downhill runs, advanced riders will have endless terrain minutes from town.
Take the Silver Queen Gondola to the Sundeck for jaw-dropping views of the Elk Mountains while dining on stir-fry, steamy soups, pizzas and more!
Think your skiing or snowboarding skills are among the best? Then Aspen Highlands is the place to go while in Aspen!
Aspen Highlands offers avid riders some of Colorado’s steepest and most challenging runs. Notably, the legendary Highland Bowl attracts some of the world’s most daring adventurers on the circuit. This breathtaking backcountry ride is what skiing dreams are made of and seasoned riders leave with everlasting tales to share around the campfire.
The Olympic Bowl and Steeplechase are more accessible spots for an exhilarating run, and the sweeping views of Maroon Bells are out of this world. Long, powdery runs and treks off the beaten trail create a more local vibe at Highlands.
Party it up at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, an upscale cabin noted for Swiss-style décor, ambiance and champagne-infused shindigs.
With a vertical of 4,406-feet, Snowmass surpasses the amount of vertical skiing of any of the ski resorts in Colorado and the United States. The sheer amount of terrain the park encompasses dwarfs the other three famous Aspen ski havens.
From easy-going cruiser runs to treacherously steep terrain, there is a place for everyone to have a splendid time at Snowmass. Nearly 100 trails and 20+ chairlifts spread out over 3,000 acres provide riders with the most versatile terrain in Aspen.
Ski and snowboard schools are fabulous opportunities for beginners to ease into the slopes and those looking for thrills can hone their skills in three separate terrain parks.
Snowmass Village is Aspen’s place for families at its core and it has well deserved reputation as one of the best family ski resorts in US and one of the premier destinations for family winter getaways. Gather around for a hearty meal at Elk Camp or entertain the little ones at the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center. If the kids are up for a thrill, hitch a ride on the winding Breathtaker Alpine Coaster.
Buttermilk Mountain or just Buttermilk offers the best of both worlds for beginners tackling their first runs and veterans looking to shred in its thrill-inducing terrain park.
The park added to its acclaim by becoming the annual host of the ESPN Winter X Games. Worldwide talent comment on the turns, leaps and obstacles that make Buttermilk’s terrain park stand out among the world’s best. In particular, the 22-foot Zaugg cut Superpipe and Big Air Jump have been the platforms where riders have accomplished career defining milestones.
In contrast, family-friendly slopes allow the youngsters to ease into the sport before daring to attempt bigger jumps. Panda Peak is the perfect starting point, but other light-hearted runs are well-suited for family fun.