Mountain Travel

Colorado’s Best Ski Resort: Aspen Snowmass

people and the village at the base of the Snowmass Mountain

Top elevation: 12,510 ft (3,810 m)
Base elevation: 8,104 ft (2,470 m)
Skiable area: 3,362 acres (13.61 km2)
Runs: 94
6% beginner
47% intermediate
17% advanced
30% expert

If you are looking for that one perfect ski holiday in North America, go to Colorado. The excellent state offers several world-class ski resorts like Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and the famous and sought-after – Aspen Snowmass!

Where is Aspen Snowmass?

Aspen Snowmass is a winter resort complex in Pitkin County, western Colorado. It is under the Aspen Skiing Company’s ownership and operation. It comprises four skiing and snowboarding areas on four adjacent mountains in the vicinity of Aspen and Snowmass Village towns.

The four areas, namely, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Aspen Snowmass, are the most famous winter resorts in the world and are each year’s top destinations for visitors for winter sports and activities.

Aspen Mountain, on Bell Mountain, is the oldest of the four areas, but the Aspen Highlands on Highland Peak and Loge Peak is just north of Aspen. A more family-oriented ski area is Buttermilk resort just north of Aspen Highlands. It is also known for its world-class terrain park, host of the X Games.

Aspen Snowmass is the largest of the four areas (more prominent than the other three combined), situated near Snowmass Village.

As its name says, Snowmass is covered with perfect Colorado powder and massive enough that can cater to all types of winter activities with its varied terrain from serene to extreme. Twenty-one lifts deliver visitors to more than 3,300 acres of snow sports smorgasbord, including 94 trails totaling 150 miles, which vary from cruisers to cliff bands. There are three additional terrain parks, and pipes comprise Aspen Snowmass.

Chris Davenport, a champion of the World Extreme Skiing who skied all of North America’s ski spots, said, “Snowmass has some of the best steeps, cliffs, couloirs, backcountry, terrain parks, and powder anywhere in North America.” No doubt that the Ski Magazine would choose the resort as one of the top ski areas in the Western US.

There won’t be a waste of time getting to the slopes as lodging in the resort are 95% ski-in and ski-out. No other mountain offers a variety of experiences you’ll find at Snowmass.

A sun setting at Snowmass ski resort

WINTER OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Skiing. Snowmass is notable with its unparalleled variety of skiing & snowboarding terrains. Another adventure you will surely love is cross-Country Skiing. Start from the Snowmass Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Center, stride, and glide through over 60 miles of Nordic trail in the Aspen/Snowmass area. The trails are windows to exceptional views, looking up-valley towards Mt. Daly.

Ice Skating. The highlight at the new Snowmass Base Village Plaza is an outdoor ice rink with free skate rentals and extended hours in the winter. Have fun in front of the Limelight Hotel Snowmass and follow your rink time with an après snack, drink, or dinner at the Limelight Lounge.

Tubing. The resort is complete with tubing facilities for the winter season. The multiple lanes are lift-served and carved into The Meadows at Elk Camp, with lighting facilities to illuminate the runs at night during Ullr Nights festivities.

Uphilling. Uphilling is traversing up a mountain on skis or a split board with specialized equipment, including skins and specialized alpine touring bindings. Don’t worry if you are new to this because Aspen Snowmass offers uphilling lessons with alpine touring equipment rentals available at all Four Mountain Sports locations.

Share the fun with locals and other resort visitors as uphilling has become a favorite winter activity at Aspen Snowmass. All four mountains at the resort accommodate uphill skiers with designated routes to ensure safety, not compromising the scenic and enjoyable route to the top.

a man on a sleigh pulled by the winter dogs

WHERE TO STAY AT SNOWMASS

Of course, a comfortable and cozy place to stay whenever going out for a holiday is also an important thing to always consider. Well, those who can afford a 5-star hotel will always pick the most expensive hotels for a night or more.

You can always check Snowmass’s official website for the different offerings available and suited for your holiday budget.

Limelight Hotel Aspen, 126-room property nestled in the heart of downtown. It is notable with its contemporary décor, relaxed atmosphere, and friendly staff. It offers continental breakfast, free in-town transportation, adventure concierge, complimentary activities for guests, outdoor pool and hot tubs, vibrant lounge and happy hour, and pet-friendly rooms.

Snow Queen Lodge. This is also known as “The Jewel of Aspen.” This is an 1886 Victorian B&B Lodge by the Aspen Historic Society. It is just 2 blocks from the center of downtown Aspen and walking distance to ski lifts, restaurants, and shops. There are free shuttle buses to Aspen’s surrounding ski areas.

Innsbruck Inn. This is a European style inn providing complimentary breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese, a heated pool, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Nothing beats a delightful atmosphere and legendary hospitality!

Annabelle Inn. This is in the heart of downtown Aspen. It is a charming vintage European ski lodge, offering all of the modern conveniences one would expect with a stay in Aspen. Savor a glass of wine while enjoying the mountain views from the hot tub.

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