Mountain Travel

Experience ASPEN HIGHLANDS SKI RESORT in COLORADO

Summit of Aspen Highlands and the backside of the Highland Bowl from Buttermilk Mountain

ANNUAL SNOWFALL: 300 in / 762 cm
BASE ELEVATION: 8,040 ft / 2,451 m
SUMMIT ELEVATION: 12,392 ft / 3,777 m
HOURS OF OPERATION: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 am-4:00 pm
SEASON DATES: Dec. 07, 2019 – Apr. 12, 2020
SKIABLE AREA: 1,040 acres / 421 hectares

Where is the Aspen Highlands Ski Resort?

Aspen Highlands is in the west of the town of Aspen, Colorado, about 3.5 miles by road. Visitors can reach the resort via a free shuttle bus system from Aspen or Snowmass.

Aspen resident Whip Jones founded Aspen Highlands had facilitated the land development in 1958. However, he donated it to his Alma Mater, Harvard University, in 1993. Harvard then sold the resort to Houston, Texas developer Gerald D. Hines for $18.3 million and eventually became part of the Aspen Skiing Company.

The Highland Bowl put Aspen Highlands in the spotlight, although it was only completely opened in 2002. Most of the mountain’s terrain flows off the narrow ridge extending from Highland Peak.

Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy a new spot of the winter sports in the resort as it has ski and snowboard terrain for all levels, but it’s most well-known for the expert runs and preferred mountain for hardcore ski bums and the local old hands.

Although it’s a little lower profile than Aspen Snowmass or ski resorts like Vail or Beaver Creek, skiers who love less crowded slopes and not much traffic area prefer to visit Aspen Highlands. This could also be your next ski holiday destination with your family and friends!

View of Cloud Nine in Aspen Highlands

Ski and Snowboard Terrain & Highland Bowl

With 1,028 acres area, Aspen Highlands is the second largest of the Aspen Snowmass ski resorts. It is significantly smaller than the Big Daddy Snowmass. The 3,635 feet (1,108 meters) up to an elevation of 11,675 ft (3,559 meters) is accessible via lift. Even if the lift can access the terrain, visitors should be fit because there is not much rest on the lifts (3 of the 5 lifts are high-speed quads).

The resort has plenty of slopes and friendly trails for beginners and many eye-watering groomers for intermediate level skiers.

Aspen Highlands’s pièce de resistance is the Highland Bowl, which includes steep backcountry style terrain in an open bowl that fans down to tight trees. Some pitches can be as steep as 48 degrees, and much of the terrain can be humbling. The bowl is partially accessible via snowcat but is mostly a challenging and extreme hike. Nevertheless, the views of the Maroon Bells from the top are very rewarding.

Due to its nerve-racking hikes, many punters are hesitant to take the risk, making the bowl not crowded, unlike the Summit Country ski resort or Vail ski resort. The snow quality is reasonably good, and fresh tracks across the rest of the resort don’t last particularly long.

The Lower Olympic run, from the top of the Cloud 9 chairlift

Aspen Highlands Apartments and Lodging

There are a couple of shops, restaurants, a pub, various apartments, and lodging at the base area of Aspen Highlands, and the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Lodging is a good choice if your focus is just skiing or snowboarding because there is little else to do.

The terrain in Aspen Highlands caters to all ability levels but is suited mainly for advanced to expert riders.

Quick tips to make getting around Aspen Highlands

TIP #1.

RFTA 

There is no need to worry and be stressed about getting around the resort as the local system of public transport buses is excellent. The RFTA buses are very efficient, timely, cover many free routes, and have a high adoption from locals.

Just enjoy with your slides in the racks on the side, hop aboard, and get dropped off at the base – no need to worry about traveling through snow-covered roads or finding a parking spot because the RFTA Flyer will shuttle skiers and riders from Brush Creek Lot directly to Aspen Highlands on Saturdays and Sundays, so it has never been easier to get first tracks on a powder day!

TIP#2:

CHECK PARKING LOT STATUS IN THE ASPEN SNOWMASS APP

All you must do is open the Aspen Snowmass App to check on parking status at your go-to spot. If your favorite parking lot is full, you can quickly reroute to the nearest lot with our help.

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