Aspen Snowmass - Your Ultimate Travel Guide - MountainWatch Travel

Aspen | USA

Aspen Snowmass – Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Exploring Aspen Snowmass

If you’re searching for a premier ski destination, world wide, look no further than Aspen Snowmass in Colorado. In this travel guide, we’ll reveal the top reasons to plan your skiing or snowboarding adventure in Aspen Snowmass this season!

View looking down the mountain towards Aspen with the sun setting in the background
Sunset view of Aspen Snowmass

Location: Where is Aspen Snowmass?

Situated in the heart of the White River National Forest, Aspen is approximately 318 kilometers west of Denver, Colorado. The journey from Denver to Aspen, passing through the stunning Glenwood Springs, typically takes around 3.5 hours by car (assuming favorable weather conditions). Aspen sits at an elevation of 2,410 meters above sea level.

Aspen Snowmass consists of four world-class ski resorts: Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass Ski Area. The Aspen Snowmass ski pass grants you access to all four resorts. Additionally, Ikon Pass holders can enjoy up to 7 days of skiing at these resorts.

Arriving in Style: The Best Ways to Reach Aspen Snowmass

Aspen boasts its own airport – Aspen Pitkin County Airport – which is one of the busiest ski destination airports in the US. During the ski season, you can find weekly flights from major cities throughout the US. With flights departing the east coast of Australia and Auckland flying into Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago and Houston, all these cities have connections directly to Aspen, this makes for  an easy connection straight to the snow. The airport in Aspen is located a mere 6.4 kilometers from downtown Aspen, with numerous hotels and lodging properties offering convenient transportation options to and from the airport.

If you prefer a scenic drive from Denver to Aspen, simply follow the stunning Glenwood Canyon route, which showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Discover the Four Mountains of Aspen Snowmass

Your lift ticket for Aspen Snowmass provides access to all four distinct ski resorts, covering over 5,500 acres of skiable terrain. Below we have outlined the differences and benefits of each! 

Skier exploring the mountains at Aspen Snowmass
Skier exploring the mountains at Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Mountain

Aspen Mountain, located in the world-renowned town of Aspen, is accessible from two entry portals. Although it offers only 675 skiable acres, this resort delivers an impressive skiing experience with terrain comprising approximately 50% blue (more difficult) and 50% black and double black (expert) trails. Note that Aspen Mountain does not have beginner terrain, so novice skiers should consider starting at either Buttermilk Mountain or Snowmass.

Aspen Highlands

Aspen Highlands is a local favorite, offering some of the best skiing on Colorado’s Western Slope. With just over 1,000 acres of terrain, Highlands is smaller than Snowmass but larger than Aspen Mountain. The resort features around 25% blue (more difficult) terrain, with the remaining 75% comprising black and double black (expert) trails. Similar to Aspen Mountain, there is no beginner terrain at Aspen Highlands.


Buttermilk, the smallest mountain in the Aspen Snowmass group with 470 skiable acres, is both a delightful enigma and a haven for beginner skiers. The terrain is evenly split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails, making it an ideal spot for the entire family.


Snowmass Ski Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in North America, offers something for everyone. The resort features 5% easiest, 50% intermediate, and the remainder as expert-level skiing. With 3,342

Aspen Snowmass for Families

Aspen Snowmass is an ideal choice for a family ski holiday, providing an array of activities and facilities to ensure a fun-filled experience for kids of all ages.

Families skiing at Aspen Snowmass
Young family skiing at Aspen Snowmass

Ski and Snowboard Schools for Children

All four Aspen Snowmass mountains offer private ski lessons based on skill level. Snowmass Mountain and Buttermilk however are the only mountains that  provide comprehensive ski school programs that include ski lessons, childcare, lift tickets, equipment, lunch, and snacks. These ski lessons are available for children as young as 2.5 to 3 years old.

The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center

Located in Snowmass Village, the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center is a multilevel childcare facility that offers ski school programs, ski rentals, and supervised activities for children aged 8 weeks to 4 years. The themed rooms provide a fun and engaging environment for kids.

The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center staff consists of dedicated, fun-loving individuals who enjoy interacting with children. Additionally, a licensed registered nurse and state-licensed childcare services are available for infants and toddlers.

Fun Activities for Kids Beyond Skiing in Aspen Snowmass

For a change of pace from skiing, try tubing at Elk Camp on Snowmass Mountain. The tubing lanes, carved into The Meadows at Elk Camp, feature lighting facilities to brighten the runs. Guests can take the gondola up to Elk Camp and participate in Ullr Nights, a lively celebration complete with s’mores, snowbiking, the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, and delicious food.

At the Limelight Hotel in Snowmass, kids can enjoy the five-story climbing wall, which offers a fun challenge. The Collective, a new gathering spot in Snowmass Base Village, provides a place for guests to eat, drink, skate, learn, and play. Families can also enjoy Game Night in the game lounge.

Ice Skating Fun for the Whole Family

Aspen Snowmass offers several ice skating options for families. In downtown Aspen, the charming outdoor rink at Silver Circle is located near CP Burger and a short walk from The Little Nell. Alternatively, the indoor Aspen Ice Garden is available for public ice skating or private events. In Snowmass, families can enjoy outdoor ice skating in the heart of Base Village, right in front of the Limelight Snowmass Hotel.

Adult Winter Fun in Aspen 

Fireworks going off alongside the mountain above town
Fireworks at Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass not only delivers for the kids and who family but is the go-to winter destination for adults seeking adventure and a lively après-ski scene. After hitting the slopes, unwind at cozy spots like Ajax Tavern or the stylish Sky Hotel, where you can enjoy gourmet bites, creative cocktails, and mingle with fellow snow-lovers.

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets; Aspen Snowmass has a thriving nightlife with venues like Belly Up Aspen, where live music and DJ sets keep the energy high. For a chill vibe, head to J-Bar at the historic Hotel Jerome. Don’t forget to check out the variety of other winter activities, like snowshoeing, snowmobile tours, and relaxing spa treatments. With an abundance of top-notch restaurants, you won’t go hungry in Aspen Snowmass.

So, whether you’re a pro skier or just looking for a unique winter escape, Aspen Snowmass offers the perfect blend of outdoor excitement and indulgent luxury. Get ready to create unforgettable memories in this winter wonderland!

Unveiling Pandora’s – Aspen Mountains Expansion

Get stoked for Aspen Mountain’s new expansion – Pandora’s! With a whopping 153 acres of fresh skiing and riding terrain, this epic addition is set to launch in the 2023-2024 season. It’s been a minute since Aspen Mountain’s last significant expansion back in 1985, so this is definitely a big deal.

Last November, the Board of Pitkin County Commissioners gave the thumbs up for Aspen Skiing Company’s plan to amp up Aspen Mountain’s skiable terrain by 22% and with that, Pa Pandora’s, the fresh new area, is tucked away in the upper eastern parts of the mountain, and has been thoughtfully developed with the environment, community vibes, and skier experience in mind.

Once the 2023-2024 season kicks off, you’ll be able to hop on the high-speed quad lift and cruise right into Pandora’s. Get ready to shred 1,220 vertical feet of groomed trails and glades, offering a mix of intermediate to advanced terrain. Plus, you’ll find extensions to some of your all-time fave expert runs like Walsh’s, Kristi, and Hyrup’s.

Get psyched for the ultimate ski adventure, as Aspen Mountain’s Pandora’s expansion promises to amp up your skiing and riding experience like never before!

Discover the Ultimate Aspen Snowmass Adventure in 2023

Gondola's going up and down the mountain at Aspen Snowmass
Gondola’s at Aspen Snowmass

Ready for an epic ski trip? Look no further than Aspen Snowmass in 2023! With four amazing ski resorts, fun activities for families and adults alike, and the rad Pandora’s expansion, there’s never been a better time to hit the slopes. Book with Mountainwatch Travel for a stress-free, well-planned getaway, so you can just kick back and make unforgettable memories with your crew. Don’t miss out on the awesomeness that Aspen Snowmass has to offer this ski season!




People viewing the trees around Aspen Snowmass that are decorated with lights
Lights in the trees at Aspen Snowmass

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? Speak to one of our ski travel specialists today!