Everything you need to know about Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Snowmass is not just one mountain – it’s Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Aspen Mountain. Four mountains with more bowls, chutes, cliffs, gullies, glades and wide-open groomers than you can possibly handle. And that’s just the in-bounds. All up you can enjoy 332 trails and runs up to 8 km long. Fresh and dry Colorado powder snow like you’ve always dreamed about covering 2300 hectares of skiable terrain with an annual snowfall of 300 inches (762 cm) and 40 lifts to get you to the top. And at the end of the ski day, over 120 restaurants and bars beckon.
Insider Ski and Snowboard Tips
Aspen has a reputation for attracting celebrities and the rich and famous, and no doubt it does. However, that is a superficial perspective on the place and Aspen is much, much more. It has everything, whether you are a core skier or snowboarder looking for great terrain and snow or a family on a long-awaited for holiday.
With over 335 trails spanning more than 5,300 acres of the Rocky Mountains, the four ski areas have terrain to suit all abilities and you would be hard-pressed to get bored skiing the same runs. For advanced skiers looking for a challenge, Aspen has some of the meanest mogul fields in the world (think a football field of moguls, each one the size of a small car). Backcountry skiers will also delight in hiking up the 3813 metre-high Highlands Bowl, to ski its legendary steeps in untracked powder.
You can fly into Aspen with connections from LA, San Francisco or Denver. Or fly to Denver and rent a car or catch a bus to Aspen. It’s an easy drive down the I70 highway.
There is something to suit all budgets. You can five-star it with the best, but from a family or budget traveller perspective, there is an affordable array of comfortable accommodation all within an easy walk to the middle of town, transport and the Aspen Gondola.
Restaurants and Après
Aspen is a town known for its lively nightlife and dining scene. Forget overpriced American ski cafeterias – this is where Nobu opened his first restaurant outside Beverly Hills. His sushi restaurant, Matsuhisa, is a top pick for cashed-up visitors, while the White House Tavern and J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome offer excellent pub-style food for those on a tighter holiday budget. For more casual dining try Venga Venga Cantina food truck in Snowmass village (for some of the world’s best burritos) and the Big Wrap in Aspen town (fresh and filling lunch for less than $8). For après antics in a swanky setting, grab a cocktail by the pool at the 39 Degrees bar at the Sky Hotel. The ski parties here are legendary.
Non Skiing Activities
While Aspen in winter is all about the snow and the mountains, the town was founded in 1879 and has different layers you don’t find in a purpose-built ski resort. It has a year-round population who live and work in the area and there is a palpable sense of community. Aspen has a well-deserved reputation as a happening, vibrant place and it offers plenty of entertainment with live music, cool bars and diverse food options.