Everyone deserves Aspen at least once in a lifetime!
While Aspen is renowned for the celebs who visit and call it home, it’s equally famous for the spectacular variety of slopes, après ski action, dining for every palette, shopaholic candy and cosmopolitan bar scene – both down in town and high up in the mountains.
Whether you’ve never seen the snow or were born to this world in a pair of ski boots, you really should experience the winter magic of Aspen Snowmass at least once in your life.
Things you’ll love about Aspen Snowmass:
· 4 unique and stunning mountain resorts on 1 lift ticket
· Skiing and boarding for everyone from timid snow virgins to marauding double-black runners
· 100+ bars and restaurants to explore before, during and after a day on the slopes
· Making merry at the legendary mountain-top Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro
· Enough designer boutiques to rival Madison Avenue
· Accommodation options for every taste and budget
· Easy to get to from Australia
Blue Powder Insider Tip, Sam says “Book the free First Tracks guided tour to ski or board down Aspen Mountain or Snowmass at 8 am and leave you signature in the fresh powder before anyone else”
Ski 4 Fantastic Resorts for the Price of 1
One of the many brilliant things about Aspen Snowmass is the way Mother Nature designed it. Instead of sprinkling four amazing ski resorts across the Colorado Rockies, she sculpted a cosy home for all of them right here within kilometres of each other and all with a breathtaking scenic backdrop.
For beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders, that equates to 5300 acres of white mountain paradise accessible on one lift ticket, and all linked by a free shuttle bus.
Aspen Mountain – Advanced (and very game Intermediates)
· Rising above Aspen Village, just a short walk and lift ride away.
· Steep terrain for skiers and boarders and more bowls, chutes, cliffs, gullies, glades and wide open groomers than you can poke a ski pole at.
· Plenty of long groomers, bumps, black-diamond trails and double-black runs
· Ride a luxury snowcat to prime glades and runs at the back of Aspen Mountain on a Powder Tour. Fresh tracks guaranteed and gourmet lunch included
· Look out for The Oasis — a pop-up mobile Champagne bar towed around Aspen Mountain on a snowcat.
· Oodles of dining and Après ski options in Aspen Village (see further down for ideas)
Blue Powder Insider Tip, Sam says “Ski Ruthies for one of the best views over Aspen town!”
Snowmass – Beginners, Intermediates and Families
· Free shuttle – 15 mins from Aspen
· Ski area is as big as the other three resorts combined, so you could happily ski here the whole time
· 3 beginner-friendly zones Elk Camp, Assay Hill and Fanny Hill with gentle green trails
· Lashings of groomed blue and black intermediate runs + challenging terrain off the High Alpine and Sheer Bliss chairlifts.
· 8 km Intermediate run Long Shot that blends cruise glades and easy mogul fields
· 21 crowd-free lifts with access to your choice of cruisers, glades, steeps, terrain parks and halfpipes
· Kids love Snowmass with its interactive children’s centre, customised kids trails and famous kids’ ski school
· Drop in the Ranger Station for thirst quenching ski-in ski out beers
· Venga Venga for Mexican food and happy hour specials
· Plenty of dining and Après ski options on and off mountain
Blue Powder Insider Tip, Sam says “Snowmass keeps everyone smiling. It’s got the Beginner Magic Lounge and green runs plus plenty of blue, black and double black challenges for your experienced crew”
Buttermilk – complete Beginners and avid freestylers
· Free shuttle – 11 mins from Aspen, 10 mins from Snowmass
· Excellent learning mountain for new skiers and snowboarders
· Aspen’s longest terrain parks with 100 features to ride including the 22-foot superpipe
· Host to the ESPN winter X-Games, with pipes and 100 features to ride
· 12 lifts, including nine super lifts and a high-speed gondola
· Long, wide groomers at West Buttermilk and steeper rolling runs at Tiehack
· Bumps offers a wide variety of healthy, innovative dishes.
· Head to Cliffhouse for “make your own” Mongolian grill
Aspen Highlands – Advanced and Local Fave
· Free shuttle – 8 mins from Aspen, 15 mins from Snowmass
· Highest summit of the four mountains
· Abundance of expert terrain, groomed cruisers and breathtaking views of the Maroon Bells
· Hit Highland Bowl for 2,500-vertical-foot descents down pitches as steep as 45 degrees.
· 45-minute hike to the summit will reward you with 2,500-vertical-ft descents down pitches as steep as 45 degrees.
· 5 lifts, no lines, uncrowded slopes and runs to please all levels.
· Test your mogul skills and leg muscles on the extended Mushroom trail
· On a big powder day head to Child’s Play in the Highland Bowl.
· Indulge in raucous après ski scene at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro (more information below)
· Highlands Pizza Company features a full bar and virtually every style of pizza
Blue Powder Insider Tip, Sam says “Take the 45 minute hike up Highlands Bowl for the most exhilarating views and 3 minute ski drop of your life!”
Should we stay in Aspen or Snowmass?
Good question. And because free shuttles run all day and into the night between Aspen and Snowmass either one is a great option.
· If the Aspen off-slope action is as important as your on slope fun, stay in Aspen and shuttle to Snowmass and the other resorts when the mood takes you.
· If you want ski-in ski out access to the biggest variety of ski terrain, stay in Snowmass and venture in to Aspen at night.
· 95% of Snowmass accommodation is ski in/ski out including the perfectly placed Crestwood Lodge and Condominiums
· Most Aspen accommodation is in town, but ski lockers are available at the base of the gondola.
· Both Aspen and Snowmass have budget to luxury accommodation options
Best Après action in North America
From casual to sophisticated, laid back to party overdrive, Aspen has a jaw-dropping choice of off-slope dining, entertainment and shopping options.
And in the town that Conde Nast has tipped as North America’s best après scene, you could even find yourself rubbing shoulders with the many celebs who holiday and own chalets here.
· Start your day with waffles, eggs Benedict or omelettes at Aspen Overeasy
· Indulge in a Cloud 9 lunch of delectable daily specials with matching international wines, Champagne and majestic views of the Maroon Bells.
· Have lunch at Lynne Britt cabin on the Snowmass mountain
· Eat mouth-watering pizza at Brunelleschi’s.
· Head to local favourite L’Hostaria for homemade pasta and great wines
· Book a Cloud 9 Thursday night Snowcat Dinner with a 6pm pickup at the base of Highlands Mountain, drop off at 10.30pm, ready to party in town
· Play chopsticks with some of the world’s best sushi at Matsuhisa
Blue Powder Insider Tip, Sam says “Get down and dirty devouring the best ribs in town at the Aspen Hickory House.”
· Head to the Aspen brewing company to sample the local brews
· Try an Aspen Crud bourbon infused vanilla milkshake at J Bar, where Hollywood royalty used to prop up the bar.
· Grab a high top table or chaise-lounge at Chair 9 in the Little Nell Hotel, one of the best après-ski lounges in the country. Or upgrade to VIP seating for bottle service and room for up to eight guests.
· Secure a patio table at Ajax Tavern for a casual sun-drenched lunch or sunset cocktails, truffle fries and people watching
· Drop in to Justice Snow for the unique, handmade cocktails
· Check out who’s playing at the Belly Up, as they often have big name acts
· Rock, reggae and hip hop on at the Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series.
· Get down at 39 Degrees in the Sky Hotel – BYO bikini or boardies if you want a dip in the pool
· Dance up a storm at Cloud Nine ski boot dance parties under a bobbing sea of champagne flutes, wine glasses and colourful cocktails
· For some old school fun, The Tavern party rolls on well into the night
Retail and Soul Therapy
· Stretch out at yoga at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain
· Visit the local dog shelter and take some ex husky sled dogs for a walk
· Take a guided snowshoe tour on Snowmass Mountain to see the winter forest in a whole new way
· Have a shot of culture at the Aspen Art Museum or Red Brick Center
· Browse the selection of books and Explore Bookstore
· High end dresses, shoes and bags at Distractions
· Susie’s Consignment’s for those with luxury clothes taste but limited means.
Getting to Aspen
· Fly daily from Australia to Denver or Aspen via LA or San Francisco