Aspen Snowmass is a place where the 4 distinct ski areas (totalling 5,300 acres2,145 hectares) challenge and thrill you by day, and where a vibrant cultural scene greets you at night. A place where just as much devotion is reserved for a polished groomer as a perfect line through the powder covered trees, and where people know the value of staying out late and rising early for first tracks.
It all began in a sleepy post-war town in 1946. Now, Aspen Mountain is the skier’s classic. Its runs were designed and cut by the men who served in the US Army’s 10 Mountain Division, as well as some of Europe’s best mountaineers and skiers. With the Silver Queen Gondola rising Aspen Mountain’s entire 3,300 vertical feet1,005 vertical metres directly from downtown Aspen, it’s also an easy choice if you’re staying in a downtown hotel or want a quick and efficient few runs before a lunch date or other non-ski plans. Aspen Mountain's comparatively small size—675 acres275 hectares—packs an amazing variety of terrain, all quickly accessible. It's know for it's mostly intermediate and advanced terrain. There are gorgeous aspen glades to navigate in the Dumps, amazingly fun lines under Lift 1A, and more than 70 shrines, hidden in the trees, that commemorate locals and celebrities alike and contribute to the unique character of this place.
Aspen Highlands is considered a “locals’ mountain.” Well-known for its legendary Highland Bowl, a double-black-diamond bowl accessed via a hike to 12,392-foot3,777-metre Highland Peak, Aspen Highlands offers plenty of variety in its terrain. For a challenge, try the steep, no-nonsense fall lines in Steeplechase or plentiful powder stashes of Deep Temerity. Aspen Highlands also offers a lot for those who aren’t as radically inclined: fun learning bumps on Scarlett’s; impeccably groomed, wide green and blue cruisers with incredible views; and pockets of challenging terrain on the lower mountain that see very little traffic. And while crowds are never really a problem at Aspen Snowmass, the feeling of having a run all to yourself is most felt at laid-back Highlands.
Buttermilk is known for two things: being the beginners’ mountain and hosting the Winter X Games. Its reputation for both ends of the ski/snowboard spectrum is well earned. Countless local families swear by the gentle, accessible terrain of kid-oriented Panda Peak to introduce their little ones to the slopes. Buttermilk’s two parks keep aspiring freeriders busy all day. But there’s more to Buttermilk. Families and beginners, can explore this mountain’s wide groomers, tree trails, and many glades. Tiehack, the east side of the mountain with its own lift and parking lot, is the go-to place on a powder day for many locals.
Snowmass totals over 3,300 acres1,335 hectares with the highest vertical rise in the country, at 4,400 feet1,340 metres. This massive mountain truly offers something for everyone. Enjoy the steeps and powder fields of Hanging Valley and the endless cruisers. Explore the tree trails or Snowmass’s three terrain parks. Elevate your skills by taking a lesson from the Pros in the ski and snowboard school. To finish off the day, try out the new Breathtaker Alpine Coaster or meet for a meal at Elk Camp. Snowmass fully earns its reputation as the family-friendly mountain—no matter what any skier or rider in the family might desire.
Together, Aspen-Snowmass's four incredible ski areas create one of the most versatile, expansive ski experiences in North America. Combine those slopes with friendly, welcoming people, delicious food, active nightlife, and gorgeous scenery: this destination is tough to beat.