Wyatt Rydstrom                 February 2020
Alli Widman                 February 2020

Aspen Snowmass has it all - four mountains within an 8.5 mile radius, a combined 5,300 acres of varied terrain, an outstanding dining scene, a happening après ski scene, accommodations fit for celebrities, world class instruction and its easy to get around. Snowmass is the largest of the mountains (over 3,100 acres) and is excellent for families, intermediates and experts. Aspen (Ajax) and Buttermilk balance one another - Aspen, with a base in the heart of downtown, has steep fall lines and lacks beginner terrain, while Buttermilk, home of the X-Games, is five minutes away and offers more moderate pitches, perfect for learning or cruising something more mellow. Just 10 minutes from town, Aspen Highlands' signature feature is long, steep bowls - the Highland Bowl requires ~45 minutes of hiking to reach the summit. We recommend choosing one mountain for a day, but the RFTA buses allow seamless travel between all four. Aspen partners with the Ikon Pass, enabling 5 or 7 days total between the four. Aspen Pitkin Country airport is only 10 minutes from downtown Aspen and many hotels offer free shuttles. There is plenty for non-skiers to enjoy. 

RESORT FEATURES

Platinum

Avant Ski
Resort

PASSES
Trail Symbols-05.jpg
Partner Resort
5 or 7 days
CONDITIONS

Quick Take

 LET'S GO 
  • Unrivaled variation of outstanding terrain - steep & deep, groomers, glades, backcountry, bowls, moguls of all sizes, terrain parks

  • Top notch everything - novices to experts and even the non-skiers will have a blast

  • Choose luxurious accommodations in Aspen or ski in / ski out at Snowmass (95% of lodging at Snowmass is ski-in ski-out)

  • Hard days on the slopes are rewarded with a range of aprés ski options at the top of their games

  • Not a skier, or want a break from the slopes, go shopping, check out the spas, the cross country trails or try uphilling

INSIDER TIPS
  • Snowmass is the more family friendly area, with more ski in / ski out accommodations (condos and hotels) and more reasonable prices 

  • Après ski and dining in Aspen are outstanding (worth the trip if staying in Snowmass). Make dinner reservations, especially during peak periods, many spots fill up

  • On windy days, consider Ajax or Buttermilk, the peak of Snowmass is at 12,500 feet and Le Cirque and High Alpine can shut down or run slowly

  • Take top to bottom runs on Ajax and warm up in between on the Silver Queen Gondola. Use our guide to better understand how the runs are connected and the 675 acres will feel much bigger

  • The Highlands Bowl is a highlight at Aspen Highlands - buy straps for the journey (you can thank us later). From Loge Peak, there is no shame in taking the snowcap for first third and then be prepared for ~45 minutes of a steep, narrow, uphill climb. There is plenty of amazing terrain more accessible. 

  • Uphilling is growing in popularity here and a great workout. Consider investing in some skins and summiting some of the peaks on foot

  • Rent from Four Mountains Sports - overnight storage and the ability to seamlessly transfer equipment to ideal spots among the four mountains at no extra cost is super convenient 

HESITATIONS
  • Harder to reach than other Colorado Rockies. Despite its convenient regional airport, ASE sits between the mountains - rapidly changing weather and limited visibility lead to frequent flight delays, cancellations, and diversions to Grand Junction

  • Direct flights are pricier and limited to 8 cities to / from ASE; driving from Denver is ~4 hours 

  • Limited options for reasonably priced accommodations

  • If you’re looking for a mellow / off the beaten path scene, this is not it 

  • Receives relatively less annual snowfall than other resorts in the Colorado Rockies

GETTING TO & GETTING AROUND

 
Getting To
  • Closest Major City: Denver, CO

  • Distance: ~220 miles Northeast on I-70 

  • Travel Time: ~ 3.5 - 4 hours (varies based on traffic and road /weather conditions) 

  • 4 miles from Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE), ~10-15 minute drive​

Neighboring Resorts
  • The four mountains of Aspen Snowmass are self-contained Southwest of Denver; the closest resorts on the I-70 corridor are ~2 hours away. ​

  • Neighbors on the Ikon Pass​ 

    • ​Copper (120 miles, ~2 hrs 15 mins)

  • Other Colorado Resorts within 2 Hours

    • Beaver Creek (95 miles, ~1 hr 50 mins)

    • Vail (100 miles, ~2 hrs)​ 

    • Breckenridge (101 miles, 2 hrs 10 mins)

Travel by Plane
Travel by Bus
  • The Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) runs a system of free buses between the four ski areas and the airport during the winter

    • Buses run continusouly  from 6:15 AM - 2:15 AM

    • Buses have dedicated lanes and can often move faster

    • See full bus schedule here

  • Most hotels offer free airport shuttles to ASE

  • Airport shuttle services is available to / from DEN and EGE

  • ​Cars are not needed (and a hassle) in Aspen / Snowmass

    • Pros: Rental cars are easily accessed from ASE airport; can can be cost-effective to arrive from DEN

    • Cons: Parking is limited and costly; free lots at Snowmass base are further away​; town is congested 

  • ​Ride shares (Uber and Lyft) operate in Aspen but service is limited​ and minimums are high ($10 - $15/ride) so we would not rely on them for getting around​

Travel by Car
  • Closest major commercial airport: DEN - (Denver International Airport)  

      - ~220 miles North East, ~4 hrs

  • Closest regional airport: ASE

      (Aspen Pitkin County Airport)

      - ~4 miles West, ~10 - 15 minutes

      - Direct service, seasonally, to 7 
        U.S. cities including airports DEN,
        LAX, ORD, SFO, MSP, ATL, IAH

  • Next closest regional airport: EGE

      (Eage County Regional Airport)​

      - ~65 miles North, ~1 hr 20 mins

  • Private planes can also come into / out of ASE 

Cars are not needed (or encouraged) in Aspen. The four mountains are within an 8.5 mile radius and shuttles to travel between them are easy. Most hotels also offer free shuttles from the airport. Much of downtown Aspen is walkable and shuttles between the four mountains run regularly.

The Lay of the LAnd

Coming soon - easy navigation with all of the key spots highlighted 

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