Mountain Guide

Size / Elevation
  • Highest Peak: 12,510 ft | 3,813m

  • Vertical Rise: 4,406 ft | 3,607m

  • Base: 8,104 ft | 2,470m 

  • Total Area: 3,339 acres |
    (13.5 sq km)

Terrain Overview

​Mountain Range: Elk Range, Rockies

  • 96 Trails 

  • 3 Terrain Parks 

  • 1 Superpipe     

Peaks
  • 6 Peaks

Highest Peaks

  • The Cirque (12,510 ft)

  • High Alpine (11,852 ft)

  • Big Burn (11,835 ft)

Bases
  • Snowmass Base Village

  • Snowmass Mall

  • Two Creeks

On Mountain Dining

Lift Stats

Uphill Capacity: 32,358 ppl / hr

17 Lifts

  • 2  Gondolas 

  • 8  High Speed Quad   

  • 1  High Speed Six-Pack

  • 2  Quads

  • 1  Double

  • 2  Pull Lifts

  • 4  Ski & Snowboard School lifts

  • 2    Lifts minimum to access                peaks from base 

Terrain Mix
 

Snowmass Ski Guides

Beginner

Beginner terrain is only 5% of the total and true novices may prefer to start at Buttermilk. However, if you staying slopeside here or part of a more advanced group, Snowmass has a few areas devoted to getting started. Much of the Green terrain is at the base - Fanny Hill and Assay Hill. Those just learning, can also take the Elk Camp Gondola to the protected Meadows Area - with two magic carpets and a short lift.

Intermediate

Snowmass is an Intermediate's paradise, nearly half of the terrain is designated Blue. Wide, open slopes are accessible from almost all peaks. Blues come in all forms from smooth cruisers to perfectly spaced trees with a progression of steepness. There are countless trails to explore from the top of Elk Camp and the short hike to Long Shot is a must. Big Burn's signature feature is widely spaced trees, thanks to the "big burn" forest fire in the 1880s. Alpine Springs has fresh groomers all day. 

Advanced

Despite its family friendly rap, Snowmass has its share of Expert terrain - almost a third of the mountain is Double Diamond. We like to warm up on the steeper groomers and lower glades  (Sam's Knob and Big Burn) as avalanche control is usually underway in the morning. Once clear, head to High Alpine and make your way to the Hanging Valley for the steeps and deeps. We also like the backcountry feel of the Burnt Mountain Glades, especially if you can scope it out before a big dump. 

Snowmass is by far the largest of the four resorts and it is well worth the 20 minute "trek" from town. The terrain variety is unrivaled, yet its easy for intermediates and experts to stay together. Plan carefully, Snowmass is huge and poor planning may result in too much time between runs.

Top Trail Picks

Our team of experts has skied them all. Here are some of our favorites in each category.  
Category
Trail Name
Description​
Area / Getting There

Just Learning

Fanny Hill

Dedicated Beginner area with 2 magic carpets and 2 lifts at the Snowmass Base Village

From Snowmass Base Village or Snowmass Mall, take Sky Cap or the Village Express to the first station

Morning Groomers

Big Burn Area

Whispering Jesse

There are a half dozen regularly groomed runs with a moderate pitch, perfect for making laps

Less frequently accessed - stays fresher

Pick your route from the top of the Big Burn Lift; For Whispering Jesse, stay to your skier's right as you go under the Lift

Afternoon Groomer

Naked Lady

This area is groomed in the morning and then again after lunch, and the flat catwalk keeps the traffic out

From Gwyn's or the top of the Alpine Springs Lift, take the catwalk to your skier's right

Scenic Cruiser

Bull Run

Stunning views of the Maroon Bells from the top and small patches of trees along the way keep it fresh

Exit the Elk Camp Lift to the left

Longest

Longshot

5.3 miles; its a short hike from top of Elk Camp all the way down to Two Creeks Base, perfect after lunch at Elk Camp

From the top of the Elk Camp Lift, exit left and gather speed, then expect a 5 - 10 minute hike

Wide Open

Sheer Bliss

Wide open groomer set between steeper terrain on both sides

From the top of Big Burn, stay to your skier's right just past the Sheer Bliss Lift

Bumps 

Zugspitze

Perfectly sized moguls at the right pitch for practicing a more aggressive approach to the bumps

From Sam's Knob Peak, stay to your skier's right 

Showing Off

Slot

Directly under the Sam's Knob Lift, this is the place to show off your mogul technique

Directly under the Sam's Knob Lift

Glades (Nicely Spaced)

Powerline Glades

Great for improving your tree technique, not super steep and take your pick of space between the glades; good for intermediates too

From the top of Big Burn, follow Mick's Gully and look for the powerline cables

Glades (Backcountry Feel)

Burnt Mountain Glades

Backcountry feel, more open areas give way to tighter patches of trees, mostly at a mellow pitch; worth a trial run before a fresh powder day

From the top of the Elk Camp Lift, exit left and gather speed before the 5-10 minute hike, make sure to go through the gates, just past Longshot

Steep & Deep

Headwall / Lower Ladder

So many lines to explore - chutes, glades and even cliffs; downside is the trek - it takes awhile to enter and exit

From High Alpine, exit left, follow signs for Headwall and get ready for ~10 minute hike, Headwall leads to Lower Ladder where there are tons of routes 

Fresh Powder

Hanging Valley Glades

With endless routes to explore and harder to reach, powder stashes are easy to come by

From the top of High Alpine, take the ~10 minute hike to Roberto's and follow steep open area to glades

Getting Air

The Cirque Headwall

Steep face with rocky cliffs; conditions have to be right, not to much wind and after avalanchce control is done

From the top of Sheer Bliss, exit left and take the Cirque Poma Lift (consider yourself lucky when its running)

On Mountain Dining Recommendations

Snowmass has 7 unique locations to eat lunch on the mountain. For pizza and cookies fresh from the oven with a view, head to Up 4 Pizz., For fine dining, head to Lynn Brit Cafe. Our suggestions for a quick break and tasty meal on the mountain are here:

Gwyn's High Alpine

Centrally located at the top of the Alpine Meadows Lift, this recently remodeled spot has a full service restaurant and a cafeteria. Family owned for 40 years (set to be taken over by Aspen Skiing Company in the 2019-20 season), you can feel the love. We like the tuna melts, daily stews and flat bread pizzas in the cafeteria. The bakery has a daily fresh selection of cookies and pies - everything looks good - you will be happy you skied hard in the morning.

Elk Camp

Completely remodeled in 2017, organic foods are the focus here and the natural salad bar in the center is hard to resist. Standard ski fare and can feel a litlte sterile, but its large, easy to access and there are special kids meals.

Chickpea Salad

Sam's Smokehouse

At the top of Sam's Knob, the Smokehouse is accessible from the Base via the Village Express and the 260 views are spectacular. Come here for the generous portions of BBQ (and relatively better value). However, the BBQ lunch is full service, so be sure to have time or come when it’s not crowded. There is also a quick stop cafe and espresso bar. On colder days, its nice to stop in for breakfast and warm up with cider.

 

Terms of Use   Privacy Policy

 © 2020 Avant Ski. All rights reserved.

The Company

About Us

Our Story

Contributors

Contact Us

Get in Touch

Join Our Team

Follow Us

  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • Facebook