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Skiing In Colorado's Aspen - A Beginner's Guide

Skiing in Colorado's Aspen is an experience like no other. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is a world-renowned ski destination with four mountains, over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain, and a vibrant après-ski culture.

Tobey Strickland
Jun 16, 20234919 Shares94604 Views
Skiing in Colorado's Aspenis an experience like no other. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is a world-renowned ski destination with four mountains, over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain, and a vibrant après-ski culture.
With its breathtaking scenery and top-notch ski resorts, Aspen attracts skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner hitting the slopes for the first time, skiing in Aspen promises an unforgettable adventure.
In this article, we'll explore the highlights of skiing in Colorado's Aspen, from its world-class ski resorts to its picturesque mountain town.

Planning Your Aspen Ski Trip

When planning a skiing trip to Aspen, Colorado, there are many factors to consider to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Choosing The Right Time To Go

Aspen is known for its long ski season, which typically runs from late November to mid-April. However, it's important to consider the weather and snow conditions before planning your trip.

Finding The Right Accommodations

Aspen has a variety of lodging options, from luxurious resorts to cozy cabins. It's important to consider your budget, location preferences, and desired amenities when choosing where to stay.

Selecting The Right Ski Resort

Aspen has four ski resorts to choose from: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. Each resort has its own unique terrain and amenities, so it's important to do your research and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Renting Equipment

If you're not bringing your own ski equipment, there are many rental options available in Aspen. Be sure to reserve your equipment ahead of time to ensure availability.

Planning Non-Ski Activities

While skiing is the main attraction in Aspen, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and visiting local museums and galleries.

Aspen Ski Resorts Overview

Aspen, Colorado, is known for its world-class ski resorts, which offer a range of skiing and snowboarding experiences for all skill levels. Here are some of the top ski resorts in Aspen:

Aspen Mountain (Ajax)

This resort is located in the heart of downtown Aspen and features 76 trails over 675 acres of skiable terrain. It's a popular destination for advanced skiers and snowboarders, with challenging runs and steep vertical drops.


Snowmass is the largest ski resort in Aspen, with over 3,300 acres of terrain and 94 trails. It's a great destination for families and beginner skiers, with a variety of gentle slopes and ski-in/ski-out lodging options.

Aspen Highlands

This ski resort is known for its expert terrain and steep runs, including the legendary Highland Bowl. It also offers great views of the Maroon Bells, one of the most photographed peaks in North America.


Buttermilk is a popular destination for beginners and intermediate skiers, with gentle slopes and a ski school for all ages. It's also home to the X Games Aspen, a winter sports competition that attracts top athletes from around the world.


This resort is a combination of all four ski areas in Aspen, offering a total of over 5,500 acres of skiable terrain. It's a great option for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, with a variety of terrain and amenities.

skiing the CIRQUE HEADWALL at ASPEN SNOWMASS! | vanlife colorado

Top Aspen Ski Runs And Trails

Here are some top Aspen ski runs and trails you should consider visiting:
  • Bell Mountain- Bell Mountain offers an exhilarating experience for advanced skiers with steep and narrow runs.
  • The Ridge of Bell- This run is accessible from the top of Aspen Highlands and offers stunning panoramic views along with challenging skiing terrain.
  • FIS- FIS is a favorite among experts, with a steep pitch and plenty of moguls.
  • Copper Bowl- Copper Bowl is located at Snowmass and offers wide-open terrain with long runs and stunning views.
  • Powerline- Powerline is an intermediate trail that starts at the top of the Big Burn lift and offers great views and a smooth ride.
  • Ruthie's Run- Ruthie's Run is a long, well-groomed intermediate run at Aspen Mountain that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
  • The Cirque- The Cirque is a double-black-diamond run at Snowmass that offers a thrilling experience for expert skiers with steep terrain and stunning views.
  • High Alpine- High Alpine is an intermediate run at Snowmass that offers a challenging and fun skiing experience.
  • Buckhorn- Buckhorn is a blue run at Buttermilk that offers a fun and smooth ride for intermediate skiers.
  • Walsh's- Walsh's is a black-diamond run at Aspen Mountain that offers a challenging skiing experience with steep pitches and tight trees.

Après-Ski Activities In Aspen

Aspen may be known for its world-class skiing, but the fun doesn't have to stop once you hit the slopes. In fact, some might argue that the après-ski scene is just as important as the skiing itself. Here are some activities to consider once the lifts close for the day:

Check Out The Local Dining Scene

Aspen is home to a wide variety of restaurants and eateries, from upscale dining experiences to casual local hangouts. Whether you're looking for a cozy fireside meal or a lively bar scene, there's something for everyone.

Relax At A Spa

After a day on the slopes, there's nothing quite like a massage or spa treatment to help you unwind. Aspen has a number of luxury spas to choose from, many of which offer specialized treatments designed specifically for skiers.

Explore The Local Art Scene

Aspen is home to a number of galleries and museums, making it a great destination for art lovers. Check out the Aspen Art Museum or wander through the town's various galleries to discover a variety of works by both local and international artists.

Go Shopping

Aspen is also known for its high-end shopping scene, with a variety of boutiques and luxury retailers scattered throughout the town. From designer clothing to handmade crafts, there's something for every taste and budget.

Enjoy The Nightlife

Whether you're looking for a cozy spot to sip a cocktail or a bustling dance floor, Aspen has a variety of nightlife options to choose from. Check out local bars and clubs for a taste of the town's lively après-ski scene.

Aspen Ski Trip Packing List

If you're planning a skiing trip to Aspen, Colorado, packing can be a daunting task. You want to make sure you have everything you need without overpacking. Here's a packing list to make sure you're ready for a great time on the slopes:

Ski Jacket And Pants

The key to a good ski trip is staying warm and dry. Invest in a quality ski jacket and pants that are waterproof and insulated to keep you warm and comfortable all day long.

Base Layers

It's important to have a good base layer to help regulate your body temperature. Pack a few pairs of thermal underwear, long-sleeve shirts, and leggings.

Ski Socks

Wearing the right socks is essential to keep your feet warm and dry while skiing. Invest in a few pairs of moisture-wicking ski socks.

Ski Gloves

Your hands are often the first to get cold while skiing, so invest in a pair of insulated, waterproof gloves.

Goggles Or Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the sun and snow glare with a good pair of goggles or sunglasses.


Safety first! Invest in a ski helmet that fits properly and meets safety standards.

Ski Boots

Rent or purchase a comfortable pair of ski boots that fit well to ensure your feet are protected and supported.

Neck Gaiter Or Scarf

Keep your neck and face warm with a neck gaiter or scarf.


Pack a small backpack to carry essentials like water, snacks, and sunscreen.

Apres-Ski Clothing

After a long day on the slopes, you'll want to change into comfortable clothes. Pack a few cozy sweaters, pants, and boots for when you're off the mountain.


The sun's reflection off the snow can cause sunburn, so be sure to pack a high SPF sunscreen.

Lip Balm

The cold and wind can be harsh on your lips, so bring a moisturizing lip balm with SPF.

Hand And Toe Warmers

If you're prone to getting cold hands and toes, bring a few hand and toe warmers to keep them warm and toasty.
With this packing list, you'll be well-prepared for your skiing trip to Aspen, Colorado. Don't forget to double-check the weather forecast before packing and have a great trip!

People Also Ask

What Is The Best Time To Ski In Aspen?

The best time to ski in Aspen is typically from late November to early April. During this period, the resort has a solid base of snow and consistently good conditions.

What Ski Areas Are Located In Aspen?

There are four ski areas located in Aspen: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Each area offers unique terrain and experiences for skiers of all levels.

Are There Beginner Skiing Options In Aspen?

Yes, each of the four ski areas in Aspen has beginner skiing options. Buttermilk is particularly known for its beginner-friendly terrain, with wide-open runs and gentle slopes.

Can You Ski At Night In Aspen?

Yes, Aspen Mountain offers night skiing on certain days during the ski season. This is a unique way to experience the mountain and enjoy the slopes under the stars.

Is It Possible To Go Backcountry Skiing In Aspen?

Yes, there are numerous opportunities for backcountry skiing in the Aspen area. However, it is important to be prepared and have the proper equipment and training before embarking on a backcountry adventure.

Final Thoughts

Skiing in Colorado's Aspen is an exhilarating experience that should be on every winter sports enthusiast's bucket list.
With its world-renowned ski resorts, stunning natural scenery, and vibrant après-ski culture, Aspen offers something for everyone.
From beginner runs to expert terrain, there are slopes to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders.
Additionally, the town of Aspen itself is a charming destination with plenty of activities beyond the ski slopes, such as shopping, dining, and cultural events.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-timer, skiing in Aspen is an unforgettable adventure that is sure to leave you with lasting memories.
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