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1. Take A Trip To The Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells Near Aspen Colorado

Photo By: Aspen Snowmass

Just a short and beautiful drive up Maroon Creek Road near Aspen, located in White River National Forest, you will find yourself in a glacial valley staring up towards the Maroon Bells, offering some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado and the world.

Several hiking trails wind through a mountain landscape like you’ve never seen before. Amongst the lakes, wildflowers and endless groves of Aspen Trees, you will be surrounded by the best parts of nature that the Rocky Mountains have to offer.

Pack your picnic basket, fishing pole, and camera, or just slap on some sunscreen and take in the views of the most photographed place in all of Colorado. With a free bus running frequently there is no reason not to go witness the true beauty of the Maroon Bells.


2. Go On A Culinary Adventure

Casa Tua - Aspen Colorado

Photo by: Colter Robinson

With restaurants seemingly lining every block, make sure you have room in your itinerary for experiencing some of Aspen’s most exquisite cuisine. Whether you join the locals at their favorite watering hole over at the Aspen Pie Shop or enjoy the Forbes five-star dining at Element 47 located in the Little Nell hotel, there is food for everyone in this small town.

Some more of our other favorite local eats:

1. Matsuhisa
2. Aspen Public House 
3. The Stew Pot (Snowmass)
4. White House Tavern
5. Pine Creek Cook House
6. French Alpine Bistro – Crêperie du Village
7. Mawa’s Kitchen (ABC)
8. Casa Tua
9. Hickory House
10. Il Poggio (Snowmass)
11. Betula
12. Jing
13. Spring Café
14. Campo de Fiori
15. Mi Chola

Feeling thirsty? No problem. In this little place called Aspen, you can find the beer flowing like wine at Aspen Tap and Hops Culture, or experience great local spirits at the nearby Woody Creek Distillery just down the road in Basalt.


3. Check Out The Aspen Farmers Market –Saturdays

Aspen Saturday Farmers Market

Photo by: Aspen Snowmass

Smell that Kettle Corn? Follow this aroma right to the heart of downtown Aspen from 8:30 AM – 2 PM to find the Aspen Farmers Market.

Here you can find locally grown Colorado fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, and a whole lot more while you listen to live music and browse the beautiful jewelry and artwork.

Nestled in the core of downtown Aspen, this farmers market is the perfect place to let your children explore freely, walk the dog while getting some retail therapy, or even just find that refreshing new trendy drink to enjoy after your morning hike.

A true favorite of both locals and visitors alike, the Saturday Market runs from June 8th until October 5th 2024.


4. Discover Our World Class Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails Near Aspen and Snowmass Colorado

Photo by: Colter Robinson

Yes, Aspen is a ski town, and a good one at that… BUT have you seen these hiking trails? The hiking trails that this small mountain town has to offer are limitless.

Whether you are trying to catch your breath between switchbacks along the Ute Trail or enjoying conversation with friends while going up Smuggler Trail, there is a hike for everyone in this beautiful valley.

For a more casual hike, we suggest The Rio Grande Trail, which follows the Roaring Fork River for a beautiful setting, stretching all the way to Glenwood Springs. Additionally, make your way out to Snowmass Village and follow the Ditch Trail as this casual hike will remain flat, winding along a small creek and taking you underneath the Campground ski runs on Snowmass Mountain, where it ultimately leads you to a gorgeous view of Mt Daly.

For an intermediate hike, we suggest Smuggler Trail. This hike will take you past the historic Smuggler Mine, from which the largest silver nugget ever mined in the United States was extracted (we also suggest a tour of the Smuggler Mine, itself). Also, don’t miss the South Rim trail in Snowmass (bike or hike) and find yourself at Spiral Point, where there sits a large Yin Yang for everyone to enjoy in their own way.

Now for you experts… there is no shortage of hikes here for you. For a hike you can walk to from downtown Aspen, we suggest the Ute Trail. Follow the steep switchbacks for about 30-40 minutes before you arrive atop a rock cliff overlooking all of Aspen, Independence Pass, and all the way down to near basalt. And if you’re feeling ambitious, continue to follow the trail for another hour or two to the top of Aspen Mountain before downloading on the Silver Queen Gondola. There are also a variety of lake trails (some of which are highlighted below) that we highly recommend. Many of these lake trails consist of a longer hike, which is perfect for those hoping to spend a day in the beautiful Aspen wilderness.

Some of our other favorite hikes:

1. Cathedral Lake
2. Sunnyside Trail
3. Government Trail
4. Difficult Creek Trail
5. American Lake
6. Grizzly Lake Trail
7. Aspen to Crested Butte
8. Maroon Lake & Snowmass Lake
9. Hanging Lake
10. Hunter Creek Trail


5. Ride The Silver Queen Gondola

Silver Queen Gondola - Aspen Mountain

Photo by: Aspen Snowmass

Just because the winter is over doesn’t mean it’s time to shut down the Gondola! The Silver Queen Gondola is one of the more popular Aspen summertime activities, providing breathtaking views of the town and beyond as it takes you to endless activities located at the top of the mountain.

Open from 10 AM – 3:30 PM, with the last Gondola down at 4 PM, get carried away into the sky at 12,000 feet for a day full of beautiful vistas and endless things to see and do. The Gondola runs daily during the summer from June 16th until September 4th, and on weekends between June 3rd and October 1st.

At the top, you can take a load off and enjoy lunch at the Sundeck, with lawn games, plenty of free activities for children, disc golf, Bluegrass Sundays, and even yoga and meditation.

Summer Single-Ride Sightseeing tickets, and Summer Sightseeing Packages are available for purchase at AspenSnowmass.com


6. Soak In The Free Snowmass Thursday Night Concerts

Snowmass Thursday Night Concerts

Photo by: Colter Robinson

This summer, head to Snowmass Village every Thursday evening from June 13-August 22nd. at 6:30 for a free concert series. Make sure to bring your picnic basket and blanket, and sit on the ski slope to enjoy a variety of music from many touring bands.

Kids can’t sit still during a concert? No problem. Let your kids enjoy the Family FunZone, which includes a bouncy house, face painting, hula hooping, and more.

Food and drinks are sold on site, and since it is located right of the Snowmass Mall and just above Base Village, there is a variety of great restaurants to grab a bite at before, during, or after the concert.

Here are some more suggestions for eats while in Snowmass:

1. Venga Venga
2. The Stew Pot
3. Mawa’s Crepe Shack
5. The New Belgium Ranger Station
6. Il Poggio
7. Basecamp Bar & Grill

** New in 2024:  pre-concert shows from 4-5:30pm on the Base Village Events Lawn**

7. Find Your Favorite Celebrities Strolling Town

Alex Ferreira

Photo by: Alex Ferreira

Aspen Colorado has been a longtime favorite destination for celebrities around the world to get away to, with guests including the Kardashians, LeBron James, Elton John, Gigi Hadid, and many more.

This makes the people watching during the summer all the more entertaining since you never know which star may be about to emerge around every corner. While many stars may be as elusive as they can while in Aspen, we have a couple local celebrities you should get to know and look out for this summer as well!

If you are a sports fan, attended Winter X-Games, and/or watched the Previous 2022 Beijing Olympics, you may already be familiar with Alex Ferreira. At the age of 27, Alex has already brought home a Silver Medal from the 2018 Olympics in Half Pipe, and a Bronze in 2022, while adding an additional six medals at Winter X-Games including back-to-back gold medals. Growing up in Aspen, Alex was exposed to all things outdoors and was on skis before he could barely walk. He quickly began winning local competitions, and he has gone on to reach celebrity status both in his hometown and throughout skiing culture.

Alex stays extensively involved in the local community, serving as an ambassador, coach, and role model for all that know him. Look out for Alex this summer, and let his infectious personality impact you like it has impacted the local community!


8. Go Floating Or Paddleboarding On the Roaring Fork

Paddleboarding Near Aspen Colorado

Photo by: Shaboomee

If you’re looking for a way to escape the summer heat or simply enjoy some relaxation on the water, look no further than our local rivers for some great paddleboarding, rafting, and floating.

While Aspen is known for world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and hiking and biking in the summer, standup paddleboarding (SUP), has become the latest local outdoor summer craze.

Paddleboarding on the local rivers varies from floating the relatively easy, flat stretches of water found just outside of town at the North Star Nature Preserve (also known as Stillwater), or taking on the slightly more challenging small rapids of the lower Roaring Fork near Carbondale, to challenging the adrenaline pumping rapids of the Colorado River in and around nearby Glenwood Springs.

For minimal effort, you can head to the North Star Nature Preserve (Stillwater) and throw some tubes in the water, maybe even tie a group of tubes together, and enjoy a relaxing float.

If you are looking for more of an adrenaline rush, try out some white water rafting down the Roaring Fork or Colorado River! With guided trips going out every day throughout the summer this is a must-do, and very kid friendly!

For more details, please visit the following websites:

If you would rather get your kicks on mountain inclines instead, try ATV riding nearby Marble, as you drive a loop around Sheep Mountain. You may find ATV rental information on the Western Adventures, Inc. website: https://westernadventuresinc.com/.


9. Immerse Yourself In The Lost Forest Adventure Park

Lost Forest Adventure Park - Snowmass

Photo by: Aspen Snowmass

The best-kept secret of Snowmass Village is no longer considered such a secret with the addition of the new Lost Forest.

Tucked amongst the trees at Elk Camp on Snowmass are an alpine coaster, zip lines, biking trails, climbing wall, and a ropes challenge course. Additionally, you can find two disc golf courses, ponds to fish in, and a variety of creeks to hike along, as well as available guides to help make sure you have the perfect adventure.

With the Elk Camp Restaurant right there, you can sit down to enjoy a meal or drink at any point while being surrounded by unbeatable views. Lost Forest is absolutely one of the best things to do in Snowmass in the summer, so make sure to get out to Snowmass during your time here to find your next memorable adventure in the Lost Forest.


10. Explore Independence Pass

Independence Pass Summit

Photo by: Larry Lamsa

Sitting at an elevation of 12,095’ with unrivaled beauty is Independence Pass. Just follow CO-82 east out of Aspen and continue up the narrow and windy road to access some of Aspen’s most fantastic views and activities.

Here you will find activities ranging from camping, sightseeing, hiking, biking, swimming, and more. As you drive…or bike up this beautiful pass you will notice a plethora of areas to pull off and take photos, or simply take in some spectacular views.

If you are hoping to find a local favorite activity, and a great way to beat the summer heat, step your way out onto the rock edge at Devils Punch Bowl and make the leap into the icy water! There are several different points to jump off of. And the crystal clear water that awaits below makes it even more fun to jump into. Beware of the time of season you jump, though, as water levels may dictate safety.

Next, we would recommend checking out the Grottos Trail and the Grottos Ice Cave. Just punch it into Google Maps, and it will lead you right to the parking lot. Then, take the short walk to the makeshift stairs visitors use to crawl in and out of the caves themselves. The patterns along the walls of the cave are nothing short of spectacular, and the caves really provide for a unique experience.

If you are looking for a camping spot, look no further than Weller Campground, Difficult Campground, Lincoln Gulch Campground, and Lost Man Campground. If you make it all the way over to the other side of the pass, you can explore Twin Peaks Campground.

The drive up Independence Pass this summer is a MUST, with endless activities for all ages it is easily one of the most spectacular places you will visit this summer!


11. Enjoy The Many Biking Trails Aspen And Snowmass Have To Offer

Mountain Biking Aspen Snowmass

Photo by: Aspen Snowmass

Here in Aspen, there is a bike trail for anyone and everyone. Whether you are looking to just take a casual cruise, get your heart racing with a steep incline, or score your adrenaline fix, Aspen and Snowmass offer a variety of trails to choose from.

For those looking for that casual ride, we recommend making your way to The Rio Grande Trail. Here you will enjoy a tame ride along the Roaring Fork River, which you can follow all the way down to Glenwood Springs. We highly recommend making a stop for lunch along the way at the Woody Creek Tavern.

For those looking for a more challenging uphill ride, boy does Aspen have some trials for you! First, check out Sky Mountain Park for 5.3 miles of uphill and downhill terrain with views of Snowmass, Aspen, and the Airport. Once at the top, we recommend Airline and Deadline for the best descents. We also recommend the Rim Trail for those of you hoping to get your uphill climb in. This ride will offer a climb of almost 2,000 feet and will provide for great views of all of Snowmass. You can also enjoy a great ride down the trail as well, ultimately completing the full loop.

Finally, for you adrenaline junkies looking for just the downhill mountain biking experience, look no further than Snowmass Bike Park. From the top of the Elk Camp Lift all the way down to base village, almost 3,000 vertical feet of purpose-built downhill trails will lead you through a technical and fun adventure down Snowmass Mountain.


12. Get A Thrill Paragliding Above Aspen and Snowmass

Tandem Paragliding in Aspen and Snowmass

Photo by: Aspen Paragliding

You can see the kites soaring through the sky as you drive east into Aspen past Marolt Open Space.

You may think this is only for professionals, but you are mistaken. Now is your chance to strap in with one of these professionals and soar more than 3,000 feet over Aspen with the freedom of a bird.

When looking for something exhilarating to do in Aspen in this summer, direct your eyes to the sky and fly high with Aspen Paragliding.

Their USHPA certified pilots have years of experience with flying, teaching, and competition. And, they can assist you with “…professional tandem instruction, certification, mountain & thermal soaring clinics, glider inspection & repair, accessory installation and international adventure travel excursions…”

For More information on Introductory Tandem Flights and their other services, or just to take a peek at what you can look forward to if you take to the skies, visit: aspenparagliding.com


13. Tear Up The Dance Floor

Music and Dancing at The Belly Up - Aspen

Photo by: Gannon Wheeler

While Aspen is known for its abundance of year-round outdoor activities, there is a lighter side to Aspen often experienced at a variety of music venues, clubs, and bars.

First, we highly recommend making your way to the Aspen Music Festival & School’s Michael Klein Music Tent (formerly the Benedict Music Tent) between late June and Late August to experience a classical music setting like no other.

Next, located just a block from the base of Aspen Mountain, tucked downstairs, is the Belly Up. This is a must-see venue, with high-grossing artists such as Jimmy Buffet, John Legend, Snoop Dog, Skrillex, The Chainsmokers, Norah Jones, and many more. Listed by Rolling Stones Magazine as one of the “Best Clubs in America”, this 450 capacity venue will provide for one of the most intimate and unique music experiences you’ve ever had.

Finally, Aspen has many noteworthy nightclubs and bars worth checking out! See some of our other favorite dance floors at :

1. Escobar (Famous Aspen club)
2. GALA Aspen (Exclusive, high-end club)
3. Silver City Aspen (Western bar with pool tables)
4. Campo de Fiori (Lively restaurant and bar)


14. Have An Old West Adventure At The Snowmass Rodeo Or Try Some Local Horseback Riding

Snowmass Rodeo Bull Riding

Photo by: Go Snowmass

This tradition of nearly half a century is a must see every summer in Snowmass Village. Located just off Brush Creek Road, you will come across the wild and woolly Snowmass Rodeo taking place every Wednesday evening running from mid-June Through Late August. In 2024, the Rodeo is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary.

They feature a BBQ beginning at 5 PM, with the Rodeo beginning at 7 PM.

This is a great event to enjoy with your kids or friends while you take in the amazing views of Snowmass. Events here include bull riding, saddle bronc, team roping, and barrel racing. During the rodeo, there are also several events that kids can part-take in, such as Mutton Busting and the Calf Scramble, with the opportunity to win fun prizes!

To complete the evening, enjoy a fun-filled campfire sing-along, as well as a marshmallow roast, to complete an authentic western experience.

While you have those cowboy boots on, we also recommend taking advantage of some local horseback riding!

There are plenty of local guides and outfitters waiting to take you on an adventure through the beautiful mountain valleys, and here are some of our recommendations:

* Aspen Wilderness Outfitters
* Capitol Peak Outfitters
* T Lazy 7 Guest Ranch and Maroon Bells Guides


15. Renew Your Mind, Body, And Spirit

Mountain Top Yoga - Aspen Snowmass

Photo by: Aspen Snowmass

While there is so much to do in Aspen, it becomes easy to forget about the activities that focus on renewing the mind, body, and spirit. That’s why we wanted to provide you with some great ideas:

1. Aspen Ideas Festival: Attend discussions and presentations from global leaders from many disciplines about the ideas and issues that “shape our lives and challenge our times.” Hosted by the Aspen Institute, one of the nation’s most renowned educational and policy studies organizations, the festival features some 350 presenters, 200 sessions, and 3,000 attendees. Please visit Aspenideas.org for more information

2. 02 Aspen: Here you will find Yoga, Pilates, 02 Oxygen bar, and plenty of healthy eating options.

3. Reméde Spa: For those looking for the classic spa pampering, we recommend heading over to the St Regis hotel for an appointment at Reméde Spa. With a variety of customized treatments, champagne, truffles, and more, this is the perfect way to be pampered after a fun-filled day!


Bonus Activities – Even More Things To Do In Aspen In The Summer

We’ve already given you a ton of options for what to do in Aspen in the summer. But if you’re looking for even more, here are a few other Aspen summer activities to round out your bucket list:

* Visit the Aspen Art Museum
* Take in a show at Theatre Aspen
* Book a reservation at the Conundrum Hot Springs
Contact our luxury concierge for more information or tips on what to do in Aspen and Snowmass this summer: 970-205-9960 | Info@aspenluxuryvacationrentals.com.

Read through our Ultimate Summer Itinerary, where we give you a detailed breakdown of all of the best events happening in Aspen and Snowmass this summer!



Aspen Colorado Winter
Credit: Dan Bayer via Aspen Snowmass

Aspen is a charming mountain town that gives every visitor an experience that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Vacationing in Aspen Snowmass during winter is truly unmatched. A world-class ski resort in a town that lives and breathes through culture and community. Our wonderful hometown is an outdoor playground for all ages, with excitement and inspiration around every corner. The phrase, which has become a motto of sorts for the town, “defy ordinary” sums up the exact mood among locals and visitors alike. This place has a unique atmosphere that leaves every visitor with a lasting love for Aspen. It’s almost unexplainable. Through this guide, we’ll talk about what makes Aspen Snowmass so special, in addition to how to turn your trip into everlasting memories

This Winter in Aspen Snowmass

If you’re planning a trip an Aspen winter vacation, odds are you are looking to hit the slopes. It’s shaping up to be a truly special ski season as Aspen and we are sure this season will be full of celebration in addition to the remarkable atmosphere that fills our town during the winter. This guide will help you have the ultimate ski vacation in Aspen. We’ll also highlight some of our other favorite things to do in Aspen in winter.
Skiing this season is set to start on Thanksgiving weekend as is usually tradition. Aspen and Snowmass Mountains will open first on November 24th, with Highlands set to open December 10th and Buttermilk on December 17th. The ski season runs through to April. Buttermilk is planned to close on April 9th with Aspen mountain being the last to close on the 16th. These dates sometimes get extended when the snow is particularly great and skiing is still viable through to May. Fingers crossed! With four amazing mountains to enjoy, and over 5,500 skiable acres the possibilities are endless for your dream ski vacation.

Ski Guide: What You Need to Know About Hitting the Slopes

Skiers in deep powder Aspen
Credit: Jeremy Swanson via Aspen Snowmass

Here is our guide to getting the most out of your ski strip. With proper planning and information, you can make sure you don’t miss a beat. Whether you want to experience every possible second of adventure, or are setting your sights on a weekend of Aprés, we’ll help make sure you get everything you want to be done, and more!


To start you need a pass to access the slopes. Every pass you get gives you access to all 4 mountains in Aspen Snowmass. Each mountain is within a short drive to downtown Aspen, and are all very accessible. If your vacation time permits, we recommend trying to spend some time on each of our fantastic mountains. Our mountains each have a personality of their own and offer a different experience to the next. 

Various types of ski passes or lift tickets are available, and prices can vary depending on the time of the season. As previously mentioned any pass will get you onto all four of the local mountains. Short-term passes can vary from 1-day to 7-day passes, and the price reduces per the number of days bought. If you are planning on a long vacation in Aspen or even visiting multiple times then it may be worth your while to grab a season-long lift ticket. Again, there are many different options from unlimited premier passes, student and senior passes, and even 2-day a week passes. There is something for almost any budget.


Public transport in our little mountain town is second to none. While most resorts and lodging options offer phenomenal concierge services and have great shuttle options, our local bus network provides an excellent service to all four mountains. From Rubey Park Station there are free bus options, direct to each mountain. All bus services from Aspen to Snowmass and everywhere in-between are completely free. Each bus has plenty of secure ski storage and there are departures from all stops every half hour!
On top of this, the Aspen Downtowner offers free shuttle rides for any visitor. This service is only available, as the name suggests, in downtown Aspen. Nevertheless, this is a reliable and quick option to go anywhere in town, including the base of Aspen Mountain. 

Ski Gear

You are probably thinking, what do I need to bring to Aspen for the Winter?Although many visitors bring along their own ski and snowboard gear, there are tons of options for those of you who need to rent ski/snowboard equipment. Four Mountain Sports offer rentals for skis and clothing and have a location at every mountain. So don’t panic if you don’t have enough space in your suitcase. There are plenty of further rental shops throughout town such as Incline, SureFoot, and Aspen Sports. To find some hidden gems, check out the Aspen Thrift shop for affordable second-hand options!


So you’ve planned ahead, got all of the necessary gear, and are ready to explore. Here’s our perfect day on each respective Mountain, from a local perspective. The best runs and areas, on-mountain dining, aprés and other little tips to make the most of every day. Aspen and Snowmass have over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, meaning you’ll be able to try something new every day. Full maps of the runs on each mountain can be found here. 


Bonnie's Restaurant Aspen Mountain
Credit: Matt Power via Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Mountain overlooks downtown Aspen and offers world-class steep skiing right into the heart of Aspen. There are no beginner runs on Aspen Mountain but intermediate skiers can take blue runs all of the ways down. Start your day with some lines down Silver Bell to the Ajax Express, which is the quickest way to return to the top. For lunch, you should zip down Buckhorn, and grab a bite to eat at Bonnie’s, a long-term institution on Aspen Mountain, famous for its pancakes! Now that you’re warmed up, we recommend hitting The Aspen Glades in search of some fresh powder and intense tree lines. We love to finish the day with a top-to-bottom run, down Ruthies on the Western side of the mountain, which gives you exquisite views down the Roaring Fork Valley.


Highlands Mountain, Highlands Bowl
Credit: Tamara Susa via Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Highlands offers, in our opinion something a little different to the other mountains in Aspen. Some of the higher runs offer “in-bounds” backcountry skiing with steep powdery slopes. You should start the day with a quick run to wake yourself up before making the trek up to the top of The Highlands Bowl. Probably the most renowned area to ski in Aspen, the bowl offers thrilling, steep skiing with incredible panoramic views, as good as anywhere in the world.  We usually head earlier in the day, as the hike is a real leg-burner, and you also want to get there before any fresh snow has been skied. After you’ve worked up a sweat, stop in at Merry-Go-Round for a refreshing bite to eat. If you’re feeling a little more festive, join the party at Cloud 9 Bistro, known for spraying bottles of champagne.


Buttermilk Mountain
Credit: Frank Shine via Aspen Snowmass

Buttermilk is considered the easiest mountain in terms of terrain, with trails to suit every experience level. The West Buttermilk is a great area of the mountain for some quick blue and green runs. We love starting our day up there. The runs are spacious and quiet, with great options for different levels. Why not test your skills on the features in the terrain park. On the eastern side of Buttermilk, we love to descend on Racer’s Edge to the Tiehack Express, which gives you access to some more challenging runs. After a day on the slopes, unwind with a drink and some great food at Hometeam BBQ.


Snowmass Mountain, Colorado
Credit: Jeremy Swanson via Aspen Snowmass

Snowmass is the largest of the four mountains, and hence it has everything from complete beginner slopes to off-piste style terrain. There is so much to explore but we’ll break down our ideal day as best we can. Start your day on the Village Express with some groomed runs on Banzai Ridge and Moonshine. Refuel with some food at Sam’s, which offers amazing Italian food. After you’ve re-energized, make your way across the mountain until you eventually make it to the Elk Camp side. It will take some time and a few different lifts, but it’s the best way to explore Snowmass Mountain in our opinion.
Make your way to the thrilling Long Shot Trail to finish off. A little hike up from the Elk Camp chairlift gives you access to one continuous blue run down to the Two Creeks lift. It’s filled with bump sections and technical tree trails. You’ll have earned a drink after this, so hit up Venga Venga for some aprés ski celebrations. Also, keep an eye out for the free s’more stations in the base village.

More Ski Tips for Aspen Snowmass: How to Have More Fun on the Hill

First Tracks

After a fresh snowfall, there’s really nothing like catching first tracks in the morning. Getting up early to try and beat the crowds is so rewarding and being the first to hit either the morning corduroy or untouched powder is truly a privilege. The first gondola leaves at 8 AM, so plan on getting up bright and early when you vacation here! You must book first tracks for Aspen and Snowmass 24 hours in advance, so try and plan ahead with the weather to guarantee you’re the first to pick a powdery line on the mountain.

Shrine Hunting

Across all four mountains in Aspen, shrines have been set up for everything from dogs to celebrities and even countries. Shrines are little areas hidden on the mountains which are decorated with items related to whatever they are celebrating. Often amongst the trees, you will find a tucked away seat with the branches around them covered in pictures, ornaments, and personal belongings. Each mountain has its own respective shrines, with over 50 in total across our four mountains. A full list, with some maps, can be found here. Our favorites to visit are the Bob Marley and the dog shrines on Aspen Mountain, and the monkey lounge shrine at Highlands. Why not take a few lines through the trees on your next run and see if you can spot any!


Are you looking for different things to do in Aspen and Snowmass this winter — something besides alpine skiing or snowboarding?

Maybe you’re a little bored with the slopes. Or perhaps you’re planning a mountain vacation but you’re not sure you want to deal with crowded lift lines and on-mountain restaurants. Try some of these other ski-based activities for something a little different this year. 

Uphill Skiing or “Skinning”

Uphill skiing Aspen, Colorado

Uphill skiing is quickly becoming one of Aspen’s favorite pastimes. Skinning, as it is often called, used to be a lesser-known activity amongst skiers, but has become much more accessible in recent times to all levels of skiing experience. Skinning involves using a specific set of skis that have a special binding and a set of skins on the bottom, which allow you to hike uphill with your skis on. This activity is a real workout and makes the run down even more rewarding. As they say, you’ve got to earn your turns. Uphill skiing on Aspen’s four mountains requires either a season pass or a specifically uphill ski pass, which costs $69 for the season. For full information on how to get started with skinning in Aspen visit our full guide to uphill skiing in Aspen. 


Cross-country Skiing Aspen, Moore Trail
Credit: AspenNordic

Cross country skiing has always been present amongst the local community and experienced skiers, but its popularity explode due to the Covid-19 year. It was another great way to get your skiing fix while the lifts were closed. Cross-country skiing allows you to make the most of flat snow terrain. There are several distinct styles, all using the same basic setup of “skinny” skis and poles. We love cross-country skiing as not only is it a testing form of exercise but it also allows you to ski or tour scenic trails around Aspen that you wouldn’t be able to explore otherwise. Want to get into cross-country skiing this winter? Browse our detailed guide on cross-country skiing in Aspen.

Hut Trips

Aspen, and Colorado in general, benefits from having an extensive hut system. These huts are scattered throughout the backcountry in remote areas. The fact that they are off the beaten track makes for a great excursion or backcountry adventure. Mountain huts offer a great escape. Almost every hut will require to you snowshoe or ski the backcountry Huts are bookable online and provide guests with an experience like no other. Imagine you, your family, and friends nestled up in a cozy cabin away from technology and noise. Just good company in a dreamy mountain escape. Every hut is armed with fireplaces, a kitchen, and comfortable living and sleeping areas. To plan your next adventure in the backcountry, visit 10th Mountain Division Huts, which provide bookable huts for different sized parties and experiences. With regards to Aspen winter activities, it doesn’t get much better than a hut trip!

Tours and guides 

To explore our beautiful snow-covered mountains there are tons of options for tours and guides. Getting shown around by a local can show you the area in a different light. You’ll also receive great insights, stories, and tips. A local tour can give you experiences you wouldn’t even know possible on an otherwise quick vacation in Aspen. Whether you are searching for adrenalin by skiing the backcountry, looking to catch some amazing views, or snowmobiling the lesser know trails of Aspen and Snowmass, there is something for everyone. Our local experts can help you find the experience you are dreaming of. Explore Aspen’s options for various tours and guided trips.

Other Activites: Things to do in Aspen in Winter Besides Ski

Aspen has an endless list of activities and things to visit. In addition to our famed social scene, there are also numerous ways to get out and discover some lesser-known gems for those visiting our snow globe. Here are some of our favorite ways to spend your day when you’re not on the slopes. Aspen winter activities come in many forms and Aspen Snowmass always provide something for everyone to enjoy.

Dining & Shopping

Aspen is famed for phenomenal dining experiences and world-renowned retail. There are endless options from downtown to on-mountain dining with worldwide cuisine available on every street. On our luxury blog, we talk about the options in town, from noteworthy gems to local favorites and everything in-between. Luxury brands and high-class boutique stores also love to call Aspen and Snowmass home.
Further down this blog, we explore what’s new in Aspen this year!

Aspen has a bustling local art scene and community. There are numerous art galleries, ranging from local boutique displays to pop-ups from famous artists from all over the globe. The Aspen Art Museum offers exhibitions from around the world, in an amazing setup in the heart of downtown. Festivals and events are hosted year-round. Beautiful street art displays can be found on the sides of red brick buildings. To sum it up our little town shows off when it comes to art, and you can explore so much in a dense, vibrant area. Read through our full guide on Aspen’s art scene to plan your gallery-hopping days. 

Explore Aspen on a different mode of transport

T-Lazy 7 Ranch offers winter Horseback rides guided by professionals, which meander through the trails around Maroon Creek. This is a unique and rare way to explore Aspen’s backcountry in the winter. “The trails, which have been packed down for safety, are peacefully quiet in the wintertime, and you’ll see some of the most breathtaking sights in the world. Not only does the snow create some amazing sculptures along the rocky terrain, but you’ll also see parts of the woods that are hidden during other seasons.”

A common sight during winter in Aspen is the horse-pulled carriage that makes its way through town. Visitors have been able to tour Aspen in an open horse-pulled sleigh for over 40 years. It’s a special way to take in Aspen at a slower pace. Aside from exploring downtown, guests can also take to the trails of Stillwater Ranch for a secluded, private experience. If you’re looking for an even more magical experience, Pine Creek Cookhouse offers amazing dinners, where you can be chauffeured to the restaurant by horse-drawn sleigh. Pine Creek Cookhouse is a staple of Aspen offering phenomenal cuisine for many years and is loved by the local community.

Book a trip to The Bells 

The Maroon Bells, the most photographed mountain peaks in the US are sublime at any time of year. The road to Maroon bells becomes less accessible in the Winter but it’s still possible to visit. You can still cross-country ski, snow bike, snowshoe, hike, or take a snowmobile the 12.4 miles round-trip to access the bells. There is a cross-country ski track along the road as well as a groomed snowmobile track. We can attest that making that little extra effort to see the bells in winter is worth it. It really is one of the most beautiful sights you’ll see. 

Join the Party 

As you may expect from a ski town, there has to be a party once the slopes close every day. Aspen hosts an aprés scene to match the renowned ski runs. There are bars & restaurants at the base of every mountain. Each with their own style and a celebration worth attending. Through the many clubs in town, you won’t have to venture far to find a DJ and a crowd, but our favorite spots are Venga Venga in Snowmass and Ajax Tavern at the base of Aspen Mountain. If you want to go wild, spend an afternoon at Cloud 9 Bistro on Highlands Mountain. It’s known for its big parties and champagne showers. Don’t worry, you won’t have to ski. You can get a snowcat down to the base once the shenanigans are over!

Take in The views 

Even if you don’t enjoy skiing, the top of Aspen Mountain is still accessible to everyone. Get a gondola ticket and go explore around the top of Ajax. Walkable trails cover certain areas at the mountain top which give you some of the most amazing views you’ll ever be lucky enough to see. You can even grab a bite at The Sundeck after some exploring. If you are feeling active then you can also hike Smuggler Mountain. Smuggler is a relatively short hike, still open during the winter. It gives sprawling views over the beautiful downtown of Aspen, yet only takes 30 minutes to the lookout. 

Recreational Activities 

While on vacation you may still want to stay active without hitting the slopes. Aspen and Snowmass both have recreational centers with great facilities. You’ll be able to access full indoor courts, gyms, climbing walls, skating rinks, and even heated swimming pools. Day passes can be bought as well as family rates for weekly and monthly memberships.
Right in the center of town, across from Rubey park, there is a public ice-skating rink. A gorgeous location for some relaxed skating or a romantic date under the lights. 

Why not catch a live show?

Aspen attracts some of the world’s best musicians, comedians, and performers year-round. Venues such as the Wheeler Opera House and BellyUp have housed various acts and shows for years here in Aspen and the line-ups they offer never disappoint. This winter why not see one of your favorite musicians while on holiday, or see a live show worthy of any theatre.

Aspen Winter Activites and Events: Always Entertaining

There is always a spectacular array of events that happen throughout the season here in Aspen. From ski competitions to bustling parties and family festivals, there’s a celebration to suit everyone during winter. Here are a few of our highlights!

 X Games

The Winter X Games in Aspen is the highest level of extreme winter sports competition with skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers all competing for gold. Returning for its 22nd consecutive year, Winter X Games will take place in Buttermilk, showcasing some of the world’s best winter athletes.


One of the oldest recurring events in Aspen, Wintersköl is a celebration of Aspen’s alpine lifestyle from Jan 12th-15th 2023. Throughout the 4-day festival, the town features on-mountain activities, concerts, family events, fashion shows, and ice sculpture competitions. The weekend is rounded off with a fireworks display and bonfire. 

AUDI Power of 4

An endurance race like no other. Teams challenge themselves with over 24 miles and 10,000 vertical feet, in this exhausting competition. This race consists of hiking up and skiing each of Aspen’s four mountains, as quickly as possible. 

NASTAR Nationals

The national ski racing championships take place every year in Aspen, with the quickest qualifiers from across America competing for gold. It’s a great weekend to get out and watch the fastest skiers in the country battle it out. 

Gay Ski Week

In January, every year, Aspen runs host to the premier LGBTQ+ winter event with a full schedule of events on-and-off the Aspen Snowmass mountains. This is a week full of celebrations and events that make the social scene come alive. 

Aspen Shortsfest

“Aspen Shortsfest is an Oscar®-qualifying film festival recognized as one of the premier short film festivals in North America”. In April, you will be able to get early viewings of some of the best short films in North America. Shortsfest is always an electric and eclectic week to finish off the winter season. 

Bud Light Mountain Challenge

The Bud Light Mountain Challenge is an opportunity for self-proclaimed athletes to compete in some seriously fun winter events. This free week of events focuses on some friendly competition on the slopes with an emphasis on having a good time. 

Closing Days

As the Aspen winter comes to an end every year, the town uses the closing days of each mountain as an excuse to throw some extravagant parties. Usually held at the base of each mountain, wild parties are not to be missed as each mountain closes on their respective dates.

Aspen Ski World Cup

Aspen Mountain is preparing for the return of the FIS world cup on March 3-5 2023. This epic downhill race sees premier alpine skiers compete in Super-G and Downhill courses, with onlookers able to catch all the action on the sidelines.

What’s New: How to Spice Up Your Aspen Winter Vacation

Downtown Aspen, Colorado
Credit: Jordan Curet via Aspen Snowmass

Aspen, despite its condensed downtown area, attracts something or someone new every season. Pop-up boutiques, critically acclaimed restaurants, and world-class events love to call Aspen home, if even for just one season. Below we give you a taste of just some of the new happenings in Aspen & Snowmass this winter. 



Aspen’s newest and finest Mexican restaurant opened late this summer in the Mill Street Plaza. Occupying what used to be a local favorite “Jimmy’s”, this restaurant has made a fantastic impression in town. From exquisite food to delicious cocktails, be sure to visit Las Montañas this winter.

The latest establishment to open at The Little Nell Residences at the base of Aspen Mountain is Chica. Chica is a “celebration of Latin Flavors” by Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia. The menu has a vibrant mix of Latin dishes and an inventive cocktail and drinks list.

The sister restaurant of famed NYC seafood restaurant Catch. Catch Steak is planning on opening a new rooftop steakhouse on the corner of Galena Street and Hopkins Avenue. This location offers panoramic views of Aspen Mountain and beyond from its phenomenal outdoor patio, which complements its vast indoor space.



Aspen Skiing Company’s new premium retail and experimental concept brand. The brand includes the first clothing line developed by a ski resort, launching with custom collaborations and outerwear designed for the community who spends most of their time on the slopes. The store itself is open on Aspen’s Gondola Plaza.

Tecovas, the Austin, Texas-based cowboy boot, and leather goods store has opened its latest retail location on Aspen’s Hyman Ave (moved locations from around the corner). It is the latest store in Aspen to offer custom leather detailing and personalization. 

The popular yoga clothing brand made it’s way to Aspen this summer with a new store on Hyman Ave. Alo’s high end, trendy athleisure wear is quickly becoming a staple in Aspen, for comfort before and after the slopes.

The Best Time to Visit

It’s no surprise that the holidays are the busiest time of year in Aspen. Everyone wants to spend a Christmas or New Year’s vacation in a winter wonderland. Although that time of year does have a special feel to it, the magic of Aspen and Snowmass is present year-round. No matter what stage of the season you plan to visit, Aspen is nothing short of spectacular. The atmosphere that makes it so wonderful never ceases and there are always endless things to do. So don’t let timing throw you off a winter vacation like no other in Aspen. Take a peek at our run-downs on why January and February are so much fun. These serve as a small example of how different times of year will always provide a great experience.

Staying in Aspen

There are tons of accommodation options for visitors to Aspen and Snowmass.  As a popular tourist destination, we have numerous high-class resorts and hotels across both Aspen and Snowmass. In addition to this, Aspen is filled with fantastic homes available as luxury vacation retreats. Whether you need a downtown condo or a slope-side chalet, we can help cater to whatever your group needs. At Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals we have the finest selection of rental homes throughout Pitkin County. Let us help you find that dream vacation home, and make your trip one to remember. Don’t hesitate to reach out and see the luxury accommodation options Aspen has to offer. Click to browse our complete collection.

Pet-Friendly Information

People often fret about bringing their pets on vacation. In Aspen, there is no need to worry too much about the logistics of bringing a pet. A large selection of luxury vacation rentals are pet-friendly. There are options for every type of accommodation, so don’t be too quick to rule out bringing your family dog on your Aspen trip! The town itself has a plethora pet-friendly downtown parks and miles of walking trails. You can even hike your dog up some ski slopes after operating hours!


How do I Get to Aspen?

Aspen has its own small airport, Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, which has several daily flights directly into the town of Aspen. Buses and shuttles are also available direct from Denver as well other nearby airports such as Eagle County. If you are traveling by car, the Roaring Fork Valley is connected to Denver via the I-70. Taking the I-70 from either direction will lead you to Glenwood Springs where you can turn off onto Highway 82. Highway 82 is a direct route to Aspen and is the only open road into Aspen during the Winter.

Which is the best mountain in Aspen For beginners? 

Buttermilk and Snowmass mountains offer green (beginner) runs in addition to a large selection of easier blue runs. Both mountains have specific lift areas with trails specifically for those who are new to skiing/snowboarding. If you are relatively new but want to explore a little more, both of these mountains also have long runs higher on the mountain that let you test yourself a little more without getting too steep.

What should I bring to Aspen in Winter?

Obviously if you plan to hit the ski slopes you’ll need all of your ski/snowboard gear. If you can’t fit everything you need, the local sport and rental shops offer rental options for everyone. Other than that, pack warm! Bring your favorite thick jacket and a pair of winter boots and you’ll be ready to brace the Aspen snow.

How long is the Winter in Aspen?

Heavy snow starts to fall in Aspen in November. The mountains being opening to the public for skiing around Thanksgiving weekend. Our wonderful ski season then runs uninterrupted until April. Over the last couple of weeks of April each individual mountain will have its own closing days. Although, if Aspen gets good snow, some mountains have stayed open until June in recent years!

What is the off-season in Aspen?

Off-season in Aspen and Snowmass is the time between our summer and winter seasons. Usually lasting roughly a month either side of summer. The first off season is generally the month of May, and our second off-season is from mid-October until mid-November. It’s a time where the town quietens down, business reduce their hours and the residents of Aspen can relax. It’s still an amazing time to visit! Read our guide on why off-season is so amazing in Aspen.

Is it expensive to vacation in Aspen?

Although Aspen is one of the more expensive ski resorts in North America, you can still vacation in Aspen and Snowmass without breaking the bank. Great deals can be found on travel and luxury accommodations throughout the year in Aspen. Aspen is filled with fine dining restaurants and lavish retail stores, but it can be easy to avoid overspending on socializing too. There are great local bars and restaurants offering affordable options across our bustling mountain town.

What is there to do at night in Aspen?

Whether you’re looking to relax, or get your groove on, Aspen and Snowmass have an abundance of things to entertain you at night. There is bustling bar and club scene in Aspen as well as venues which host some of the world’s biggest stars. All kinds of restaurants line Aspen’s streets from quaint romantic eateries to spots for some casual dining. Many of our lovely art galleries are open at night and make the town a lovely area to relax in and explore after dark.

What is there to do in Aspen in Winter if you don’t ski?

Although Aspen is one of the most popular ski resorts in North America, the town still offers an abundance of activities to do besides ski. Check out our detailed guide on what to do in Aspen besides ski – The 7 Best Things to Do In Aspen in Winter Besides Ski

What To Do in Aspen if You Don’t Ski (or Snowboard)

Not everyone who visits Aspen Snowmass in the winter wants to ski. Although skiing or snowboarding may be the main attraction to our town in the winter, there are still so many other entertaining activities in Aspen and Snowmass. Especially in a ski resort, you may be thinking what can you do in winter besides ski? Below, we’ll take you through various on-mountain activities and other things to do in Aspen in winter besides ski.


Explore More On Aspen’s Snowmobile Tours

Snowmobiling on Maroon Creek Road Aspen, Colorado
Photo by C2 Photography.

Guided snowmobile tours are an unforgettable adventure activity to explore more of Aspen’s beauty. Snowmobiling is safe for all ages and abilities, with tours led by experienced and knowledgeable guides. With tour options through the famous Maroon Bells, Snowmass backcountry, or exquisite lunch tours- there are options for the whole family to enjoy! See our recommended tours with T-Lazy 7:


Snowcat Chauffeured Dinner Rides

Snowcat on Highlands mountain
Photo by Virtuoso Ltd

For a magical Colorado dinner experience, embark on a snowcat journey to Aspen Highlands’ Cloud Nine or Snowmass’ Lynn Britt Cabin. Both restaurants are highly popular and well known for their atmospheres. Cloud Nine is an infamous restaurant in Aspen known for its Veuve Clicquot parties every single day. Lynn Britt cabin is a family-friendly option in a cozy Western-themed cabin. The snowcat rides allow non-skiers to enjoy these mountain-top experiences in iconic restaurant locations. See both Snowcat dinner tours here.

Get Active On A Snowshoe Tour

Snowshoeing, Winter Activities in Aspen
Photo by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

For an outdoor fitness activity that doesn’t involve getting on a pair of skis, snowshoeing is a fantastic option! Both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain offer guided snowshoeing tours, with a focus on Aspen’s history and the Rocky Mountain ecology. Tours are led on gentle terrain, suitable for all abilities. Alternatively, you can snowshoe to the renowned Pine Creek
Cookhouse restaurant for elegant Mountain dining. Snowshoeing is a great way to immerse in Aspen’s beautiful scenery and a fun option for all. For tickets see here.

Get An Adrenalin Rush on Snowmass Snow Tubes & Alpine Rollercoaster

Snowmass alpine rollercoaster, Snowmass, Colorado
Photo by Aspen Snowmass

Snowmass Mountain offers snow tubing and an alpine rollercoaster at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola. These activities are fun, thrilling breaks from skiing for all those at least 38” tall. The alpine coaster zips through the trees on Snowmass Mountain and gives gorgeous views amongst the National Forest. Tubing is a ski-resort favorite activity for kids and adults alike and is always popular at Snowmass. Check out the ticket options for tubing and the alpine coaster.

Experience A Magical Sleigh Ride

Aspen sleigh ride, Aspen winter activities
Photo by C2 Photography

Aspen offers horse-drawn sleigh or carriage rides for all ages and occasions. Whether it be through a snow-covered ranch or Downtown Aspen, these sleigh and carriage rides add a special touch to your mountain vacation. The Pine Creek Cookhouse restaurant also offers sleigh-drawn rides to their luxury Alpine restaurant in the Winter months. With both public and private options, carriage and sleigh rides create a magical experience in our own Winter Wonderland.

Ice Skating Under The Lights

Aspen Ice Skating Rink
Photo by The Limelight Hotel

This is one of our favorite things to do in Aspen besides ski! Aspen and Snowmass boast both indoor and outdoor skating rinks during the Winter season. Walking distance from the Aspen Mountain Gondola is an outdoor skating rink next to the ‘CP Burger’ restaurant or for indoor skating visit the Aspen Ice Garden or Aspen Recreation Centre. Snowmass Base Village offers free ice skating outside the Limelight hotel, steps from the Elk Camp Gondola.

Take In The Sights On The Silver Queen Gondola

Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen Colorado
Photo by Aspen Chamber

What better way to see the sights than the Gondolas at Aspen and Snowmass mountains. The ride is a truly beautiful experience that for the non-skier allows you to witness the mountain beauty that skiers and snowboarders do. Both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain have mountain-top restaurants and bars with outdoor seating to enjoy the views after your Gondola ride. You can also take a stroll on the trails at the top of Aspen Mountain to take in the panoramic views. The ride itself lasts about 15 minutes, and tickets can be purchased at https://www.aspensnowmass.com/visit/tickets-and-passes/sightseeing-and-tickets

Looking for even more to do in Aspen this winter? Check out our full Winter Guide for Aspen and Snowmass

Our winter guide gives you a complete rundown of all the information you need when planning a vacation in Aspen and Snowmass. Including the best ski runs, and even more things to do in Aspen in winter besides ski. From the most popular restaurants to our local tips, we go over everything you could need before visiting Aspen!

Winter Guide Aspen Colorado

Everything You Need to Know for the Vacation of a Lifetime!

Aspen Snowmass ski resort is known for its breathtaking terrain, luxury accommodations, and lively atmosphere. A ski trip to Aspen is more than just a vacation; it’s a winter wonderland experience. From the iconic Aspen Mountain to the family-friendly Snowmass Mountain, there are slopes for every level of skier. As experienced locals in Aspen, we have curated the ‘Ultimate Aspen Ski Trip Itinerary’ to guide you through a perfect week at Aspen Snowmass.  

One Week in Aspen Itinerary

Day 1: Your Arrival 

Arrive in Aspen in style with a limo service on arrival. Once you reach your accommodation, relax by the fireplace with hot cocoa (or a glass of wine) and magnificent views of the mountains.


Day 2: Aspen Mountain Skiing and Après

Start your first ski day in Aspen with breakfast at Bear Den in Downtown Aspen. We highly recommend the French toast board!


After breakfast, head towards the Aspen Mountain gondola. We recommend Four Mountain Sports across the street from the mountain for rentals. View our Aspen Winter Guide for more information on the four mountains at Aspen Snowmass. Our favorite runs on Aspen Mountain include Ruthie’s and The Aspen Glades for fresh powder and beautiful tree lines. 


After a day of exhilarating skiing or snowboarding on Aspen, return to the gondola base to après at Ajax Tavern. They are known for their wagyu cheeseburger and truffle fries. The cauliflower gratin is also a must! Finally, sip on a glass of champagne on their outdoor patio and watch skiers come down the hill. 


Enjoy dinner at the renowned Italian restaurant, Casa Tua, for a lively ambiance and fantastic food to round off a perfect first day in Aspen.

Powder skiing


Day 3: Champagne Showers at Aspen Highlands  

Enjoy waking up to another beautiful day in Aspen. For a gourmet start to the day, our concierge team can book a private chef-prepared breakfast for you to enjoy. From classic breakfast platters to homemade bagels, our trusted chefs can prepare a breakfast to fuel your ski day ahead. 


Today you will ski the locals’ favorite mountain, Aspen Highlands. For expert skiers, the Highland Bowl is the pinnacle of North American skiing, with some of the steepest runs in Colorado. Not for the faint-hearted, skiers must hike up to an hour along a mountain ridge to reach the Highland Bowl summit, to be rewarded with panoramic views and steep powder runs. See this Local’s Guide to the Highland Bowl. We recommend skiing off the Loge Peak chairlift for groomed blue runs. 


Visit the famous Cloud Nine restaurant for lunch to witness their champagne shower parties for yourself. For food, enjoy exquisite alpine cuisine, including fondue, in the chalet-style restaurant. Since they are known for their Veuve Cliquot spraying parties starting at 2 pm, prepare to walk out smelling like champagne! Cloud Nine is a popular restaurant, so bookings are required. 


After an exciting day on the slopes, enjoy a Japanese dinner at Matsuhisa Aspen for our favorites, crispy rice with tuna and a ‘gardener’ cocktail. 

Cloud Nine

Courtesy of: Aspen Snowmass


Day 4: Hit the Snowmass Slopes

Venture to the biggest of the four mountains in the area today, Snowmass Mountain. With wide open trails, secret powder tree lines, and plenty of restaurant options, Snowmass is a great day for all. Our favorite runs are off the Elk Camp chairlift (above the Elk Camp Gondola), where you can enjoy views of the Maroon Bells from the top. If you are visiting in Spring, read our guide to Spring Skiing in Aspen Snowmass.


For lunch, visit Lynn Britt Cabin, a mid-mountain restaurant with stunning views and a Western ambiance. With an outdoor patio, bar, and DJ booth for sunny days, enjoy a charcuterie board in the sun while watching skiers ride down the Velvet Falls run. Reservations are required for lunch seating, so make sure to book!


Relax in the hot tub of your Aspen vacation rental for the late afternoon before dining at Catch Steak for dinner. We recommend the sushi and seafood options alongside the steak! Surf and turf in the mountains, anyone?

Snowmass VIllage


Day 5: Relax, Revive, and Retail Therapy!

Today, relax in a much-needed break from skiing! Start your day with breakfast from Unravel Coffee for the best coffee in town. Then, venture to O2 Spa for a relaxing spa treatment. Indulge in a beautiful local spa’s custom massage, facial, or other skin treatment. If desired, book a yoga class in the O2 studio with incredible views of Aspen Mountain.   


For a lunch break between shopping and spa treatments, visit the French Alpine Bistro for delectable food in a romantic setting. We recommend the gruyère cheese fondue with the charcuterie addition for a unique experience. 


There’s no better way to celebrate a rest day than some retail therapy! Visit the renowned western store Kemo Sabe for their specialty wool hats or Pitkin Country Dry Goods for sophisticated boutique fashion. For other non-skiing activities, view the 7 Best Things to do in Aspen Besides Ski.


For an early dinner, visit Clark’s Aspen for their happy hour menu from 3-5 pm Monday through Friday. The happy hour menu includes half-price burgers, martinis, and 50c off oysters. The clam chowder is also a delicious way to warm up in the snow. 


No Aspen ski trip is complete without attending a concert at Belly Up. The intimate venue is renowned for hosting world-class musicians on its stage. Often sold out, make sure you book tickets in advance. 


Day 6: Mountain Pancakes and Starry Sleigh Rides

Famous in Aspen, Bonnie’s restaurant on Aspen Mountain is an absolute must for breakfast. Known for their oatmeal pancakes and gorgeous views, start your day with breakfast here.


For your second day skiing on Aspen Mountain, venture towards Lift 1A for steep lines and bumps. For a great groomed trail, ski top-to-bottom on the Copper run. 


Stop at Sundeck for lunch at the top of the gondola for fantastic cafeteria-style food, outdoor seating, and views your family and friends will envy. We recommend a bowl of chili!


Enjoy a mountain experience like no other tonight with a sleigh ride to Pine Creek Cookhouse. Then, travel under the stars via horse and carriage to an incredible chalet restaurant at the base of the Elk Mountains. We recommend hiring a car service to drive you as no taxis or shuttles are available from the restaurant.  

Aspen Night Sky


Day 7: Snowmobiling and a Steakhouse Dinner

Start your day at the popular Paradise Bakery with delicious pastries, cookies, muffins, coffee, and gelato. This bakery is take-out only, so wander around town while sipping your morning cappuccino or sit on one of the outdoor benches outside the bakery or in the various walking malls in Downtown Aspen. 


Next, take a snowmobiling adventure to the Maroon Bells, one of the most photographic areas of North America. An experienced guide will lead you through the White River National Forest to the base of Maroon Lake. Warm up with hot chocolate as you gaze at one of the most picturesque peaks in the world. 


Tonight for après, visit the Snow Lodge inside the St Regis Aspen. The same team as The Surf Lodge, The Snow Lodge is a winter supper club, lounge, and après venue. Listen to live music in the lounge or courtyard with specialty cocktails in a beautifully designed space. 


For dinner, visit a local and visitor favorite, Steakhouse 316. This restaurant combines elegant mood lighting with a classic steakhouse menu. From lobster tail pairings to tomahawk rib eyes, this is a must-visit for steak and seafood lovers. For dessert, don’t pass on the bread & butter pudding.

Maroon Bells

Day 8: Final Morning

For a final gourmet breakfast, visit Element 47 at The Little Nell hotel for a continental or full ‘Nell’ buffet. From berry parfait to duck chilaquiles, there are delectable options for all.  

After a magnificent Aspen ski trip, we hope you depart with unforgettable memories and experiences! 



How much does it cost to go skiing in Aspen?

For the latest lift tickets/equipment/lesson pricing information, visit the official Aspen Snowmass website


What is the best month to ski in Aspen?

Any month between December-March is fantastic in Aspen. December is the most popular month for its vibrant holiday festivities and historically abundant snowfall. January is an excellent month for quieter crowds and still fantastic skiing. March is the start of spring skiing which means warmer temperatures and many outdoor events such as concerts and patio après.  


Is Aspen skiing good for beginners?

Aspen Mountain has no beginner trails, only intermediate and expert. However, Buttermilk and Snowmass mountains have fantastic beginner terrain. We also recommend booking a lesson if it’s your first time skiing.


Is Aspen worth skiing?

Aspen was voted the #3 ski resort in the West by Skimag.com for our “gold standard for American skiing, nightlife, and lifts.” So, the answer is yes! Aspen is worth visiting for an incredible Colorado ski vacation.

How to Celebrate the Holidays in Style

The most wonderful time of the year is even more magical in Aspen. With a snow globe backdrop and daily festivities, there is no better way to experience the holidays than in the mountains. Our dedicated concierge can create a sense of winter wonderland in your own vacation rental home. We’ll arrange Christmas florals and themed dinners, and help create a custom itinerary. Our team is here to help you celebrate the holidays in Aspen Snowmass!

Stylish Aspen Hotel Lobby During the Holidays

Courtesy of Aspen Chamber/David O. Marlow

Why Spend the Holidays in Aspen Snowmass?

There’s a Reason Aspen is the Busiest During the Holidays!

Aspen Snowmass was recently named #3 in the West for best ski resorts because of our “gold standard in American skiing” and terrain variety. The holidays are an especially popular time in Aspen, and last December set a new occupancy record.

Why, you ask?

Because Aspen is known for being a luxurious resort, and during the holidays the town comes alive with festive events, special dining, decorations, and of course a great amount of snow. The snow globe of Aspen is the most wonderful place to feel the holiday spirit!


Things to Do in Aspen this Winter Holiday

Aspen Holiday Schedule and Activities for the Whole Family

1. Walk Through Downtown Aspen’s Christmas Lights

There is no better feeling than walking through the snow among strings of colorful lights and hearing Christmas music play as you wander through Downtown Aspen or Snowmass. Stop by a local cafe or hotel for hot chocolate by the fireplace afterward.

Downtown Aspen Mall During the Holidays

Courtesy of Aspen Snowmass


2. Attend Ullr Nights in Snowmass

For entertainment including tubing, an alpine rollercoaster, snowbiking, live music, and s’mores by the bonfire; book tickets to an Ullr Night in Snowmass. The event is from 5:30-7:30pm at Elk Camp on select dates between December 28th and March 24th. Reservations are required and likely to sell out!

Ullr Nights Crowd in Snowmass

Courtesy of Aspen Snowmass


3. Watch the Annual Tree Lightings at The Little Nell or the St Regis Aspen

To kick-start the festive season, attend community tree lighting events at The Little Nell or St Regis Hotel. Both hotel tree lighting events start at 5pm. The St Regis Aspen event is on December 10th and the event at The Little Nell is on December 11th. Open to guests and non-guests of the hotels.

Christmas Tree lighting at the St. Regis Aspen

Courtesy of St Regis Aspen


4. Take a Sleigh Ride to Pine Creek Cookhouse

For an unbeatable holiday experience, reserve a sleigh ride for lunch or dinner at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. This once-in-a-lifetime treat features stunning views and alpine cuisine in a chalet-style restaurant. If you would prefer an active experience, there are snowshoe and cross-country ski options to the restaurant too.

Horses pulling a sleigh to the Pine Creek Cookhouse near Aspen during the holidays

Courtesy of Pine Creek Cookhouse


5. Watch the Holiday Cabaret Series

Enjoy some entertainment with Theatre Aspen for a chef’s dinner and 60-minute cabaret performance at the Hotel Jerome. The event runs nightly from December 19th-23rd. Bringing Broadway to the mountains, and is always a special holiday event!

Hotel Jerome Aspen Lobby during Christmas holidays

Courtesy of Aspen Chamber/David O. Marlow


6. Enjoy a Menorah Lighting at the Aspen Meadows

From December 18-26th at 5pm, enjoy a Menorah lighting in the lounge of the Aspen Meadows with complimentary snacks. Open to hotel guests and non-guests of the Aspen Meadows too.

Aspen Meadows Menorah

Courtesy of Bella Terra


7. Enter the Snowmass Luminescence

Snowmass’s interactive light display returns this year to Snowmass Base Village and Mall from December 18-February 26th. Walk through a variety of vibrant art installations featuring tunnels of LED displays. Snowmass Luminescence is free of charge and open from sunset to 9pm daily.

Snowmass Village Interactive Lighting Display for the holidays

Courtesy of Aspen Snowmass


8. View the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Downtown Aspen

Every year, locals and visitors gather to watch the fireworks off Aspen Mountain on New Year’s Eve. Starting at 8pm, celebrate in style and watch from anywhere in Downtown Aspen.

New Year's Eve Fireworks over Aspen

Courtesy of City of Aspen


Where to Stay for Christmas in Aspen Snowmass

The Best Vacation Homes for Your Aspen Holiday

Luxurious Core Townhome

This downtown vacation home has 3 bedrooms and a media room that can sleep a total of 8 people. The location makes this property perfect for all your holiday activities! It is within a 5-minute walk to the Aspen Mountain Gondola and the downtown restaurants and shops.

Luxurious Core Townhome Living Room | Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals

Luxurious Core Townhome


Contemporary Core Townhome

This modern townhome is also in a superb downtown location for the holidays. With 3 bedrooms and an additional sleeper sofa in the office, this townhome sleeps 8 guests. With a gorgeous fireplace and living area, this home is cozy and warm for your Aspen Christmas.

Contemporary Core Townhome | Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals

Contemporary Core Townhome


Two Creeks Home

This home’s location in Snowmass Village is unbeatable! Ski in/out to the Two Creeks lift and access all of Snowmass Mountain from your doorstep. This 6-bedroom luxury home has ample living and dining space for large groups. Imagine this home covered in Christmas florals! It’s one of our favorites for the holiday season.

Two Creeks Home - Snowmass | Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals

Two Creeks Home


Luxury Durant Condo

Our luxurious Durant condo has a ski-in/out location on Aspen Mountain, so you can step out your back door onto some of the world’s best skiing! Newly renovated, with brand new furnishings, this modern condo is ideal for entertaining up to 6 people for your family holiday vacation.

Luxury Durant Condo | Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals

Luxury Durant Condo



This gorgeous single-family home optimizes privacy and space for your Aspen holiday vacation. With a spacious backyard, hot tub, and large primary bedroom This home is excellent for family holiday meals and entertaining!

Matchless Living Room with Fireplace | Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals



Luxury Holiday Experiences (More Reasons to Spend the Holidays in Aspen Snowmass)

Holiday Concierge Services for your Vacation Home

Aspen Holiday Florals and Décor

Our dedicated concierge has relationships with vendors throughout Aspen and Snowmass. One of our most popular holiday add-ons is to decorate your vacation home with holiday florals! Whether it be a 10 ft tree covered in lights, or Christmas-themed table florals throughout the home, we have the vendors to make your vacation property feel like home. Waking on Christmas Day in a house that feels like home is a feeling we love to create.

Holiday Decor - Living Room with Fireplace

Courtesy of Anastasiia Romanova


Holiday Themed Private Chef Meals

Whether it be Hannukah, Christmas, or any reason you celebrate, our chefs can create a custom- meal for your vacation. From family-style holiday dinners to 4-course fine dining options, we can arrange an Aspen holiday meal for you to remember. Forget the hassle of having to cook or clean! Christmas Eve dinner in the mountains, anyone?

Holiday Gift-Wrapped Meal from Mawa's Kitchen, Aspen, Colorado

Courtesy of Mawa’s Kitchen


Aspen Holiday Art Sessions

For family fun in Aspen over the holidays, our concierge can arrange for holiday-themed art sessions in your vacation home. This includes creating tree decorations, wreaths, homemade candles, paintings, and baking activities. We have some great artist vendors to entertain and bring joy to your family these holidays.


Complete Aspen Holiday Schedule

Your holiday adventure awaits you this year in Aspen Snowmass! To see an up-to-date event guide this festive season, see Aspen Chamber’s calendar. For any rental requests, contact us to get started on booking your trip to Aspen.

For the finest experiences Aspen Snowmass can offer, let our Aspen luxury concierge team curate the ultimate luxurious vacation. We can accommodate any special requests and have years of experience creating the most indulgent and relaxing vacations for our clientele. When it comes to providing amazing concierge services, there are no limits to what our team can help you experience. Whatever your heart desires, we can help bring you to it. Whether it be private services on any of the four ski mountains, or finding the best place in town to escape and relax, we offer the most exquisite amenities and local experiences throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.
We have formed a list below of the finest luxury Aspen concierge experiences: 

Private Chefs: An Indulgent Aspen Dining Experience 

Private Chef and Catering services Aspen
Credit: Eat Lover Savor

Celebrate a family vacation or romantic getaway with a private chef at your rental property in Aspen. The dining scene is Aspen is second to none and that isn’t limited to the restaurants of downtown. Aspen has a plethora of fantastic chefs and catering services to suit any need. Our concierge team has access to the best private chefs Aspen has to offer. From casual family dining to catered brunch to full-scale luxury dinner parties. We can help accommodate any personal chef requests.

Private Snow Cat to Cloud Nine: Champagne with a View 

Cloud 9 Bistro Aspen Highlands
Credit: Gray Malin

Experience one of Aspen’s most luxury party restaurants with a private dinner at Cloud Nine. A snowcat will take you up Aspen Highlands mountain to the Cloud Nine cabin, a terrific experience by itself. Known for its range of fine champagne, your dinner will be a luxury affair of alpine cuisine in a breathtaking location. Cloud Nine also offers lunch dining reservations which include infamous champagne spraying sessions. 

Stargazing Dom Perignon tours: The Most Luxury Way to see Aspen Mountain 

Stargazing Aspen Snowmass, Aspen concierge services
Credit: The Little Nell

For one of Aspen’s finest experiences, a summer Stargazing Tour to the top of Aspen Mountain is the perfect experience. Your astronomy expert guide will take you on an off-road adventure in a new model Audi or Jeep to the mountain top, fitted with blankets, binoculars, and light bites. With options to include a bottle of Dom Perignon, this is one of Aspen’s most luxurious summer activities.  

Snowmobile Tours with Custom Chef Lunch at a Private Cabin

Private Snowmobiling in Aspen, Maroon Creek
Credit: Aspen Chamber

A private snowmobile tour with your own chef-created lunch is an unbeatable travel experience in Aspen. Take in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains on your guided snowmobile tour, no experience necessary, leading to a gorgeous private cabin for lunch. Our luxury Aspen concierge team highly recommends this private tour! 

Kemo Sabe VIP Shopping Experience: World Famous in Aspen 

Kemo sabe Aspen
Credit: Anna Stonehouse, Aspen Times

If high-end shopping is what your heart desires, look no further than a VIP experience at the world-renowned Kemo Sabe Western Store. Kemo Sabe is a long-standing gem of Aspen. Known both locally and nationally as a provider of the finest high-end western apparel, in addition to being a great place to spend your afternoon. Our luxury concierge can organize a personal shopper experience with access to Kemo Sabe’s private cocktail bar and a custom hat-making experience.  

Powder Tours: An Unbeatable Alpine Adventure 

Powder Tours Aspen Snowmass
Credit: Aspen Snowmass

To truly experience the magic of Colorado snow, book a private powder tour with a ski pro whilst you are in Aspen. This is a one-of-a-kind experience to ski untracked powder on the backside of Aspen Mountain. This luxury experience includes snowcat transportation and an exquisite chef-prepared lunch.

Custom Aspen Picnics: An Incredible Summer Experience

Aspen picnics, smuggler park
Credit: Aspen Picnics

For a luxury Summer experience, look no further than a custom charcuterie picnic with local company Aspen Picnics. This deluxe Aspen experience can be arranged at either the beautiful Smuggler Mountain in Downtown Aspen or at your rental property for a more private event. With options that include champagne, local restaurant food, or dessert boards- this is an Aspen experience like no other.

Private Dinner and Tasting at The Little Nell Wine Cellar 

The Little Nell wine cellar, Aspen Luxury concierge services
Credit: C2 Photography

For an exquisite dining experience, our Aspen concierge can book a private dining and wine tasting dinner at Aspen’s top-rated hotel, The Little Nell. The executive chef will curate a custom dinner pairing for your wine tastings. The team of world-renowned sommeliers will make sure your whole experience is luxurious.  

At-Home Spa Services: The Best Way to Relax 

O2 spa aspen
Credit: O2 Aspen

After a long day on the ski slopes, come back to a massage in the privacy of your rental home. Our Aspen Concierge works with numerous professional spa technicians and masseuses in the Aspen area who can accommodate the luxury spa atmosphere in an at-home setting. Our spa therapists are experienced, professional and friendly, ensuring the ultimate comfort in your at-home spa appointment.

Other Aspen luxury concierge options:  

At-Home Ski Rental Fittings 

Our Aspen concierge team can schedule local company ‘Ski Butlers’ for at-home ski gear fittings. They will fit all your equipment, including boots, skis and poles, in the comfort of your vacation rental, so you have more time to spend enjoying the slopes.   

Ski Lift Ticket Home Delivery Service 

Instead of spending time in the long queues of the ticket office, we offer a complimentary lift ticket delivery service. This means your lift tickets can be ready and waiting for you when you arrive to your luxury rental. We can also arrange private or group lessons and guided tours for your ski vacation.   

Limo Services  

For luxury transportation while in Aspen, our concierge can hire a private driver for your stay. With varying luxury car options and sizes, this is the most convenient way to get around Aspen. We can even arrange the limo service to pick you up from the private airport tarmac, so you can step off the place and into your vacation stress-free. 

Private Maroon Bells tours 

During the Summer months, Maroon Bells is Aspen’s most visited destination. This Mountain landscape is one of the world’s most photographed areas, and it’s easy to see why! Let our team arrange a private Maroon Bells tour to drive you to and from the scenic spot. 


Paragliding is an incredible way to view the alpine scenery of Aspen Snowmass. With both Summer and Winter options, paragliding requires no prior experience and the local guides have extensive experience. Glide off either Aspen or Snowmass mountain and prepare to be amazed by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.  

Luxury Dining Reservations and Experiences 

Our Aspen concierge has extensive knowledge of dining in Aspen and Snowmass. Let us organize all your dining reservations whilst on vacation, giving custom recommendations and fulfilling any special requests. Aspen has a wide range of dining options, from casual bites to fine dining. Our concierge team can also

Looking for Even More? Contact Us

We could go on forever about all of the services and luxury activities in Aspen that our concierge can provide. If you are looking for something even more specific and tailored to your vacation needs, we’ve got you covered. We work with every possible luxury service in town, as well as having relationships with Aspen’s luxury hotels and retreats. Perhaps you even need a personal trainer or personal assistant to help you with your busy and active Aspen vacation? Your needs can be endless and that’s why provide you with a concierge service without limits.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any ideas, plans, or requests that you may have.

Furthermore, if you are a local homeowner or rental provider, Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals offers property management services, to help you get the most out of your home. . Our professional property managers have over 25 years of experience in the Roaring Fork Valley, and offer exceptional service to any property, no matter how small or large.

Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals

(970) 205-9960


6 Reasons Why Springtime is the Best Time to Hit the Slopes

Spring-time in Aspen and Snowmass is a special and happy time. There are more bluebird days, and the weather starts to heat up too. And who doesn’t love skiing in a t-shirt? Every time of the season in Aspen is magical, but Spring seems to bring out a euphoric buzz in the town. The spring atmosphere combined with all the happenings of Aspen and Snowmass in the Spring make it the perfect time to visit.

Here are 6 reasons (and there’s actually more) why should plan your vacation in Aspen and Snowmass in the springtime.


1. The Springtime Skiing and Snowboarding Conditions are Ideal

Aspen and Snowmass experts agree— some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions can be found in the springtime. It sounds contrary, but hear us out. The snow has been piling up and packing down all winter long. And while there is still a chance of a springtime snowstorm, for the most part, the weather in Aspen and Snowmass in March and April remains warm and sunny. 

Imagine sliding down the slopes under a bright blue sky and feeling warm and toasty sunshine on your face. It’s the best of both worlds. Perfect, snow-packed, gorgeous ski slopes bathed in mild breezes and bright sunshine. Don’t forget to slather on some sunscreen before hitting the springtime slopes! You’ll also want to pack for a mix of weather— bring the ski parka, but also pack a light jacket and a few t-shirts, too.

The Springtime Skiing and Snowboarding Conditions are Ideal

2. The Ski Slopes in Aspen Snowmass in the Spring are Uncrowded

The perfection of spring skiing in Aspen Snowmass is still a bit of a well-guarded secret. Chances are you’ll rarely encounter a lift line in March or April. And you’ll have an excellent chance of scoring those sublime first tracks, too. It can sometimes feel like you have the whole mountain to yourself.

Fewer crowds on the slopes also mean fewer crowds in town, too. You won’t be waiting for a table for brunch or dinner or standing in a long line for coffee. The boutiques and shops are calmer and easier to browse, too. It’s a quieter time in Aspen and Snowmass all around, adding to the peaceful vibe.

Ski Slopes in Aspen and Snowmass in the Spring are Uncrowded

3. Longer Days Mean There’s Even More Time to Ski in the Spring

With the days getting longer, the slope times get a bit longer, too. After President’s Day, skiers and snowboarders in Aspen & Snowmass enjoy lifts that stay open until 4 PM most days. That gives you a full day of epic, world-class skiing and still plenty of time to enjoy aprés-ski. 

The extended springtime hours add a feeling of ease to the slopes. Combined with the warmer temperatures and bright sunshine, spring skiing in Aspen and Snowmass is truly a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Longer Days Mean There’s Even More Time to Ski in the Spring

4. Aprés-Ski Takes Center Stage

Sure, Aspen and Snowmass are famous for their epic skiing and snowboarding, gorgeous views, and luxurious shopping. But if there’s another aspect of the ski scene that Aspen and Snowmass excel at— it’s aprés-ski. If you’re unfamiliar, the term aprés-ski was coined in the Swiss Alps and is French for “after ski.” The tradition used to include huddling with friends over some mulled wine or spiked cider after a long, cold day on the slopes. 

The aprés scene is Aspen is always changing as new bars and venues open up, but Aspen and Snowmass never fail to throw a good party! After a day on the slopes, find a spot in town to join in the celebrations. Locations such as Aspen Art Museum will have live Dj sets for après-ski parties, and many mountain-side spots will be hopping such as Ajax Tavern, The W and Chica. Cloud 9 on Highlands Mountain is always popular for extravagant parties and Alehouse at the base is a great time!

Aprés-Ski aspen snowmass

5. Events, Competitions, and Celebrations— Oh My!

Once you slip out of your skis, there’s always plenty to do and explore in the springtime. Events, competitions, and celebrations are everywhere in Aspen and Snowmass in March and April. Check out a few of these, and plan your spring break trip around the one that you don’t want to miss:

KickAspen Night Skiing is an event returning for one weekend only at Aspen Mountain this March. From 7-10 pm on March 24th and 25th, ride the Little Nell chair under the moonlight. Live music will entertain the base of Aspen Mountain while the chairlift runs.

The Audi FIS Ski World Cup returns to its Aspen Mountain course March 3-5. Gear up to watch professional alpine skiers take on the challenging downhill course and compete in ‘Men’s Super G’ and ‘Downhill’ races.

For more serious competition, check out the Nastar National Championships. On April 3rd- 8th, Snowmass will play host to some of the fastest downhill racers in the country, across multiple categories and brackets. Slalom racers of all ages will compete for national Gold in 2023 and a number of exciting events will follow in Snowmass throughout the week.

The Bud Light HI-FI Concert Series returns to Aspen this spring to Downtown Aspen and the gondola plaza. March 3, 4 and 5 enjoy live music from the Downtown Aspen stage and March 25th at the gondola plaza in conjunction with KickAspen night skiing.

End-of-season celebrations are everywhere! Find some of the biggest parties of the Winter on closing days. As each mountain closes on it’s respective dates, a closing day party is thrown! Highlands mountain closing day is known as the biggest celebration but every closing day is fantastic in it’s own regard.

Photo: Aspen Snowmass

6. You’ll Find Great Springtime Rates on Lodging

Shoulder seasons— like springtime— mean less demand for lodging. And less demand always translates into lower prices. You can save even more by skipping the generic hotel and booking one of our luxurious vacation rental homes in Aspen and Snowmass. How does renting a home over a hotel save money? Book a big house that can hold the whole family or a group of friends— and split the cost. And renting a home with a fully-equipped kitchen means you aren’t forced to eat out for every meal, which adds up to huge savings. 

A memorable springtime trip to Aspen and Snowmass starts with choosing the right accommodations. Take a peek inside an incredible ski-in/out escape, Luxury Durant Condo, in an unbeatable location in Downtown Aspen. With its modern design, entertainment spaces, and mountain views, it’s a treat for the senses as well.
To see even more Aspen and Snowmass vacation rental homes that are perfect for a springtime getaway, click here.

Head to the Aspen and Snowmass Mountains This Spring

Although skiing and snowboarding may be synonymous with winter sports, opening your mind to a vacation on the slopes in the springtime can be a game-changer. Go against the crowds that flock to predictable southern climates in the springtime. Head to the mountains and do some spring skiing in Aspen and Snowmass instead. You’ll enjoy uncrowded activities, discounted prices, gorgeous weather, and the unmatched, world-class skiing and snowboarding that Aspen and Snowmass are famous for. 

The local experts at Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals are here to help you plan the perfect spring getaway to Aspen and Snowmass this year. Contact us today to get started. Head to the mountains of Aspen and Snowmass instead. You’ll enjoy uncrowded activities, discounted prices, gorgeous weather, and the unmatched, world-class skiing and snowboarding that Aspen and Snowmass are famous for.

The always popular Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series is holding four free concerts this year— on February 21, March 3, March 4, March 5 and March 25th.

Summer in Aspen, Colorado is filled with live music, stunning weather, and premier culinary events. From outdoor concerts on Snowmass Mountain to classical music events to the renowned Food & Wine Classic, there are events for the whole family. Summer in Aspen highlights our small mountain town’s big heart. See a breakdown of Aspen Summer Events (2023) below:  

See Artists like the Foo Fighters Perform in a Breathtaking Setting 

JAS Aspen June 22nd -25th and September 1st– 3rd

Hosting both a June experience and Labor Day Experience this year, JAS Aspen Snowmass is sure to be a success. This year’s Labor Day artists include a spectacular lineup of the Foo Fighters, Billy Idol, and The Lumineers. 

JAS Aspen music festival
Photo by Jazz Aspen Snowmass

World-Class Theatre for the Whole Family

Theatre Aspen starting June 22nd

With a variety of summer shows planned, Theatre Aspen is sure to be a delight. The summer season kicks off on June 22nd with ‘Beautiful: A Carole King Musical’. Other events include ‘Doubt: A Parable’, a Cabaret series, and the acclaimed musical ‘Rent’.  

Aspen Theatre at dusk
Photo by Shelly Hamill

A Free Live Concert with a Sunset Backdrop 

Snowmass Free Concert Series June 15th – August 24th  

The Snowmass Summer Concert Series is a local favorite. A free concert on Fanny Hill in Snowmass with new artists performing every week. With food and drink options in the Snowmass Mall, make an evening out of this every Thursday night beginning at 5:30 pm! 

The stage at the Snowmass concert series
Photo by Jeremy Swanson

Organic Food and Handmade Colorado Goods  

Saturday Farmer’s Market beginning June 10th 

With local vendors from all around Colorado, visit the weekly farmer’s market in Downtown Aspen for delicious baking, fresh flowers, and artisan products. Open from 8:30 am – 2 pm every Saturday, look out for the local favorite kettle corn or empanadas.

Aspen Farmer's Market mid summer
Photo by Anna Stonehouse

A Historic Festival for Classical Music Lovers

Aspen Music Festival and School June 29th– August 20th

This classical music festival has been delighting Aspen since 1949. The 2023 Season includes daily music events at the Benedict Music Tent, the Wheeler Opera House, and Harris Concert Hall. Featuring talented students from across the United States, the Aspen Music School is a renowned summer event. 

The tent at Aspen Music School
Photo by Elle Logan

The Event of the Summer for Foodies and Wine Lovers  

Food and Wine Classic June 16th-18th

The Food & Wine Classic is a favorite Aspen Summer event, with guests traveling all over the world to experience it. The event includes wine & spirit tastings, renowned celebrity chef demonstrations, and panel discussions. Previous years’ featured chefs and curators have included Martha Stewart, Eva Longoria, and Guy Fieri.

Aspen Food and Wine Classic at Wagner Park
Photo by Galdones Photography/FOOD & WINE

Spark Creativity and Discussion from World-Renowned Leaders

Aspen Ideas Festival June 23rd–30th

Located at the Aspen Meadows, the Aspen Ideas Festival returns in 2023 for discussions, lectures, and debates from various world leaders. This festival is an opportunity to personally explore innovative ideas in science, politics, the environment, art, business, and foreign policy. This year’s speakers include James Ijames (Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright), Katie Couric (Journalist),  Ryan Gellert (CEO of Patagonia), Rainn Wilson (Actor), and many more!

Mt Sinai talk at Aspen Ideas Festival
Photo by Mt Sinai

Celebrate Independence Day in Aspen Style! 

4th of July Celebrations

The 4th of July is a spectacle in Downtown Aspen with a community parade, live music, street stalls, and a car show. The streets are blocked off from car traffic and filled with celebrations. Of course, the parade is one of the busiest Aspen summer events, and for good reason. This day brings together locals and visitors alike to honor Independence Day in a breathtaking setting

The summer sun shines on the 4th of July in Aspen
Photo by Jeremy Swanson

Test your Endurance in this Epic Mountain Race 

Audi Power of Four Trail Race July 15th  

An endurance race like no other, the Audi Power of Four Summer event includes 10km, 25km, and an incredible 50km ultra race across all four mountains.  An opportunity to experience the terrain of Aspen Mountain, Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass and test your limits.  

Finish line at Audi Power of Four
Photo by Austin Colbert

A Spectacular Summer Event in the Beauty of Snowmass 

Snowmass Balloon Festival September 22nd-24th

An iconic festival in Snowmass, the Balloon Festival includes three morning balloon launches from 7-9:30 am and the Friday evening Balloon Glow event. The balloons launch from Snowmass Town Park, and spectators can drive up, walk or bike to see the balloons up close.

Snowmass Balloon festival: One of the best events in Aspen this Summer
Photo by Jeremy Swanson

Support Local Businesses while Sampling Delicious Food & Wine 

Snowmass Wine Festival September 15th-16th

2023 is the 21st year of the Snowmass Wine Festival, held annually at the Snowmass Town Park. Featuring wine tastings, food samples, and live music with the backdrop of Snowmass Mountain. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Snowmass Village, every dollar from tickets benefits local organizations.

Tents at Snowmass Wine Festival
Photo by Snowmass Wine Festival

Enjoy Live Music and Stunning Views of Aspen Mountain all Afternoon

Bluegrass Sundays June 18th– September 3rd

Aspen Mountain’s Sundeck restaurant plays host to free weekly Bluegrass live music events. With lawn games, great food & drinks – this is an afternoon activity for the whole family. Purchase a Silver Queen Gondola ticket and head up to the top of Aspen Mountain every Sunday this Summer. 

Sitting at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain in Summer

2023 Summer Events Calendar

Weekly Events:  

Saturday Farmer’s Market: Downtown Aspen- Every Saturday from June 10th from 8:30 am until 2 pm 

Snowmass Summer Concerts: Fanny Hill, Snowmass Mountain- Every Thursday, June 15th– August 24th, doors open at 5:30 pm, and music begins at 6:30 pm 

Bluegrass Sundays: Sundeck, Aspen Mountain – Every Sunday from June 18th– September 3rd from 12 pm to 3 pm 

Summer-Long Events: 

Theatre Aspen: Hurst Theatre, John Denver Sanctuary- starting June 22nd 

Aspen Music Festival & School: Benedict Music Tent- June 29th– August 20th  

June Events: 

Food and Wine Classic: Wagner Park- June 16th-18th  

Jas Aspen June Experience: Downtown Aspen- June 22nd -25th 

Aspen Ideas Festival: Aspen Institute – June 23rd– 30th 

July Events: 

Independence Day Parade: Downtown Aspen- July 4th  

Audi Power of Four Race: Aspen Mountain – July 15th 

Aspen Art Festival: Downtown Aspen- July 15th – 17th  

August Events: 

Audi Snowmass 50 Mountain Bike Race: Snowmass Mountain- August 5th 

September Events: 

Jas Aspen Labor Day Experience: Snowmass Town Park- September 1st-3rd

Snowmass Wine Festival: Snowmass Town Park- September 15th– 16th  

Snowmass Balloon Festival: Snowmass Town Park -September 22nd-24th

There’s always so much to do in the summer here that it can be hard to keep up with what’s happening. Read through our guide on the best things to during the sunny season in our little mountain town. On top of all of the great Aspen summer events, we cover everything you need to make the most of your vacation. Culinary tips, incredible summer activities, the great outdoors, and much more!

Fall is a Great Time to Visit Aspen and Snowmass

For numerous reasons, the autumn season in Aspen is like no other. The leaves begin the change and fall, and town slows down just a little as we transition through our “off-season”. There’s a quiet and calm atmosphere across the town despite all the happenings and gatherings before the snow starts to take over the outdoors. Here’s a breakdown of our top things to do in Aspen & Snowmass in the fall.

1: Dreamy Fall Hikes

As the leaves change, the Aspen trees become a flowing bouquet of color, providing dreamy views and picturesque scenes. What better way to get amongst the trees than to explore the many hiking trails in Aspen? Aspen and Snowmass have trails for all experience levels, but no matter how easy you want to take it, you can always find world-class views at the end of every hike. There are too many options to discuss, but you can find more info here. At this time of year, our top hike is:

Maroon Creek

Maroon Peaks

The Maroon Bells overlooking Maroon Lake is one the most photogenic scenes across the United States. The world-renowned views are always incredibly popular, but our favorite time to visit is during the fall. In our opinion, just before reservations end in October is the most special time of year. With fewer crowds, the area itself is incredibly peaceful. As you venture up higher on the trails, you overlook a beautiful sea of amber, crimson, and gold. The hiking trails vary in difficulty and length, so there is something for everyone – you can even take your bike on certain trails! An autumn day at the bells is sure to be one of the most special of the year. Stay up to date with full Maroon Bells information.

2: Ashcroft Ghost Town

Ashcroft Ghost Town

Ashcroft ghost town is one of the most interesting areas to visit in all of Aspen. Originally a prosperous mining town located in the Castle Creek Valley, Ashcroft had a rapid rise to a wealthy and bustling town in the 1880s. It had numerous hotels, saloons, and wealthy residents, and at this point in time was larger than Aspen. The town was unfortunately just as quick to collapse as the silver mines were shallow, and the residents began to move to Aspen after the prosperity. Despite some efforts to revive the area in the 1900s, Ashcroft was ultimately abandoned and now is deeded to the U.S. Forest Service. 

Today, there are still a few buildings remaining as a testament to the town’s past. The Aspen Historical Society allows visitors to explore the site and look into the history of this great mining town. The maintained derelict buildings with the backdrop of the fall colors on the mountains are a sight to behold. Visiting Ashcroft provides a wonderful window into Colorado’s past and an idyllic vintage mountain scene. The area is also host to some amazing hiking trails and riverside pastures. Be sure to stop off for some food at The Pine Creek Cookhouse after your day of adventuring. 

3: Aspen FilmFest

Aspen FilmFest


Aspen FIlmFest Bernstein's Wall
Aspen FilmFest: Bernstein’s Wall

With all the beauty and adventure that surrounds Aspen in the fall, it may be a surprise to recommend an indoor event; however, the Aspen FilmFest is an unmissable event. The annual festival is held in Aspen every September and, in its 43rd year, is creating as much as much buzz as ever. Showcasing top films from around the world, the esteemed FilmFest attracts experts and casual watchers alike. It’s always such an electric week in Aspen, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store. This year, it runs from the 19th to the 24th of September, with all films showing at Aspen’s ISIS Theatre. 

Full information and the program can be found here.

4: Golfing In The Valley

One of the most popular pastimes in the valley, the Roaring Fork Valley offers an amazing variation of fine golf courses. Although the ball flies further at altitude, it’s not the only reason we love golfing in Aspen. Hitting the course with a jaw-dropping backdrop of the Rocky Mountains is an amazing experience. Combine this with the vibrant fall leaves, and you find yourself playing in some of the most beautiful surroundings any golfer will experience. It’ll even make you forget how your game is going. From public courses to private clubs, Aspen and its surroundings have a wide selection of courses – there’s even mini-golf in the center of town. Here are some of our favorites:

Aspen Golf Club
Aspen Golf Club

Aspen Golf Club
The closest course to downtown Aspen is the public Aspen Golf Course. A challenging 18-hole course with stunning panoramic views of Aspen’s ski mountains. Great membership offers and affordable green fees for a fantastic and wonderfully maintained course. 

Ironbridge Golf Club
Located thirty minutes downvalley from Aspen, just outside of Carbondale. It is famed for it’s back nine, which runs through vast canyons and with fairways facing Mt.Sopris. 

Ranch at Roaring Fork 
Nine-hole course located just outside of Carbondale down valley. This par-27 is an ideal alternative for casual golf or family time that doesn’t take up the whole day.

5: Get On The Mountains

Aspen mountain hike

Before summer officially ends and the mountains close to prepare for winter, Aspen & Snowmass mountains offer some great activities and mountain-top adventures. Gondola’s will still operate on both mountains every weekend until October 6th. Multiple ticket options are available for the Silver Queen & Elk Camp Gondolas. If you’re feeling fit, gondola rides are free on the way down if you hike to the top!

Not only can you get amazing panoramic views of the ever-changing leaves this fall, but there is so much to explore on either mountain. Snowmass offers some of the most incredible biking trails in all of Pitkin County as well as being the home of the Lost Forest & Adventure Park. Atop of Aspen Mountain is the Sundeck, where not only do they offer great dining options, but there is also mountaintop yoga & a disc golf course!

More to do!

Looking for even more to do? Check out our favorite September activities or even browse through our best rentals for viewing the fall leaves!

The growing popularity of uphill skiing

What was once a lesser known gem of an activity, popular among locals is now becoming more and more accessible by visitors and beginner skiers alike. Across Aspen’s four mountains there are an abundance of uphill ski routes ranging in both steepness and length, providing probably the best uphill skiing in Colorado. The access to multiple mountains also makes Aspen/Snowmass the perfect place to begin skinning and make it a hobby!

So you want to get into uphill skiing? Have you gotten more confident on the slopes and want to try something new? Maybe you’re looking for an exciting new form of exercise, or even a way to get on the slopes after the lifts have closed! Whatever your interest, we’ll give you all our tips to make to most the of your skinning adventures in Aspen!

As they say, you gotta earn your turns.

The Benefits of Uphill Skiing: Why You Should Be Doing It Too

Skinning in powder


The Uphill Technique

It may be a bit daunting to get out there for your first time and just walk up the mountain. Going uphill may seem like a physical challenge or even tough to learn, but by going at your own pace to get the technique down, you will quickly get the hang of it. It can be a tiring activity (which is a good thing) but by using proper technique it becomes much more comfortable and can take the stress off of your legs. Check out this quick video below from PSIA-AASI on how to practice the correct posture and be efficient with your exertion.


The Gear & Accessories You Need

It can seem a bit daunting to skin up a mountain for the first time or even to try solo, but with the right equipment and preparation you can get the most out of this pastime without fretting too much. You’ve probably got a lot of questions about how it all works. How do you ski uphill? How do you apply ski skins? What are the best ski skins? It may seem a bit confusing when you’ve never set up the gear before, and it’s so important to have all the right gear and knowhow, so let’s break it all down as simple as possible, and get ready to be mountain bound. It turns out to be easier than you’d think!

Uphill ski gear
The Skis

Uphill skis for the most part are very similar to your normal ski. They may look the same but there are a couple of slights differences.
The first being that you have small indents or spaces on either end of the ski for the skin itself to attach onto and stay in place. The other difference is that the binding on the ski has different mechanics. The heel part of your binding is able to turn so that your boot only clicks in at the toe. This allows your heel to be free and ultimately gives you to ability and movement to be able to bring your skis uphill.

The “skins”

Skins are the piece of gear that let you physically go up the mountain. They attach to the bottom of your skis and give you more traction allowing you to have grip on uphill slopes. They clip on and off very easily for uphill designed skis. The video down below helps you to understand how they work.


As you may have guessed, with different bindings also often comes a different set of boots. Some touring boots have a different heel for snapping into your bindings. It is becoming popular however for skis to have alpine touring bindings which allow for normal ski boots to click. This allows your skis to become a hybrid in a sense.

On Your Body 

On the hike up, you will work up a sweat, so it would be smart to bring a bag to store any jackets. Often times just a t-shirt or jumper will suffice when skinning up the mountain. We like to carry our ski jacket up for the ski back down! As always check the weather before you head out.

For Your Head 

Going up, you won’t need more than a hat as you shouldn’t be falling. A simple beanie should keep you nice and warm on most days. Going down is business as usual – bring your ski helmet!


On top of hats, sunglasses are also a key accessory for skinning in the sun.

Gloves are not a necessity going up the hill, but of course you’ll need down for the way down.

How Do I Change From Uphill to Downhill?

As you make it to the top of your route, you may be wondering how you transition from uphill mode to downhill. It turns out to be quite fast and also simple. After you unclip yourself from you ski bindings, you first remove your skins from the base of your skis as seen below. After that you simply swap or turn your bindings so that the heel of your boot will clip in and you’re ready to head down the slopes.


Where to Uphill in Aspen: Our Favorite Routes

This year and going forward, due to covid-19 any uphill skiers must follow designated routes when on any of the ski areas in AspenSnowmass. Not to worry, as Aspen has an abundance of routes for you to make to most of your skinning season. Here’s a selection of our favorite routes!

If you plan on using any of the designated routes, as of the 2022/2023 season you will need to buy a pass from SkiCo which gives you access to all four mountains for the whole season.


Buttermilk Mountain is the shortest of the four mountains, so in theory some of the hikes themselves are shorter. While you might not climb as much in elevation, Buttermilk has a good mix of steep and gradual routes, which can be powered out a little quicker (if you’re feeling like you need a challenge). 

West Buttermilk Route

The West Buttermilk skinning route is the easiest of all the designated skinning routes across Aspen. It has the lowest elevation gain total, as this hike starts from the West Buttermilk parking which is slightly higher up the mountain.

This route takes up you the Teaser run, under the bridge and then carrying on through Ridge Trail and finishing at Cliffhouse Restaurant. This short hike provides exquisite views at the top and is significantly rewarding for the length of the uphill climb.

Elevation Gain: 1,027 ft.
Difficulty: Easy
Accessible Hours: All Day

Tiehack Route

Tiehack has become one of the most popular and accessible routes in all of Aspen. It can be done in 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on your physical fitness. Conveniently, there is also 24 hour parking available right at the base of the Tiehack Ski Lift.

This is a short enough hike time-wise, but it’s also a lung-buster. There are a couple of slightly different variations on the route but the most common is to start ascending Eagle Hill, through to Ptarmigan and ending at Cliffhouse once again.

Elevation Gain: 1,683 ft.
Difficulty: Moderate
Accessible Hours: All Day


Snowmass, being the mountain with most normal ski runs, also has to most uphill routes for you to enjoy. We picked our two favorite uphill routes on either side of the mountain, which let you experience as much of Snowmass as possible.

Elk Camp Route

The Elk Camp Route is extremely popular with the locals, and for good reason. On the shorter side, compared to other routes, this is a great starter hike for anyone trying Snowmass for the first time. Reward yourself with great views and also great food at the top! Starting from Base Village, you begin your journey up through Funnel, around causeway and finishing at Elk Camp Restaurant

Elevation Gain: 1,368 ft.
Difficulty: Moderate
Accessible Hours: 9 A.M. – 4:45 P.M.

Sam’s Knob Route

A tougher uphill hike which finishes off at Sam’s restaurant, which has great food and unbelievable views. This is our favorite route in Snowmass and one we recommend to everyone who is growing their love for skinning. Begin your hike on Fanny Hill, up the Dawdler and continue to Lower Velvet Falls. After this, you work your way past Upper Velvet Falls, on to Coney Glade, Banzai Ridge and ultimately finish at Sam’s Knob.

Elevation Gain: 2,173 ft.
Difficulty: Difficult
Accessible Hours: 9 A.M. – 4:45 P.M.


The famous Aspen Highlands with renowned skiing and views is accessible by a free bus, and also has year round parking making it a must for all visitors. This year with some restrictions, there is just the one route on Highlands Mountain. However, Highlands has arguably the best skiing in Aspen and is an absolute dream on a powder day.

Aspen Highlands Route

This uphill route is on the steeper side, but of you’re feeling up to the challenge then we implore you to make this uphill excursion. Starting at the base of the mountain, you make your way up through Jerome Bowl, continuing up Park Avenue and Memory Lane before making it to the top at Merry Go Round Restaurant. 

This trail is accessible during operating hours, which means not only can you arrive at your own leisure but you can move at your own pace throughout the day! However, If you make it to top of Merry Go Round before 8:30am then you may continue to the top of Loge Peak, which has amazing panoramic views of the Elk Mountain Range.

Elevation Gain: 1,950 ft.
Difficulty: Difficult
Accessible Hours: 9 A.M – 4:25 P.M.

Aspen Mountain

The most central mountain overlooking downtown Aspen, has limited routes due to busier narrow slopes during lift operating hours, but if you can spare an evening and are looking for a tough workout, we can’t recommend Ajax enough.

Aspen Mountain Route

The Aspen Mountain Route starts right under the Silver Queen Gondola at The little Nell and works its way up the face of the mountain, through Spar Gulch and ultimately finishing up at The Sundeck at the top of the mountain. This hike has the most elevation gain of any of the designated skinning routes in Aspen, as is a real butt-kicker of an uphill route.

This route is not accessible during operating hours on the mountain ( 9am – 4:45pm ) but it is one of our favorites to do in the early morning or a Spring evening, especially if you want to really challenge yourself! The views at the top are some of the best you’ll ever see, and of course a longer hike means more skiing on the way down!

This is also a great route to do early in the offseason before the snow becomes too slushy to hike or ski. As our added tip, during a sunny Spring evening, for a shorter hike, with spectacular views of the city of Aspen, hike up the face as far as Kleenex Corner and take in the sunset! A much easier uphill with a tranquil overlook on the town.

Elevation Gain: 3,267 ft.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Accessible Hours: Before 9 A.M. and after 4:45 P.M.

As an added tip, you can check out all current routes on the Aspen Snowmass App!

Full maps of all routes are available here, and routes can always change from season to season so make sure you check up on them before your adventure so get the most up to date routes! Alternatively, once off season begins, and the slopes & lifts close, new routes are available and become popular with the locals who want to shred that last bit of snow. Check out some routes that pop up or ask around the town for some tips on these new routes! 


There are many backcountry ski routes around Aspen and Snowmass, for those of that are more adventurous. Our recommendation would be to master skinning on designated mountain routes, and when you are ready, converse with some avid uphillers to find the best backcountry routes for you. You could also try your hand at cross-country skiing and get a feel for how it goes being off the beaten track. In addition to this, look into backcountry hut trips during the winter and guided tours!

What are the Mountain Rules & Etiquette When Uphilling?

ASC allows skinning on all of its ski areas, with the rules of the mountains being updated consistently. When uphill skiing on one of the four mountains of Aspen, there are certain policies that everyone must know and abide by so that all skiers, uphill and downhill, can have the best possible experience on the slopes. Rules can vary, but some constant etiquette to familiarize yourself with before skinning include, but are not limited to the following:

Other policies can change from mountain to mountain and updates on these can be found here:


If you continue to uphill ski during the off-season, certain rules about times and routes may no longer apply, but your manners and etiquette must be kept – make the mountain enjoyable for everyone!

Final Preparations

Now that you have chosen your route, and are feeling comfortable enough to head out there, it’s time to make a few last preparations before you can start your journey. Being properly prepared before skinning is vital, particularly on long excursions that may take up your whole day. Here is some advice to help make sure your hike is as smooth as possible.

Check the weather

Before you set out on your activity, make sure to have a final check on the weather. Nothing is worse then when you are about start skinning, it’s starts snowing, and you haven’t packed your jacket! Equally if it’s too hot and you haven’t got the right gear, you’ll feel all cluttered and hot! Checking the weather lets you prepare fully for the day ahead.

Pack Properly

As opposed to normal skiing, you’ll need to pack a few more things than just your ski gear. You’ll be out hiking and skiing potentially for hours, so it’s important to bring everything you’ll need to stay safe and healthy. Firstly, you really don’t want to forget your water. Staying hydrated is a key part of exercise and doesn’t change on the slopes!
Don’t forget to pack yourself some sunscreen also. You may forget about being sunburnt as you are surrounded by snow, but trust us, sunburn can hit just as bad during winter. Sunglasses are a very useful accessory also!
If you are thinking of going a little more off-piste with your skiing then make sure you pack a signaling beacon and shovel – just in case.

Uphill Activities in Aspen & Things to Look Forward To

Once you are comfortable going uphill, you may want to expand your horizons and look for further activities that can get you out skinning. Aspen and Snowmass are full of various events, clinics and meetings all based around uphill skiing. Whether you want to explore more or simply master the craft, there are plenty of options for keeping yourself on the mountain.


Aspen SkiCo offers group clinics on various dates throughout the winter. These one day clinics will give you everything you need to know from technique to etiquette and uphill policies on the mountain.

Full Moon Hikes

On the night of the full moon, every month many skiers make the trip up Buttermilk Mountain. The full moon hike has become a great tradition in Aspen. Locals skin or hike up to the Cliffhouse Restaurant for a full moon dinner every month. Unfortunately the dinner’s have been on hold due to covid but this definitely something to look out for in the future.


If you are feeling confident in both your hiking and skiing abilities then it might be time to look into one of Aspen’s touring races. Every year Aspen has multiple events to put locals to the test in both fitness and downhill ski speed.

Summit for Life

The Summit for Life is an annual race which occurs on Aspen Mountain. Entrants try to summit Aspen mountain on skis while also raising vital fund for organ & tissue donation. The race was virtual this year in the sense that participants record their own time going solo. This even is for a great cause and something to look out for next year.

AUDI Power of Four

The Power of Four race is an annual premier endurance event unique to Aspen and Snowmass. It is a race that truly tests the limits and skills of Aspen’s athletes. Under different categories, participants will hike up and subsequently ski down all four of Aspen’s mountains in a one day event. A smaller race, called the Power of Two, also takes place on Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain.


Where else Can I uphill near aspen?

There are also many options with a short travel from Aspen where you can get your uphill fix. Similar to the four mountains of Aspen, other ski resorts and mountains will let you skin uphill during certain hours.
Sunlight Resort near Glenwood Springs is a great day out, and we recommend a trip to Loveland or A-Basin for a new uphill experience.
For the more experienced uphill skiers why not check out backcountryskiingco.com for details on common peak to ascend.

What is the best skinning route for a beginner?

The best routes we recommend for beginner uphill skiers would be the West Buttermilk Route or else the Elk Camp Route in Snowmass. We also love a quick hike up to Kleenex Corner on Aspen Mountain on a sunny evening.

What months can you uphill ski in Aspen?

Skinning is an activity that is available all winter in Aspen. So you have access to the snowy slopes from November until April every year.

Do I have to pay to uphill ski in Aspen?

SkiCo will require anyone skinning, snow-shoeing or walking uphill to have a pass for the season. This will be included in the usual Premier Pass for season long skiers, however for those of you that will only be uphill skiing , you will have to buy a separate pass. The pass is $69 for the season and will cover all four of Aspen’s mountains. Holder’s of the pass will receive an armband and an Aspen photo card to present on the mountain.

What’s the difference between skinning & cross-country skiing?

Although both forms are great exercise they have slightly different goals and outcomes. Cross-country skiing is aimed more at covering large amount of distance over flat ground, whereas uphill skiing is a pure uphill ascent followed by a ski down on the slopes as normal. They both use different skis, bindings and techniques. Be careful not to confuse your gear when doing either!

Should I buy or Rent skinning gear? 

For your first couple of times, why not use some rental skis so that you get a pair that feel right for you. Different sizes can he harder to uphill with for some people and of course you have to think about your level of skiing on the way down. After you feel comfortable, look into buying your own set of skis and skins. Good options can be found for all levels. Check out end of seasons sales if local sports shops such as Four Mountain Sports.

Where Can I Rent Skins & Skis in Aspen?

Uphill ski rentals can be found in most ski shops across Aspen and Snowmass during the season. Four Mountain Sports will have all of the latest options and give you great recommendations on where to go and the right gear for you.

What is backcountry skiing?

Backcountry skiing or “off-piste” skiing is skiing done outside of the typical ski slope boundaries. Skiers that want that little extra adrenalin, hike to find unmarked and un-groomed runs to chase the best powder they can find. It’s relevant here as most backcountry skiers will skin up to their destination peak.

The best backcountry skiing in Aspen?

Some of the best backcountry skiing in Colorado can be found along the Castle Creek Valley on the way to Ashcroft. For experts we suggest trying Five Fingers which is beyond the Highlands Bowl. Always prepare properly and know your routes before heading for backcountry skiing.

Can I uphill ski during off season in Aspen?

In theory, yes. Aspen SkiCo does not usually maintain the slopes or any ski patrol during the off season when you may still have a couple of weeks of skiable snow. That being said, they do not enforce any measure to stop you from going on the mountain. Many locals will skin up during off season for that last bit of skiing. Getting on the mountain after the season is at your own risk.

Can I get Uphill Skiing Lessons?

Of course! There are many group clinics in Aspen to get you into the great activity of uphill skiing. You can also book private lessons with one of Aspen’s ski pros at AspenSnowmass.com

So Are You Ready to Get Out There and Start Uphill Skiing?

Are you looking forward to skinning up any of our four mountains? Having your choice of runs, possibly at any time of day? Do you want to have your own time and space on the mountain? 

Imagine, no long lift lines. No crowded slopes and lovely fresh powder all to yourself. Picture yourself not only skiing beautiful lines, but rewarding runs after a great day’s exercise. An all round beneficial activity great for your mind & body.

Now that you’ve got all the info on how to prepare and where to go, start exploring the designated uphill routes on the four mountains of Aspen and find out why uphill skiing is so popular.

Once your experienced Aspen and even Colorado are truly your oyster as there so many trails and slopes to explore. Work your way through harder terrain and you will soon be addicted to this activity we all know and love in Aspen. Get out there, respect the mountain & happy skiing!

If you’re looking for even more skiing in Aspen, check out our complete guide to cross-country skiing in Aspen & Snowmass. Get all the local info you need to cross-country ski whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to explore new areas.