Off-season is a great time to visit Aspen (and Snowmass), and if you are a local it is also a fantastic time to relax a little bit after a busy summer and to truly enjoy some of the benefits of living here. Come the end of August, the Food and Wine Classic is long gone, the high-profile Aspen Institute-hosted events have passed, and the Aspen Music Festival performances have faded out, but that does not mean that the fun is all over until winter.
We could, of course, easily add to this list, but here are 5 fun things to do in Aspen in September – Edited for 2022
Snowmass Balloon Festival
Check out the Snowmass Balloon festival (September 16th through September 18th), just a few miles down the road in Snowmass Village. This annual extravaganza showcases beautiful hot air balloons coordinating and competing in several events, and just generally showing off for anyone who cares to watch.
The competitions include a race to see who can fly the farthest down the Roaring Fork valley within a set time frame, a contest to see who is the most accurate in maneuvering over targets on the ground and hitting them with weighted baggies, and a “Balloon Dance” where balloon pairs compete to see which pair can keep a flagging tape intact between them as the float along.
For its 47th edition, the balloon festival will be back to operating as usual after a couple of socially distant events over the last two years. This year, spectators are encouraged to drive in, hike up, bike around or walk right up to take in the sights right from where the balloons take flight!
Fall Color Viewing
Towards the end of September, Mother Nature puts on a show worth reveling in, as the Autumn colors pop out. This spectacular explosion of red, orange, and yellow leaves on the hillsides and in town is not to be missed and is truly one of the best parts of being in Aspen in September. We suggest taking a drive up Independence Pass, Castle Creek Road to Ashcroft, Maroon Creek Road to the Maroon Bells, or Owl Creek Road between Aspen and Snowmass to view this magnificent scene in its full splendor!
We recommend hitting Independence Pass to view the fall colors, but also to do so much more. You can make a great day of adventure along the pass if you plan it right!
Independence Pass is considered one of the most beautiful roads to drive in the United States, if not the world. More than this, it is filled with day activities, serene lakes, trails, and areas to explore. Stop off at the Devil’s Punchbowl for a swim, and even jump into the pool at the base of the waterfall! Just after this we highly recommend wandering through The Grottos. These amazing natural ice caves are a wonder in themselves and such a great area to relax by the river! If you’re feeling very active, try hiking up to Grizzly Lake, probably our favorite lake hike in Aspen. Then take in the views at the Continental divide at the top of the Pass.
If you’re looking to view the fall colors from the comfort of your own home, then take a read through our guide to the best Vacation Rentals for Viewing Fall Colors in Aspen and Snowmass.
Elevated Entertainment on Aspen Mountain
Catch some of Colorado’s best bluegrass musicians before summer ends. Every Sunday until the end of September, Aspen Snowmass will be showcasing bluegrass bands at the top of Aspen Mountain. What a great way to spend your Sunday evening, with great views, food, drinks & live music. Tickets are free if you have already purchased a sightseeing ticket.
You can also take in the views on Aspen Mountain through other great experiences. Ending in September, Aspen Shakti hosts Yoga on the mountaintop multiple times a week. Relax your mind and body in a surreal setting overlooking the Elk Mountain Range. Afterward, reward yourself with lunch at The Sundeck. Amazing food and expansive views are available from anywhere in the restaurant.
Explore the outdoors with ACES
There is such a vast amount of explorable nature around Aspen & Snowmass and it can seem a bit daunting to go into the wild by yourself.
ACES ( Aspen Centre for Environmental Studies) has been dedicated to preserving, studying & educating people about the ecosystems that surround Aspen.
ACES has been offering guided tours, hikes, and nature education in Aspen for over 45 years. They have activities happening daily and weekly, ranging from group hikes to farm tours and even yoga! The perfect outing – exploring the endless outdoor beauty of the White River National Forrest, while learning from our local guides and naturalists. One of our favorite activities is birding at Northstar Preserve.
Lost Forest Snowmass
With Snowmass being the largest ski mountain, it only makes sense that it turns into an adventure-packed Summer escape. Hidden amongst the trees at Elk Camp on Snowmass Mountain, is the Lost Forest.
The Lost Forest contains miles of hiking and biking trails that meander across the mountain. Take a hike along one of the many creeks or even stop off and go pong fishing. Explore your wild side on the tree-line obstacle course & climbing walls. You can even take a ride through the trees on the alpine coaster. Enjoy all this & more for the perfect Summer family day out.
Bonus: Aspen Saturday Market
Catch the last weeks of the Aspen Saturday Farmer’s Market! This year the market will run until October 9th, stopping just before Aspen’s fall “off-season”. Running since 1998 the Farmer’s Market pedestrianizes Hyman and Hopkins ave in downtown Aspen and is a fantastic way to start any Saturday.
Open from 8:30 AM til 2 PM the Saturday market offers a fantastic selection of fresh Colorado produce, local artisan products, and food trucks to snack at! The market hosts vendors from throughout the Roaring Fork Valley – more information on the event and its vendors can be found here.
For more information about fun things to do in Aspen in September please visit the aspenchamber.org website, or give us a call at (970) 205-9960. You’ll also want to check out our post about the “Top 5 Things to Do in Aspen & Snowmass in The Fall.”
NEED ACCOMMODATIONS OR FULL-SERVICE VACATION PLANNING?
Whether you are looking for a place to stay, concierge services, or a complete vacation plan, we are eager to assist. Allow our highly experienced and skilled staff to help you make the most of your trip to Aspen or Snowmass – fall, winter, spring, or summer!
Contact one of our luxury concierges today at (970) 205-9962
, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hosting your next Aspen adventure!
Are you looking for something different to do this winter — something besides alpine skiing or snowboarding? How about some cross-country skiing in Aspen and Snowmass?
Maybe you’re a little bored with the slopes. Or you’re not sure you want to deal with crowded lift lines and on-mountain restaurants. Maybe you’re still a little nervous about getting exposed to Covid-19 on the chair lift or gondola.
But you still want to get out onto the snow for some recreation and fun in the sun. Don’t you?
An Aspen cross-country skiing adventure might be just what you need. It’s healthy, refreshing, and naturally socially distanced.
If you’ve done it before, you know it’s a blast. It gets you outside, connected with nature, and it gets your blood pumping, your muscles cranking, and your lungs working. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should check it out because it’s really catching on.
Here’s what you need to know about cross-country skiing in Aspen and Snowmass:
Cross-Country Skiing’s Popularity Exploded in 2021: So What Happened?
In a word – Covid-19.
A survey conducted by the Cross-Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) in December 2020, revealed that in 2021, winter sports enthusiasts were most interested in “… local activities that allow them to control their risks but continue to get on snow.” Along with snowshoeing, cross-country skiing topped the list.
And it looks like that trend is continuing. According to the CCSAA’s 2021 Impact Report:
“…The last 18 months have been unprecedented for cross country skiing and all outdoor activities. Many Nordic Centers, retailers and suppliers have had record setting seasons for sales and participation…
…We are anticipating a very busy 2021/22 season with continued record growth in the industry. All indications are that participation and sales in cross country skiing, back country touring, snowshoeing and snow biking will continue to increase at record rates…”
The popularity of cross-country skiing in Aspen and Snowmass skyrocketed in 2020-2021 and continues to surge in 2022 as well. It’s easy to see why.
The Benefits of Cross-Country Skiing: Why You Should Be Doing It Too
One of the most obvious benefits of cross-country skiing in 2021, is that it is a Covid-19 friendly activity. But there are also a lot of other reasons to hit the trails this season:
- It’s fun! It gets you outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air, and away from the raucous crowds
- It’s scenic and allows you to connect with the beauty of nature
- It’s healthy and a great form of exercise. Among other things, it is:
- great for cardio and endurance
- low impact and weight-bearing
- a full-body workout
- a burner of a lot of calories
- a great way to get in shape for other sports (like hiking, cycling, running, and anything that uses your core)
- It’s easy to learn. It uses natural movements and doesn’t require special skills to get started
- Cross-country is more accessible than other winter outdoor sports. You usually don’t have to travel far to get to a skiable location as you would with alpine skiing
- It is relatively inexpensive compared to other winter outdoor sports. You’ll find lots of free trails and passes to paid areas are generally quite reasonable
- It’s available and enjoyable for virtually any age. Make it a family affair – bring the kids AND the grandparents along.
- Designated trails are pet friendly. Your dogs will love it too
- You can be more casual. You can go at your own pace and at times that are convenient for you
Have we convinced you yet?
If that’s the case, click through to the section below titled “Where to Cross-Country Ski in Aspen and Snowmass: So Many Trails to Choose From.” Here you will get the juicy details on where to go cross-country skiing in Aspen and Snowmass.
But if you’re unfamiliar with the sport or you’re not sure if it’s for you, read on, and we’ll tell you what you need to know to get started.
What is Cross-Country Skiing Anyway?
Cross-country skiing is a type of Nordic skiing that relies on self-propulsion (rather than gravity, alone) to glide across snowy terrain. Skiers move using a combination of striding with the legs and pulling with the arms and shoulders. It is done on designated courses and trails groomed specifically for the activity as well as on ungroomed, often mountainous terrain.
There are several distinct styles of cross-country skiing, and they all use a basic setup of poles and relatively narrow (“skinny”) skis with boots attached at the toes. The heels remain free to raise when striding. The two most common styles are classic and skating.
Classic skiing uses forward and back, straight-line strides, and a technique called “kick and glide” to move along the snow. For beginners, the motion is very similar to walking or running. Skate skiing uses a side-to-side motion similar to that of an ice or speed skater. Skate skiers propel themselves forward by pushing off the edges of the skies while poling with the upper body.
In general, skating allows participants to move faster than those using classic skis. And while similar, the specific gear used for each style is designed with the difference in motion in mind.
Here’s a video from Salomon that demonstrates the difference between the two styles:
Cross-Country Skiing Equipment: Choose the Right Gear Before You Go
Having the proper equipment makes all the difference in how much you’ll enjoy your time out on the snow. So make sure you select the proper skis, poles, boots, and bindings when you head out on the trails.
Here’s a quick video from PSIA-AASI to give you the general idea:
Remember, the style of skiing you choose determines the basic type of equipment you need. But there are other considerations as well. Classic skis can be waxable or waxless. And if you plan to ski off-track or in the backcountry, you might consider using alpine touring skis with metal edges to give you more control on steep descents.
If you’re a complete newbie, we suggest you enlist the help of a local sporting goods store to get you on the right track. But in the meantime here’s a good general guide from REI for choosing the right gear: “How to Choose Cross-Country Ski Gear.”
Clothing for Cross-Country Skiing: It’s More About Comfort than Style
Weather conditions and temperature on the trails can vary greatly, from location to location, day to day, and even hour to hour. So, what clothing should you wear when you hit the trails?
Unless you’re in a competition or are a model out for a photoshoot, it’s all about staying safe and comfortable. And when it comes to staying comfortable, there’s one system that works the best to keep you unencumbered, warm (but not overheated), and dry: dress in layers.
For Your Body
Here are some basic layering suggestions for your torso and legs, starting from the inside (next to the skin) out:
- Underwear: Wet skin is not only uncomfortable, but it also makes you colder, even to the point of contributing to hypothermia. So, choose a moisture-wicking material like silk, polyester, or non-itchy and odor-fighting merino wool.
- Base Layer: For this layer, choose a close-fitting (but flexible), silk, polyester, wool, or polyester-wool blend material. Base your choice of thickness on the anticipated temperature of where you will be skiing. Long underwear of an appropriate material works well for both your torso and your legs.
- Middle Layer(s): Middle Layers, like sweaters, sweatshirts, vests, or light jackets, provide additional warmth between the base layer and outer layer. These should also be made from a moisture-wicking material. But they should be light enough and loose enough to allow for freedom of movement.
If it’s going to be really cold, consider adding additional middle layers, but on warmer days, you might want to skip them altogether. Most of the time you will not need a middle layer for your legs
- Outer Layer: Ideally, your outer layer should be windproof in the front, water-resistant, breathable, and flexible. Light to mid-weight jackets work best for your torso. And water-resistant soft-shell Nordic ski pants, winter biking or running pants, or spandex tights (in warmer temperatures) work well for your legs.
One final note: avoid wearing cotton clothing (which won’t wick moisture well), non-breathable synthetics, and down (which does not maintain heat when wet).
For more tips on what clothing to wear, check out this guide from REI: “What to Wear Cross-Country Skiing.”
On Your Head
If your head’s cold, you will be too, but conversely, in warmer temperatures, a too-warm head will overheat you quickly.
In the cold, a light wool or fleece hat will usually suffice, but if it’s REALLY cold, consider a ski mask or balaclava. Or if you just need extra warmth for your ears, wear a headband as well. In warmer weather, stick with just the headband or use a light cap with a visor.
On Your Hands
As with your head, what you wear for gloves depends on the temperatures you expect to find. Very cold days might call for mittens, while the warmest days may dictate very light, thin gloves.
Between these extremes, you should use a layering system consisting of glove liners and medium-weight windproof gloves. Bulky alpine ski gloves or mittens do not work well with conventional cross-country ski pole straps.
For Your Feet
If your feet are uncomfortable while you’re skiing, you will be miserable. You don’t want to restrict blood flow, nor do you want your feet sweating too much or swimming around creating blisters.
So, start with the right kind of socks. We recommend wearing a single a base layer of liner or medium-weight socks under insulating socks made of moisture-wicking thin synthetic or wool.
The entire setup should not be too tight in the boot nor too hot, and it should come up high enough to help keep snow out of the boot.
Extra Tips to Keep Your Hand and Feet Warm
If standard socks and gloves just aren’t enough to do the trick, you can get some extra help keeping your hands and feet warm. Here are some tips:
- For your hands, consider a hand warmer layer or electric gloves.
- For your feet, start with fresh, dry socks. If your feet are damp or sweaty to begin with, you’re already at a disadvantage. You can also try toe warmers and/or electric insoles if they are not too bulky. If you’re desperate, add a boot cover on top.
Accessories for a More Enjoyable Experience
There are a few other items you’ll want to use, or at least consider, for your excursions on the trails or in the backcountry:
- Sunglasses: Some sort of eye protection (from wind and sun) is a must. We suggest sunglasses instead of goggles because they do not fog up as easily. Optimally, have two pairs available: dark lenses for sunny days, and amber lenses for when the light is flat.
- Sunscreen: Also a must, as even modest exposure to the sun (especially at higher elevations) can damage your skin and even cause cancer. We suggest using a product with an SPF of at least 30.
- First aid kit: You should ensure that first aid is readily available regardless of where you will be skiing. If you will be at a designated ski area, they likely provide this service. If you are going off-trail or into the backcountry, bring your own.
- Water or other fluids for hydration: This is a physically demanding activity, so make sure you avoid getting dehydrated. Carry water or an alternative with you, or have it readily available in your vehicle.
- Backpack: Most casual Nordic skiing is best done without the burden of a backpack. But if you are going to be out for several hours, you might want to use one to carry water, sunglasses, and a first aid kit. They are also useful for carrying extra layers if you expect varying conditions.
- Gaiters: We already discussed boot covers to help keep your feet warm and dry, but you might also want to consider using gaiters to keep snow out of your boots, especially if you will be in deeper snow.
Putting It All Together
Ultimately, knowing what to bring and wear on the trails takes a bit of “trial and discovery”. So, start with the basics as outlined above. Note what works and what doesn’t, and adjust as necessary.
Where to Cross-Country Ski in Aspen (Our Favorite Trails and Why We Love Them)
People often ask where to cross-country ski in Aspen and Snowmass. Or they ask, “Where are the best places to go cross-country skiing in Aspen and Snowmass?”
The vast Aspen Snowmass Nordic System offers an unbelievable 90 km of FREE and accessible cross-country ski trails between Aspen and Basalt. Often called the area’s “Fifth Mountain,” It’s considered one of the best Nordic skiing venues in all of North America.
Most of the trails are easy to access and feature varied terrain. Whether you prefer skate skiing or classic skiing, you’ll find flat, fully groomed trails for beginners and challenging slopes for the more fit and adventurous. And everything in between.
But each one has its own flavor and character. . And while we like them all, here’s our selection of the best cross-country skiing trails in aspen.
Aspen Cross Country Center
The Aspen Cross Country Nordic Center is located five minutes from town at the Aspen Municipal Golf Course. It provides ample parking and is the gateway to the Aspen Golf Course tracks and other nearby trails.
The center offers equipment sales and rentals, classic and skating lessons. It also has related gear and accessories (in case you forget your glide wax or any other necessities). And you can get the latest local skiing and trail information.
The trails are mostly low-pitched. But they do offer some variety for the more advanced cross-country skier. They provide plenty of exercise for skiers of all abilities and an effective way to get your ski legs under you if it’s been a while. This is an excellent location for a quick workout or just a breath of fresh air in the middle or end of the day.
The trails comfortably accommodate sizable groups and families with skiers of mixed abilities. And you can even bring your pooch to the Bernese Boulevard section (see below). And you can also connect to many other Aspen Snowmass Nordic System trails from here.
Length: 5 miles | 8 kilometers
Overall Trail Difficulty: Easy
It’s Perfect For: Beginners and Families with younger children
Access and Parking: 5 minute, 1.8-mile drive from the Aspen Core. Free city bus service available. On-site Parking available
Aspen High School Trails
These trails offer some of the finest intermediate and advanced terrain for cross-country skiing in Aspen. They feature a captivating combination of wide-open hilly meadows, steep climbs, and breathtaking descents. And they also include a couple of flat loops that are ideal for casual skiing, technique work, or just an exhilarating aerobic workout.
We love these trails because of the variety (it’s like interval training). And the long and sometimes steep descents offer an incredible reward for all that uphilling in between. It’s also close to town, has easy, ample parking, and connects to some of our other favorite trails, like the Moore trail and the Owl Creek Trails (see below).
Finally, it’s hard to beat the views of Rocky Mountain grandeur: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Pyramid Peak, the Hunter Creek Valley, and Mount Sopris.
Length: 3.1 and 6.2–mile loops | 5 and 10 kilometers
Overall Trail Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced
Who it’s Perfect For: Thrill seekers, workout junkies, those working on their uphill skiing technique
Access and Parking: Public parking is available at the Aspen Recreation Center on weekdays or in the Middle School parking lot on weekends. Free city bus service available
This popular loop winds through the rolling sage-covered hills between Highway 82 and the High School Trail. It is centrally located and connects to the Maroon Creek Club and Owl Creek trails.
The terrain is varied, but not too advanced, and is suitable for all but beginning skiers. And you might get to see some wildlife (foxes, deer, and rabbits) along the way.
As a bonus, the trail skirts the beloved Whoa Nelly sledding hill next to the Aspen Recreation Center. All that youthful exuberance is sure to pump you up as you slide by.
Length: 1.86 miles | 3 kilometers
Overall Trail Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate
Who it’s Perfect For: Variety seekers, workout enthusiasts, wildlife viewers, and those looking to connect to other nearby trails
Access and Parking:
Parking is available at the Golf Course, via a Highway 82 underpass, or the Aspen Recreation Center. You can also reach the trail from the High School, Maroon Creek Club, and Owl Creek trails.
Snowmass Cross-Country Nordic Ski Center
The Snowmass Cross Country Center is the hub of cross-country skiing in Snowmass. It is located on the Snowmass Golf Course and features a retail shop, restaurant, and snack bar. It also offers lessons, equipment rentals, and tours.
The main trail offers scenic, rolling terrain. It also connects to a network of minor trails that feature a wide variety of hilly or low-pitched loops.
This is one of our favorites due to its varied terrain and expansive views of the upper Roaring Fork Valley. And we’re thrilled you can bring your pooch along if you stay on the Labrador Lane section.
Length: Over 5 miles | 8 kilometers
Overall Trail Difficulty: Easy to advanced (but is mostly intermediate)
Who it’s Perfect For: Those seeking variety and an abundance of terrain.
Access and Parking: Access via Brush Creek Road. Parking is located at the Snowmass Cross-Country Center located off Brush Creek Road.
North Star Nature Preserve Loop
This is one of the most scenic trails in the area. This relatively flat track loops around a meadowy section of the pristine 175-acre North Star Nature Preserve, just east of Aspen. It runs close to the Roaring Fork River and offers relaxing views of Independence Pass and the Elk Mountain Range.
The groomed trail is usually uncrowded and is great for small groups or families with skiers of mixed ability seeking some fresh air and fun in the sun. It’s also perfect for individuals looking for a bit of serenity close to town.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the ducks, geese, and blue herons that call this preserve home.
Length: A little over 2 miles | 3.2 Kilometers
Overall Trail Difficulty: Easy
It’s Perfect For: Beginners, casual skiers, and nature lovers
Access and Parking: The main trail parking area is about 2 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82. There is another small parking area about .5 miles further east.
Owl Creek Trail
This groomed 9-mile, point-to-point trail connects Aspen to Snowmass and is one of the gems of the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and nearby Aspen groves as it takes you through mountain meadows and rolling hills.
Some parts of the trail, particularly on the eastern end (from the Aspen Nordic Ski Center to West Buttermilk), have challenging climbs and steep descents. But skiers seeking a less difficult experience can access or leave the trail near a small parking area located on West Buttermilk Road. From Snowmass, the casual skier often begins at the Snowmass Golf Course trails.
We think this is one of the best cross-country skiing trails in Aspen because it is ideal for an all-day adventure. It features stunning views, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of fresh air. We also like the idea that it connects our two favorite towns. And there’s a good chance you’ll see some wildlife along many sections of the trail!
Length: 9 miles | 14.5 kilometers
Overall Trail Difficulty: Intermediate (but beginners and advanced skiers will love it too)
Who it’s Perfect For: Excursion seekers, wildlife viewers, nature lovers, exercise aficionados
Access and Parking:
From Snowmass Village:
Take the Village Way Trail or begin at the Snowmass Cross-Country Nordic Center. There will be signs to guide you. Parking is available at either of these areas or you can take the RFTA bus.
- West Buttermilk Road: Turn off Highway 82 at the main Buttermilk parking lot. Continue through the lot and catch the West Buttermilk Road (at the far-right corner). About 1.4 miles up West Buttermilk Road there is a small parking area on the right where the Owl Creek Trail crosses the road.
- Tiehack (for experienced or more advanced skiers): ski from the base of Tiehack towards main Buttermilk along the right side of the alpine trail to the Oregon Trail. Then continue towards and across Main Buttermilk to West Buttermilk. Follow the green disks. You should also be mindful of occasional temporary trail closure signs posted by the Aspen Skiing Company.
- Aspen Golf Course: Take the underpass to the James E. Moore Trail and use the new Tiehack Nordic Bridge to get to the base of Tiehack
Parking is available at the endpoints of the trail (the Aspen Cross Country Center or the Snowmass Cross-Country Center). You may also park at the Aspen Recreation Center, the base of Tiehack, West Buttermilk Road, or at the Tom Blake Trailhead in Snowmass.
RFTA bus service is also available to the endpoints and the Aspen Recreation Center.
The scenery on Independence Pass is as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer. And the cross-country ski trail, which follows the road, lets you take it all in and get as much exercise as you’d like.
The path is not officially groomed, but foot traffic, fat-tire bikes, and snowmobiles typically flatten it down nicely.
The trail runs the full 40-mile length of the Pass, but most skiers do not venture beyond the Lincoln Creek Road turn-off (just past mile marker 51). This is due to increasingly rougher terrain and the potential for avalanches.
We love this trail because you can get a great workout while soaking up breathtaking scenery all around. And, after all that arduous work going up, the casual, long descent is an unbelievable reward.
Length: about 4 miles to Lincoln Creek Road | 6.4 kilometers
Overall Trail Difficulty: Easy to intermediate
Who it’s Perfect For: Nature lovers, casual skiers, view seekers
Access and Parking: Access via Highway 82, Independence Pass Road, approximately 5 miles from the Aspen city limits. Ample parking is available at the highway closure parking lot (on the left of Highway 82 as you approach from Aspen). However, this often fills up due to the popularity of the trail
Other Popular Trails Nearby
Ashcroft Cross-Country Skiing – Pine Creek Cookhouse
This privately-owned ski area is located in the White River National Forest just outside of Aspen, about 12 miles up the Castle Creek Valley. It offers more than 20 miles of exquisitely groomed trails amidst the beautiful rolling hills near the ghost town of Ashcroft. It is associated with the renowned Pine Creek Cookhouse restaurant and is the gateway to several winter touring huts.
Maroon Bells Cross-Country Skiing – Maroon Creek Road (CR 13)
The Maroon Creek Road trail offers perhaps the most spectacular scenery of all the local and nearby trails. It takes you on a moderate uphill grade from T-Lazy-7 Ranch to Maroon Lake. Be aware, however, that the road is closed to vehicle traffic in the winter and the Nordic tracks are groomed daily by T-Lazy-7 Ranch.
This trail reveals breathtaking views of the Maroon Bells along the way. And it offers the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, and even moose.
It does, however, lie within several known avalanche paths that occasionally cross the road. It is also shared with snowmobile tours from T-Lazy-7 Ranch, so consult with them before you go (970- 925-4614).
Aspen Snowmass Cross Country Trail Grooming Status: The Nordic Hotline
For the latest trail grooming and ski conditions report, please visit aspennordic.com. You may also call their hotline at 970-429-2039, ext 4. This report is updated regularly.
Wrapping It All Up—Which Do You Think Are the Best Cross-Country Skiing Trails in Aspen?
So now the choice is yours.
We’ve given you our opinion on where to cross-country ski in Aspen and Snowmass. It’s time for you to get out there and give some (or all of them) a try. Then you can decide for yourself where’s the best place to go cross country skiing in Aspen and Snowmass.
Aspen Cross-Country Ski Rental: Take the Hassle Out of Getting Geared Up
Having the right gear makes the experience easier, more enjoyable, and safer.
If you don’t ski often, or if you’re new and not sure you will like it, it can be less expensive to rent the equipment. And you’ll get to use the latest and greatest gear.
How to Choose the Right Rental Equipment
It’s best to rent your equipment from the pros to ensure you get the proper fit and performance. They’ll base their suggestions primarily on your weight, ability, and skiing style, but it also helps to answer the following questions:
Will you be skiing classic or skate skiing?
How hard do you plan to ski?
What locations will you be skiing?
Do you think you’re just trying it out for a day or are you planning to use it for several outings?
Are you going to purchase similar equipment if you enjoy your experience?
For a reminder of equipment basics, please read the “Cross-Country Skiing Equipment: Choose the Right Gear Before You Go” section above.
Where to Rent Cross-Country Skiing Equipment in Aspen and Snowmass
You can rent equipment from several local sporting goods stores, but your best bet is to start with the Aspen and Snowmass Cross-Country Centers.
Other local equipment rental options are:
Cross-Country Ski Lessons in Aspen and Snowmass: Feel like a Pro Right from the Start
If you’re a beginner, taking a few lessons from the local pros before you set out on your own can make the difference between a miserable or epic experience.
This season, 45-minute group lessons cost $45 per adult and $20 per child and are limited to 4 people. Private Lessons start at $45 for ½ hour and are by appointment only. These prices do not include the cost of equipment rentals, which are available at a 20% discount if you are using them for lessons. Reservations are required and must be made 24 hours in advance. Contact the Snowmass or Aspen Cross-Country Centers or visit aspennordic.com for more detailed information.
Guided Cross-Country Tours and Winter Hut Trips
If you’re feeling more adventurous, an off-trail outing or multi-day hut trip in the Aspen and Snowmass area might be just what you’re looking for.
If you are seeking a full-day or half-day excursion, the Aspen Nordic Center offers guided tours on the Owl Creek Trail, Ashcroft, North Star Nature Preserve, and the Moore trails. The Ashcroft Touring Center also offers tours.
In Snowmass, the Snowmass Cross-Country Nordic Center provides guided tours on their trails and into the backcountry nearby.
The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association maintains a network of over 30 huts and more than 350 miles of connecting trails between Aspen, Leadville, and Vail. The trails run through the White River, Arapaho, and San Isabel National forests and range in elevation from 9,700 to 11,700 feet.
The huts were used originally for high-elevation training for soldiers during World War II and have been upgraded and modified for summer and winter trekking. They range from basic to somewhat elaborate and sleep anywhere from 3 to 20 people. They are typically accessible by skiing from November to May, and reservations are required for their use.
Plan Accordingly and Be Prepared
Hut trips are more strenuous than your typical Nordic skiing outing. So make sure you are in good enough physical shape to handle the rigors of the trip and that you have ALL the necessary gear for a successful adventure. This includes adequate clothing, food, water, and first-aid equipment.
Additionally, avalanche safety training, including the proper use of avalanche beacons is a must. And be sure to hone your map navigation skills as well. Finally, if you’ve traveled to Aspen Snowmass from a lower elevation, familiarize yourself with the signs of altitude sickness. And make sure you leave yourself enough time to get acclimated to higher elevations before you start your trip.
If you are experienced, you can plan and undertake these hut trips on your own, but usually the best and safest choice is to take advantage of guided tours and hut trips.
Once you’re comfortable and confident in running a trip yourself, the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association has a guide for choosing your huts and planning and preparing for your adventure, “How to Plan a Hut Trip.”If this is your first hut trip or you have never planned one yourself, we highly suggest hiring a guide. For information about local hut trip guide services, visit the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association’s “Guide Services for the Huts” page.
Aspen Cross-Country Skiing FAQ’s: What You Need to Know to Have a Blast on the Trails
What are the benefits of cross-country skiing?
Cross-country skiing is an ideal activity for your body, mind, and spirit. Here are a few of its main benefits:
- It provides considerable cardiovascular exercise
- You work out many major muscle groups
- It burns lots of calories
- It’s low impact
- You can improve your ability to perceive your spatial location
- It helps to build better balance
- It Improves your visual acuity
- It’s a great cross-training activity
- It gets you outside in the sun and fresh air and lets you connect with nature
- It helps clear your mind and relieves stress
- It’s great for bonding with others
- It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other (winter) sports and activities
Can you ski year-round in Aspen? – What months can you ski in Aspen?
The ski lifts in Aspen and Snowmass are typically open from late November to early April. And the groomed cross-country trails are available for roughly that time as well.
If you’re a diehard, you can find some backcountry skiing well into the late spring and early summer. Check with the Ute Mountaineer or aspennordic.com for current conditions during these times.
Is cross-country skiing harder than snowshoeing?
They are both great ways to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors during the winter. But skiing usually takes longer to learn than snowshoeing. It also requires more upper-body exertion and takes more skill to negotiate downhills.
Is cross-country skiing difficult?
The activity, particularly the skating style, does have a learning curve. And your basic athletic ability and fitness level affect how steep and long this learning curve is. However, most people find it relatively easy to get started moving about a flat, groomed trail with a modified walking motion.
Can you cross-country ski with a baby?
You can ski with a baby, however, it requires a bit more equipment and planning to make it safe and enjoyable. You can use an on-the-chest carrier to hold your baby while skiing, but there are concerns if you fall. So, stick with a ski trailer, pulk, or sled.
Ski trailers elevate your child on poles attached to skis while pulks and sleds ride directly on the snow, supported by a ridged bottom. Pulks and sleds are easier to transport than trailers, but typically require more effort on your part to move along the snow while skiing.
- Practice beforehand with a loaded trailer or sled to get used to maneuvering and pulling the extra weight
- Start on easy, low pitched trails
- Make sure you clothe your child appropriately and use blankets to bundle up your little ones even more.
- Have patience, with yourself and your child, and allow for extra time – for everything
- Know when enough is enough: Unless they’re asleep, babies and toddlers get restless easily, and you want the experience to be fun — for everybody.
How do beginners cross-country ski?
If you’ve never cross-country skied before, watch a few videos and read a few related articles to see it in action. Then, rent equipment and take a lesson from a reputable professional.
What are the two types of cross-country skiing?
The two main styles of cross-country skiing are “classic” and “skating”. Each style involves propelling yourself across the snow on skis using a combination of leg, arm, and shoulder movements. See our section above, “What is Cross-Country Skiing Anyway?” for a more detailed explanation.
At what age can you start cross-country skiing?
While there’s no specific age when a child can cross-country ski on their own skis. But you can introduce them to the sport when they are quite young by pulling them behind you on a trailer or sled. Typically, by the time they are about 5 years old, they should be mature enough physically to try it on their own with the proper guidance and patience. Remember, make it fun!
What size cross-country skis do I need?
In general, to get the proper combination of glide and grip, your weight and ability will determine the recommended ski length. Differences in stiffness (flex), materials, and design also influence the recommendations.
The style of skiing you plan to do (classic, skating, backcountry) also affects proper sizing. Talk to the equipment manufacturers or your local pros before buying or renting your gear to get specific suggestions.
In the meantime, here is a guide for REI to get you started: “How to Choose Cross-Country Ski Gear.”
What are the best cross-country skis for beginners?
If you’re just beginning, focus on ease of use and stability. We suggest you start with classic or light touring skis.
Should I skate ski or classic?
If you’re a beginner, we suggest you begin with the classic style, which more closely mimics walking or jogging. Once you are comfortable maintaining your balance while gliding across the snow, you can give skating a try.
Please see the section above, “What is Cross-Country Skiing Anyway?” for more detailed information
Do you need a helmet for cross-country skiing?
Typically, cross-country skiers do not need to wear helmets. They are bulky and hot, and the likelihood of a serious head injury is much lower than with downhill skiing. However, if you have any pre-existing head injuries, or you are going to be skiing a lot of steep descents, you might consider it.
How Should You Dress for cross-country Skiing?
Clothing should be warm while allowing sufficient freedom of movement. And it should protect you from wind and moisture (from the outside in and the inside out).
Please see the section above, “Clothing for Cross-Country Skiing: It’s More about Comfort than Style,” for the details.
What kind of pants do you wear for cross-country skiing?
You can purchase pants designed specifically for the activity. But many skiers use winter biking pants, winter running pants, or winter leggings if they already have these on hand.
Regardless, it is best to use a layered approach (base, middle, and outer) that will be appropriate for your expected skiing conditions. Please see the section above, “Clothing for Cross-Country Skiing: It’s More about Comfort than Style,” for more detailed information
What muscles does cross-country skiing work?
Nordic skiing provides a full-body workout. It works your arms (biceps and triceps), shoulders, core, and legs.
Therefore, it is good to warm up and stretch before heading out on the trails. Here are some simple suggestions for stretching and warming up: Four Easy Stretches for Cross Country Skiers
Are You Excited to Do Some Cross-Country Skiing in Aspen and Snowmass in 2022/2023?
So, how about it? Are you ready to get off the slopes and onto the trails this year? Want to ditch the crowds and reconnect with nature? Are you looking to get healthy and in shape?
Imagine no crowded lift lines… no getting stuck on a chair or gondola with people you don’t know, who’ve been exposed to who knows what.
Envision freeing yourself from time frames and ticket purchases.
Picture yourself cruising the trails with your friends and family, invigorating your mind, body, and soul.
You can have this!
If you’re a beginner, watch some videos to decide whether you want to try classic or skating. Talk to some local pros to buy or rent some gear, and take a lesson or two. Then re-read our “Where to Cross-Country Ski in Aspen (Our Favorite Trails and Why We Love Them)” section above or visit the aspennordic.com website and pick your trails.
If you’re experienced, find your favorite spots and go. If you’re looking for a bit more of an adventure, contact the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association to plan an exciting hut trip.
It’s time to get out there — by yourself or with family or friends — and have some refreshing, healthy fun on the trails!
So you’ve started to explore other ways to ski in Aspen and Snowmass. Another one of our favorite hobbies is uphill skiing, often called “skinning”. Check out our local guide to uphill skiing in Aspen and get to know the routes and policies for skinning in our mountain town!
There are a lot of great times of year to vacation in Aspen and Snowmass. In fact, there’s really no bad time for an exciting excursion here.
But, February is one of the best months to visit. The snow conditions are typically excellent, the Aspen weather usually warms up a bit from our usual January freeze (but not too much to soften the snow), and the lift lines move along smartly compared to during the Christmas / New Year’s holiday crush. It can be the best time to ski in Aspen all season long.
Of course, Aspen and Snowmass also offer much more than just skiing and snowboarding throughout the entire month of February. But, we think a romantic Valentine’s Day or a special President’s Day weekend is an especially perfect occasion for a visit.
Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Weekend in Aspen
Couples everywhere make Valentine’s Day special, and when you’re in Aspen, you can make it truly extraordinary. Just imagine, snuggling by a warm crackling fire after a fabulous candlelight dinner at your favorite local restaurant or right there in your luxurious vacation rental home away from home.
Sounds great to us! But that’s not all Aspen and Snowmass have to offer for a wonderful Valentine’s Day experience. And with the President’s Day Weekend following closely behind, many couples also find this a great time to try something new to spice up their romance and relationship while they’re here.
Here are a few suggestions:
Take a breathtaking ride through the surrounding White River National forest with one of Aspen’s or Snowmass’ local snowmobile tour operators. Guides from highly experienced outfitters, such as T-Lazy-7, Blazing Adventures, and Western Adventures will take you safely into the nearby winter backcountry areas like:
- the Maroon Bells
- the hills above Lenado
- the Klondike Cabin (with spectacular view s of the 14,000 foot Pyramid Peak),
- up Independence Pass to the mining era ghost town of Independence
- and more.
Every tour offers spectacular views of the high peaks of the Elk Mountain Range — and loads of fun!
Experience a snowcat dinner ride
Everyone loves to celebrate valentine’s day with a romantic dinner for two. Although there are many fantastic dining options throughout downtown Aspen and Snowmass Village, a culinary experience like no other exists on the mountain.
Highlands’ famed Cloud 9 Bistro offers private evening dinners on top of the slopes. Guests are chauffeured to the restaurant via snowcats that operate on the mountain after the ski lifts close. Why not celebrate your love with an unforgettable experience in an iconic location?
How about a sleigh ride to the Pine Creek Cookhouse?
You can cross-country ski or snowshoe to the Pine Creek Cookhouse, but a sleigh ride through the ghost town of Ashcroft on your way to the restaurant might be the most romantic way to get to this acclaimed mountain gourmet restaurant, located 11 miles from downtown Aspen and accessible by private car, or taxi.
Test your balance (and your hugging technique) with the time-honored winter romance activity of ice skating at the downtown Silver Circle ice rink, located across from the Ruby Park bus station, in front of the Hyatt Grand Aspen hotel.
Of course, you will also find more traditional Valentine’s Day activities in Aspen and Snowmass as well, like enjoying a romantic dinner and drinks at one of the outstanding local restaurants. Many establishments are offering specials this year, and you can find a comprehensive list here at eataspen.com.
Live Entertainment – for Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Weekend
Prefer to cozy in for some indoor activities and events to round out your fabulous Aspen Valentine’s Day or President’s Day Weekend celebrations? Most of these are not scheduled right on February 14th, but here’s some of what’s on tap for entertainment on and around Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend:
Belly Up Aspen
- 2/14/18: Sunsquabi – “A three-piece suit, live electronic experience.”
- 2/15 – 1/16/18: Mau5Trap – “Genre: Progressive House, Electronic”
Visit bellyupaspen.com for their full February 2018, calendar of events.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
- 1/16/18: Ailey II – “…universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers…”
Wheeler Opera House
- 2/11/18: Che Malambo – percussive dance and music spectacle based on Malambo, “… a dynamic blend of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song, which originated in the 17th century in the South American pampas…”
- 2/15/18: Gentri – “The Gentlemen Trio is comprised of three highly trained tenors: Brad Robins, Casey Elliott, and Bradley Quinn Lever. Pioneering a signature sound that can only be described as “Cinematic Pop,” the music of GENTRI is transfused with lush, epic orchestrations and rich, dynamic three-part harmonies…”
- 2/17/18: An Evening with Bruce Cockburn – Singer, songwriter, guitarist and Canadian musical legend whose music captures in song, “… the essence of human experience – while fiercely striving to make it better…”
Visit wheeleroperahouse.com for their full February 2018, calendar of events.
Doc Eason Magic Show – Snowmass Village
- Tuesdays & Thursdays, beginning January 2 at the Artisan Bar at the Stonebridge Inn – “…Two-time Close-Up Magician of the Year, Doc Eason, performs amazing sleight-of-hand feats that will leave your head spinning…”
Visit gosnowmass.com for their full February, 2018 calendar of events in Snowmass Village
It’s not too Late to Plan Your February Vacation in Aspen – Want More Information?
There’s so much more to see and do in Aspen and Snowmass in February – too much to list it all here. If you want more information, or if you haven’t yet booked your accommodations, contact our Guest Services agents today!
email@example.com | (970) 205-9962
Give a Key, take a key: 3RD HOME’s Exclusive Travel Club for Luxury Second Homeowners
We know you love spending time here, and owning your vacation home makes the experience so much more enjoyable and effortless. But, are you really getting all you can out of your property?
What if you could get even more value out of your Aspen vacation home by turning empty time directly into vacations in other exciting, luxurious and new destinations?
Just imagine – one week you’re cruising epic powdery ski slopes in the crisp, invigorating mountain air in Aspen, Colorado. And the next, you’re relaxing on the beach under the brilliant, warm sunshine, refreshing beverage in hand and the cool ocean breeze wafting across your body as the waves crash playfully on the shore nearby.
You have no cares, no worries – especially about whether your investment in your Aspen vacation home is paying off.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, it’s not…because Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals has partnered with 3RD HOME, a private reciprocal travel club for luxury second homeowners. This exclusive club provides second homeowners with a “…safe and trustworthy way to ‘expand’ the use of their second homes…,” without the hassles and expense of renting.
Sure, you can make a good return on your investment by renting out your home while you are not using it, and Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals works tirelessly to help you do this. But what about the empty weeks that inevitably still remain on the schedule?
How it works: Earning Key Credits
When signing your home exclusively with ALVR, 3RD Home waives the $2,500 initiation fee. Once you join, you will create your own personal account, list your home on the site, and select weeks you will make available for other members. For every week you make available for others, you will earn key credits. With every key, you can book fabulous vacations at other amazing destinations.
Then, when you plan your next vacation, all you have to do is go to their website, decide where to go, pay a small exchange fee and reserve your accommodations.
3RD HOME stands above timeshares and other exchange clubs by focusing exclusively on luxury, fully and privately owned second homes and letting you choose where you stay within the club network. Check out all of their affiliated resorts.
Is your second home eligible?
To be accepted into the club, members’ properties must be situated in a desirable location and offer, “quality furnishings, appointments and amenities.”.
This is where Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals comes in. Our special relationship with 3RD HOME helps prequalify your home to meet their standards.
Sound interesting? Contact us today to get find out more about how you can turn your second home into a third.
February is a fantastic time for a vacation in Aspen and Snowmass. The skiing and snowboarding conditions are typically awesome, and the towns rock in full swing winter activity mode at this time of the season.
Whether you visit the area with your family, your organization, your significant other, or even if you just come by yourself, you will discover something wonderful to do while you are here, despite the current circumstances.
From unparalleled fine dining and haute shopping, to exhilarating outdoor activities and fantastic live entertainment, Aspen and Snowmass offer something exciting and fun for everyone,
If you are planning a February vacation in Aspen, here are 5 fun tips for having a truly memorable time while you are here:
1. Check Out What’s New This Season
Dining and shopping are major activities during any vacation, and when visiting Aspen and Snowmass this is no exception.
While the area boasts a large selection of restaurants and retail establishments from which to choose, first-time visitors and repeat guests want to know, “What’s new in town this year?”
Here is a little sampling of what’s new in the local dining, shopping scene & on the mountain this season:
The renowned Fort Lauderdale restaurant, Casa D’Angelo has opened a new location on South Mill St, at the former location of Piñons. The second story restaurant offers authentic yet innovative Italian cuisine and an extensive wine list.
The latest establishment to open at The Little Nell Residences at the base of Aspen Mountain. 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 is vast indoor space.
ASPEN SPORTS BISTRO
Aspen’s newest sports bar opened this past summer on the Hyman Mall, in the heart of downtown Aspen. The bistro, which is in the former HOPS culture space, offers a vast beer selection and affordable food menu, with sports on TV all day, every day.
WOODY CREEK TAVERN
One of the valley’s most renowned establishments, the iconic Woody Creek Tavern has re-opened in 2021. Under new ownership, the tavern has upgraded its kitchen, menu and floor layout while still keeping the classic style of tavern that has been loved by locals for so long.
As usual, February in Aspen showcases a selection of high-end, new and seasonal pop-up stores. This season, you’ll find:
Aspen Skiing Company’s new premium retail and experimental concept brand. The brand will include the first clothing line developed by a ski resort, launching with custom collaborations and outerwear designed for thee community who spends most of their time on the slopes. The store itself will 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 Cooper Ave Mall. It is the latest store in Aspen to offer custom leather detailing and personalization.
The world-famous luxury brand has opened its Aspen boutique store on S Galena Street. Balenciaga offer’s various lavish garments from jackets to shoes to bags and accessories.
What’s New on the Hill:
ASPEN MOUNTAIN CLUB
The legendary Aspen Mountain Club will re-open for winter 2021/2022. This private members club sits atop Aspen Mountain, and will be opening up again after its renovation. The club has been redesigned for the first time since its opening. The latest interiors have been designed by Luis Bustamante, who recently renovated the lobby at The Little Nell.
Alpin Room is a new sit-down restaurant on Snowmass Mountain which pays tribute to the cuisine and dining style of the French, Austrian and Swiss Alps. Alpin Room will serve breakfast and dinner, and will be a welcome addition to the mountain after Covid-19 delaying it’s grand opening.
For more information about what’s new in the area this season, please visit the Chamber Resort website (aspenchamber.org), or contact them at 800.670.0792
2. Don’t Miss Out on Some Amazing Events
A lot of Aspen’s usual exciting and attractive events have unfortunately not been able to ahead this year, or least not with a crowd, but fear not – there is still a growing amount of things to do throughout the rest of this Winter season.
Get Out & Get Active
There is always some type of activity or adventure to be explored in Aspen, and this season, though it may be somewhat limited, there is plenty organized events . So give yourself an excuse to get outdoors!
SKI FOR THE PASS
Registration is open for the 3rd event in the Aspen Nordic Cup series. A cross-country race which trails 7km up Independence pass. This classic race is a family favorite and a benefit event for The Independence Pass Foundation.
FULL MOON DINNERS AT BUTTERMILK
An event which is favored by so many locals returns this season after a break during covid last year. On each month’s full moon, the Cliffhouse restaurant on Buttermilk Mountain offers a wonderful dinner for those willing to make the journey to the top. Skin up to the top of Buttermilk on the 16th of February under the full moon and partake in one of Aspen’s most loved traditions.
Enjoy Some Good Entertainment:
It’s true, town might get a little bit quieter and calm after the holiday season. Despite this, there are so many amazing events happening in Aspen and Snowmass during February. Here are a couple we are looking forward to.
ANDY WARHOL: LIFETIMES
The Aspen Art Museum will be hosting a winter-long exhibition which showcases the life work and biography of Andy Warhol, the illustrious artist who had a monumental influence on American pop-culture. The exhibit had been first organized by Tate Modern, London, however it will be re-imagined by Monica Majoli who will conceptualize the AAM version of the exhibition.
“This museum-wide survey exhibition focuses on the biographical underpinnings of Warhol’s practice and specifically expands on the less exposed aspects of his work and persona”
ATTEND A SHOW AT BELLYUP!
After a short hiatus, BellyUp is back! Aspen’s favorite music venue has got a full list for the winter season, and we cannot wait to get back in there. The concert venue has been home to so many amazing shows over the years and has become the most popular spot in town for a show and a party. Their February line-up includes Donavon Frankenreiter and Flight Facilities.
3. Try Something Out of the Ordinary This Year
Even though many people come here for the exquisite dining and shopping, many visitors come here for the many exhilarating outdoor activities available in the area as well.
Some things may have changed this season, but there is still an abundance of ways to explore our area – here are a few of our suggestions for what to do outdoors in Aspen in February:
Relish the Great Outdoors in a New Way:
Cross-Country Skiing – Try out Aspen’s “5th Mountain:
If you still want to slide around on the snow, and you’re looking for alternatives to alpine winter recreation activities, cross-country skiing is an excellent choice. Catch some incredible views of the surrounding mountains while you take advantage of the over 60 miles of free cross-country skiing trails in the area maintained by the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council.
These trails offer a wide variety of terrain and difficulty, providing fun and exercise for all ages and abilities. Check out our complete guide to cross-country skiing in Aspen for full information.
Take an exciting ride on a snowmobile:
Cruise through the snow even faster on a breathtaking snowmobile ride courtesy of the T-Lazy-7 Ranch.
The snowmobile guides of “Aspen’s Oldest Working Ranch” take you safely to such grand local attractions as the Maroon Bells, Independence Pass and various other scenic locations within the surrounding White River National Forest.
Make Valentine’s Day Super Special:
Want to do something really out of the ordinary (and, of course, romantic) this Valentine’s Day?
For a true one-of-a-kind experience, you should consider a romantic snowcat dinner ride. The renowned Cloud 9 Bistro at Highlands Mountain offers private dinners after hours at the top of the mountain. As the lifts are closed, the restaurant is accessed by snowcats, usually used to groom the slopes.
Imagine the setting of a cozy cabin, secluded and peaceful with views of Maroon Bells and beyond. The ride itself is magical, as you ascend some of the world’s best ski slopes under the moonlight and clear skies. To top it off, Cloud 9 offers exquisite, elegant cuisine perfect for a valentine’s dinner.
4. Recover from all the Fun
With so much to see and do here, it is quite possible that you will want or need a little energy boost to keep you going at top pace. Or, perhaps you’re still not quite used to the altitude or you’ve been indulging a bit more than you are used to.
If that’s the case, or if you are just feeling a little lethargic (or you’ve managed to come down with the latest bug), we have just the suggestion for you – Rescue Lounge Aspen.
The Rescue Lounge offers intravenous (IV) hydration, oxygen and booster shots in the tranquility of their downtown Aspen location, or in the convenience of your hotel, condo or vacation rental home.
5. Take Advantage of Our Awesome Comprehensive Concierge Services
There’s so much going on in Aspen in February that we’ve just barely scratched the surface. To find out more about things to do in Aspen in February, please contact one of our luxury guest services concierges a call at (970) 205-9960, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The season for viewing the famous fall colors in Aspen, Colorado, is just around the corner, so now is the time to plan your fall Aspen or Snowmass vacation in order to coincide with this wonderful annual show.
While there are many excellent locations in and near Aspen and Snowmass where you can take in this fantastic gift from mother nature, such as the Maroon Creek, Castle Creek, and Owl Creek valleys, and Independence Pass, how about surrounding yourself with this vibrant cascade of color in the comfort of your luxurious vacation rental home this year?
At Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals we have a selection of spectacular rental homes that are surrounded by, and that offer incredible expansive views of, this special fall treat. Here are a few from which to choose:
Two Creeks Home
Enjoy the fall colors from this ultimate vacation home which features some of the most incredible views in Snowmass. Situated in the luxurious Two Creeks neighborhood, this 5 bedroom ultimate vacation rental is perfect for fall retreats, weddings or just relaxing on the patio or in the private hot tub. This property is located within a 5 minute drive to Snowmass Base Village or 20 minute drive to Downtown Aspen.
Snowmass Creek Ranch
Sit back and take in the views in this villa-style mountain home. Everything you need for a relaxed and secluded mountain vacation. A beautiful property with 32 acres of National Forrest land to explore along the Snowmass Creek River and Just a short drive to Snowmass Village, and close to the Campground ski lift. This home really is a mountain-living dream, all year round, but especially breathtaking during the fall.
McLain Flats Contemporary
Ideal for a deluxe ski retreat or a relaxing summer holiday, this gorgeous, newly constructed vacation home offers the ultimate in style and convenience. This expansive home features two chef’s kitchens, five luxurious en-suite bedrooms, billiard room, movie theater, gym, easy access to downtown Aspen, the airport and all four ski mountains, and a panoramic fall color viewing extravaganza.
One of our most gorgeous homes on offer, this Aspen Highlands property features expansive views, ultimate privacy and living space for fall viewing. With 4 bedrooms and an additional guest house, exquisite furnishings, multiple fire places and living areas. Located within a `10 minute drive to Downtown Aspen or 20 minute drive to the renowned Maroon Bells. This Highlands home is perfect for viewing the beauty of fall in Aspen.
Contemporary Core Townhome
This 3+ bedroom, Aspen Core property is an ideal central location to view the changing colors in town. With views of Aspen Mountain and proximity to all the best hiking and sight seeing, Contemporary Core is a great fall property. This home features a recent renovation, wood fireplace, additional sleeper sofa and dining seating for 6. Contemporary Core Townhome is within a 10 minute walk to the Aspen Mountain gondola for some elevated fall viewing!
For more information about these, or any of our other fabulous vacation rental homes, please contact us at 970-205-9960, or email@example.com today!
If you have visited Aspen in the summer before, you have probably enjoyed many of the popular activities the area has to offer, such as sightseeing, hiking, biking, rafting, attending concerts and other live entertainment shows, fine dining, and shopping at some of the well-known high-end retail establishments and charming boutiques in town. If you are looking for something different to add to your experience on your next visit, something you just might not find at other summer vacation locales, here are 5 out of the ordinary things to do in Aspen in the summer.
Connect with Nature in a New Way
Photo Credit: Rich Pearce | All Rights Reserved)
You may be familiar with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), and you may have even visited their Hallam Lake nature preserve and environmental learning center, but have you taken advantage of their summer programs?
ACES offers free guided daily hikes to popular local spots, as well as longer excursions to the ghost town of Ashcroft and other parts of the Castle Creek valley. They also offer farm tours and farm-to-table events at their Rock Bottom Ranch, located just a few miles down valley, between Basalt and Carbondale.
To find out more about the summer programs available at ACES, please visit AspenNature.org.
Indulge your Desire for a Little Thrill Seeking
(Photo Credit: Aspen Snowmass)
While Aspen is known for world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and hiking and biking in the summer, standup paddle boarding (SUP), has become the latest local outdoor summer craze.
This sport, an offshoot of surfing, originated in Hawaii, spread to other coastal areas, and recently made its way to the larger mountain rivers of Colorado. Paddle boarding on the local rivers ranges from floating the relatively easy, flat stretches of water found just outside of town at the North Star Nature Preserve, to 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 more details, please visit the following websites:
If you would rather get your kicks on mountain inclines instead, try ATV riding up Aspen Mountain or nearby Kobey Park and Taylor Pass. You may find ATV rental information on the Aspen Bike Tours and Rentals website: https://www.aspenbikes.com/rzr.
Cruise Aspen Like You Never Have Before
(“Segway” | Flickr – Photo Sharing by jsogo is licensed under CC BY 2.0 – photo is re-sized)
While bike riding and walking are great ways to cruise the streets of Aspen, there is another fun way to get around town, riding a Segway Personal Transporter. Segways are battery-powered, self-balancing, two-wheeled electric vehicles designed to be a fun and environmentally friendly way to get you where you want to go, quickly and efficiently.
Go Deep into Part of Aspen’s Storied Past
(Photo Credit: Rich Pearce | All Rights Reserved)
If you like history, the Wheeler/Stallard Museum and Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum have informative and entertaining exhibits, but if you really want to experience a piece of Aspen’s past, we suggest a tour of the Smuggler Mine, from which the largest silver nugget ever mined in the United States was extracted. This still-operating mine once produced nearly twenty percent of the world’s total silver, and the mine was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
For mine tour information, please call 970-925-2049.
Stimulate Your Mind
(“Bill Gates & Walter Isaacson in Discussion” Flickr – Photo Sharing by Nathan Laurell is licensed under CC BY 2.0 – photo is re-sized)
Nurturing the mind, body and spirit – that, they say, is the Aspen Idea and philosophy. We have already listed some out of the ordinary things to do in Aspen in the summer as far as body and spirit go, and here are some ways to invigorate the gray matter while you are here as well:
- 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.
- McCloskey Speaker Series – Also hosted by the Aspen Institute, this program features distinguished speakers from diverse backgrounds discussing politics and other interesting contemporary topics.
- Aspen Physics Center Heinz Pagels Public Lectures – During the summer months, renowned physicists share their latest research in a fun and entertaining way.
- Aspen Summer Words – This program focuses primarily on workshops for writers learning to develop their craft, but they do also offer public passes and tickets to their afternoon and evening readings and conversations with seasoned authors and up and coming writers participating in the program.
There are, of course, other out of the ordinary activities things to do in Aspen in the summer, and you probably can find similar activities in other vacation destinations, but where else can you do all of these out of the ordinary activities in one place? Please contact our luxury concierge for more information: 970-618-8290 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Missed the Winter X Games? Didn’t plan a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway? Tired of whooping it up with the mass of spring break humanity at the crowded beaches of South Padre or Cabo? How about an incredible, fun-filled spring break vacation in Aspen, Colorado instead?
If you are looking for something different to do this year, we have the answer. Something exciting, invigorating, and memorable.
Just to let you know…
Aspen Snowmass once again ranked #3 in the “2023 Best of the West Resort of the Year Awards” from SKI Magazine (the Rocky Mountains always seem to come out on top!)
As usual, we have great snow this ski season. And great skiing and snowboarding are always on tap in March and April in Aspen and Snowmass. So are lots of fun off-mountain activities and events.
Just think about it — reveling in the abundant sunshine and pure Colorado mountain snow by day. And enjoying world-class entertainment by night in one of America’s greatest winter resorts!
Sure, you could do the usual program of hitting the beach with thunderous hordes. Or you could battle the frenetic crowds at other United States ski areas like Jackson Hole, Park City, or Vail. But wouldn’t you rather enjoy the uncrowded, but still wildly festive, fun that an Aspen spring break vacation offers? Oh, and be sure to bring the kids – we are quite family-friendly here as well.
Where to Stay in Aspen and Snowmass
Planning a spring break vacation starts with securing your accommodations. You will find many excellent vacation rental options in Aspen and Snowmass. Choose from plush condos, 5-star luxury hotels, or economical and comfortable family-owned ski lodges. If you’re looking for something even more affordable, you’ll find suitable options up and down the Roaring Fork Valley.
If you desire more privacy, space, and personalized concierge service, talk to our Aspen vacation experts. We’d be happy to set you up in one of our luxurious private homes and estates.
What to See and Do on Your Aspen Spring Break Vacation
Your overall vacation experience will be even more pleasurable and satisfying if you consult a local expert. They can help plan your itinerary and assist in making all the arrangements.
You can certainly search online for package deals that include accommodations, lift tickets, and ski/snowboard lessons. But if you would like to truly customize your experience, and take advantage of all that Aspen Snowmass has to offer, please contact one of our local vacation experts. We will be happy to help you make your vacation dreams come true. Read on below for some ideas to get you started.
Skiing and Snowboarding
An Aspen spring break vacation revolves around winter recreational sports. And like other Colorado resorts, the later season, spring skiing and snowboarding here is excellent.
The exact weather, temperature, and snow conditions can vary widely this time of year. This might dictate your specific skiing strategy. Here are some valuable “Spring Skiing Tips from Mark Elling.”
Also, training and preparing your body ahead of time for the rigors of skiing, especially at our high altitude, is important any time of year. It is especially essential for avoiding injury (and having more fun) when challenged by the varied conditions often found in the spring. You will find some useful ski training tips for a more enjoyable spring skiing experience at sport-fitness-advisor.com.
If alpine skiing isn’t your thing, there are other ways to have a good time – with the whole family. Try a cross-country skiing outing up Independence Pass or an uphilling adventure on Aspen Highlands.
If you’re not into putting on skis at all, you can still enjoy gondola rides on Aspen Mountain and Snowmass.
What to bring
Remember, the Aspen spring skiing weather can be unpredictable (from day to day and hour to hour), so be prepared for anything. You might encounter anything, from a cold January-like freeze to a balmy day.
Bring enough layers so you can adjust to the changing conditions in the weather and on the slopes. Usually, you will wear a slightly “lighter” ensemble than you would in mid-winter (including less weighty spring gloves) *. You should concentrate also on protecting your skin from the intense sun. Here are some useful resources for how to prepare for both:
What to wear: How to Dress for Spring Skiing | What to Pack for Spring Skiing
Skin care tips: Winter Skin Survival Guide
*For a general ski and snowboard vacation packing list, please visit stayaspensnowmass.com here:
Of course, it’s not just the skiing and snowboarding that make Aspen a great place for a fabulous spring break vacation. If you don’t ski or snowboard, check out our post, “The 7 Best Things to Do In Aspen in Winter Besides Ski” for more ideas for fun activities to do outdoors.
Other Things to Do in Aspen Snowmass
Aspen and Snowmass have a bit of everything. It’s one of the things that separates us from other ski towns. If you like art, visit the Aspen Art Museum to see “…the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art…”. There are also many galleries sprinkled around town to satisfy your yen for vintage and contemporary art. Please visit our Art Museums and Galleries page on this website for an extensive gallery list.
If local Aspen area history piques your interest, check out the Historical Society’s Wheeler / Stallard Museum. The museum was constructed during the height of the Colorado silver boom and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It hosts exhibits and archives of Aspen’s interesting history and pre-settlement past.
As we mentioned before, there are a lot of things to do outdoors around Aspen in the winter besides skiing and snowboarding. You can go snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, and ice skating. If you’ve got an early spring break, we suggest you check out Ullr Nights. This event offers an evening of outdoor snow-based family activities on Elk Camp at Snowmass.
One of our other favorite outdoor activities is connecting with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). Schedule a guided snowshoe or skiing tour. Or visit their Hallam Lake location (open to the public) which features education animals, including their resident birds of prey.
Shopping in Aspen and Snowmass: A Real Treat
If shopping helps you wind down while on vacation, downtown Aspen offers a wide variety of shopping choices. You will find everything from consignment to high-end, and upscale brand to boutique. Whether you are looking for art, antiques, gifts, or designer clothing, you will be sure to find the right gift for yourself or someone special.
Where to relax
Speaking of winding down, why not try an exquisite, relaxing massage at one of the great local day spas while you are here? If you really want to take it easy, consider using one of the local mobile massage and body care providers. Treat yourself to a massage or facial right in the comfort of your vacation rental home or condominium.
What to do at night
What can we say? Many polls rate Aspen as one of the best places in the country for nighttime festivities. Its fabled bars, nightclubs, and restaurant happy hour venues are legendary. But there are other great options for entertainment and other nighttime diversions as well.
In 2022, live music has re-ignited, and attending live shows at Belly Up Aspen is one of the most fun things to do in Aspen in the spring. And the Aspen Music Festival and School has resumed its Winter Recital Series.
Please visit their respective websites for detailed show dates:
Fun Aspen Spring Break Events
- Bud Light Spring Jam: One of Aspen’s signature events, This spring festival features a week of competitions, free concerts downtown, and parties. This kicks off March 23, 2023.
- Nastar Championships: The largest public grassroots ski racing program in the world. Developed by SKI Magazine in 1968 boasting more than 100,000 races at over 100 resorts around the country. April 4-9, 2022
New in 2023
As usual, Aspen and Snowmass have new offerings in 2023—too many to list here. Contact our Luxury Concierge for more info: (970) 205-9960.
So, Choose Aspen This Year
Whether you are making up for missed Valentine’s Day plans or are finally tired of hitting the beach with the masses, try something new and exciting in 2022. Visit Aspen Snowmass for incredible skiing in the bright Colorado sunshine and fresh mountain air. And savor the sumptuous food and drink, and top-notch entertainment in our lively little mountain town.
Contact one of our Guest Services representatives at (970) 205-9960 | email@example.com to get your Aspen spring break vacation started today!
Take a peek inside…Need we say more?