Ultimate Aspen-Snowmass Ski & Spa Guide

Travel advisor Kayaking
Curated By

Mackenzie Hunter

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  • Aspen

  • Adventure Travel

  • Wellness Travel

  • Skiing

  • Outdoors

  • Winter

Greyscale photo of people walking on a snow covered mountain.
Curator’s statement

Nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Aspen-Snowmass beckons winter enthusiasts with its majestic peaks, charming towns, and world-renowned ski resorts. As your dedicated travel guide, let me unveil the secrets to crafting the perfect ski trip, from selecting the right resort to savoring exquisite dining experiences and exploring the diverse activities beyond the slopes.

The Fora Difference

Book with Mackenzie to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Aspen

Hotel Jerome Aspen

An Aspen icon on Main Street, done up in a winning mix of Old West-style and modern amenities.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Little Nell

At the base of Ajax Mountain, Aspen’s only ski-in/ski-out hotel is the spot for a lively après scene, top people watching and personalized service.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Viceroy Snowmass

Upscale ski-in/ski-out resort with modern studios and suites, plus a restaurant and cafe at the base of Snowmass Mountain.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out, whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Mackenzie to book your trip.

Things to do in Aspen

Cable cars over snow covered mountains.

Aspen-Snowmass, a winter haven, boasts four exceptional ski areas: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk. Each offers a unique blend of terrain, from challenging steeps to family-friendly slopes, promising an unforgettable skiing and snowboarding experience.

Selecting the Right Resort:

  • Aspen Mountain: For avid skiers seeking challenging terrain and a vibrant après-ski scene, Aspen Mountain is the go-to choice.

  • Snowmass: Families and enthusiasts of all levels will find their paradise in Snowmass, known for its extensive terrain, ski-in/ski-out convenience, and family-friendly atmosphere.

  • Aspen Highlands: Adventure-seekers flock to Aspen Highlands for its renowned expert terrain, including the legendary Highland Bowl, providing a thrilling experience for advanced skiers and snowboarders.

  • Buttermilk: Perfect for beginners and those honing their skills, Buttermilk's gentle slopes and renowned ski school make it an ideal choice for families and novices.

Logistical Information:

  • Transportation: Arrange transportation from Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) to your chosen accommodation. Consider shuttle services, taxis, or rental cars for added convenience.

  • Purchasing Tickets: Secure your ski passes and lift tickets in advance through the official Aspen-Snowmass website or authorized vendors. Look for special packages that may include multiple days or access to multiple mountains.

  • Gear Rental Locations: Four Mountain Sports, the sole outfitter at the base of all four mountains, provides free overnight equipment transfers between locations. Opt for rental delivery for added convenience, and have your gear delivered directly to or from your hotel, maximizing your time on the slopes.

  • Trail Maps: Familiarize yourself with trail maps for your chosen resort. Most resorts offer detailed maps highlighting various runs and facilities, ensuring you make the most of your skiing adventure.

  • Weather Preparedness: Check weather forecasts regularly and dress accordingly. Layers, waterproof gear, and suitable accessories are essential for a comfortable experience on the slopes.

Advice, Tips, and Inside Knowledge:

  • Plan your visit midweek to avoid crowds and potentially find better rates.

  • Utilize the trail mix stations on the mountains for quick energy boosts.

  • Consider hiring local guides for off-piste adventures.

  • Look for packages combining lift tickets or accommodations with spa access.

Other Activities Beyond Skiing:

  • Alpine Coaster at Elk Camp: Experience an exhilarating ride on the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster at Elk Camp, twisting and turning through the snow-covered landscape for an adrenaline-filled adventure.

  • Ice Skating at The Rink at Snowmass: Glide across The Rink at Snowmass, an enchanting outdoor ice-skating rink in Base Village, offering a magical experience surrounded by snow-capped peaks.

  • Snowshoeing Trails: Embark on a snowshoeing adventure and explore the serene winter landscapes surrounding Aspen-Snowmass. Discover designated snowshoeing trails for a peaceful and immersive outdoor experience.

  • Snowcat Dinners: Indulge in a unique dining experience with a snowcat dinner, combining gourmet cuisine and mountain ambiance for an unforgettable evening under the stars.

  • Wheeler Opera House: Enjoy live performances and cultural events at the historic Wheeler Opera House in downtown Aspen, adding a touch of art and entertainment to your winter getaway.

Best Hot Tubs and Spas:

  • After a thrilling day on the slopes, unwind in Aspen-Snowmass's best hot tubs and spas, offering relaxation and rejuvenation amidst breathtaking scenery.

  • Viceroy Snowmass - The Spa at Viceroy: Indulge in luxury at The Spa at Viceroy Snowmass, offering inviting hot tubs with panoramic views of Snowmass Mountain. This tranquil retreat provides the perfect post-ski relaxation, complemented by a range of wellness treatments.

  • St. Regis Aspen Resort - RAKxa Wellness Spa: Elevate your spa experience at the RAKxa Wellness Spa, the first U.S. outpost of the renowned Bangkok-based spa. Offering a lavish escape, RAKxa integrates ancient Eastern wellness practices with modern medicine, featuring hot tubs and personalized spa experiences that ensure a tranquil and rejuvenating escape in the heart of Aspen.

Places to eat & drink in Aspen

Two burgers with meat patties and two coca cola glass bottles.

Recommended Restaurants:

  • Prospect at Hotel Jerome: Located within the historic Hotel Jerome, Prospect exudes a blend of Old West charm and modern sophistication, offering contemporary American cuisine. The bison burger, a culinary masterpiece, perfectly captures the essence of the region's flavors with its juicy, locally-sourced patty and unique toppings.

  • Bosq: In the heart of Aspen, Bosq presents a stylish and intimate atmosphere, combining global influences with locally-sourced ingredients. The Duck Confit Enchiladas, a signature dish, are a symphony of rich flavors, showcasing the culinary creativity that defines Bosq.

  • Element 47 at The Little Nell: Located at The Little Nell, Element 47 is synonymous with refined elegance and a commitment to excellence. Renowned for its modern American cuisine, the Colorado Lamb Rack stands as a culinary masterpiece, offering a taste of local flair amidst an opulent dining setting.

  • Mawa's Kitchen: Mawa's Kitchen in Snowmass captures the spirit of international cuisine within a cozy ambiance. The Truffle Mac 'n Cheese, a delightful fusion of comfort and luxury, showcases Mawa's commitment to crafting dishes that transcend cultural boundaries.

  • White House Tavern: Housed in a charming 19th-century miner's cottage, White House Tavern creates a rustic yet intimate atmosphere. Specializing in elevated sandwiches and craft cocktails, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, with its perfect balance of crunch and tenderness, epitomizes the culinary excellence that defines this quaint establishment.

Need to Know

Embrace the full spectrum of winter activities beyond skiing and create lasting memories amid the picturesque landscapes of Aspen-Snowmass. Whether you're savoring culinary delights or embracing the luxurious comforts of your chosen accommodation, each establishment promises to enhance your journey in this winter wonderland. Safe travels and enjoy the multifaceted magic of Aspen-Snowmass!

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Grand Hyatt Vail: Your Gateway to Mountain Bliss

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Aspen.

Travel advisor Kayaking

Travel Advisor

Mackenzie Hunter

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