Aspen is very unique as a North American resort as it’s made up of a Tyroian network of 4 distinct ski resorts including Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. Each resort is unique in its terrain, views, atmosphere, and size, but all share the same “Champagne Powder” that Aspen has become famous. You can spend an entire week or winter exploring all the runs and aspects of each resort and be completely satisfied, and we also recommend sampling a bit of each resort while visiting.
Aspen Mountain also known as “Ajax” is the most iconic resort in the group as it towers over the glitzy downtown of Aspen. There’s a special feeling of walking in your ski boots down on Cooper Street as you walk to the lifts – and it really makes you feel like a local hanging around in a ski town. This mountain generally caters to Intermediate through expert level skiers and offers perfectly groomed runs, tree skiing through the aspens, steep bump runs, and a few hidden gems tucked in the corners.
Aspen Highlands is geared for those thrill seekers looking to test their skills on the steep and deep bowls and tree runs. The Highland Bowl is wide open, steep and often the most cherished run among the 4 mountains. Thrill seekers will also be astonished by the amazing steep terrain at Temerity.
Snowmass is a resort for everyone from learn to ski beginners through advanced and expert skiers. Intermediate skiers will love Snowmass as it offers some of the broadest range, and interesting variety of groomed runs that span the entire mountain. There is a host of ski-in / ski-out lodging in the Snowmass Village and may travelers, especially families will enjoy the more laid back atmosphere.
Buttermilk is great for kids, and learn to ski beginners. The runs are generally wide open, moderate pitch, and offers skiers and boarders the ability to progress quickly. The resort is much less intimidating and approachable compared to the larger and steeper mountains in the collection.
Although Aspen is best known a playground for the rich and famous, the skiing is among the best you will find in North America. For me, the big stand out for Aspen is the famous Champagne Powder which is as silky smooth as you will find anywhere on the planet. If it snows just a few inches or more than a foot, you get the sense that you’re invincible. Unlike the snow in other resorts, your skis never become entangled in the deep snow, and the feather light, granular snow allows you to turn your skis with ease.