Colorado Resort Adventure Guide



Aspen is located 220 miles west of Denver via I-70 and Hwy. 82, served by a local airport and a good road from Interstate 70 from Glenwood Springs.

There is something magical about Aspen...its Victorian architecture, distinctive shops, four-star restaurants, and year-round adventures.

Aspen is America's most glamorous skiing location and also one of the world's best for ski conditions. Four different mountains offer excellent choices for all ability levels. Come ski Aspen Mountain (Ajax), Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass.

Snowcat skiing is available on the backside of Aspen mountain. Nordic skiing is extensive, with the largest maintained tracks in the United States.

Aspen Mountain - Known for steeps, big bumps and the Silver Queen Gondola which rises straight up out of the streets of Aspen.

Season: November through April 14
Base elevation: 7,945 ft./2,422 m.
Summit elevation: 11,212 ft./3,417 m.
Vertical rise: 3,267 ft./996 m.
Terrain: 673 acres/270 hectares
Number of trails: 76
Miles/km of trails: 64 miles/103 km
Longest run: 3 miles/4.8 km
Trails: easiest 0%, more difficult 35%, most difficult 35%, expert 30%
Annual snowfall: 300 inches/762 cm
Snowmaking: 210 acres/84 hectares

Lifts: 8 Total: 6 primary - 1 gondola (the Silver Queen Gondola goes from base to summit in 14 minutes), 1 high-speed quad chair, 1 high-speed double chair, 1 quad chair, 2 double chairs; 2 secondary, 1 quad (Little Nell), 1 double (Bell Mountain).

Terrain: 673 acres with 76 trails; 35% intermediate, 35% advanced, 30% expert.
Vertical Rise: 3,267 feet.
Lift capacity: 10,755 riders/hour
Parks and Pipes: Special Spring Jam terrain park on Little Nell
Uncrowded slopes: On average, 3 people per acre/9 people per hectare

Best known for: Aspen Mountain, the flagship mountain of the Aspen/Snowmass resort complex, offers excellent intermediate to expert terrain that includes steep and bump runs.

Best-kept secret: Groomed, intermediate cruising runs.

What’s new: Aspen Mountain permanently opened to snowboarders on April 1, 2001.

Contact: 877-687-1670
Snow Report: 888-ASPENSNO.

Aspen Highlands - is known for excellent tree skiing, several double-black freefalls, and unusually well groomed slopes. There's a two-word reason why the hardcore locals love this mountain...Highland Bowl. It's a big-mountain experience unrivaled in the state.

Season: December through April 17
Base elevation: 8,040 ft./2,451 m.
Summit elevation: 11,675 ft./3,559 m.
Vertical rise: 3,635 ft./1,108 m.
Terrain: 720 acres/280 hectares
Number of trails: 115, 20% beginner, 33% intermediae, 17% advanced, 30% expert.
Miles/km of trails: 65 miles/105 km
Longest run: 3.5 miles/5.6 km
Trails: easiest 20%, more difficult 33%, most difficult 17%, expert 30%.
Annual snowfall: 300 inches/762 cm
Snowmaking: 110 acres/44 hectares
Lifts: 4 total - 3 high-speed quad chairs, 1 triple chair
Lift capacity: 5,400 riders/hour

Uncrowded slopes: On average, 2 people per acre/5 people per hectare.

Best known for: Locals’ favorite mountain for expert and adventure terrain

Best-kept secret: Terrain options appropriate for any level, although famed for black and double-black-diamond terrain there are actually more green and blue runs.

What’s new: Highland Bowl, a short hike from the top of the Loge Peak lift, features expanded expert terrain. The new Highlands Base Village will feature expanded retail, lodging, and food and beverage operations, including the Ritz Carlton Club and Willow Creek restaurant.

Contact: General Information, 800-262-7736 or 970-925-1940.


Buttermilk: Home of the 2002 and 2003 ESPN Winter X Games. Superpipe and top-to-bottom Crazy T'rain park, a jibbers paradise. However, there are rolling slopes perfect for learning a new sport or a new trick. It is the smallest mountain in Aspen, but it has fine skiing and a bowl that many people don't know about.

Season: December through April 7
Base elevation: 7,870 ft./2,399 m.
Summit elevation: 9,900 ft./3,018 m.
Vertical rise: 2,030 ft./619 m.
Terrain: 420 acres/168 hectares
Number of trails: 42, 35% beginner, 39% intermediate, 26% advanced
Miles/km of trails: 21 miles/34 km
Longest run: 3 miles/4.8 km
Trails: easiest 35%, more difficult 39%, most difficult 26%, expert 0%.
Annual snowfall: 200 inches/508 cm
Snowmaking: 108 acres/43.2 hectares
Lifts: 7 total - 1 high-speed quad chair, 5 double chairs, 1 handle tow
Lift capacity: 7,500 riders/hour

Parks and Pipes: 1 halfpipe, 2-mile long terrain park, Boardercross course

Uncrowded slopes: On average, 3.7 people per acre/8 people per hectare

Best known for: Being one of the best learning/teaching mountains in the world

Best-kept secret: Powder stashes on black-diamond runs and gladed trails days after a storm; terrain park and halfpipe for advanced snowboarders plus a smaller teaching park for those just learning.

Contact: 800-525-6200

Snowmass - Endless cruisers, inbounds backcountry, parks, pipes, yee-haw steeps. Not to mention the longest lift-served vertical rise in the U.S!

Season: November through April 14
Base elevation: 8,104 ft./2,473 m.
Summit elevation: 12,510 ft./3,813 m.
Vertical rise: 4,406 ft./1,343 m.
Terrain: 3,010 acres/1,218 hectares
Number of trails: 84
Miles/km of trails: 137 miles/220 km
Longest run: 5.05 miles/8.2 km
Trails: easiest 7%, more difficult 55%, most difficult 18%, expert20%.
Annual snowfall: 300 inches/762 cm
Snowmaking: 180 acres/73 hectares

Lifts: 20 Total: 18 primary; 7 high-speed quad chairs, 5 double chairs, 2 triple chairs, 2 platter pulls, 2 magic carpets; 2 secondary, 1 double (Naked Lady), 1 platter pull (Cirque).

Lift capacity: 27,978 riders/hour

Pipes and Parks: 1 halfpipe and 3 terrain parks.

Uncrowded slopes: On average 2 people per acre/5 people per hectare.

Best known for: A family-friendly area with long, groomed cruising runs.

Best-kept secret: Two Creeks base area (three miles east of Village Mall) houses a lift ticket office and rental shop, and offers easy, uncrowded access to the mountain. Snowmass is a snowboarders’ haven with a Super Dragon halfpipe and acres of terrain-park riding.

Contact: 800-SNOWMASS (766-9627)