Snowboarding in Aspen: Surfing Through The Mountains

Man Snowboarding down Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colorado

Snowboarding in Aspen has been a favorite for locals and visitors to the valley alike for years certifying snowboarding as one of the most popular winter activities for all ages. With four incredible mountain resorts to enjoy is obvious why so many people love to snowboard.

Whether it's your first time on the board or you are an expert rider looking for a local's guide, here are some options to explore while enjoying Aspen Snowmass.

Snowboarding Aspen Snowmass For Beginners: How To Get Your First Turns

Thousands worldwide come to Aspen to enjoy Snowmass's fresh powder and endless turns. So, what makes snowboarding so different from skiing, and will you need an instructor before you're ready to make carves up there?

Slashing turns high up or mastering your park skills, snowboarding is a rewarding challenge for all ages and physical abilities. Knowing your skill level, assessing your gear, and knowing where to shred will give you the best snowboarding experience in Aspen!

Beginner Snowboarding Introductions: Where to Start Your Snowboard Journey

Snowboarding requires virtually the same gear as skis, but the board, binding, and boots separate skiing from snowboarding. You will be in a fixed position sideways, like a surfboard or skateboard. Which way you face will be determined by the dominant hand and the direction you feel most comfortable facing.

Snowboarding offers a more relaxed feel to getting down the mountain, as it requires; you can use your edges to stick to it. The boots and bindings lock you in place so you won't lose your board if you fall, but catching an edge is more prominent on snowboards starting for beginners. You can find local equipment rental shops at the base of Buttermilk, Highlands, Snowmass, and Aspen, with professional technicians ready to help you!

What do You need to Know Before Going Snowboarding In Aspen? Feeling Comfortable; Over Cold

It is commonly said that snowboarding has historically been harder to learn and easier to master. This opinion is shared by most snowboard and ski instructors, but snowboarding can be comprehended quite quickly depending on prior skill level on a board and athletic ability. Snowboarding also requires the correct gear fit to achieve the best comfort on the mountains.

How does Aspen benefit All Levels of Snowboarders?

Every snowboarder can find the best turns between the four incredible resorts, Aspen Mountain, Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass Mountain. Depending on the day and snow coverage, snowboarding in the powder is where this sport shines. However, if you are uncomfortable with high alpine snowboarding, beginner mountains such as Buttermilk are where you can hone your skills.

If you are looking for more of a thrill-seeking experience, you are welcome to enjoy the various terrain parks Buttermilk and Snowmass offer. Here, you can fly off jumps, slide across rails and boxes, and navigate down technical maneuvers. Different lessons for all levels can be found with skilled instructors.

Beginner Snowboard Runs: Learn to Carve the Bunny Hills 

Adults learning to snowboard for the first time will appreciate the Snowmass Beginner's Magic™ three-day program. The program is designed to make you feel confident throughout the learning experience. We recommend taking a class in Snowmass for beginners who want to experience the scenery of the Rocky Mountains. They hold the adult programs right at the peak of Elk Camp Gondola.

There is also a beginner area at Elk Camp Gondola, The Meadows. It boasts gentle slopes, a magic carpet (a conveyor-style belt for skiers up the bunny hill), and a beginner-friendly chairlift. We know they look intimidating, but we promise they're fun and part of the experience.

Terrain Parks: Freeride Outside The Ordinary

If defying gravity sounds like the best way to get down the mountain terrain, parks are a great option!

The terrain parks offer various jumps, rails, and technical boxes to enjoy while going through West Buttermilk on beginner terrain such as Red's Rover. For riders looking for a more specialized experience of the terrain parks, Snowmass offers massive kicker jumps, a high wall half pipe, and beginner parks from the Cabin run to the base of Snowmass. There are intermediate terrain parks to jump and slide on all day between the two mountains.  

Whether you are just starting off to mater tricks and grabs on your board or ready to test your skills, Buttermilk and Snowmass offer a holistic experience like no other. Youth culture is frequent around the terrain park, but it doesn't mean it is just for them! Feel free to test your skills, but be safe! 

High Alpine Boarding: Unmissable Ajax/ Aspen Highlands

If you're in the mood for sliding past trees and slashing powder on snowy days, well Aspen Mountain and Highlands will be the place for you. Getting there early will ensure you get quality runs and more time to enjoy the fresh snow while it's still around. In the peak season, the mountain will be full of skiers and snowboarders wanting their lines. Be sure to mind the rocks and cliffs when venturing out into the tree runs, as they can be dense with trees, dark, and challenging to maneuver.

If you want to challenge yourself, the Highlands Bowl is a 700-foot elevation boot trek for about 35-50 minutes, depending on athletic ability. Once at the top of a steep descent into Deep Temerity, you'll take the lift out of the valley. Make sure not to go beyond the catwalk. Water is also highly recommended for ascending the bowl as the climb is physically straining. The runs just before the climb up the bowl, such as Hyde Park and Mushroom, provide a similar experience without the hike but require a high level of technical ability to maneuver safely down. The weather there is plenty of sunshine.

How to Get Here: By Air, Car, and Shuttle

Because it's close to four airports, Aspen is very accessible. If you're flying in, take your pick from:

  • Aspen-Pitkin County Airport

  • Eagle County Airport

  • Grand Junction Regional Airport

  • Denver International Airport

Flying into the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is the most direct way to get here. It is usually the most expensive option, but you won't have to arrange a shuttle service or rental car.

If you are flying internationally and coming in via Denver International Airport, you can use a private shuttle service or public bus to get you where you need to go.

Man going off jump on Aspen Mountain next to gondola in Aspen, Colorado

Accommodations and Ski Packages: Where to Stay and Find All-Inclusive Deals

If you're looking for a genuine experience, you should find ski resorts in Aspen Snowmass or a hotel that offers ski-in/ski-out services. This means you can step out the door, and off you go. While there are plenty of great offers on hotels, resorts, or chalets in Aspen, most are on the mountain or the edge of town, which can make trips a little longer.

Your choice will come down to your budget, and plenty of options exist. Just because the walk is a bit longer doesn't mean you can't enjoy the spectacular views while out and about! Aspen also offers a world-class transportation system that goes throughout the valley.

For five-star resorts, look at the following:

  • Viceroy Snowmass

  • Hotel Jerome

  • The St. Regis Aspen Resort

  • The Little Nell

Resorts that are easier on the budget:

  • The Inn at Aspen

  • The Snow Queen Lodge

  • St. Moritz Lodge

  • The Eagle River Lodge

  • Mountain Chalet Spa

For information about all-inclusive vacation packages, contact the Aspen Skiing Company. These packages include:

  • Lodging

  • Airfare

  • Ground Transportation

  • Lift Tickets

  • Activity Tickets

  • Equipment Rentals

  • Lessons

  • and more.

No matter where you stay, ensure you're not too far from the action. Hoisting all that gear home after a long day is a big ask, and you want to make sure you have plenty of energy left to hit the town and enjoy the nightlife. Being farther up the Roaring Fork Valley will provide more accessible travel. 

Where to Snowboard in Aspen? Come One, Come All

The ski resort areas in and around Aspen offer elite snowboarding for all ages and skill levels. For 19 years, snowboarders have been welcome to enjoy Aspen Mountain, prompting the snowboard community to flourish in Aspen Snowmass. Since then, Aspen has provided snowboarders with high-class, quality, and exciting runs across the four resorts. Aspen Mountain has limited intermediate terrain, so be mindful when gliding through the trees and looking for powder stashes.  

Each mountain in Aspen Snowmass is open to snowboarders, and grants access to all the runs skiers have access to. From the terrain parks to the high alpine tree skiing, snowboarders are welcome and encouraged to explore what each mountain offers.

Man carving down face of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colorado

Want More Aspen Life? Where the Journeys Begin

If snowboarding in Aspen isn't your forte, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in Aspen during the winter season! There's indoor and outdoor ice skating, uphill skiing, and many other things to do. If you still want to get out and enjoy the mountain, the coaster up on Snowmass is where you can thrill seek. If you want a relaxing lunch, you can ride the gondola and have lunch on the Sundeck in the Summer or Winter. 

There's so much to do, and Aspen Life is your one-stop shop for all things Aspen. Have any questions? Get in touch and let our experts help you fall in love with Aspen Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley!

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