Uncover The Best Reasons to Visit Aspen: The Top Things To Do During Your Stay

Woman skiing downhill through snow in Aspen Snowmass

Discover the allure of Aspen with its unparalleled skiing and snowboarding experiences across four magnificent mountains. Aspen Snowmass promises boundless powder turns, tree runs, and groomed slopes, ensuring an unforgettable winter getaway. But Aspen offers more than just skiing; explore the town's luxury boutiques, art galleries, and world-class dining scene. With efficient public transport and a plethora of winter activities, Aspen caters to every taste and interest, making it the ultimate destination for adventure seekers and relaxation enthusiasts alike. Plan your Aspen adventure today and immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement of this iconic mountain town.

Ski and Snowboard: Powder Turns & Tree Runs To Boundless Groomers

Experience the monumental "Power of Four" at Aspen / Snowmass and experience world-class Skiing and luxury dining.  

Consistently ranked among the top Skiing and snowboarding resorts in the United States, the four Aspen Snowmass ski areas, Aspen Mountain, Snowmass Village, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk, offer epic Skiing, first-class resort services and majestic views you won't find in any other resort.

Transport: Plenty Of Ways To Travel 

Public transport in our little mountain town is second to none. While most resorts and lodging options offer phenomenal concierge services and have great shuttle options, our local bus network provides an excellent service to all four mountains. There are free bus options from Park Station, direct to each hill. All bus services from Aspen to Snowmass and everywhere in between are free. Each bus has plenty of secure ski storage, and there are departures from all stops every half hour!

On top of this, the Aspen Downtowner offers free shuttle rides for any visitor. As the name suggests, this service is only available in downtown Aspen. Nevertheless, this is a reliable and quick option to go anywhere in town, including the base of Aspen Mountain. 

Cross-Country Skiing: Gliding Through The Scenery 

Cross-country skiing is an excellent choice if you're looking for alternatives to alpine winter recreation activities and still desire to catch some splendid views of the Valley. The trails, known affectionately as "Aspen's fifth mountain," offer a wide variety of terrain and difficulty, so there is something for all ages and abilities. The Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council maintains over 60 miles of free cross-country skiing trails. 

Take In Natural Beauty: Miles Of Trails To Wonder 

Aspen Snowmass offers unlimited walking trials to find natural beauty in our Valley. Possibly a snowcat ride, a carriage ride through town, or a horse-drawn sleigh ride in spectacular scenery is more fitting; Aspen offers plenty of options for all ages and reservation times. Most popular and main biking trails & roads are cleared of snow in the Winter if you want to get out and bike around! 

Hut Trips: Explore The History Of The Town & 10th Mountain Division Huts

In general, Aspen and Colorado benefit from an extensive hut system. These huts are scattered throughout the backcountry in remote areas. The fact that they are off the beaten track makes for a great excursion or backcountry adventure. Mountain huts offer a great escape. Almost every house will require a snowshoe or ski. The backcountry Huts are bookable online and provide guests with an experience. Imagine you, your family, and your friends in a cozy cabin away from technology and noise—just good company in a dreamy mountain escape. Every hut is armed with fireplaces, a kitchen, and comfortable living and sleeping areas. To plan your next adventure in the backcountry, visit 10th Mountain Division Huts, which provide bookable huts for different-sized parties and experiences. Regarding Aspen winter activities, it doesn't get much better than a hut trip!

Dining & Shopping: Find The Best Luxury Restaurants 

There are endless options from downtown to on-mountain dining, with worldwide cuisine available on every street. Aspen is famed for phenomenal dining experiences and world-renowned retail. Here's a luxury blog post about the options in town, from noteworthy gems to local favorites and everything in between. Luxury brands and high-class boutique stores also love to call Aspen and Snowmass home.

Further downthis blog, we explore what's new in Aspen this year!

Snowbiking: Slip and Slide Down The Mountain 

First-Time/ Beginner Skiers and Riders:

For first-time skiers and riders, you can learn to safely and quickly guide down the ski slopes. Now, experience the iconic Aspen Snowmass ski culture, take in the astonishing sights of the Valley, and learn a whole new sport in just a few hours!

Experienced Riders and Skiers:

If you're looking to challenge yourself to learn a new sport on the slopes, Snowbiking can be known in just a few turns! Combat the slopes, weave through the trees, and cruise the groomers with a new alpine experience.

Snowmobile: Navigate A Complete Journey Through The Valley 

Unforgettable adventure activities like guided snowmobile tours are great for exploring more of Aspen's beauty. Tours led by knowledgeable and experienced guides make Snowmobiling safe for all ages and abilities. With tour options through the famous Maroon Bells, Snowmass backcountry, or exquisite lunch tours- there are options for the whole family to enjoy! See our recommended terms with T-Lazy 7:

Gondola Rides: Expand Your Horizons 

What's more fantastic than sightseeing from the Gondolas at Aspen and Snowmass mountains? The gondola ride is a captivating experience for the non-skier and lets you witness the Aspen Mountain's beauty that skiers and snowboarders do. There is outdoor seating to enjoy the views at Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain, with mountain-top restaurants. Stroll the various trails atop Aspen Mountain to take in the scenic views. The ride takes about 15 minutes, and tickets can be purchased from Aspen Snowmass.

Aspen gondola in early fall facing the town of Aspen

Snowcat Rides: Find New Views & Climb Peaks 

Be captivated by breathtaking views and a carefree snowcat journey to Aspen Highlands' Cloud Nine or Snowmass' Lynn Britt Cabin. The restaurants are highly well-known and offer incredible atmospheres for an unforgettable dining experience. Cloud Nine is famous for its daily Veuve Clicquot parties and brings people from all walks of life to the party. Lynn Britt is a cozy Western-themed cabin best suited for a family-friendly option or casual dining experience on the mountain. Aspen Highlands Snowcat rides allow all ages and abilities, even non-skiers, to enjoy these mountain-top adventures on many infamous occasions. Visit both Snowcat dinner tours here.

Snow Shoeing: Snow-Covered Trail Exploration

Snowshoeing is an outdoor fitness activity that doesn't involve getting on skis!! Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain deliver guided snowshoeing tours, focusing on Aspen's history and the Rocky Mountain ecology. Snowshoeing follows on gentle terrain, suitable for all abilities through guided tours. Alternatively, Pine Creek Cookhouse restaurant offers a lavish snowshoeing and mountain dining experience. If you are looking for a great way to immerse in Aspen's gorgeous scenery and a fun option for all, Snowshoeing is perfect for you! For tickets, see here.

Sleigh Rides: Casual Scenic Cruise Through Nature

Horse-drawn sleigh and carriage rides through Aspen are for all ages and events. Cruise through snow-covered Downtown Aspen or ranch; the carriage and sleigh rides grant you a unique touch to your mountain vacation. The Pine Creek Cookhouse also offers sleigh-drawn rides to and from their luxury restaurant in the Winter months. From private and public options, a sleigh and carriage ride grants an unforgettable look into our Winter Paradise.

Alpine Rollercoaster in Snowmass: Thrill-Seek Like Never Before 

Snowmass Mountain provides an alpine coaster and snow tubing at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola. These activities are thrilling and a fun change from Skiing for individuals at least 38" tall. The Snowmass Alpine Coaster flies through the trees atop Snowmass Mountain and gifts incredible views of the National Forest. Tubing is also a ski-resort favorite for locals and visitors for adults & kids to enjoy at Snowmass. Take a look at ticket options for the alpine coaster and tubing. 

women behind boy going down alpine coaster at Snowmass

Tubing/Sledding: Fun For The Entire Family 

Finding activities the whole family will enjoy while in Aspen can be challenging, but Sledding around Aspen and Snowmass is guaranteed success. You can reach high speeds or casual slopes, but safety is a top priority because it can be dangerous when the hills are icy. You can find hundreds of hills to enjoy sledding, but a few local favorites are "Whoa Nelly," "Meadows," and "Snowmass Town Park." Nelly is just by The Aspen Recreation Center and sponsors the steepest, safest, and most popular sledding hill for locals.  

S'mores By The Campfire Daily At Snowmass: Cozy Up By The Fire & Enjoy The Views

Snowmass is the biggest of our four mountains, and hence, it has everything from complete beginner slopes to off-piste style terrain. Exploring can be overwhelming, but here's how to break down your perfect. Begin your day at the Village Express with easy groomed runs on Moonshine and Banzai Ridge. Recharge with some burritos at Fuel or Sam's, which offers excellent Italian food. After you've filled up, follow the signs across the mountain until you ultimately make it to the Elk Camp side. It will take some time and a few different lifts, but it's the most intimate way to explore Snowmass Mountain.

The exhilarating Long Shot Trail will round off your day. One continuous blue route down to the Two Creeks lift is only a short climb from the Elk Camp chairlift. Technical tree trails and bumpy portions are abundant. After this, you'll deserve a drink, so head to Venga Venga for some après-ski fun. Watch out for the free s'mores stations at the base village as well.

Ice Skating Under The Lights: Skate Amongst The Stars  

This is one of our favorite things to do in Aspen besides Skiing! Aspen and Snowmass boast indoor and outdoor skating rinks during the Winter season. Walking distance from the Aspen Mountain Gondola is an outdoor skating rink next to the 'CP Burger restaurant. For indoor skating, visit the Aspen Ice Garden or Aspen Recreation Center. Steps from the Elk Camp Gondola, Snowmass Base Village offers free ice skating outside the Limelight Hotel.

Uphill Skiing or "Skinning": Conquer New Heights  

Skinning, as it's often called, has quickly become one of Aspen's favorite pastimes. Uphill Skiing used to be a lesser-known activity among skiers, but now, in recent times, all levels of skiers can experience it. Uphill Skiing involves using a specific set of skis and binding combined with a group of skins on the bottom, which allow you to hike uphill with your skis on. Skinning is a real workout and makes the run down even more rewarding, championing the remembrance, "earn your turns." To properly Uphill ski on Aspen's four mountains, a season pass or a specifically uphill ski pass, which costs $69 for the season, is required. For complete information on how to get started with uphill Skiing in Aspen, visit this comprehensive guide to uphill Skiing in Aspen.   

Go Gallery Hopping: Fine Art & Boutiques  

Aspen has a bustling local art scene and community. There are numerous art galleries, ranging from local boutique displays to pop-ups from famous artists from all over the globe. The Aspen Art Museum offers exhibits from around the world in an exceptional setup in the heart of downtown Aspen. There are festivals and events hosted year-round. Beautiful street art displays can be found on the sides of red brick buildings. Our little town delivers when it comes to art, and you can stroll through many dense, vibrant areas. Plan your gallery-hopping days by reading through this complete guide on Aspen's art scene.

Book A Trip To The Bells: Sore To Whole New Wonders At Maroon Bells, 

When standing under the powerful Maroon Bells, it makes sense why it is the most photographed mountain peak in the US any time of year. You can take the road by car or bus in the summer. It becomes less accessible in the Winter, but you still can visit. The road is passable by snow bike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, hike, or snowmobile the 12.4 miles round-trip. The extra efforts to the bells in the Winter are worth it to see the stunning panoramas you'll witness.  

maroon bells covered in snow in fall 

Join the Party: Make Some Friends & Memories 

As you may expect from a ski town, Aspen's party scene has at least a party on the slopes daily. The aprés ski scene matches the fantastic ski runs. The bars & restaurants are located at the base of every mountain, offering a unique setting worth attending. You won't have to look far among the numerous clubs in town to find a DJ and a crowd, but our preferred locations are Venga Venga in Snowmass and Ajax Tavern at the foot of Aspen Mountain. If you want to get wild, spend an afternoon at Cloud 9 Bistro on Highlands Mountain. Champagne showers and large parties are prominent features. You won't have to ski, so don't worry. You can return a snowcat to the base when the antics are done!  

Aspen Winter Activities & Events: Endless Events The Whole Family Will Love

 X Games

Skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers compete for gold at the Winter X Games in Aspen, the highest extreme winter sports competition level. The Winter X Games, which will be held in Buttermilk for the 22nd year running and include some of the top winter athletes in the world, will return.

Wintersköl

Wintersköl, one of Aspen's oldest annual festivals, will honor the alpine way of life from January 12 through January 15, 2023. The town hosts on-mountain activities, concerts, family events, fashion presentations, and ice sculpture competitions during the four-day festival. A fireworks show and bonfire cap off the weekend. 

AUDI Power of 4

It's a unique endurance contest. In this grueling race, teams push themselves over 24 miles and 10,000 vertical feet. Aspen's four mountains must be ascended and skied down as swiftly as possible in this race. 

NASTAR Nationals

Every year in Aspen, the nation's fastest qualifiers compete for gold in the national ski racing championships. The fastest skiers in the country will be competing this weekend, making it a fantastic time to go outside and watch. 

Aspen Shortsfest

Aspen Shortsfest is one of North America's top short film festivals and an Oscar®-qualifying event. You will be able to see advanced screenings of some of the top short films in North America in April. An electrifying and diverse week like Shortsfest always marks the end of the winter season.

Gay Ski Week

Every January, Aspen hosts the largest LGBTQ+ winter festival, with a jam-packed calendar of events on and off the Aspen Snowmass mountains. This week is jam-packed with festivities and activities that invigorate the social scene.

Aspen Ski World Cup

The town exploits the final days of each mountain as an excuse to hold some expensive festivities as the Aspen winter concludes each year. Wild parties typically hosted at the base of each hill as it closes on its designated dates are not to be missed.

Bud Light Mountain Challenge

The Bud Light Mountain Challenge offers entertaining winter competitions for those who consider themselves athletes. This free week of activities is centered on some friendly rivalry on the slopes, focusing on enjoyment.

Closing days

Every year, when the Winter in Aspen draws close, the community celebrates by throwing lavish parties during each season's final days. Wild parties are not to be missed when each mountain closes on its designated dates; they are often hosted at the base of each peak.

Want More Aspen Life?

There are so many romantic options to explore in Aspen! Not to mention the endless activities and events! Find your special event or try a new experience. Aspen Life is here to guide you through every step of the way. If you require accommodation, look at some of our exclusive featured properties! To explore Aspen Life more, check out our Blog, About Aspen, and Tips for Visitors pages!

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