Aspen Snowmass in Colorado is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Aspen Snowmass, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Aspen Snowmass is a giant complex of four mountains located just outside the town of Aspen in west-central Colorado. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is only six miles away from Snowmass Village and is easily the most convenient airport, while the larger Denver International Airport is about four hours east of Snowmass. The quadruple peaks at Aspen Snowmass are the main draws of the resort. With one ticket, skiers and snowboarders can experience four different mountain terrains.
The four peaks at Aspen Snowmass are named Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. Each mountain has its own open and close date, but the season generally runs from late-November to mid-April at Aspen Snowmass. With a peak elevation of 12,510 feet, Snowmass is the tallest peak with the longest run of 5.3 miles. It also has the largest vertical rise in the nation, at 4,406 feet. Annual snowfall at Aspen Snowmass ranges from about 200 inches at Buttermilk to about 300 inches at Snowmass and is generally fine powder, although the resort also has snowmaking capabilities.
Trails And Lifts
Aspen Highlands has the largest number of trails at 118 and the highest percentage of expert runs at 36 percent, but the fewest amount of lifts at five. Snowmass offers 21 lifts of all kinds, from high-speed quads to carpets and gondolas, to service its 91 trails. Buttermilk is the easiest mountain, with no expert runs and a summit elevation of just 9,900 feet. Overall, the resort has five terrain parks, with Snowmass offering three and Buttermilk having two, including a 22-foot superpipe and an X Games slopestyle course.
Pricing for lift tickets at Aspen Snowmass can vary widely based on whether guests buy tickets in advance, if they buy a package and what time of year they intend to visit. A standard adult full-price lift ticket costs $206 for two days but can drop as low as $146 for a late season seven-day advance purchase. Ski and snowboard lessons are offered for $139 for an adult group walk-in rate or up to $3,100 for five full days of private lessons. Equipment rentals run the gamut from $39.95 for sport skis only to $64.95 for a premium package that includes a helmet, poles and name-brand skis such as Salomon or K2.