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Winter Adventure Excursions in Aspen

Winter Adventure Excursions in Aspen

Embark on a winter wonderland escapade with an array of activities that Aspen has to offer during the snowy season. From exhilarating outdoor pursuits to cozy indoor experiences, Aspen ensures a delightful winter vacation for every enthusiast. Explore the snowy landscape and partake in the following winter activities that promise to make your Aspen getaway truly magical.

Skiing and Snowboarding Bliss at Aspen/Snowmass

Discover a winter playground like no other with the diverse offerings of Aspen/Snowmass, where four unique resorts promise an unforgettable skiing and snowboarding experience.

Snowmass Resort: Where Variety Meets Vastness

Aspen’s largest resort, Snowmass, sprawls across over 3,000 skiable acres, making it a haven for all skill levels. Boasting 91 trails of varying difficulty and multiple terrain parks, it caters to both relative beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. Nestled in a former ranching community, the village of Snowmass provides an authentic backdrop, and the resort proudly claims that 95% of its lodging offers ski-in/out access. With nine on-mountain restaurants and convenient shopping and equipment rental options, Snowmass is a complete winter paradise, albeit a bit further from downtown Aspen – easily accessible via available shuttles.

Buttermilk Ski Resort: The Gateway to Skiing Pleasure

Buttermilk Ski Resort is Aspen’s most beginner-friendly haven, featuring approximately 400 acres of gentle terrain. Primarily adorned with green and blue trails, it welcomes learners with open arms. The resort goes beyond with two terrain parks and a 22-foot superpipe, offering excitement for every skill level. Hosting the annual Winter X Games, Buttermilk becomes a stage for the world’s best freestyle skiers and snowboarders. A restaurant crowns the summit, while more dining options, lodging, and shops await at the base.

Aspen Highlands Ski Resort: Local’s Favorite, Adventure Seeker’s Dream

Adored by Aspen’s locals, Aspen Highlands caters to skiers seeking varied and challenging terrain. While it offers some beginner-level runs, the resort shines with its advanced options, notably the renowned Highlands Bowl featuring double-black diamond runs. Dining options abound on and off the mountain, complemented by shopping and rental facilities at the resort’s village. Free shuttles seamlessly connect visitors between the resort and downtown Aspen.

Aspen Mountain Ski Resort: Proximity, Panoramas, and Prowess

Located just outside downtown Aspen, Aspen Mountain offers easy access and stunning views over 675 acres of terrain. Suited for intermediate and advanced skiers, the resort features predominantly black and double-black runs, providing thrilling challenges. On-mountain dining delights at Sundeck and Bonnie’s, and the village near the Silver Queen Gondola offers shopping opportunities. Aspen Mountain’s unique advantage lies in its proximity to downtown, ensuring visitors always find something exciting to do beyond the slopes.

Unforgettable Winter Extravaganzas

Experience the magic of winter with two epic festivals that define Aspen’s seasonal allure.

The 12 Days of Aspen: A December Delight

In the heart of December, Aspen comes alive with the enchanting “12 Days of Aspen,” an annual extravaganza that immerses visitors in a world of festive delights. From live music to exclusive fixed-menu restaurant events, captivating art exhibits, and holiday-themed shows, the 12 Days of Aspen offers a diverse array of activities. The grand finale unfolds with a spectacular fireworks show on Aspen Mountain, creating a memorable and joyous celebration of the holiday season.

Winter X Games: January’s Pinnacle of Action

January heralds the adrenaline-pumping spectacle of the Winter X Games, a globally renowned event hosted by ESPN. Set against the stunning backdrop of Buttermilk Mountain, this extravaganza showcases the prowess of elite skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers in thrilling competitions like slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air. With live music, autograph sessions, and exciting giveaways, the Winter X Games provide an electrifying outdoor experience, free and open to the public.

Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race: February’s Ultimate Challenge

For those seeking an extreme winter challenge, February brings the Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race. This demanding event spans a grueling 25-mile course across Aspen’s four ski resorts, ascending over 11,000 feet of vertical terrain. Teams of two brave competitors, categorized into male, female, and coed teams, push their limits in this intense race. For a slightly tamer adventure, visitors can tackle the Power of Two Course, covering the final two mountains of this exhilarating event. Embrace the power and thrill of winter with these epic festivals that showcase Aspen’s vibrant and adventurous spirit.

Luxurious Hot Springs Retreats

Indulge in the ultimate hot springs retreat with these enticing options that promise relaxation and rejuvenation amid the winter chill.

Glenwood Springs: A Haven of Thermal Bliss

For a lavish hot springs experience, Glenwood Springs beckons with a selection of resorts where visitors can bask in the warmth of rejuvenating pools, offering a perfect escape from the winter cold. Immerse yourself in the opulence of Yampah Spa & Salon, boasting vapor caves and a full-service spa. Alternatively, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, complete with lodging, a spa, and multiple hot spring pools, provides an all-encompassing relaxation haven. For a day retreat with a view, Iron Mountain Hot Springs boasts a collection of hot spring pools overlooking the scenic Colorado River.

Conundrum Hot Springs: Wilderness Serenity in Aspen’s Vicinity

For those seeking a more secluded and adventurous hot springs experience, Conundrum Hot Springs, located just south of Aspen, awaits. Accessible only by an 8.5-mile hike, this hidden gem sits at an elevation of around 11,000 feet. While reaching Conundrum during winter demands a degree of adventure, the reward is a series of picturesque pools maintaining a soothing temperature of approximately 100°F year-round.

Important Tips for Hot Springs Enthusiasts:

  • Overnight stays near Conundrum Hot Springs require a wilderness permit.
  • Given the distance, winter camping near the springs is likely necessary, so be prepared to pack in and pack out.

Elevate your winter experience with these natural hot springs, offering a perfect blend of luxury, adventure, and serenity.

T-Lazy 7 Snowmobile Tours

A fun and exciting way to explore Colorado’s beautiful winter landscapes, several companies provide snowmobile tours in the Snowmass/Aspen area. One option is T-Lazy-7, which has tours to a few different locations in the area including the Maroon Bells wilderness and Independence Pass.T-Lazy-7 even offers snowmobile lunch tours that include spectacular views through the White River National Forest, as well as Wagyu beef cheeseburgers. For visitors looking for an individual experience, they also provide private tours bookable by phone.

Aspen Cross Country Center

A great way to stay in shape and see Aspen’s stunning surroundings, cross-country skiing on the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System is another popular winter activity. Groomed trails are available at some places around town.

A good place to start is at the Aspen Cross Country Center, which is home to guided tours and a relaxing lounge serving hot drinks and snacks. Additionally, beginners can book lessons at the center’s ski school, and equipment can be purchased or rented at the on-site retail shop.

Ice Skating

For visitors traveling with children, ice skating is a great option for visitors of all ages. There are a few different rinks to choose from, including one at the center of the Snowmass Base Village Plaza. Perfect for guests staying at one of the nearby hotels, this rink has free skate rentals and extended hours.

On snowy days, retreat to the indoor rink at the Aspen Ice Garden for drop-in hockey, skating lessons, and open skate times. Other options include the outdoor Silver Circle Ice Rink and the indoor Lewis Ice Arena.

Krabloonik Dogsled Rides

A memorable and exciting experience, Krabloonik Dogsled Rides offers visitors the chance to experience the pristine wilderness in the Snowmass/Aspen area. Each sled is guided by a musher and pulled by 8-10 Alaskan Husky sled dogs. Rides last for approximately 45 minutes to one hour, and visitors should be sure to arrive about 15 minutes early.

Each sled can hold up to two adults and one child.

Breathtaker Alpine Coaster

Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, Snowmass. Photo by: gosnowmass.com
Located next to the Elk Camp Restaurant at the Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort, the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster is the perfect winter activity for adventurous visitors of all ages. With a track over a mile in length that reaches speeds of up to 28 mph, this is a fun and exciting way to take in the sights.

Each car on the coaster holds two guests. Drivers must be at least 54 inches tall, and passengers must be at least 38 inches tall. Each ride takes about 7 to 9 minutes to complete, and visitors can control the speed of their car with onboard brake levers. Reservations are required, and they can be made online or at the ticket office.

Silver Queen Gondola

Traveling 2.5 miles from downtown, the Silver Queen Gondola takes visitors on a beautiful ride to the top of Aspen Mountain at over 11,000 feet. Used by skiers and non-skiers alike, the top of the mountain features trails, 360-degree views, and Sundeck, an on-mountain restaurant serving soups, pizzas, salads, and more.

For visitors looking to take a ride on the gondola without skiing, purchase a Foot Pass ticket at the Aspen Mountain Ticket Office.

Aspen Carriage & Sleigh

Aspen Carriage & Sleigh offers visitors the unique chance to take a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh. Depending on each visitor’s budget and individual preferences, both private and public rides are available. Private sleigh rides last about 45 minutes, and they include a private ride, hot chocolate, and plenty of photo opportunities. Public rides last for 15 to 20 minutes.

In addition to sleigh rides, winter carriage rides through town are also offered. Visitors can book carriages by the hour for a private ride, and they can accommodate up to 6 people. Public carriage rides through town are also sometimes available, but there’s limited availability in the winter months.

Snowmass Tubing Hill

With multiple lift-served lanes opened daily during ski season, the Snowmass Tubing Hill is another great winter activity in the area. Tubers must be at least 38” to ride. Only one person is allowed in each tube, but two people can ride in tandem tubes.Tickets include unlimited tubing for one day. For visitors planning on tubing and riding the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, consider purchasing the Coaster + Tubing Combo ticket, which includes one full day of tubing, three rides on the coaster, and gondola access.

These have been some of the best ways to enjoy Aspen during the winter. Have a great time on your Roaring Fork Valley vacation.

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