Overview of Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort
When you ski Aspen you’re riding one of the world’s most famous ski resorts, as it has been for many years now. Often referenced alongside European resorts like St Moritz, there are parallels besides the great skiing and the presence of the rich and famous. Both resorts were pioneers of hydro-electricity in the nineteenth century for example.
Aspen is now promoted jointly with sister resort Snowmass, about 15 minutes drive away.
While Aspen has a long history, first with the local Ute Native American tribe and then as a major silver mining centre of the nineteenth century (it supplied a 16th of the world’s silver in the 1890s and the biggest ever single find of silver weighing in at 1,840 pounds was found here), Snowmass is a much more modern affair, created especially for skiing, and the recent beneficiary of a two billion dollar make over that has brought all the latest ideas and 21st century design to resort and slopes.
Snowmass is also the largest single ski area of Aspen’s “power of four” separate ski areas, all included on the one lift pass. It is the second largest single ski area in the US covering more than 3,000 acres, it also has the biggest lift-served vertical in the US. In total the four ski areas add up to more than 5,000 acres – one of the five largest in North America.
The three other ski areas are Aspen Mountain itself, right next to the resort and with an access gondola that starts right in the heart of town, and now officially known by its nickname, Ajax; then there is Buttermilk on the outskirts of town close to the airport and on the way to Snowmass. This has been redesigned as a giant terrain park and has been home to the Winter X Games for more than a decade. The final area is Aspen Highlands, where a new resort base is developing, known for its Highland Bowl hike and ski area, described by the resort as, “an inbounds back country experience.” The ski areas grew up independent through the last century but have now been under the ownership of one company for the best part of two decades. Each resort has a wide range of accommodation that will suit every budget and taste.
But at least half of the Aspen Snowmass experience is about the resorts as much as the mountain. The City of Aspen is famous not just for its excess with private aircraft stacked up at its airport and some of the world’s most expensive multi-million dollar holiday homes; five star hotels but also for the cast array of shops, restaurants and off-slope activities available to guests at all budget levels. Despite all of fancy aspects of Aspen, it is still possible to organise a cheaper holiday here, for example you could cook in a self-catered condo. Start by looking at our Aspen deals where you will find excellent prices and availability.