Overview of Aspen Mountain, Colorado
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Aspen is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world, for its four ski mountains, its classic Colorado ski town, lively après-ski, upscale ski hotels, gorgeous scenery, and great ski events. Celebrities come here to party and be seen, but skiers know there’s a ton of terrain to ski, 5,500 acres combined at Aspen (Ajax), Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk which are separate but all included on one lift ticket. Aspen itself is a Top 10 Western Ski Town for its skiing and its aprčs ski, lodging, shopping, sights and festivals. Aspen has acquired Intrawest ski resorts Steamboat, Winter Park, Stratton and Tremblant now too.
Aspen's main mountain emanating from town is nicknamed Ajax by the locals. Aspen Mountain is served by a beautiful Silver Queen gondola that serves Aspen’s full 3,267’ vertical in a swift 8 minutes. Aspen has classic ski trails, this is the original ski area that opened in 1946, with terrific views as you descend into town. A great morning run for First Tracks, a free service to board the Gondi at 8:15 ahead of the public - but you must sign up in advance, is Copper to Little Nell. It's invigorating skiing Aspen top to bottom – no stopping, back to the Gondola on a perfectly groomed white carpet, often with a dusting of glittery Colorado snow on top.
Silver Bell over to Ruthie’s is another, this is a classic World Cup race slope that drops dramatically toward Aspen’s downtown. Bell Mountain at Ajax offers ungroomed powder, showcased right under the gondola, so ski Face of Bell well for the onlookers. If you like glades runs, Aspen Mountain has a stash in Gent’s Ridge - Walsh, Hyrup’s and Kristi are all double blacks. There’s more well-pitched natural runs off the FIS double chair and cruising off the lower Shadow Mountain lift from town.
Besides doing gondola laps, Aspen Mountain has lovely lodges like the summit Sundeck at 11,212’ with spectacular views and the cozy European chalet Bonnie's that serves homemade oatmeal pancakes, soups, and apple strudel mid mountain at 10,440’. Skiing back into town, The Ajax Tavern is a great spot for lunch with slope views and a sun deck just steps from the gondola.
A ski vacation to Aspen should including skiing at Ajax - Aspen Mountain and visits to the sister Aspen Skiing Company mountains, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, may be not Buttermilk (home of the Winter X-Games) unless you love parks. See our ski review of these Aspen ski resorts and consider a day or two skiing around Aspen, there’s a shuttle system. Staying downtown Aspen, which is such a lively pretty western ski town, you can walk to everything on beautiful brick sidewalks amid snow draped trees and sparkling white lights.
For ski lodging, Aspen has the finest ski hotels in snow country, St Regis, Hotel Jerome, Little Nell, and The Limelight Hotel Aspen, and so many fun Aspen restaurants, like Red Onion and Little Annie’s. More legendary than Aspen’s ski slopes is Aspen’s après ski at Ajax Tavern and 39-degrees at Sky Lodge. The Aspen shopping scene is another distraction from the ski slopes - picture Prada, Gucci, Coach, Gorsuch and all the top boutiques. Aspen is a wonderful mix of upscale wealthy clientele and cool earthy skiing locals.
The scenery was absolutely magnificent. The natural beauty especially when the snow falls so softly in the evening is breathtaking.
This is the original hot spot, yet its ruggedness, beauty, charm and history are attractive as well. conveniences.