Aspen Highlands

Aspen Highlands, Colorado

Written by Greg and Heather Burke

Aspen Highlands is reputed with Colorado's best steep, big-mountain, in bounds skiing. Highland Bowl being the highlight, but here so much more to this mountain. You start your ski day on the Exhibition high speed quad to mid mountain - the Merry-Go-Round. From here ride the Loge Peak lift to the highly scenic summit to ski beautiful groomers like Meadows and Kandahar or drop down off the ridge to steeper less manicured Garmisch, St Moritz and Chamonix. The Cloud 9 Chair serves more blues like Gunbarrel and Grand Prix, and more edgy Moment Chutes and Olympic Bowl.  Glade skiers will love the steep snow-filled trees of Deep Temerity. 

For the ultimate challenge, hit Highland Bowl after checking in with incredibly knowledgeable Patrol at PHQ on Loge Peak - this vast 1,040 acre in-bounds backcountry style ski adventure is high-elevation 12,392' and high excitement factor. Accessing this extreme terrain requires a significant hike from atop Loge Peak (700' vert). The 20-40 minute hike is strenuous but worth it (though it's even better to catch the cat for a ride which shuttles skiers on the hiking path on occasion). Highland Bowl has countless steep chutes, G 1-8, G Force, White Kitchen, Steep N Deep are few. The big powdery bowl skiing funnels you back to Deep Temerity to catch your breath, a serious vertical run. 

Well placed lifts and gorgeous views of the Maroon Bells will keep you occupied at Highlands for several days. Highlands does have nice scenic intermediate terrain mid-mountain down to the compact ski village at Highlands Base, but it does not have the best beginners mountain terrain like Buttermilk and Snowmass both offer. Skiing back to Aspen Highlands Village on Golden Horn, the race trail, is a fun way to end your Aspen Highlands ski day. Aspen Highland Village is anchored by a few ski shops around a pedestrian plaza, Highlands Ale House, and the Ritz Carlton Aspen Highlands with a slopeside restaurant Willow Creek. 

For lunch at Highlands, we recommend you ski into Cloud 9, one of Aspen's best restaurants. This classic European mid mountain chalet serves traditional fondue and raclette with a spectacular view. Make a reservation, it's uber popular, and pricey too. Cloud 9 also get uber rowdy in the afternoon when the music cranks up and the Champagne corks fly. The Veuve Clicquot ice bar on the deck is highly scenic and happening on a sunny ski day. It's après ski before you're done skiing since you still mid mountain at 10,825’, their slogan is "ski in, dance out." 

Aspen locals love Highlands, especially on Wednesdays when they get free parking, otherwise its pay in the underground lot, and free coffee and muffins. Closing Day at Highlands is also one of the biggest best ski parties - costumes and mayhem ensue.

A ski vacation to Aspen should including skiing at Ajax - Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, and Aspen Highlands, maybe skip Buttermilk (home of the Winter X-Games) unless you love parks. Aspen Highlands is just a three-mile drive from downtown Aspen. 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 is beautiful and bustling with après ski activity, shopping, drinking, dogs, people watching near Prada. You can stay at St Regis, Hotel Jerome, Little Nell, or The Limelight Hotel Aspen. Aspen is one of the best Western Ski Towns with great authenticity and a strong alpine history.

Elevation

Base
8041 feet
Base
Summit
11677 feet
Summit
Vertical Drop
3636 feet
Vertical Drop

Lifts

High Speed Quads
3
High Speed Quads
Triple Chairs
2
Triple Chairs

Terrain

Beginner Runs
18 %
Beginner Runs
Intermediate Runs
30 %
Intermediate Runs
Advanced Runs
16 %
Advanced Runs
Expert Runs
36 %
Expert Runs
Total Runs
122
Total Runs
Terrain Parks
0
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
3 miles
Longest Run
Skiable Terrain
1040 acres
Skiable Terrain
Snowmaking Area
121 acres
Snowmaking Area

Opening and closing dates

Season Open Date Close Date
2017/2018 12/12/2017 (estimated) 04/18/2018 (estimated)
2016/2017 12/10/2016 04/09/2017
2015/2016 12/12/2015 05/01/2016
2014/2015 12/13/2014 04/12/2015

Lift ticket and season pass prices

Category Age restrictions Price (USD unless otherwise stated)
Adult 18 - 64 $155
Child 6 & under Free
Child 7 - 17 $102
Senior 65 & over $102
Season Pass
(2017-2018 Premier Pass)
$2,219

Overall Rating

4.5 / 5 based on 16 reviews
Joel Hauman

Highlands was my first ski resort where I tried skiing and had been my favorite resort since then. Great, accommodating and accessible resort. Great restaurant around the village. Overall one of the best spots in Aspen.

Posted on Nov 13, 2017
Bridger dawson

Best mountain in colorado. The snowwas the best the runs are steep and deep. Locals mountain for sure l. Go to cloud 9 for a good time foods great and chapagne flows

Posted on Nov 06, 2017
roger mecca from Maryland

Forget Snowmass, forget Ajax- get to Highlands. Hardly anyone ever skis there, the terrain is awesome, the snow stays fresh forever and the pitch is consistent for seemingly forever. A few years ago, I skied there one morning the weekend of XGames after 8" of fresh, I had untracked lines until noon and chairlifts to myself. Awesome.

Posted on Oct 30, 2017
michael litvak from Florida

highland bowl is expert skiing in bound like no other in bound skiing in north america. some of the best tree skiing, great amenities never a crowd, zero lift lines. amazing views of maroon bells. the overall local feel of the mountain is incredible

Posted on Oct 26, 2017
Chad Welty from Colorado

Hiking up Highlands Bowl(or skinning it if you are a boss) provides some incredible lines on a powder day. Steeple Chase has some beautiful moguls with the steeps also. Fun tree runs if you look for them

Posted on Oct 18, 2017
Jeremy

Great terrain and snow. My second favourite of the 4 Aspen mountains, (after Snowmass). Definitely worth a try if you're in Aspen for a few days. Not heaps of accommodation or apres at Highlands itself, but it's an easy (free) bus trip from Aspen or from Snowmass. A bit less crowded and less pretentious than Aspen mountain.

Posted on Nov 08, 2017
Liam McClintock

It had been a long time since I skied Aspen Highlands, but last spring it served up some of the best skiing of my life! The Highlands Bowl is a mere 2 lift rides, one caterpillar ride, and an hour hike to over 13 thousand feet of altitude and some of the most epic powder skiing in the Central Rockies. I experienced chest deep powder with face shots on my final descent of the Bowl to finish the '16-'17 season and cannot wait to return for some more of the same!

Posted on Nov 05, 2017
Bodhi Durant from Oregon

Steep, deep & absolutely amazing. You can find low days after storms here if you know where to look. The hike to the top of the bowl is always worth it.

Posted on Oct 28, 2017
Evan Weger from Colorado

Aspen Highlands is where it's at on the deepest of days. Tourists beware, you can't hang!! Steep and deep is how we like it. Hike the bowl for some powder laps!

Posted on Oct 20, 2017
Jordan Crowe from Colorado

Aspen Highlands is an awesome mountain to go to when there is a fresh powder day! Had the best day of riding in my life with 18” of snow the night before and night of. They don’t have a ton of runs compared to Snowmass but it is definitely work checking out! Also, going to the peak is an experience in itself!

Posted on Oct 11, 2017

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