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Aspen Mountain, Colorado

Written by Jack Lee • Photos by Greg and Heather Burke • Last updated Oct 30, 2017

Aspen Mountain or “Ajax”, first opened in 1946, and is the flagship venture of the Aspen Skiing Company which has now expanded into a complex of four ski areas. Aspen is collectively known as a “skier’s mountain” as the terrain primarily appeals to intermediates with nearly half the runs rated blue and the remainder to be carved up by advanced and extreme skiers. If it’s your first time skiing, best to head down to its sister resorts Snowmass and Buttermilk across town.

Big day ahead on the mountain

The Mountain

Aspen Mountain first gained international attention when it hosted the 1950 World Championships. The course was set along a stretch of terrain you can still ski on to this very day. This notoriety placed focus on what was once a sleepy mountain town to the ski hub that it is today. The mountain and the town are practically one as they meld seamlessly from flat, municipal grid to an intertwined network of mountain runs. From the top of Aspen Mountain, you can see the peaks of Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands as well as the 14,000 plus feet pinnacles of Castle Peak and Pyramid Peak.

Amazing views cruising back to town

If you like the idea of really putting your legs through a workout, you can ride the mountain from top to bottom in just one chairlift trip, with the longest route stretching out over 3 miles. Duck in and out of the trees to find hidden memorials and shrines amongst the trees, paying homage to pop culture icons such as Hunter S. Thompson, John Denver, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and many others.

When to Go

Ski season on Aspen Mountain generally begins in late November during Thanksgiving weekend and goes through late March - sometimes stretching into April. The crowds start flooding in Christmas week and the party continues until the end of January as the town comes alive for the Wintersköl festival and the X Games. But if you’re only there for the mountain, the slopes are deserted during the X Games though it’s still considered peak season for lodging.

Things get busy during the X Games

If you’re a powder hound, the best months to ski or ride Aspen Mountain are December, January and February. That said, March and April are Colorado’s snowiest months, so even if you arrive late in the season there are still freshies to go around – though the snow tends to be a little heavier, turning into compact powder near the tail end of the season. For a good balance of sun, snow and quiet, February is good bet!

Lift Tickets

The rule of thumb for getting the most out of your lift ticket investment is to plan ahead, buy in bulk and avoid the Christmas holiday. The prices are in constant flux depending on the time of season, but we find that the best value is in multi-day tickets purchased at least one week in advance. Avoid the premium on walk-up rates! Check out the most current pricing and promotions here. Whether you’ve settled for a day pass or a season pass, it’s valid on all Aspen resorts, so if you get bored of Ajax, it’s just a matter of driving down to the road to either Highlands, Buttermilk or Snowmass!

If you’re planning to do a bit more travelling before the season ends, especially to Salt Lake City, then you might want to consider the Mountain Collective Pass, which covers pretty much all the top resorts in UtahAlta, Snowbird and Snowbasin.

Elevation

Base
7946 feet
Base
Summit
11214 feet
Summit
Vertical Drop
3268 feet
Vertical Drop

Lifts

Gondola & Tram
1
Gondola & Tram
High Speed Quad
1
High Speed Quad
Quad Chairs
2
Quad Chairs
Triple Chair
1
Triple Chair
Double Chairs
3
Double Chairs

Terrain

Beginner Runs
0 %
Beginner Runs
Intermediate Runs
48 %
Intermediate Runs
Advanced Runs
26 %
Advanced Runs
Expert Runs
26 %
Expert Runs
Total Runs
76
Total Runs
Terrain Parks
0
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
3 miles
Longest Run
Skiable Terrain
675 acres
Skiable Terrain
Snowmaking Area
210 acres
Snowmaking Area

Opening and closing dates

Season Open Date Close Date
2017/2018 11/24/2017 (estimated) 04/20/2018 (estimated)
2016/2017 11/27/2016 04/23/2017
2015/2016 11/21/2015 04/17/2016
2014/2015 11/22/2014 04/19/2015

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

3.8 / 5 based on 43 reviews
Maximillan Sarovich

I had the most fun I’ve ever had snowboarding at Aspen mountain, the lifts were efficient, the mountain wasn’t to crowded, and they made it easy to rent equipment. I would definitely shred there again.

Posted on Nov 21, 2017
David Hart

I love Aspen! I grew up a skier so when I return to Aspen Mountain and found skiers, I was thrilled. I could feel the mild distain. "Ug snowboarder". The nice thing about being a former skier is I understand. I have always tried to raise the bar for the clan of Burton Americans.
It was a time warp. The moguls were like in the old days. Skier formed bumps! The Mountain was empty. Never , never, waited in a line. Really Never.
I can't speak to lodging quality. I am a car camper. The Aspen Rec Center had all the amenities. I am sure you could get whatever you can afford. The Bus system was on time and ran on the dime. All and all we had a great time!

Posted on Nov 20, 2017
Eric Micallef

This would be fun, and be the best time ever. I would love to do this. This is a trip of a life time. It’s also beautiful as can be.

Posted on Nov 17, 2017
Peter Evans

Love it.awesome place.Love to go back.great people.great accesability.great resort.great peole.great prices.great lodging and food.perfect family place.perfect great accomodations and the lodge.love it.love to go there again.great skiing especially with all the snow.

Posted on Nov 11, 2017
Thibaud

While the drive to aspen is hideous and strenuous the destination is world class. From steep runs to world class restaraunts aspen is ideal for skiers and snowboarders who want to shred powder in the afternoon then relax in a chalet in the evening.

Posted on Nov 09, 2017
Art Gomez

I hope I win so I can travel there and enjoy a short vacation. LIVING in Lubbock Texas gets boring sometimes. There's nothing to do here. I'm a disabled Marine Corps veteran

Posted on Nov 20, 2017
Albert Caycho

Aspen was more than I expected. Super friendly staff and such a great environment. The trails were perfectly groomed and has some amazing views. Truly a excellent experience!! I've been recommending the resort to all my friends!

Posted on Nov 19, 2017
SAIT ILHANER

Amazing resort for beginners like myself. Friendly staff and great amenities, I would highly recommend it. I stayed for 4 nights and enjoyed each day. The town of Aspen is also great.

Posted on Nov 12, 2017
Nickolas Saylor

Aspen or Ajax if you want to be cool, can be quite an intimidating mountain. From the base it might as well be Everest. But one you get to the top, with it's majestic views, and start to actually make your way down you'll find it's quite possible.

Posted on Nov 10, 2017
Justin Judd from California

Hands down best local spot with short lift lines and steep deep powder. The restruant has great food and excellent brews to complete the day and keep you hydrated. Love the hike to terrain!

Posted on Oct 26, 2017

Ski Resorts in Aspen Snowmass