Snowmass

Snowmass, Colorado

Written by Greg and Heather Burke

Aspen Colorado is a top ski resort in the world, for many reasons, four ski mountains, a great Colorado ski town, legendary après ski, on mountain ski hotels, gorgeous scenery and great ski events. Of Aspen Skiing Company's four ski resorts, with 5,500 acres combined, Snowmass is the largest, bigger than Aspen Mountain (Ajax),  Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk which are separate but all included on one lift ticket. It's a 10-mile drive to Snowmass from downtown Aspen

Snowmass is by far the biggest of Aspen's skiing with 3,362 acres (the second largest in Colorado behind Vail) of wide open terrain on Mount Baldy - perfectly sloped from the Big Burn on the summit with spectacular views, see our Aspen Snowmass photos, of Aspen's Maroon Bells to gorgeous aspen tree glades, steeps, and groomers. Aspen Snowmass also has a beautiful base village, with skier services, top ski in ski out hotels like the Viceroy, and plenty of fun things to do after the lifts stops - dog sledding, snowshoeing, après ski bars, shopping in the pedestrian Snowmass Village or hitting the spa. 

A great way to start your ski day at Snowmass is to sign up for First Tracks, and ride the Village Express at 8:15 with a ski guide before the mountain opens officially. The best place to head first thing is Big Burn, this terrain is among the best skiing in the US, wide open and gently pitched with a sensational view of the Maroon Bells. The lack of trees is due to a forest fire -hence the Big Burn name. 

Other great trails served by the Big Burn high-speed quad are Whispering Jesse and Dallas Freeway. The Sheer Bliss area has equally engaging terrain, especially its namesake trail and Garrett's Gulch if you like trees and a natural halfpipe feel. The High Alpine quad serves above tree line adventurous runs and gritty glades in Hanging Valley. The Cirque at 12,510' has a steep headwall, served by a surface lift, it's not always open due to its steep and severe nature. 

Sam's Knob offers some fun groomers, some steeps, bumps and the super long Slot which take you to western-most Campground - an earthy ungroomed expert playground of terrain served by a methodical, relaxing double chair. Powderhorn is a fantastic long run here, be warned you might cross paths with a dog sled team during your otherwise peaceful descent. On the eastern flank of Snowmass, Elk Camp has beautifully groomed gentle terrain, popular with families and ski school. From the top of Elk Camp you can make a short hike to Burnt Mountain and ski Long Shot, a wonderfully long, 5.3 mile wild side country ski run all the way to the base of Two Creeks.

For families, Snowmass has a state of the art Children's Tree House Adventure Center in the heart of Snowmass Village where their ski and snowboard camps and fun activities emanate. Snowmass really caters to kids, as evidenced by the many kid friendly trails, race arena for small fries and progressive parks on the lower mountain. 

For a memorable on mountain lunch, ski into Gwyn's High Alpine for table service at this traditional family run restaurant. 

Après ski at Snowmass, Venga Venga is a casual fun Mexican bar with a big deck right on the slopes at Snowmass Mall. Enjoy happy hour prices, a seat at the outdoor bar or fire pit tables and watch the skiers go by, or head inside to hear the live music. Ricard's is more sophisticated après ski in Snowmass Village, 

Staying at Snowmass, on the mountain versus in town in Aspen, there are several beautiful lodges in Snowmass Village, including Stonebridge Inn and a Westin - formerly the Silver Tree. We recommend the swanky Viceroy Hotel, which is grand, gorgeous inside, with beautiful rooms and suites, a Spa, a fantastic outdoor pool with hot tubs and fire pits, a  great restaurants Eight K (denoting the elevation) and its own chairlift to transport you to Snowmass Village ski lifts from the Viceroy which is slight below the village.. The Viceroy ski valet takes your gear as you ski in at the end of the day, such service, and has them waiting by the slopes each morning.

During your Snowmass ski vacation, consider skiing Ajax - Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands - all part of the same Aspen lift ticket, there’s a shuttle system for the 20-minute drive. Or extend your stay and lodge in downtown Aspen for serious après ski, spendy shopping and more skiing. 

Elevation

Base
7879 feet
Base
Summit
12510 feet
Summit
Vertical Drop
4631 feet
Vertical Drop

Lifts

Gondola & Trams
3
Gondola & Trams
High Speed Six
1
High Speed Six
High Speed Quads
13
High Speed Quads
Quad Chairs
2
Quad Chairs
Triple Chairs
2
Triple Chairs
Double Chairs
10
Double Chairs
Surface Lifts
12
Surface Lifts

Terrain

Beginner Runs
10 %
Beginner Runs
Intermediate Runs
43 %
Intermediate Runs
Advanced Runs
19 %
Advanced Runs
Expert Runs
28 %
Expert Runs
Total Runs
337
Total Runs
Terrain Parks
0
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
5 miles
Longest Run
Skiable Terrain
5517 acres
Skiable Terrain
Snowmaking Area
658 acres
Snowmaking Area

Opening and closing dates

Season Open Date Close Date
2017/2018 11/24/2017 (estimated) 04/13/2018 (estimated)
2016/2017 11/24/2016 04/16/2017
2015/2016 11/21/2015 04/10/2016
2014/2015 11/27/2014 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

4.2 / 5 based on 41 reviews
David Jean

We loved being able to ski right on and off the slopes from the Mountain Chalet. We liked that it had plenty of eating choices that were in walking distance.

Posted on Nov 12, 2017
Sam Schwartz

You’d have to be “Dumb and Dumber” not to have heard of the incredible skiing to be had in Aspen Colorado. Aspen Snowmass offers a brilliant all round ski resort experience with world-class facilities.

Posted on Nov 10, 2017
Evan Weger

This place rocks! So much to ride here, you'll never ride it all! If it's between this place and aspen, go here every time! You won't regret it at all!

Posted on Nov 07, 2017
Terry Minnick

Great atmosphere with four mountains nearby. Love the wide open spaces at Snowmass. But if you know the resort, there are great bump runs through the trees and all kinds of places to find a little untracked powder.

Posted on Nov 06, 2017
Evan Weger from Colorado

Snowmass is where it's at. Everyone else head to Aspen because, let's face it, that's where the tourists go and will continue to go. So fluffy and quiet; this place rocks!

Posted on Oct 20, 2017
Anthony Castellano

The best ski trip I was ever on in my life , always wanted to go to Colorado and it did not disappoint , backcountry was at its best and the level of snowboarding was world class ! Loved every minute of it and would recommend it to any skier or snowboarder I know ! Would go again in a flash !

Posted on Nov 12, 2017
Jeremy

Great mountain and probably a bit overlooked by the Aspen crowd. This is my favourite of all 4 on the Aspen pass. Before I skied it, I was led to believe that it was for families and intermediates., while advanced skiers went to Highlands. I was happy to find that there is actually a heap of advanced terrain if you spend some time seeking it out, and some nice tree skiing as well. Those parts don't get as crowded as the main runs on the mountain either. You'll still probably want to spend some time in the town of Aspen though - as far as restaurants and apres ski go, it's pretty hard to beat.

Posted on Nov 08, 2017
Claudia Trilles

Excellent, the area is not crowded and the town is very cozy. The resort we stayed was ski in ski out and very convenient. The market was close by, you can walk or take a shuttle.

Posted on Nov 07, 2017
Jason Smith from Florida

Snowmass is a huge mountain that is fun for the entire family. We stayed at a resort on the mountain, which was nice for ski in and ski out. It was easy getting on and off lifts and I liked the benches at the top of the lifts. I snowboard and the benches made it nice for strapping in. You can take the buses, for free, to any of the other aspen ski mountains. Definitely worth the experience.

Posted on Oct 25, 2017
Glenn Cook from California

Big resort with terrain for all skill levels. great destination resort as there is a lot of onsite accommodation.If its not a powder day i like to start with 12 minute laps on sam's knob then work my way across the mountain to big burn and cirque. On a powder day you can do laps through trees on burnt mountain using elk camp lift

Posted on Oct 18, 2017

Ski Resorts in Aspen Snowmass