Snowmass Ski Area
While Aspen/Snowmass is home to four unique and separate ski areas, Snowmass itself is one of the largest in the United States, just slightly fewer acres than Vail. Snowmass also has the highest lift served vertical of any resort not on in Colorado but in the United States.
What may be the best thing about Snowmass is the variety of terrain, this is the ideal mountain for a family or group with skiers of different levels. The new skier can work with the legendary ski school on perfect groomed corduroy on several different parts of the mountain. The intermediate skier also has many parts of the mountain to choose from, the Big Burn offers long wide open cruisers and moderately steep blue bump runs. Elk Camp has great undulating blue runs as well. Intermediate skiers looking for a new experience can try skiing trees in the moderately steep Powerline Glades, allowing them to try tree skiing without the intimidating steepness of other areas. Another piece of the mountain intermediate skiers will love is Burnt Mountain, this piece of the ski area used to be out of bounds only known to locals. It provides top to bottom skiing, miles of it, on undulating sparsely trees terrain that feels closer to the backcountry than being on piste. You will not see a chairlift the entire run and hardly any other people as skiing here requires a short ten minute hike and the willingness to be out there a bit.
Snowmass caters to expert skiers as well, as is made evident by they fact that they host the Colorado Freeride competition every year. The apptly named “Wall” is steep and wide open where you can let it rip, the Cirque is exteremly high on the mountain and offers cornice drops and terrain that feels like you are skiing on the moon. Ready to get your cliff jump on head over to Rock Island, with up to 50 foot cliff drops for entry and rock that pillow with snow for you to pop of off. Maybe you need a tight shoot to challenge you the try AMF our Goudys, but make sure you are up for it as the turns are mandatory.
Another thing skiers will love is the new Elk Camp Gondola, the new gondola crossed the mountain to the far skiers right side, giving skiers faster access to that side of the mountain. The other great benefit is that this side of the mountain offers great beginner and intermediate terrain, and where the ski school used to teach new skiers on the easier terrain at the base area, they can now get the high on the mountain utilizing the gondola, accessing great learning terrain in a location that is breathtaking.
This huge mountain has a number of traditional ski lodges, a pizza place and even a BBQ joint, all on mountain. If fine dining is your thing then try Gwyn’s High Alpine for a romantic mountain lunch. Then you will be properly fueled for the enduring bumps accessed by the High Alpine chairlift. With a constantly updated lift network this huge mountain is rather easy to navigate, and allows the family to ski the terrain everyone wants and still meet for lunch anywhere on the area.