Heading to the ski lifts at Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Buttermilk is the activity that draws thousands to Aspen each winter. And there’s no shortage of great watering holes for après-ski time afterward. But if you want to dive head first into the Aspen that locals know, try these 10 favorite winter activities.
Hike the Aspen Highlands Bowl
Yep, you’ll need your skis or board, but the lifts won’t take you to the top; you’ll have to hike. It’s undoubtedly worth it, as the 12,383-foot descent is Aspen’s steepest and deepest terrain. Prepare for a rejuvenating rush of adrenaline.
Ashcroft Ski Touring
Find pure winter serenity just 30 minutes outside of town with a cross-country ski tour. Ashcroft will give you some brief lessons, and then you’re free to explore the Castle Creek Valley area and the ghost town of Ashcroft. You may feel like you’re the only people out that day.
Backcountry Hut Trip
There are 30 backcountry huts managed by the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, connected by some 350 miles of routes. We suggest exploring the vast forests on snowshoes, skis or skins, with a pristine hut as your destination.
Breakfast at Bonnie’s
Of course, if you want to tackle all these mountain activities, you’ll need to start the day with a hearty breakfast. Bonnie’s has a number of options, but it’s best known for the mouthwatering apple strudel.
Dog Sledding at Krablooniks
You can also combine a great meal with an exhilarating ride through gorgeous Aspen forests. The sled dogs are a family favorite, and the fireside meal is one everyone will love.
Snowshoeing at the Aspen Cross-Country Center
A golf course in the summer, the Aspen Cross-Country Center offers smooth terrain just one mile west of downtown. This is the perfect place to get comfortable on snowshoes and enjoy a refreshing winter workout.
Backcountry skiing and riding
Do you know how much deep powder is waiting for you on Aspen’s backside terrain. Guide Bob Perlmutter of Aspen Mountain Powder Tours does, and he’ll show you the secret stashes.
Snowcat to Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro
What’s better than authentic Swiss cuisine and fine wine shared with friends in a cozy Swiss-style cabin? A snowcat ride under the stars to get there. And fondue, of course!
Aspen Walking Tours
For a change of pace, take advantage of some unique local culture. Dean Weiler of Aspen Walking Tours offers a variety of offbeat options, from ghost tours to historical walking tours.
Full Moon Dinner
Dining beneath the stars at high altitude is a memorable experience, and it’s amplified when the moon is in full glow. The Sundeck at the top of Aspen Mountain features five-star dining, and the gondola is open to take you there.