Snowmass Resort Guide
Insider tips from our team
Snowmass has the biggest vertical in the US (4,396 ft - start training now!) and boasts over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain - that's before you even consider the other three mountains on the same lift pass.
The slopes are kept in pristine condition and there is plenty to please every type of skier or snowboarder - mellow beginner slopes, wide cruisey groomers, fun-filled glades, knee-destroying moguls and some seriously scary steeps, plus three terrain parks and two pipes. Grooming reports are available every morning on the Aspen Snowmass app, updating skiers on the recently groomed slopes and the scenery is spectacular with panoramic views of the surrounding high desert.
Beginners - Although nearby Buttermilk may be the more obvious mountain for beginners, there is still plenty on Snowmass for novices. The beginners' area is attractively placed at mid-mountain and the Meadows Area is wonderfully mellow and fenced off from the rest of the slopes. Perfect for children and less confident adults alike.
Intermediates - With such a huge vertical and miles of blue runs, Snowmass is a haven for intermediates. For those looking to build confidence, the wide groomed runs go on forever. For those looking to progress, there are a number of ungroomed blues in the Big Burn area and some great gladed terrain for those first attempts ‘off-piste’. For example, take the short hike to Long Shot and intermediate skiers and snowboarders can get a backcountry experience whilst still being in-bounds.
Advanced - With 47% of the trails rated as advanced, Snowmass is spectacularly well set up for expert skiers and boarders - but somehow they have managed to keep this little gem relatively quiet! Tree skiing, cliffs, chutes and steeps are here in abundance and if you are willing to do a little hike then the rewards are endless. Baby Ruth and Hanging Valley are particular favourites.
Parks and pipes - Three terrain parks (new Snowmass Terrain Park, Makaha and Scooper), one superpipe and one beginner pipe.
Best-kept secrets - The daily "Noon Groom" is a freshly groomed run that reopens at noon so keep an eye out for details.
Off the Slopes
The village at the base of Snowmass mountain is purpose built so, while not as attractive as nearby Aspen town, everything is easily accessible and designed with convenience in mind. There are some great bars and restaurants, although nightlife here is relatively low-key. It is also home to one of the best childcare centres of any of the ski resorts in North America - the Treehouse Kids' Adventure Centre. Therefore for families with young children, Snowmass is the ideal choice. Aspen town is only 20 minutes away on the shuttle for a larger range of shops, places to eat and drink and things to do.
Tubing - Snowmass's excellent Tube Town, located on Assay Hill at the bottom of the resort, is open daily and is great fun for everyone over 4 years old.
Other activities offered in the area:
- Nordic skiing
- Hot air ballooning
- Sleigh rides
- Guided backcountry skiing
- Snowcat skiing
- Dog sledding
Easy access - The majority of Snowmass accommodation is either ski-in ski-out or a very short walk from the slopes so if getting to the slopes is your priority, we'd recommend staying in Snowmass over Aspen town.
Childcare - The Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center is an industry-leading childcare centre and ski school. It offers a superb 'Kids Club' with themed rooms for kids aged 8 weeks and above. Evening activities such as movie nights are also available.
Transportation - The free skier shuttle runs from 8:00am - 4:30pm daily. After this, there is a bus that runs between Aspen and Snowmass until 2am for $3 per person.
Supermarkets -The Village Market is located at the Snowmass Shopping Center, and there’s also a liquor shop and drug store there. The mall has the Daly Bottle Shop that carries domestic and imported wines and beers. Many of the properties also offer a grocery delivery service for your arrival.
Getting There - The easiest way to get to resort is to fly into Aspen Airport, via Chicago. This saves the 4 hour transfer from Denver Airport that will get you to resort quite late in the evening. Alternatively, why not fly direct into Denver, take a night in an airport hotel and then hire a car for the one day to take a leisurely drive to resort. You can always stop at the factory outlets in Silverthorne or even ski at Vail or Copper which are en-route. You won’t need the car in resort so you can drop it off at Aspen Airport and pick it up for the drive home.
Bars and Restaurants
Restaurants in Snowmass range from all-American to fine dining and there is a reasonable selection of everything in between. The pub-style and more low-key options tend to be in the base village or in the mall. The best restaurants are generally in the hotels. Here are a few of our recommendations:
- Sage Restaurant & Bar at the Snowmass Club - for the best views in the valley at breakfast, lunch or dinner. They use all local produce and offer on- or off-site catering. Reservations are recommended.
- Venga Venga Cantina and Tequila Bar - a stylish place to go for all things Mexican, with an impressive cocktail and tequila menu. Be sure to get there for happy hour, 3 - 6 pm daily.
- Base Camp Bar & Grill - perfect for groups of friends, families or those wanting quick service, good drinks, great variety of typically filling (huge portions) American bar food. Very reasonably priced.
- The Stew Pot - great for comfort food, no visit to America is complete without plenty of chowder.
- Slow Groovin' BBQ - rustic, true to its roots - BBQ food of dreams. Think ribs to die for, melt in your mouth brisket, shot skis and Colorado beers in abundance. A great spot for the family or friends.
On the mountain, we recommend taking lunch at the rustic Lynn Britt Cabin, located mid-mountain. For something a bit different, try one of their snowcat dinners.
Where to eat and drink in Snowmass. Don’t forget that Aspen also has an excellent selection of restaurants and bars and is only 20 minutes away.
Après ski is quite sedate in Snowmass, but there are some good bars with outdoor seating, perfect for people watching with a chilled beer. The new Limelight Hotel Snowmass has the signature Limelight Lounge and will host live music most nights if you're looking for something a little more lively. The New Belgium Ranger Station serves punchy Belgium beers accompanied by baked Bavarian pretzel rolls and the locals' hangout with live music most days. Serious party goers should head to Aspen Town.
For more info on Aspen town read our Aspen Resort Guide.