Here’s What to Think About When Deciding Between a Trip to Vail or Aspen

Planning a ski trip out West is a huge undertaking. We can help you decide which of these Colorado megaresorts is right for you.

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Here's What to Think About When Deciding Between a Trip to Vail or Aspen

This column is part of a new trip-planning series aimed to help ski travelers choose the vacation destination that’s right for them. Want us to compare two resorts for you? Send your requests to


Colorado’s two superstar resorts collectively lure millions of skiers to their slopes each season, but the two couldn’t be more different when it comes to the vacation experience you’ll have at each. Here, we break down some of the key differences to help you make the decision on which one is best for you.

Vail vs. Aspen Snowmass

Hugely varied terrain and runs for all levels of skiers are two things that Vail and Aspen Snowmass have in common. The main difference is in the layout of the resorts. Vail Mountain’s slopes are all interconnected across its over 5,000 skiable acres. Aspen Snowmass comprises four separate resorts, which means you’ll have to drive or shuttle between them.

The Skiing at Vail

Vail Mountain, the flagship resort of the entire Vail Resorts operation, is massive: 5,280 skiable acres that spans across five miles. Accessed from three main villages—Vail Village, Lionshead, Golden Peak—the slopes are varied and served by an incredibly fast and efficient lift system. From the gentle beginner terrain off Golden Peak to the legendary Back Bowls, the cliched “something for everyone” really does apply here.

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