The four mountains that make up Aspen Snowmass are the gold standard for American skiing. Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass each have their own character, which is why most skiers visit a different mountain each day of their visit. The Dumps on Aspen Mountain or the glades beneath Snowmass’s High Alpine Lift are a must when it’s snowing, while the breathtaking descent of Highlands Bowl or the empty, perfect groomers of Tiehack beg for attention when the sky is blue. If the renown nightlife stretches on too long, at least one mountain will have a daily noon groomer on the weekends, keeping the corduroy fresh for those who hit the snooze button too many times. The world-class ski school can get the kids carving at Buttermilk or Snowmass while Mom and Dad can enjoy the decadent pleasures of top-to-bottom gondola laps or the infamous 2:30 p.m. seating at Cloud 9 Bistro, all before a perfect family rendezvous for dinner in town.
Aspen is just far enough from the ever-growing Colorado Front Range that it remains noticeably quieter than every ski resort on I-70, even during peak holidays. First-time visitors who expect a snobby culture are always delighted to find welcoming, nearly European hospitality throughout the upper Roaring Fork Valley, and while not cheap, the skiing and lodging prices are at (and even below) some of its rival Colorado resorts. Add in Ikon and Mountain Collective options, unbeatable events including Wintersköl and the Winter X Games, plus an ever-expanding list of premier dining, lodging, and culture outlets, and there’s no place in the U.S. that can come close to SKI’s Resort of the Year. Put it on the top of your list for places to visit this season, and we bet it’ll stay there for every season to come. - Jon Jay
Come For The...
APRÈS Shlomo’s is right next to the base of Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola and has perfect cocktails and apps to get things rolling; Snowmass’s New Belgium Ranger Station offers brew and food pairings around a warming fire pit.
ON-MOUNTAIN FOOD Up 4 Pizza, at the top of Snowmass’s Big Burn lift, fires up the best pies around. Stay for a fresh-baked cookie.
DOWN-DAY ACTIVITIES Modern Aspen was greatly influenced by the Bauhaus Art Movement, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Look for Bauhaus-themed events all over town and the ski areas this season.
The Limelight Hotel at Snowmass opens in November, taking on the charm and down-to-earth luxury of the beloved Limelight Aspen and further diversifying the lodging options of Snowmass. You’ll see the hotel’s climbing wall from the Elk Camp Gondola.