Locals’ tips for an Aspen Snowmass spring break ski trip

Spring Break in the mountains is all about soft snow (whether it’s fresh or slush), sun-drenched patios providing epic vistas and lots of parties. With a stacked spring events calendar, including the Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series, four different resorts to choose from and some of Ski Country’s best on- and off-mountain party scenes, Aspen Snowmass offers all the glories of spring skiing in spades. To help you experience the best that Aspen Snowmass has on hand for Spring Breakers, we tapped some dialed-in locals for their favorite springtime experiences.


We asked three locals to share their favorite places to ski, eat and party in Aspen Snowmass in the spring…

how to ski Aspen Snowmass local guide

Duncan Clauss

Skier, Owner + Manager at Aspen Brewing Company

Aspen Snowmass spring break local guide

Taylor Stafford

Skier, Marketing Assistant at the Belly Up Aspen

locals Aspen Snowmass guide, Tae Westcott Snowmass

Tae Westcott

Pro skier, AVSC Coach + Rental Tech Lead at Four Mountain Sports in Snowmass Mall

Experiences

Favorite thing(s) about Aspen Snowmass in the springtime?

Breakfast and/or lunch outside at Bonnie’s after skinning up Aspen Mountain. Definitely an Easter tradition of mine, but it’s fun on any morning. Of course, lunch and a dance party at Cloud Nine [at Aspen Highlands], and hut trips! Note: Aspen is close to many 10th Mountain Division Huts and Braun & Friends Huts.
Apres at the [Highlands] Ale House after a long day of skiing and hiking the [Highland] Bowl, skinning up the mountain, especially at night for a full moon, and dance parties at Sky Hotel!
The events that go on, like Kick Aspen Big Air, Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series and Schneetag—it’s a fun time to experience with friends and make new ones.

 

What are your favorite spring events?
The carnage of Schneetag is amazing—seeing someone’s face after they crash into 32° water is priceless. The finish line of the Grand Traverse [a 40-mile, overnight ski mountaineering race from Crested Butte to Aspen] is great as well. If you’re a competitor, there’s nothing better than seeing the finish. If you’re a spectator, it’s a thrill to see teams cross the finish line after one of the toughest races around.
Schneetag is always a favorite of mine, because it’s definitely something I wouldn’t partake in. I love watching the insane faces people make while entering the water! Another favorite event of mine would be the Bud Light Hi-Fi concert series put on by Aspen Snowmass. I love live music and they bring in some amazing artist; plus, what’s better than a free show in the snow!?
Kick Aspen Big Air Invitational, because it’s a night-time comp held at the base of Aspen Mountain.

 

Where do you go for best spring on-mountain apres-ski parties?
Afternoon sun on the deck at Highlands Ale House is great. The sun seems to stay in the sky forever, and everyone is sharing stories of the season’s bowl laps.
No. 1 would be Ale House. It’s always a good spot to meet up with your friends, enjoy the afternoon sun and eventually break down into a dance party! Another favorite on-mountain apres spot would be Cloud Nine—the view is unbelievable, the service is amazing and what’s better than stopping for a beer on the mountain after hiking the bowl?
Cloud Nine on Highlands is always a good time. Bottles of champagne usually get sprayed and dance parties on the tables usually happen. Also, Gwyn’s on Snowmass is fun.

 

Where do you go for best spring off-mountain apres-ski parties?
I obviously head to Aspen Brewing Company…our second-story patio opens back up in the spring and the views of Aspen Mountain are perfect. It’s where the local community hangs out.
For a more rowdy apres, Sky Hotel is the place to be for some raging dance parties, plus, it’s always fun to watch at least two of your friends jump into the pool with all their gear on…including their ski boots! For a more mellow apres, another great spot would be the Aspen Brewing Company Tap Room. They have a great outdoor patio that overlooks Aspen Mountain, and you are guaranteed a good time with your closest friends!
Sky Hotel 39 Degrees won’t disappoint. It’s everything you need…alcohol, pool, hot tub.

 

What are your favorite late-night spots?
Late night or any night, the Belly Up for great live music is a must. There’s always a fun local crowd at the Red Onion, too.
My obvious all-time favorite late-night spot would have to be Belly Up, because of all the amazing live music we bring to Aspen!
I usually start at Eric’s, The Red Onion or Little Annie’s. I then move on to Boosty Bellows, Whiskey Rush and Escobar. A slice at New York Pizza is also a great way to cap off night, since they stay open until 2 a.m.

 

Flavors

What’s your favorite spot for coffee/breakfast?

Hands down, Bonnie’s pancakes are unbeatable, especially with eggs and bacon on top! On a powder day, I hit Jour De Fête for delicious coffee and a speed-friendly breakfast burrito.
Bonnie’s. Just make sure to get there before 10:30 a.m. for some amazing oatmeal pancakes.
Depends on where I’m skiing. If I’m at Snowmass, I go to Fuel—can’t go wrong with any of their breakfast burritos. If I’m in Aspen and just want coffee, I go to ink!.  If I’m in more of a sit-down mimosa/bloody mood, then it’s either Hickory House or Over Easy.

 

What’s your favorite spot for sunny on mountain lunch?
You can’t beat Bonnie’s deck for lunch on a sunny day, unless your ski boots turn into dancing shoes at Cloud Nine.
Bonnie’s wins again! Nothing like a sunny spring day and eating lunch on their outdoor patio. I usually have a delicious salad and add salmon! I suggest you don’t miss out on their apple strudel—it’s simply a must.
The Sundeck at the top of Aspen Mountain. Try something cooked up in the wok. If you make it to Snowmass, Up for Pizza is a must-try as well. Also, they have the best cookies in the world—no joke!

 

What’s your favorite spot for dinner in downtown Aspen?
L’Hostaria bar. The atmosphere, incredible food and wine, combined with amazing and friendly staff can’t be beat.
L’Hostaria whether you choose the bar menu or dining-room menu, you truly cannot go wrong—everything is delicious, and the service makes the experience unforgettable!
Too many to choose, so I’ll pick three: Kenichi, White House Tavern and Campo de Fiori.

 

Terrain

What are your favorite runs for spring slush/corn?

 

Corkscrew to Norway laps on 1A. [With the planned construction of a new 1A lift,] this will likely be the end of an era of warm spring days sitting in the sunshine on 1A and lapping the often overlooked runs on the lower mountain. Soak it in!
At Highlands, White Kitchen for corn; it’s southeast-facing, so the spring sun hits it and softens it up nicely!
Slushy park laps on Snowmass or, if we get the spring powder storms, heading up and dropping into the [Snowmass] KT Gully area—fresh laps all day!

 

What are your favorite runs for surprise springtime pow?
There’s never a bad time to lap Highland Bowl, but on a spring powder day, there’s nothing better. If you’re on Ajax, canvass Bell Mountain and find your stash!
On Aspen Mountain, Northstar to Gentleman’s Ridge to the Glades, or the back of Bell Mountain! On Highlands, first tracks on Temerity to Hyde Park!
Burnt Mountain.

 

What’s your favorite view?
I’m not going to be alone on this one…top of the Bowl! It’s all about the views around Aspen. From the top of the bowl or the top of Bell Mountain looking onto town, to the patio of Cloud Nine, the views are incredible everywhere.
My favorite view would be from the top of Highland Bowl. The view is absolutely breathtaking, and the trek up makes the view that much more rewarding.
From the patrol shack deck at the top of Loge lift on Highlands looking out at the bowl and the [Maroon] Bells.

 


Now that you have local insight on Aspen Snowmass’ top spring experiences, you’re ready for one incredible Spring Break ski trip. Our 65+ Mountain Vacation Specialists can help you customize and book your flights, rental cars, lodging and more. They’re standing by at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free custom quote.

Leah Boucher

Director of SEO & Content at Ski.com
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.

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About Author: Leah Boucher
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.

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