You would be hard-pressed to find any family where marked differences among its members aren’t present. The same goes for families of skiers and snowboarders—everyone has their own preferences when it comes to what they want to experience at a mountain destination, and their own level of comfort when it comes to the type of terrain they enjoy. This is why finding a ski destination that offers a wide variety of high-quality options is a sure-fire way to please every member of your snow-loving clan. That’s where Aspen Snowmass comes in.
By visiting Aspen Snowmass, you can access four unique ski areas on one lift ticket, discover the historic and cultural town of Aspen and explore Snowmass Village, which offers one of the largest collections of ski in ski out lodging in Ski Country. Much like a “one-ski quiver,” a ski designed to perform well in all types of terrain and conditions, Aspen Snowmass is a “one-resort quiver,” a destination that delivers one of the world’s most well-rounded ski vacations.
To demonstrate just how incredibly varied this destination is, we’ve comprised a four-day series of sample itineraries for a fictional family with vastly different vacation interests and skiing ability levels.
But, first, meet the Snow Family:
Expert skier originally from the East Coast. He loves to push the limits and is always on the hunt for powder stashes. Enjoys small-batch beer, good pizza and live music.
Strong intermediate skier. Prefers low-angle powder and blue and black groomers. Appreciates art and considers herself a foodie.
Six-year-old daredevil who loves going fast on his little skis (or otherwise), zooming in out of the trees and playing in the terrain parks.
Three-year-old who is on the first destination ski trip of his life. Adores animals, especially dogs.
Former avid skier, Grandma is the reason the Snow Family skis. Now in her 70s, she’ll alpine ski a couple times a year, but prefers to cross-country ski and take in the mountain-town culture.
Grandpa doesn’t ski and never has, however he isn’t getting any younger and he’s toying with the idea of trying it out. His interests include history and wine.
Grandma and Grandpa cook up breakfast for themselves in the unit’s fully equipped kitchen. Grandma has decided to ski a couple runs with Mom and Dad an the kids, and Grandpa, after learning more about Aspen Snowmass’ Beginner’s Magic program, has decided that he’s going to finally take a lesson.
Today, Mom, Dad and Jon, have opted to start off with breakfast at the newly renovated on-mountain restaurant, Gwyn’s. Guests of The Crestwood receive a gift certificate* for one full breakfast, which includes coffee, juice and a complimentary mimosa, for each person staying in the unit.
*The Gwyn’s breakfast certificates are given to VIP guests (who stay 5 nights or more in a Premier condo) and CrestClub members (provided to guests on their fourth stay and all following stays at The Crestwood). The Crestwood asks that guests looking to enjoy this perk dine all at once.
Wearing his comfy boots, Grandpa heads up the Elk Camp Gondola to the on-mountain, Four Mountain Sports Beginner’s Magic™ rental shop, where he’ll be outfitted in a customized, beginner-friendly ski equipment. Around the same time, Jon is dropped off a the Treehouse—a bit to his dismay, but as soon as he sees all the interactive, indoor play zones, he’s laughing and smiling again.
Grandma picks up her performance rentals at Four Mountain Sports, too, located adjacent to the Elk Camp Gondola.
Four Mountain Sports offers top-of-the-line performance rentals and demos. | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Grandpa meets his Pro, who will be instructing him for the day, and the rest of his group. Conveniently placed just a few steps from the Elk Camp lodge, the Beginner’s Magic learning zone features gentle slopes, a magic carpet and a beginner-friendly lift.
The rest of the Snow Family cruises down Turkey Trot from Gwyn’s to congregate at the top of the Elk Camp gondola and see Grandpa off. Next, Grandma, Mom, Dad and Ramsey head up the Elk Camp lift. At the top, they first pop into the Wildlife Center to learn a bit about the local fauna and flora. Next, they snap a couple of family photos in front of the stunning 14,000-foot Maroon Bells, a view the top of Elk Camp lift affords. Then, it’s time to glide down the area’s spacious groomers. On the next run, Dad decides to head up to the Burnt Mountain Glades, which requires a short hike from the top of the Elk Camp lift. He’s rewarded with a steep, long gladed run ending at the Two Creeks lift.
Dad reconnects with the rest of the family, and everyone meets for lunch at Elk Camp lodge, including Grandpa, who regales them with tales of the day so far. He’s having a blast and enjoying the mountain views afforded by the learning area’s high-alpine locale. The family enjoys a quick meal and then Mom, Dad and Ramsey head down to the Treehouse pick up Jon at 12:30 p.m. They opted for a half-day lesson for Jon, because they have afternoon plans.
Great for grab-n-go, the cafeteria-style dining at Elk Camp lodge features everything from a gourmet salad bar and soups to homemade pizza, burgers and sandwiches. | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Grandma takes a couple more runs, namely on the Alpine Springs lift. She particularly enjoys the playful cruiser, Naked Lady.
The kids, Mom and Dad are all cleaned up and ready for their next adventure: dog sledding at Krabloonik.
Grandma and Grandpa meet at the beginner Assay Hill lift and, for the first time in 50 years of marriage, they ride the chairlift together and take a couple runs. Then, they ski right up to the Viceroy Snowmass for apres-ski cocktails at the Nest Public House. While there, Grandma decides to book a massage appointment for her and Mom at the Viceroy’s 7,000-square-foot, world-class spa.
The rest of the Snow brood is en route, thanks to The Crestwood’s complimentary Snowmass shuttle, to Krabloonik. Located just a bit above Snowmass Village, Krabloonik offers morning, afternoon and twilight rides, which are each 1.5 hours. Mom opted for the 4 p.m. twilight ride so the four of them could cap off the evening with dinner in Krabloonik’s cozy, cabin-style restaurant, which provides parents with sumptuous Colorado cuisine and kids a robust children’s menu.
At arrival, the family is greeted by the howling of excitable husky and husky-mix sled dogs—to Jon’s extreme delight! After a debrief, Mom and Jon are seated in one sled and Dad and Ramsey in another. Before they know it, their sled drivers call for departure and the dogs are off. As the sun begins to dip behind Mt. Daly, the two teams glide along a groomed path through a valley lined with aspen trees. The alpenglow on the snow-covered fields and mountainside is stunning. Mom is glad she booked this excursion, and by the hoots and hollers of her two sons, so are they.
On The Crestwood concierge’s recommendation, Grandma and Grandpa decided to try out Il Poggio, a well-reputed Italian restaurant located in the second level of the Snowmass Mall. As they sipped on some wonderful Barolo and shared forkfuls of fresh-made tagliatelle pasta, Grandma and Grandpa noted they were having quite the romantic afternoon and evening.
Photo: Belly Up Aspen
The whole crew has assembled back at the condo, and, soon, the kids are in bed. Mom and Dad overheard, among the Krabloonik sled drivers, that there was a great, local band, Jes Grew, playing at the Belly Up in downtown Aspen, so they’ve decided to cut loose and leave Grandma and Grandpa in charge of the boys for a couple hours. Mom and Dad hop on the complimentary bus to Aspen, and within about 25 minutes, they’re on the dance floor, beers in hand. Mom and Dad are wowed by the Belly Up’s state-of-the-art sound system and production, as well as the intimate nature of the Belly Up. They decide they’ll definitely be coming back.
Is your family ready for Aspen Snowmass? Our 70+ Mountain Travel Experts are standing by 800-610-8911 to help you book your complete ski-vacation package. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free, custom quote.
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.