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.
The Snow clan is prepped to take on their last day in Aspen Snowmass, which is a bit bittersweet since they’ve had such a wonderful time! Grandma, Grandpa and the boys have breakfast in the Crestwood Condominium unit, and Mom and Dad decide they’re going to enjoy an Aspen Mountain breakfast.
The Crestwood Condominiums feature fully equipped kitchens.
Grandpa drops off Ramsey at the Snowmass Treehouse for his last day of ski lessons. Grandma has opted to take Jon to the Hideout at Buttermilk, so she can take a couple scenic cruiser runs, too.
Mom and Dad board on the complimentary inter-resort shuttle en route to Aspen Mountain.
After dropping Jon off at the Hideout, Grandma makes her way to Buttermilk’s Tiehack lift. She loves the playful groomers, especially Skier’s Edge. She also makes sure to get a photo at the top of the lift, which looks out the 14,000-plus-foot Pyramid Peak.
Buttermilk’s Skier’s Edge run provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains. | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Per recommendations from the Aspen Chamber Visitor’s Center attendants, Grandpa has decided to sign up for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) Snowshoe Tours. After buying a lift ticket and hoping on the Silver Queen Gondola, he meets his group at the top of Aspen Mountain. Once everyone is outfitted in their snowshoes (which come with the purchase of the ACES snowshoe tour), the guide begins the strolling, gentle march along Richmond Ridge. During this scenic walk-about, Grandpa learns about local wildlife in the winter, tracking, mountain ecology, Aspen history, avalanches and more.
Mom and Dad sit down to enjoy the famous, plate-sized oatmeal pancakes at Bonnie’s Restaurant. Mom thinks these are easily the best pancakes she’s ever tasted. After relaxing a bit longer, the pair head out to discover Aspen Mountain’s renowned steeps and moguls. Mom is feeling a bit more confident than she was on her first day and agrees to ski Bell Mountain with Dad. The couple decides to head down “Face of Bell” (skier’s left) so they can hop back on the Ajax Express lift. Next, they make their way over to Ruthie’s lift and ski the exhilarating World Cup Finals run, Aztec.
The view of Bell Mountain from Ruthie’s lift. | Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Grandma stops for lunch at Buttermilk’s Cliffhouse Lodge, where she enjoys a wonderful meal of fresh veggie stir fry at the Mongolian Grill.
Grandpa’s snowshoe tour has ended, so he downloads on the gondola. To satiate a craving for craft beer, he heads to the Aspen Brewing Company Tap Room on the corner of Monarch and Hopkins. After sipping down a flight of beer and conversing with some of the friendly locals, he’s ready for some lunch. On his bartenders recommendation, he heads next door to the White House Tavern where he orders a wonderful chicken sandwich.
Grandma and Grandpa meet up at the contemporary Aspen Art Museum (AAM). Housed in a unique thatched building, the AAM features unique exhibitions that range from drawings, paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations and electronic media.
On Grandma’s recommendation, who dined there on Day 1, Mom and Dad decide to enjoy a mini après-ski session of wine and truffle fries on the Ajax Tavern patio. Then, they hop on the inter-resort shuttle in time to pick up Jon from the Hideout. Upon picking him, they hear all about how Jon rode the magic carpet all by himself and got to ski around an obstacle course.
Grandma and Grandpa also get on the bus and head back to pick up Ramsey, who excitably shares tales of racing through gates in the Snowmass Children’s Race Arena. And, he even got to go in the beginner halfpipe in Lowdown Park. It’s been a very successful trip in Ramsey’s
Everyone convenes back at the condo to change and decompress for a bit. Then, they hop in the complimentary Crestwood Snowmass Village shuttle bound for the Ice Ace Discovery Center. Here, they learn about the many world-famous fossils, including that of a mammoth, saber-toothed tiger and giant sloth, which were found in Snowmass in 2010.
The Ice Age Discovery Center features dozens of fossils discovered in Snowmass in 2010. | Photo: Ice Age Discovery Center
Instead of a normal sit-down dinner on their last night, the Snow clan chooses something a little more active: bowling! The Slopeside Lanes are located below Venga Venga in the Snowmass Mall, and offer eight, full-sized lanes, a lounge area with full bar, locally brewed beers, wood-fired pizzas and gourmet bar food.
The crew is back at the condo and getting the kids ready for bed since they have an early-morning flight.
Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad share the last bottle of wine from The Crestwood’s grocery delivery service and recount their favorite moments of their vacation. There were so many that an hour quickly passed.
It’s safe to say that the Snow family will definitely be coming back to Aspen Snowmass.
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.