In our “Best of” series, we’re tapping our knowledgable Mountain Travel Experts to help us pull together top trails in the terrain category (beginner offerings, groomers, moguls, steeps, powder, etc.) each ski resort is known for having the best of.

Among Colorado’s largest ski areas, Snowmass’ vast skiable acres (3,300-plus) are renowned for offering a varied mix of terrain options for just about every stripe of skier and snowboarder, but some of its best—and most powdery—slopes are found under the canopy of treetops. Snowmass’ many gladed runs appeal to experts seeking an accessible adrenaline rush and provide gentle options for intermediates looking to pop off the groomed trails and schuss through an aspen grove. To help you get to the goods, we compiled a list of Snowmass’ best tree runs.

Big Burn

 

Powerline Trees

Best Lift Access: Big Burn

To start the day off, head up the Big Burn chairlift and take a lap or two in Powerline Trees. These low-angle pine glades are the perfect powder warm-up to wake the legs and feel some fresh snow in your face. Skiers will want to follow Mick’s Gully run until they come across the power lines running along an opening in the trees. From here, skiers can schuss through the trees all the way back down to the Big Burn chair. Featuring ungroomed terrain and some ego bumps, Powerline is great for the intermediate skier looking to challenge themselves without getting in too far over their head.

Sneaky’s Glades

Best Lift Access: Big Burn

Sometimes keeping a mixed group of friends who want to ski different terrain together can be a bit tricky. When some want to ski trees and some want to ski wide-open runs, Sneaky’s Glades, off the Big Burn chairlift, is the perfect trail for you and your group. Sneaky’s Glades contains well-spaced glades, gradual pitches, and tight, roller-coaster-like terrain. Sneaky’s Glades is situated next to the blue groomer, Sneaky’s run, where you can meet up with the rest of your group or bail out early if the dogs are barking. Insider tip: For one of the most spectacular views of Mt. Daly on Snowmass, ski along Sneaky’s Glades ropeline.

Hanging Valley

Hanging Valley Glades

Best Lift Access: High Alpine

Offering the steepest trees on the mountain, Hanging Valley Glades require a short traverse from the top of the High Alpine chairlift. The quickest way to access the Glades is by skiing about three-fourths down The Edge, one of the last runs next to the High Alpine lift, and popping into the steep trees on the right. Since they’re the highest glades on Snowmass, the Hanging Valley Glades are apt to get more snow than any other trees.

Roberto’s to Willy’s via Frog Pond Glades

Best Lift Access: High Alpine

Accessing this area, which is known as The Hanging Valley Wall, requires two lift rides and a short 5-minute hike to the top of Roberto’s chute, but the steep and deep tree skiing make it well worth the trip. Once you make it down Roberto’s, go straight into Frog Pond Glades and keep straight through the trees to find the final pitch named Willy’s. Frog Pong Glades are huge and it is easy to ski a different line every time you ski through. Plus, the fact that it isn’t the easiest to get to ensures that the snow won’t get tracked up right away. Offering more steep pitches and powder, Willy’s is the perfect icing on the cake to one truly excellent tree run.

Cirque

 

Dikes

Best Lift Access: High Alpine

Both thrill-seekers and those looking to enjoy some widely spaced expert trees have options on Dikes. Best skied after a big snowfall, the Dikes is a bit of a hike from the top of High Alpine, but certainly worth the extra effort. Those who are inclined to steep skiing, cliffs, and cornices can hike up from High Alpine to experience the above treeline amphitheater, the Cirque. Skiers and snowboarders looking for a more forgiving pitch can ski a ways down Green Cabin (a blue run) and cut left to get the snowy, soft goods in Dikes trees. The Dikes gate is a little further down on the left. As skiers descend, the glades become bumpy and narrow as the terrain funnels into a rocky gully, which marks the area’s exit. For those less willing to brave the technical exit, it’s possible to stay high on the skier’s right and ski through the trees back to Green Cabin.

Elk Camp

 

Burnt Mountain

Best Lift Access: Elk Camp

One of the newest glades on Snowmass, Burnt Mountain is a short five- to 10-minute hike from the top of Elk Camp lift. After your first couple of turns, you’ll quickly understand why you did the hike. Burnt Mountain features a huge, sloping meadow with nicely spaced trees, pillow fields, dynamic gullies, and wide-open spaces. Containing some of the longest runs on the mountain, Burnt Mountain supplies powder stashes days after snowstorms. Wide-open glades at the top of the run allow for great intermediate tree skiing. As the trail descends, the trees get tighter and a little more technical until you pop out at Two Creeks’ chairlift.

Gunner’s View

Best Lift Access: Elk Camp

After a snowstorm, get to Gunner’s View Glades. Accessing the Elk Camp area, which is where you��ll find Gunner’s View, requires two chairlift rides (Elk Camp Gondola and Elk Camp Chairlift). This is a great place to start the day because skiers won’t have to wait for any gates to open on the mountain before they begin their day. At the top of Gunners View, there are numerous entrances on the left side of the trail to get into the trees. You can ski the ridgeline all the way down or you can drop into numerous slopes to the left, which will put you out on Sandy Park run to get back to the Elk Camp chairlift. Its moderate slope is a good learning zone for less experienced tree skiers or snowboarders. An unmarked trail, this secret stash may just be your new favorite spot in Snowmass.


Sara Thomas

Mountain Travel Expert Since 1999

800-610-8911 x3658

“I love Sneaky’s Glades—very fun tree skiing with great, fluffy snow!”


If you’re ready to experience some of Colorado’s best glades, book your trip to Snowmass today. To get started, build a customized quote here or if you have additional questions our Mountain Travel Experts are standing by at 800-610-8911.