Aspen Ski Holidays

Resort Aspen Resort Aspen Resort Aspen


Known for attracting some rich and famous clientele, the former silver mining town of Aspen lies at the foot of Aspen Mountain (aka Ajax). It is an illustrious resort with extensive slopes for all skill levels and a reputation for luxury. The town is charming, the ski schools are excellent and the pistes are notoriously quiet. 

The town of Aspen itself is attractive and lively, complete with boutiques, trendy bars and fine dining. While it’s certainly not the cheapest destination in the world, there are still some great-value accommodation options available and the resort is very popular with families.

Getting There

Holidaymakers can fly from London Heathrow to Aspen via Denver or Chicago. Alternatively, one can fly into Denver, from which the resort is a 3.5-hour transfer away. Within the resort itself, free busses run regularly.

When to Go

In order to make the most of the high altitude, spectacular snowfall and beautiful mountain scenery, the best time to visit Aspen is between the winter months of December and March.  


In the early-season weeks of December, Aspen comes alive with festive cheer. Visiting groups of families and friends can watch Aspen twinkling under festive fairy lights, and up on the slopes the fresh early-season snowfall puts Aspen ahead of the competition. (Each winter ski season, Aspen averages around five metres of the fresh stuff!)

The only drawback is price – as Aspen has a reputation for being among the more expensive US ski resorts. December and the festive Christmas and New Year weeks are among the most popular for visiting skiers and boarders across the calendar, and the prices on accommodation can reflect the higher demand. We find the best way to beat the rising prices, though, is advanced research and early booking. 

Visitors to Aspen have a total of four different peaks to explore, and the early season skiing and boarding is amazing. On top of this, the resort comes alive with a whole host of exciting annual festivals and celebrations. 


The key to avoid the higher costs often associated with Aspen is to visit in early January or later into February, when the busy holiday crowds have headed home and the pistes and snow parks are a little more peaceful. During this quieter time of the winter ski season, many visitors find the prices a little more affordable. (Another way of bringing the price of your Aspen winter ski holiday down, though, is to book the various ski equipment and lift tickets you’ll need ahead of time.)


Spring in Aspen is a time of crisp, corduroy pistes in the morning and soft, slushier snow in the afternoons. Skiers and snowboarders hitting the slopes of Aspen at this time of year enjoy longer days, and sun-soaked après ski is well worth the visit. It’s also worth noting that although prices on accommodation during the spring months are a lot lower – with reduced demand from holidaymakers – a few of the hotels close their doors to give their staff a break ahead of the influx of sun-loving summer visitors.  

Where to Stay

Getting around


The après scene is a little different to Austria and France, but you’ll certainly find some swanky bars and lively venues in Aspen.

At the end of the ski day, there are quite a few bars close to the foot of the slopes, but the highlight is probably the Ajax Tavern, which has a huge terrace that is very popular when the sun comes out. 

The music starts ramping up toward the end of the afternoon and by the time 6 o’clock rolls around there’s an incredible vibe.

For a quiet snifter in style, Element 47 in The Little Nell is a fine choice, as is the historic J-Bar at the Jerome Hotel – a popular haunt since 1889.

For live music, Belly Up is the place to go, while Eric's Bar offers 14 delicious beers on tap and over 50 malt scotches.

The hip 39 Degrees in the Sky Hotel is another great place to check out – they mix some incredible cocktails.

Eating out

Aspen has a wonderful range of restaurants to sample, including some Alpine-style venues to establishments with plenty of ‘old west’ charm. Of course, many of the resort’s restaurants are on the pricey side, but you certainly get what you pay for.

The Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro is the closest thing to an Alpine restaurant you will find in Aspen. The menu is primarily French and Swiss orientated but you can find a few Austrian options like veal schnitzel as well. Later on in the afternoon, there is music and dancing on table tops – not a million miles away from an American Folie Douce! 

Another good option is the Ajax Tavern, which is ski in/ski out at the bottom of Aspen Mountain with a superb sun terrace and an excellent menu of up-market Canadian favourites, including truffle fries, cheeseburgers, onion soup and oysters. As with Cloud Nine, there is a lively après scene here, so if the sun is out make sure you bring your dancing shoes.

For couples in search of an elegant atmosphere, the Element 47 in The Little Nell is an excellent choice – one sure to create a memorable experience.

Families in search of big portions, meanwhile, should try Bumps at Buttermilk or the fantastic American grub at Jimmy’s.

If you’ve got a gang of famished friends, the 520 Grill is a great bet for fuelling up with cheap tacos, burgers and lots more to choose from. For an auspicious start to the day on the mountain, Poppycock’s does brilliants breakfasts – not to mention off-mountain lunches.

Below, you’ll find a few top restaurants in Aspen, as voted by our ski experts.

Good for Couples

Element 47

675 E Durant Ave


+1 970-920-6330

Good for Couples

Little Annie’s

517 E Hyman Ave


+1 970-925-1098

Good for Family

Bumps at Buttermilk

38700 Hwy 82


+1 970-920-0991

Good for Family


205 S Mill St


+1 970-925-6020

Good for Friends

Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

On piste restaurant

Cloud Nine Lift Aspen Highlands


+1 970-923-8715

Good for Friends


665 E Cooper Ave


+1 970-925-1245


There are a range of non-skiing activities to enjoy in Aspen, but the highlight has to be Ullr Nights.

Every Friday night during the peak of the winter season, a winter wonderland celebration is held in honour of the Norse God of Snow, Ullr, at Elk Camp in Snowmass. From 5 to 9 pm, friends and families enjoy ice skating, tubing, snowbiking, s'mores and hot chocolate by a crackling bonfire.

You can also dance to live music and enjoy delicious a la carte dining.

Otherwise, visitors to Aspen can enjoy the resort’s bountiful boutique shopping and spas, as well as snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

A trip to the resort’s tourist office will offer lots of useful information on resort activities, but here are just a few ideas to start you off.

Snowmobile Tours


+1 970-925-4614



+1 970-925-5756

Spa & Wellness


+1 970-925-2278

Ski School

Getting around

Family ski

Aspen is a high-altitude ski resort with a reputation among jet-setters and famous movie stars, but away from the glitz and glamour lies a welcoming mountain destination with something for all. Pistes are generally peaceful and quiet, and the pretty town has all the amenities families need to enjoy the snowy slopes. There’s a wide range of terrain for all levels, which works well for families, but they’re split over four different peaks and getting around by bus can be a chore. 

There’s a superb range of kids’ programmes and childcare options in and around Aspen, organised and arranged by the local ski schools, allowing parents to visit with the kids and enjoy complete peace of mind. 

The Treehouse Kids Adventure Centre is located in the Snowmass base village. This is an interactive childcare facility where kids are front and centre, offering a diverse range of activities for youngsters of all ages. Here, you’ll find themed entertainment rooms with a fitting Colorado mountain theme, where babies from 8 weeks and kids up to 4 years of age are welcomed in. The facility offers licensed and professional childcare for infants and toddlers alongside ski school programs for youngsters mastering their first turns on the snow. With ski school and childcare under one roof, the Treehouse Kids Adventure Centre is a family facility parents must check out. 

Buttermilk is widely regarded the home of family skiing in Aspen, and The Hideout is a well-located child-friendly facility here. The Hideout offers an introduction to the sport of skiing for snow-lovers aged two and a half to 4 years old. Here, there’s a gentle training slope for nervous learners making their first turns, and a magic carpet lift for hassle-free uplift. Away from the slopes, there are four interactive play rooms where kids can fire their imaginations and enjoy their mountain environment with play-based learning. It’s worth noting, however, that the Hideout Children’s Centre is for the exclusive use of the Aspen Ski and Snowboard School – you can’t book in for childcare only. 

Away from the groomed pistes, families in Aspen have a wide range of adventurous activities to choose from. ‘Ullr Nights’ is the name given to the family-friendly night time celebrations held every Friday evening during Aspen’s winter ski season. The Ullr Nights festivities are named in honour of the Norse God of Snow, Ullr, and take place at Elk Camp – with child-friendly entertainments including live music, night tubing under illuminations, plus delicious food and tasty treats to tuck into. 

The Breathtaker Alpine Coaster is a go-to facility for high-speed thrills off the groomed slopes, with elevated track running over a mile through the dense forest. Riders can reach top speeds in safety, and the course is open daytime, during selected après ski hours, and during the special Ullr Nights events. 
Tubing is a wonderfully popular activity in Aspen, too, and a great way to burn off the kids’ energy before heading home to rest. The tubing slopes are found near The Meadows at Elk Camp, Snowmass, with multiple lanes serviced by swift lifts. Lights illuminate the runs for evening tobogganers during the popular Ullr Nights celebrations and après ski extended hours. Parents can buy tickets to the tubing at Snowmass, or combo tickets for the tubing and the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster. 

Snow biking is another family-friendly activity on offer in Aspen, though reserved for slightly older children (aged 12 and up) and teens. Families can book into lessons together, and master the art of sliding down the slopes on a cross between a bike and a snowboard! Whether used as a break from skiing and boarding, or as an alternative way of exploring the mountain scenery, it’s fun for all the family.

For parents in search of a truly special family-friendly activity, you can hop aboard a Snowcat piste-basher and zoom up the mountain by night for a high-altitude dinner to remember. There are two destinations to choose from; the Lynn Britt Cabin located on Snowmass or the Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro which sits on Aspen Highlands – both offering gourmet cuisine and a family-friendly atmosphere. The Lynn Britt Cabin offers a Colorado themed dining environment, with a weekly ‘chuckwagon’ dining experience for families and a traditional log-cabin feel. The Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro is a slightly swankier affair, with an authentic Alpine atmosphere reminiscent of those iconic Swiss ski resorts. Here, families can enjoy delicious cuisine with fine views over the beautiful Maroon Bells — two local mountain peaks. 

Ice-skating is a popular family-friendly activity in Aspen, and the new ice rink in Snowmass Village is the perfect place to take to the ice. The rink sits in the Base Village Plaza, with plenty of space for youngsters and a free rental service. And if bad weather closes in or the kids are off in search of entertainment away from the snowy slopes, there’s a brilliant all-season climbing wall located at Snowmass’ fabulous Limelight Hotel. The wall features three lanes suited to climbers of different abilities, and equipment including shoes and harnesses are included alongside guided supervision in each half-hour session.

Group Ski

Aspen may have been founded as a mining camp during the Colorado Silver Boom, but it made its name on the international stage as a ski resort – and today it ranks among the most stylish and popular skiing destination in the United States. For groups in search of high altitude and diverse terrain, it really works very well – but you do need to be careful on the location of your accommodation, because it isn’t always seen as the most convenient resort for ski access. 

Groups of skiers and snowboarders in Aspen can enjoy rapid lifts and easy access across the entire ski area. The snowfall record at this altitude is exceptional, and Aspen enjoys regular dumps of fresh powder – ideal for back-country skiers and boarders in search of the steep and deep. Furthermore, Aspen is home to a superb selection of challenging terrain parks, where freestylers can push themselves to bigger and better feats of daring!

Whether your group is made up mostly of beginners, intermediates, or advanced-level skiers or boarders, Aspen offers the diversity of terrain to meet the needs of its many visitors. There are a number of different sectors to explore, each with its own list of pros and cons, but visitors of all levels will not have a hard time finding the slopes to match their standard. 

Ski schools in Aspen cater to a wide range of classes and clinics, with lessons in everything from basic turns to freestyle and deep powder-skiing. The standard of tuition is also very high, another factor which sets the resort apart from the competition for the quality of its group skiing offerings. 

Away from the pistes, Aspen has plenty to offer groups by way of restaurants and après ski. This charming and characterful mountain town now boasts a wonderfully broad selection of dining options to suit a wide range of palates. The après ski scene is lively and friendly too, but as to be expected in a resort of this stature, meals and drinks don’t always come cheap. 


Besides the wonderful non-skiing activities on offer, Aspen has some excellent childcare facilities to keep the little ones entertained under dedicated supervision.

The Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center in Snowmass Village is a multilevel 2,300-square-meter childcare facility. It brings the great outdoors inside with Colorado-themed play rooms and supervised activities for children aged 8 weeks to 4 years old. 

Meanwhile over at Buttermilk, the new $10m children’s centre The Hideout offers four interactive indoor learning rooms to foster imaginations and allow for play-based learning during breaks from skiing. It also has easy access to a gentle training slope for first turns, offering the perfect introduction to the sport.

The Piste

With the resort perched at 2420m and slopes up to 3490m, Aspen is a snow-sure bet for keen skiers. Visitors to Aspen can enjoy four separate ski areas, which are linked by a free shuttle bus service. Buttermilk is perfect for beginners, while Ajax and Aspen Highlands are for those with more experience under their belts. Snowmass, meanwhile, is the largest of the four areas and comprises a good blend of terrain for groups of mixed abilities. The first three ski areas are not too far from each other in the Roaring Fork valley, while Snowmass is a slightly longer journey away. 

To cap things off, there is some excellent off-piste potential to enjoy – particularly in Snowmass and Aspen highlands – plus terrain parks in Buttermilk and Snowmass.

Ski School

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