On-Mountain Fun at Aspen, Colorado
Skiers and riders have a wealth of options to experience thrills and adventures in Aspen/Snowmass, but it doesn't stop on the mountains with skiing and snowboarding. Alternative on-mountain activities from snowshoeing and tubing to dog sled rides and snowcycling allow guests to experience the ultimate winter getaway with the whole package of fun and excitement.
First Tracks (Aspen Mountain, Snowmass) - The early bird gets the worm, or, in this case, an early-morning bonus run on empty, freshly-groomed slopes with Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen pros. Beginning Dec. 27, First Tracks is offered every day at Aspen Mountain and every Wednesday and Friday at Snowmass. Up to 8 guests per day may enjoy this unique experience. Sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis, at the concierge desk in the Aspen Mountain Gondola Ticket Office, 970-925-1220, or the Information Desk in the Snowmass Mall Ticket Pavilion. 970-925-1220, x4560. A lift ticket for that day or season pass must be presented, but First Tracks is free.
The Noon Groom on Snowmass - Can't get up in time for fresh corduroy? Hit the Noon Groom at Snowmass, Monday through Thursday, when crews groom a popular intermediate trail for untracked noontime corduroy! Check grooming reports for the day's Noon Groom.
Aspen Mountain Powder Tours - Luxury snowcats take you to prime untracked stashes on the back side of Aspen Mountain. Enjoy guaranteed fresh tracks and lunch at a wood-stove heated cabin tucked away in the Elk Mountains. Reservations must be made in advance. 970-920-0720
FREE Mountain Tours - Ambassadors are stationed on all four mountains, providing free mountain tours twice daily. Tours depart from the On-Mountain Guest Service Centers at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., where you can also pick up a cup of free hot cider or water.
Mountaintop Snowshoe Tours by ACES (Aspen Mountain) - Enjoy a two-hour snowshoe adventure led by a naturalist guide from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) on Aspen Mountain. Tours depart twice daily, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cost, including lift rides, snowshoe equipment, guide and a snack, is $45 for adults, $29 for children age 8 to 19 and senior citizens over 65. Call for reservations. 970-925-5756
ACES Fresh Tracks Nature Tours (Snowmass, Buttermilk) - Learn about the power of avalanches, winter activities, wildlife habitats, and more in these FREE guided tours, led by an ACES naturalist. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders at least 8 years old are welcome. On Snowmass, tours leave at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Guests meet at the Wapiti Wildlife Center at the top of Elk Camp. On Buttermilk, tours leave at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Meet at the top of the mountain at the Guest Services Center. 970-925-5756
Snowcycling - A modern day version of the original "Ski Bob," snowcycling is a new way to explore Buttermilk's gentle slopes. Snowcycles resemble bicycles, only with skis instead of wheels. Riders wear footskis, which are used along with handlebar turning and leaning from side to side to control turning, speed and stopping. Call Pro Mountain Sports at 970-920-0980 for information and rentals.
Cross Country Skiing - With 65 kilometers of trails, Aspen/ Snowmass maintains the largest groomed Nordic trail system in North America - called the "fifth mountain" by locals. The Snowmass Cross Country Center has a rental and retail shop and provides equipment and lessons, 970-923-3148. The full-service Aspen Cross-Country Center is located off Highway 82. 970-544-9246
Go Paragliding - USHGA-certified tandem pilots from Aspen Paragliding take clients for an unforgettable flight, off Walsh's or Ruthie's on Aspen Mountain, or Sam's Knob on Snowmass. 970-925-7625
NASTAR - Public NASTAR courses on Aspen Mountain are open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Snowmass course is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and at Aspen Highlands on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Cost is $6 for two runs or $10 for the entire day; Kids 12 and under pay $4 for 2 runs, $8 all day. For reservations, call 800-525-6200 or 970-925-1220, x3029 for Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands, and 970-925-1220, x4658 for Snowmass. Please call ahead for weekly schedule - 970-925-1220, x4560.
Sundeck Winter Nights - Ride the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain for an elegant dinner at the Sundeck restaurant, once a month December through March. Reservations are required. 970-429-6970
Cloud Nine dinners at Aspen Highlands - Mountaintop dining has never been so fine. Throughout the winter, guests may take a snowcat up the mountain to Cloud Nine, a genuine mountain cabin, for a romantic dinner. Chef Andreas Fischbacher prepares gourmet meals with European flair.
Capture your mountain memories with Mountain Photo - Mountain Photo specializes in family portraits, action shots, and children's program races. Photo sessions can also be arranged by appointment if preferred. Look for photographers wearing bright yellow jackets on each of the four mountains. There's no obligation to buy. You may see proofs and order prints that day at Mountain Photo Aspen, 601 E. Dean Street, at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola (970-920-0702); Mountain Photo Snowmass, on the Mall across from Paradise Bakery (970-923-8670); or on the Internet at www.aspensnowmass.com. Winter hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.