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Overview

For more than 60 years, Aspen has been the international gold standard for skiing, and its four towering mountains have lured a high-class tourism industry that includes celebrities from Jack Nicholson to Kevin Costner. Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain (otherwise known as Ajax) are within 14 miles of each other; they're uniquely legendary among skiers, and together they encompass 4,993 acres of ski trails. Many consider Aspen Highlands the best skiing mountain not only in Aspen but the entire state. Locals worship it for its frighteningly steep and bumpy bowls and runs, and while its disadvantage used to be old, poky ...

For more than 60 years, Aspen has been the international gold standard for skiing, and its four towering mountains have lured a high-class tourism industry that includes celebrities from Jack Nicholson to Kevin Costner. Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain (otherwise known as Ajax) are within 14 miles of each other; they're uniquely legendary among skiers, and together they encompass 4,993 acres of ski trails. Many consider Aspen Highlands the best skiing mountain not only in Aspen but the entire state. Locals worship it for its frighteningly steep and bumpy bowls and runs, and while its disadvantage used to be old, poky lifts, today it has four, including three high-speed quads. The Highlands also has far more beginner runs than Aspen Mountain, and there are seven restaurants on the mountain, notably Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. The views of the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak are as majestic as you'll see in any mountain landscape, anywhere. To accommodate the ski traffic, the charming, still-laid-back city has become known for its high-end shopping; amazing luxury hotels (notably the Little Nell); inviting bars; a serene downtown centering on the Aspen Fountain; and mountain hamlets that can cost tens of millions of dollars.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Founded as a mining camp in the Colorado Silver Boom and named because of the abundance of aspen trees in the area, the city is now a ski resort and an upscale tourist center.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter, or spring and fall for surprisingly good deals and lack of crowds