Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How Big Is Aspen Ski Resort


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Johnath Rinker



Welcome to Aspen Ski Resort, a premier destination for winter sports enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Nestled in the heart of the breathtaking Elk Mountains in Colorado, Aspen Ski Resort offers a world-class skiing and snowboarding experience like no other. With its rich history, expansive terrain, top-notch amenities, and vibrant atmosphere, Aspen Ski Resort has become an iconic destination for winter sports enthusiasts from around the globe.


Aspen Ski Resort first gained popularity in the mid-20th century when a group of visionary individuals recognized the area’s potential for winter sports. Since then, it has grown into one of the most renowned ski resorts in the world, attracting everyone from professional athletes to celebrities seeking an escape in the stunning mountain scenery.


With its four interconnected mountains – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass – Aspen Ski Resort offers an impressive range of terrain suitable for all skill levels. From steep chutes and moguls to well-groomed slopes and beginner-friendly areas, there is something for everyone here.


Aspen Ski Resort boasts a comprehensive network of lifts that ensure minimal wait times and quick access to the slopes. Whether you are a seasoned skier or a first-time visitor, you can explore the vast trail system, which caters to a wide range of abilities. The resort also offers lessons and clinics for those looking to improve their skills or try a new winter sport.


Beyond the exhilarating skiing and snowboarding, Aspen Ski Resort offers a plethora of amenities and services to enhance your experience. From cozy slopeside lodges to luxurious hotels, there are accommodation options to suit every preference and budget. Indulge in gourmet dining, relax in world-class spas, and enjoy après-ski activities and vibrant nightlife.


With its commitment to sustainability, Aspen Ski Resort also strives to minimize its impact on the environment. The resort employs various green initiatives and practices to preserve the natural beauty that makes this destination so unique.


Getting to Aspen Ski Resort is convenient, with several transportation options available. Whether you choose to fly into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport or drive through scenic mountain roads, you will be greeted by breathtaking vistas along the way.


So, prepare yourself for an unforgettable winter adventure at Aspen Ski Resort, where thrilling slopes, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality await you.


History of Aspen Ski Resort

The history of Aspen Ski Resort dates back to the late 1930s when a group of adventurous locals saw the potential of the surrounding mountains for skiing. This passion for winter sports led to the establishment of the first ski area on Aspen Mountain, known as Ajax, in 1946.


Aspen Mountain quickly gained popularity among skiing enthusiasts and became a hub for winter sports. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the resort started to gain international recognition. The advent of the Aspen Skiing Company, led by visionary entrepreneur Walter Paepcke, marked a new era for the resort.


Under Paepcke’s leadership, Aspen Ski Resort experienced significant growth and development. The resort expanded its terrain and established additional mountains, including Aspen Highlands in 1958, Buttermilk in 1958, and Snowmass in 1967. This diversification ensured that Aspen Ski Resort catered to skiers of all skill levels.


Throughout the years, Aspen Ski Resort hosted numerous iconic ski events, including World Cup races and Winter X Games. These events further solidified Aspen’s reputation as a world-class ski destination and attracted top athletes from around the globe.


Aspen’s rise to prominence wasn’t only due to its exceptional skiing opportunities. The town itself quickly became a cultural and intellectual hub, attracting artists, musicians, and writers. The Aspen Institute, founded by Walter Paepcke, fostered the exchange of ideas and contributed to Aspen’s unique cultural identity.


Over the decades, Aspen Ski Resort has continued to evolve and thrive while preserving its rich history and heritage. It remains a favorite among winter sports enthusiasts, offering a combination of challenging slopes, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant atmosphere.


Today, Aspen Ski Resort stands as an iconic destination that seamlessly blends adventure, luxury, and natural beauty. It continues to draw visitors from all walks of life, who come to experience the thrill of skiing in a breathtaking mountain setting.


Aspen Ski Resort’s dedication to providing exceptional skiing experiences, coupled with its commitment to preserving its history and embracing its unique cultural offerings, ensures that it will remain a beloved destination for generations to come.


Size and Terrain

Aspen Ski Resort encompasses a vast and diverse terrain, offering something for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. With its four interconnected mountains – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass – the resort covers a total area of over 5,500 acres.


Aspen Mountain, also known as Ajax, is the oldest and most iconic mountain in the resort. It offers challenging ski slopes for advanced and expert skiers, with steep pitches, moguls, and gladed areas. The mountain boasts a vertical drop of 3,267 feet, providing thrilling descents and panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.


Aspen Highlands is another mountain within the resort that caters to advanced and expert skiers. Renowned for its challenging steeps and exhilarating bowl skiing, it has gained a reputation as a favorite among experienced skiers seeking a more adventurous experience. The Highland Bowl is a highlight for those looking for an intense and rewarding backcountry skiing experience.


Buttermilk, on the other hand, is a beginner-friendly mountain that offers gentle slopes and wide-open trails, making it perfect for beginners and families. Buttermilk is also home to the ESPN Winter X Games, showcasing the world’s best freestyle skiing and snowboarding.


Perhaps the crown jewel of Aspen Ski Resort is Snowmass, the largest mountain in the resort and one of the largest ski areas in the United States. Spanning over 3,300 acres, Snowmass provides a vast playground for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. With its wide groomed runs, tree skiing, and challenging steeps, Snowmass offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.


Overall, Aspen Ski Resort offers over 300 trails that cater to all skill levels. From gentle beginner slopes to expert terrain, there is something for everyone. The resort is also renowned for its exceptional off-piste skiing and backcountry access, allowing advanced skiers to venture into untouched powder and explore the stunning natural surroundings.


In addition to its diverse terrain, Aspen Ski Resort boasts an impressive average annual snowfall of around 300 inches. This reliable snowfall, combined with extensive snowmaking capabilities, ensures excellent skiing conditions throughout the winter season.


Whether you are a seasoned expert looking for thrilling challenges, a beginner wanting to learn the ropes, or someone in between, Aspen Ski Resort’s expansive and varied terrain will cater to your every skiing and snowboarding desire. Get ready to explore and experience the endless possibilities that await you on its slopes.


Lifts and Trails

Aspen Ski Resort boasts a well-designed lift system that ensures efficient and convenient access to its vast terrain. With a combination of high-speed gondolas, chairlifts, and surface lifts, the resort provides quick and seamless transportation for skiers and snowboarders.


The primary lifts at Aspen Ski Resort are the high-speed gondolas, which whisk visitors from the base areas to the mountaintops in no time. These gondolas offer stunning panoramic views as they transport guests to the start of their skiing adventures. The Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain, for example, takes riders from the base of the mountain to its summit, providing access to a variety of thrilling trails.


In addition to gondolas, the resort features a network of chairlifts that efficiently transport skiers and snowboarders to various parts of the mountains. These chairlifts range from high-speed quad chairs to scenic and leisurely slow-paced lifts that allow riders to enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Each chairlift provides access to a different set of trails, offering a wide range of options for exploration and enjoyment.


Aspen Ski Resort takes pride in its well-maintained and meticulously groomed trails. The resort offers a variety of marked trails that cater to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert, you will find something suitable for your skill level. The trails are color-coded to indicate their difficulty level – green for beginners, blue for intermediates, black for experts, and double black diamonds for the most advanced skiers seeking a thrilling challenge.


For those seeking off-piste adventures, Aspen Ski Resort offers a multitude of exciting and challenging runs beyond the marked trails. From steep couloirs to gladed areas, the resort provides ample opportunities for experienced skiers and snowboarders to explore and enjoy the beauty of the backcountry.


Aspen Ski Resort also takes pride in its commitment to terrain parks. Buttermilk mountain, in particular, is renowned for its world-class terrain parks, featuring a variety of jumps, rails, and features designed to challenge and thrill freestyle skiers and snowboarders.


In addition to the traditional trails and terrain parks, Aspen Ski Resort offers a vast network of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for those looking to explore the serene winter landscapes at a more leisurely pace. These trails wind through forests and meadows, providing a peaceful escape and stunning views.


Whether you are a seasoned skier, a beginner, or someone looking for a leisurely cross-country adventure, Aspen Ski Resort’s well-designed lifts and varied trails provide endless opportunities for enjoyment and exploration. Get ready to discover the exhilarating slopes and stunning natural beauty that await you at this incredible winter paradise.


Amenities and Services

Aspen Ski Resort offers a wide range of amenities and services to ensure that visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience both on and off the slopes. From cozy lodges to gourmet dining options, the resort strives to provide a luxurious and memorable stay for every guest.


Accommodation options at Aspen Ski Resort are diverse and cater to various preferences and budgets. Visitors can choose from slopeside hotels, charming bed and breakfasts, luxurious resorts, and private mountain rentals. Each option offers unique amenities, such as heated pools, spa facilities, fitness centers, and breathtaking mountain views. Whether you prefer the convenience of staying directly on the slopes or the tranquility of a secluded mountain retreat, Aspen Ski Resort has the perfect accommodation option for you.


After an exhilarating day on the slopes, guests can unwind and indulge in the resort’s exceptional dining options. From casual slopeside cafes to upscale gourmet restaurants, Aspen Ski Resort offers a wide variety of culinary experiences. Enjoy a hearty après-ski meal with friends or savor a romantic dinner in an elegant setting. The resort’s restaurants serve a diverse range of cuisines, including international dishes, farm-to-table specialties, and locally sourced ingredients.


For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Aspen Ski Resort is home to world-class spas and wellness centers. Unwind with a soothing massage, pamper yourself with a facial, or take a dip in a hot tub overlooking the majestic mountains. The resort’s wellness facilities provide the perfect sanctuary to recharge and revitalize after an active day on the slopes.


Not only does Aspen Ski Resort offer exceptional skiing and snowboarding, but it also provides a plethora of other winter activities. Visitors can enjoy ice skating on outdoor rinks, snowmobiling through scenic trails, dog sledding adventures, and guided snowshoeing tours. The resort also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the winter season, including live music performances, art exhibits, and cultural celebrations.


For those who want to enhance their skiing or snowboarding skills, Aspen Ski Resort offers a range of lessons and clinics. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced rider seeking to fine-tune your technique, the resort’s highly skilled instructors are available to provide personalized instruction and guidance.


Aspen Ski Resort also provides convenient services to ensure a seamless experience for visitors. Equipment rental shops offer top-quality gear and professional fittings, making it easy for guests to rent skis, snowboards, boots, and other winter sports equipment. The resort also offers childcare services, allowing parents to enjoy their time on the slopes while their children are well taken care of.


With its exceptional amenities and services, Aspen Ski Resort ensures that every visitor has a fantastic and memorable winter vacation. Immerse yourself in luxury, comfort, and unparalleled hospitality as you explore all that this remarkable resort has to offer.


Snowmaking and Snowfall

Aspen Ski Resort is renowned for its exceptional snow conditions, thanks to both its natural snowfall and state-of-the-art snowmaking capabilities. The resort benefits from its location in the Colorado Rockies, which receives abundant snowfall throughout the winter season.


On average, Aspen Ski Resort receives around 300 inches of snowfall annually. This reliable and consistent snowfall ensures that the mountains are blanketed in fresh powder, providing excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions. The plentiful snowfall, combined with the resort’s high elevation, helps to create a long season that typically runs from late November to mid-April.


In addition to natural snowfall, Aspen Ski Resort has an extensive snowmaking system in place. This system covers a significant portion of the resort’s terrain, ensuring a consistent snow base throughout the season, even during periods of lower snowfall. The resort utilizes advanced snowmaking technology and equipment to efficiently produce snow when needed, ensuring optimal ski conditions on a consistent basis.


The snowmaking process begins with the collection of water from natural sources such as reservoirs or nearby streams. The water is then transported to strategically placed snow guns that distribute it in the form of fine particles into the air. As the water particles freeze and fall to the ground, they create a layer of artificial snow that supplements the natural snowfall and helps to build and maintain a solid base for skiing and snowboarding.


The resort’s dedicated team of snowmakers meticulously monitor weather conditions, temperature, and humidity levels to determine the optimal times for snowmaking. They work tirelessly to ensure that the ski trails are covered with a consistent and high-quality snow surface, regardless of Mother Nature’s cooperation.


Aspen Ski Resort’s commitment to snowmaking plays a crucial role in offering optimal skiing conditions throughout the winter season. The combination of natural snowfall and advanced snowmaking techniques ensures that visitors can enjoy superb skiing and snowboarding experiences, whether they visit early in the season or later in the spring.


So, whether you are a powder hound seeking that fresh powder or someone who appreciates the consistent groomed conditions, Aspen Ski Resort’s dedication to snowmaking ensures that you will have an incredible skiing or snowboarding adventure no matter when you visit.


Accommodation Options

Aspen Ski Resort offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. Whether you prefer the convenience of staying slopeside or the tranquility of a secluded mountain retreat, the resort provides a variety of choices to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.


Slopeside hotels are a popular choice for those seeking convenience and easy access to the slopes. These hotels offer comfortable rooms or suites with stunning views of the mountains and immediate access to the lifts. Many slopeside hotels also boast amenities such as heated pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, and on-site restaurants, allowing guests to relax and indulge after a day on the slopes.


If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, charming bed and breakfasts in the Aspen area provide a cozy and personalized experience. These accommodations often feature individually decorated rooms, homemade breakfasts, and friendly hosts who can offer insider tips on the best local attractions and restaurants.


For those desiring a luxurious escape, Aspen Ski Resort is home to several world-class resorts. These resorts offer a range of amenities, including spas, fine dining restaurants, and concierge services. Guests can enjoy lavish accommodations, exquisite dining, and impeccable service, ensuring a truly indulgent stay.


If privacy and space are a priority, private mountain rentals and vacation homes are available for larger groups or families. These spacious and fully equipped properties offer the comforts of home, including full kitchens, multiple bedrooms, and living areas. Many rentals also feature amenities like hot tubs, game rooms, and private decks with panoramic mountain views.


Budget-conscious visitors can find affordable accommodations in Aspen Ski Resort as well. There are a variety of motels and lodges that offer comfortable rooms at more affordable rates. While these accommodations may not have all the lavish amenities of high-end resorts, they still provide a cozy and inviting place to rest and recharge after a day on the slopes.


Aspen Ski Resort is known for its exceptional hospitality, regardless of the type of accommodation chosen. The staff at each property is dedicated to ensuring guests have a memorable stay, providing top-notch service and assistance with any requests or needs.


With its diverse range of accommodation options, Aspen Ski Resort caters to the preferences of every traveler. Whether you’re seeking luxury and pampering or a cozy and affordable retreat, you’ll find the perfect place to call home during your winter getaway in Aspen.


Activities and Events

Aspen Ski Resort is not just renowned for its incredible skiing and snowboarding opportunities but also for its wide array of activities and events that cater to all interests and ages. Whether you’re looking to explore the stunning winter landscapes, embrace the local culture, or simply have fun off the slopes, Aspen Ski Resort has something for everyone.


One of the most popular activities at Aspen Ski Resort is ice skating. The resort features outdoor ice skating rinks where visitors can glide across the ice, surrounded by the picturesque mountain scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, this timeless winter activity offers a unique way to enjoy the beauty of the resort.


Snowmobiling is another thrilling activity available at Aspen Ski Resort. Adventurous visitors can explore the backcountry on guided tours, zooming through snowy trails and taking in the breathtaking views. It’s an exhilarating way to experience the pristine winter wonderland surrounding the resort.


For a more serene winter excursion, guided snowshoeing tours are available. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture into the peaceful forests and meadows surrounding the resort. Expert guides will lead you through scenic trails, sharing their knowledge of the area’s flora, fauna, and history along the way.


Aspen Ski Resort is also renowned for its vibrant après-ski scene. After a day on the slopes, visitors can indulge in the resort’s lively bars, restaurants, and lounges. Enjoy a refreshing drink while mingling with fellow skiers and snowboarders, or unwind with live music and entertainment. The après-ski atmosphere is renowned for its conviviality and provides the perfect opportunity to relax and share stories of the day’s adventures.


The winter season at Aspen Ski Resort is also filled with a variety of events and festivals that attract visitors from around the world. One of the highlights is the Winter X Games, an annual event showcasing the skills of the world’s best freestyle skiers and snowboarders. The X Games feature high-flying tricks and jaw-dropping performances that leave spectators in awe.


Art and culture enthusiasts will find plenty of options to indulge their passions in Aspen Ski Resort as well. The town is home to numerous art galleries, where visitors can admire an array of artworks. The resort also hosts art exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances throughout the winter season, adding to its vibrant cultural scene.


For those interested in furthering their skills on the slopes, Aspen Ski Resort offers a range of lessons and clinics. Whether you’re a beginner seeking to learn the basics or an experienced skier looking to sharpen your technique, the resort’s expert instructors are available to provide personalized instruction and guidance.


With its diverse array of activities and events, Aspen Ski Resort ensures that there is never a dull moment during your winter getaway. Whether you’re seeking adventure, entertainment, or cultural experiences, this renowned resort has it all and promises to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Sustainability Efforts

Aspen Ski Resort is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the surrounding environment and minimizing its ecological footprint. The resort is committed to implementing sustainable practices to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the pristine mountain landscapes.


One of the key sustainability efforts at Aspen Ski Resort is focused on reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The resort has implemented energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting and efficient snowmaking systems, to minimize energy usage. Additionally, the resort actively promotes a culture of energy conservation among staff and guests, encouraging practices such as turning off lights when not in use and using energy-efficient appliances.


Water conservation is also a priority at Aspen Ski Resort. The resort has invested in water-saving technologies and practices, including low-flow fixtures, efficient snowmaking systems, and water recycling programs. These efforts help to reduce water consumption, preserve water resources, and maintain the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystem.


Waste reduction and recycling initiatives play a significant role in Aspen Ski Resort’s sustainability efforts. The resort encourages guests and staff to practice responsible waste management by providing recycling facilities and promoting awareness of proper recycling practices. Additionally, the resort strives to minimize single-use plastics and offers reusable options to reduce unnecessary waste generation.


Aspen Ski Resort places a strong emphasis on preserving the biodiversity of the surrounding mountain environment. The resort works closely with environmental organizations and local authorities to implement conservation programs and protect sensitive habitats. These efforts include preserving and restoring forests, promoting sustainable land management practices, and preserving wildlife corridors.


Furthermore, Aspen Ski Resort is dedicated to educating both visitors and staff about environmental stewardship and sustainability practices. The resort offers educational programs and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and promote responsible outdoor recreation. Guests are encouraged to participate in sustainable activities, such as guided eco-tours, where they can learn about the local ecosystem and the resort’s conservation efforts.


Aspen Ski Resort is committed to supporting the local community through various initiatives. The resort collaborates with local businesses and organizations to source locally produced food and products, reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation while fostering economic growth in the region. Additionally, the resort contributes to community development projects and philanthropic efforts that benefit the local population and the surrounding environment.


By implementing these sustainable practices, Aspen Ski Resort aims to lead by example and inspire other ski resorts and outdoor recreation destinations to prioritize environmental stewardship. The resort recognizes the importance of preserving the natural beauty that makes it such a cherished destination and is committed to ensuring a sustainable and responsible future for generations to come.


Getting to Aspen Ski Resort

Getting to Aspen Ski Resort is convenient and offers various transportation options, ensuring easy access to this winter paradise nestled in the Colorado Rockies.


For those traveling by air, the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is the closest airport to the resort. Located just a short drive away, the airport offers direct flights from major cities across the United States. Airlines such as United, American, and Delta operate regular flights to and from Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, making it a convenient option for visitors.


If you prefer driving, Aspen Ski Resort is easily accessible by car. The resort is located approximately 200 miles southwest of Denver, and the drive takes approximately 3 to 4 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. The scenic journey takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including mountain passes and picturesque towns.


Another option for reaching Aspen Ski Resort is by shuttle or private car service. Several shuttle companies provide transportation services from the Denver International Airport (DEN) directly to Aspen. These shuttles offer comfortable and convenient shared or private rides, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery while someone else takes care of the driving.


If you prefer the flexibility and convenience of having your own vehicle, car rentals are available at the Denver International Airport. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore the surrounding area and venture beyond the resort – from charming mountain towns to nearby attractions.


Once you arrive at Aspen Ski Resort, the local transportation system makes it easy to get around. The free Skier Shuttle service operates throughout the resort, providing transportation between the various mountains, lodging areas, and downtown Aspen. The shuttle service runs at regular intervals and is an efficient way to move between different areas of the resort without the need for a car.


Walking and biking are also popular options within Aspen Ski Resort. The town of Aspen itself is pedestrian-friendly, with designated walking and biking paths that make it easy to get around. Many hotels and lodges also offer bike rentals, allowing you to explore the town and its surroundings at your own pace.


Getting to Aspen Ski Resort is a part of the adventure, whether you choose to fly, drive, take a shuttle, or use the local transportation system. The journey will reward you with incredible scenery and the anticipation of an unforgettable winter escape in this picturesque mountain destination.



Aspen Ski Resort stands as a premier destination for winter sports enthusiasts, offering a combination of world-class skiing, breathtaking mountain views, and a vibrant atmosphere. With its rich history, expansive terrain, and top-notch amenities, the resort provides an unforgettable winter getaway for visitors from around the globe.


From the moment you arrive, Aspen Ski Resort captivates with its stunning natural beauty and warm hospitality. The interconnected mountains of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass offer an impressive range of terrain suitable for all skill levels, ensuring that every skier and snowboarder will find their perfect slope.


Beyond the exhilarating winter sports, Aspen Ski Resort provides a myriad of activities and events for visitors to enjoy. Whether it’s ice skating, snowmobiling, or exploring the serene winter landscapes on snowshoes, there is never a shortage of things to do both on and off the slopes. The resort’s vibrant après-ski scene, art galleries, and cultural events add depth and enrichment to the experience.


Aspen Ski Resort also places a strong emphasis on sustainability and protecting the environment. The resort’s commitment to energy conservation, water preservation, waste reduction, and wildlife conservation ensures that future generations can continue to enjoy the pristine mountain landscapes that make this destination so special.


Getting to Aspen Ski Resort is convenient, with multiple transportation options available. Whether you choose to fly into the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, drive through scenic mountain roads, or take a shuttle service, the journey to Aspen is a part of the adventure, with breathtaking vistas along the way.


In conclusion, Aspen Ski Resort offers an unparalleled winter sports experience, where thrilling slopes, stunning landscapes, and world-class amenities come together to create a truly memorable vacation. With its rich history, diverse terrain, exciting activities, and commitment to sustainability, Aspen Ski Resort has rightfully earned its place as one of the top ski destinations in the world. So, prepare yourself for an extraordinary winter adventure and embrace the magic of Aspen Ski Resort.