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Aspen Mountain - Aspen Snowmass. Photo Credit: Hasselblad - OutThere Colorado.
Aspen. Photo Credit: Hasselblad (iStock).

Aspen Mountain

Things to do

HikingMountain BikingRunningSightseeingSkiing and SnowboardingSnowshoeingWildlife

This legendary mountain sits right next to the world-famous town of Aspen in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley. Ajax (as the locals call it) is full of famous black diamond terrain, and you’ll find everything from bumps to glades to steeps. Of all four Aspen resorts, this is definitely the mountain to go to on a powder day—you’ll find untouched fresh snow all day, and secret stashes stick around for several days after a storm. Looking for an iconic run? Ruthie’s Run is a classic. For tree lovers, F.I.S. lift boasts beautiful tree skiing in aspen groves and tends to hold onto powder for a while. Full 0 mountain leg burners are a favorite, especially when you take anything from the Nose of Bell glades and funnel down into Spar Gulch for a blue cruiser to the base. The base is right in the heart of Aspen, so the après scene almost rivals the skiing: Try Ajax Tavern, and the Sundeck at the top of the mountain is great for afternoon brews and late lunches in the sunshine. Aspen Mountain has it all.

Pro Tips

  • To get psyched for your day, try to get on the red cars instead of black on the Silver Queen Gondola as these ones have iHome capabilities, allowing you to play your favorite tunes on the way up the mountain.
  • A little known fact, the back of Ajax is accessible by road and backcountry skiing, and for a true out-of-bounds experience, Aspen Mountain Powder Tours will hook you up with fresh tracks on the backside.
  • If you are a tree skier, hunt around for the secret shrines scattered across the mountain. These tributes add mystique, culture, and flavor to this mountain and set it apart from all others. Over the years, locals have informally set up over 100 shrines for stars such as Bob Marley, Jerry Garcia, and The Beatles. These consist of items ranging from plaques, photos, beads, sculptures, skis and boots, a teepee, a fake alligator, an elk head, and many miscellaneous items. Don’t bother asking about these, the locations are kept quite secret, and you have to go explore for yourself.

Recommended Season(s): Aspen Mountain in conjunction with the town of Aspen offers a year-round magnificent experience. Avoid big holidays, such as winter break and spring break, but you can always find a smattering of interesting happenings and fabulous skiing, hiking, and mountain biking.

Annie Brewster

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