First Time Visiting Aspen Mountain? Here’s What You Need To Know

Aspen Mountain

There's a reason people flock from all corners of the globe to visit Aspen, CO. Aspen Mountain has a place among the top skiing destinations in the world. It's also renown for its natural beauty at virtually all times of the year thanks to how spectacular the mountains are. Also, if you're looking for some incredible places to dine, shop, and go to live events, finding a way to get to Aspen Mountain should be high on your list.

What to Remember When First Visiting Aspen Mountain

a person hiking in Aspen, Colorado

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There are many different ways to enjoy Aspen Mountain depending on the season. But rest assured, none of them will leave you feeling anything short of exhilarated. There've been numerous songs that describe the feeling you get when you enter into the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Aspen Mountain is no exception to these sentiments.

In addition to fully taking in the natural beauty, it helps to remember the elevation you've arrived at and to give yourself some time to adjust. By slowly increasing how you put out your energy, you'll experience less fatigue and be ready for all Aspen Mountain has to offer.

The Ski Resorts

You'll have an abundance of skiing options to choose from depending on what you're looking for. The main resorts combined comprise over 5,000 acres of skiable trails and terrain parks via 46 lifts. The names of the main resorts are Buttermilk, Aspen Mountain, (or Ajax as it's known to locals) Snowmass, and Aspen Highlands.

Each resort has a different general difficulty. For instance, Aspen Mountain is best for incredible bowl skiers whereas Aspen Highlands is for expert skiers of all types. Buttermilk is best for beginner to intermediate skill levels, while Snowmass is best for those at intermediate.

The Dining

Here you'll find restaurants that have set up shop to serve the best from all over the world. There are a few quick tips for those looking to save money. For one thing, try to go to the restaurants at off-peak times. Then you'll be more likely to have food or drink specials. Also, pull up a seat at the bar if seating type doesn't matter to you.

The bar usually has a menu that's about half the price of sitting down at a regular table. Generally, you'll get most if not all the same menu items. Options include everything from Asian fusion to all American, to European, and everything in between.

​The Live Experiences

The events that happen in and around Aspen Mountain have been getting better year by year. You might find them at Bootsy Bellows/Belly Up, Aspen. This is half nightclub half lounge that's owned by partners David Arquette, John Terzian, and Brian Toll. Under its roof you'll tend to find some of the hottest acts touring today. This is just one example of a live experience that's available to you here. There are also some incredible street festivals that take place to get people outside, into the streets and connecting with each other.

​Interacting Locally

horse-drawn carriage in Aspen

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Another great tip for visiting Aspen Mountain is that there's a lot you can learn from the people who are there year round. There will be unique perspectives from people who spend a lot of time in Aspen. The neat thing is that you'll probably get the inside scoop on the best places hand out, drink, and go out as a local. Make it a habit to talk to as many people as you can and take in people's stories. Chances are you'll learn something about what it means to be a local in Aspen.

​Walking Around With a Rented Pet

One of the great things about Aspen is that it's an refreshingly walkable community. You'll be able to go on adventures on foot, and if you're lucky, you can have a furry companion by your side. Aspen Shelter offers a 'rent a pet' program, allowing you to spend a single day with a new furry friend. Most hotels here are pet friendly as well. Also, there's the option to adopt your new friend at the end of the day if you choose.

​The Downtowner

There's also a free public transportation service called 'The Downtowner.' It's an electric vehicle that works with an app to take you wherever you need to go, including the gondolas. It's a unique way to get around, via programming in your pick up and drop off locations. Though if you really want faster service, virtually every hotel offers a car service for guests.

Annual Events to Consider

There are a wide variety of annual events that you can choose to plan your trip around. Nothing's better than seeing how a place like Aspen comes together to celebrate these traditional festivals.

Checking Out Wintersköl

Wintersköl is an annual event that happens in the second week of January. It celebrates all things Winter, with unique themed events that speak to Aspen's history and the culture of life in the Rocky Mountains. There are also frequent fireworks shows.

The 12 Days of Aspen

This longer festival occurs in December and features free ice skating. You'll also find opportunities to visit with Santa, places to go caroling, and places to roast marshmallows.

​Hiking Year Round

See you at the trailhead! There are some incredibly scenic hikes that you can take year round here. These feature striking vistas and waterfalls. And in September you'll be able to chase that 'peak color window.' This is where the fall leaves are most colorful.


Mountain covered in snow

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We hope that now you're armed with a little more knowledge that can maximize your trip to Aspen Mountain. If you've been putting off going on a trip here, make sure you don't wait another season. There are so many different ways to make your trip to one of the world's finest resort destinations both memorable and logistically feasible. Plan ahead, have fun, and don't forget to save some time and space for a little spontaneity. See you out there.

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