Snowmass

activities / Winter sports

Lonely Planet review

Snowmass (the ski mountain accessed from the small town and ski mall of Snowmass Village) is 12 miles (19km) northwest of Aspen. Not only is the terrain varied and expansive, but its bowl, The Cirque, has the biggest lift-assisted vertical drop in the country. All told there are 91 downhill trails, 3132 acres (1267 hectares) of ski terrain, three terrain parks, a beginner pipe and a new super pipe, all serviced by 21 lifts.

Nordic skiing is available at the Snowmass Club Cross-Country Touring Center, featuring nearly 60 miles (more than 90km) of groomed trails connecting Basalt with Snowmass and Aspen. During the summer, you can hop onto the Elk Camp Gondola, which starts its course from the Snowmass Village Mall and carries people to the middle of the mountain. Once there, either hop the Elk Camp Lift to the summit or meander along the trails, or try out a game of disc (Frisbee) golf on the mountain's 18-hole course. Bikes are allowed on the Elk Camp Gondola. Throughout the year the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) offers guided nature walks departing from mid-mountain (with snowshoes in winter). Walks are held daily during summer at 10am and 1pm.