The word Aspen conjures images of picture-perfect snowcaps with ski lifts and fancy restaurants. It’s so famous as a vacation destination for the rich and famous that the name itself is almost like a brand.
It might just be skiing, arts, and outdoor fun for the outsider, but the locals call this “The Aspen Idea” – a cultural renaissance that dates back to the 40s and is still thriving to this day.
An Introduction to Aspen Ski Resorts
Aspen used to be a silver mining town but now these mountains are home to four ski resorts all owned by the same company.
Aspen Mountain or Ajax serves as Aspen town’s backdrop. To the west are Aspen Highlands resort and Buttermilk ski resort.
Snowmass, which is bigger than the three resorts combined, has a bigger base village and ski area.
Quick Facts about the Four Ski Resorts in Aspen Colorado:
CondosAjax or Aspen Mountain Ski Resort
Wanna ski down the same slopes as the athletes of the FIS Alpine World Cup? Ajax is just the ski resort for you.
Fair warning, this resort was chosen for the event because of its technical, unforgiving runs. They have no slopes for beginners, and about 65% of the trails are for experts.
The ski area is served by a centralized gondola that will take you up to the peak in a mere 10 minutes where you can enjoy a range of diamond and double diamond runs.
Most skiers here will spend their time on the upper-mountain quad, where they can enjoy intermediate trails and ridges.
If that’s not your thing, head to Ruthie’s run or International if you’re looking for long cruisers. Bell Mountain is the spot for bump skiing.
Tourists looking for accommodation should head to The Little Nell, the tried and tested ski-in, ski-out luxury hotel at the base of Aspen Mountain.
Aspen Highlands Ski Resort
Local favorite Aspen Highlands is also a playground for advanced skiers, albeit with less grooming.
The Highland Bowl, the resort’s main attraction, takes 20 minutes of climbing in strong winds just to reach the top. Yes, there’s no lift that can take you up the peak… you can take a cat ride but you’ll have to hike the rest.
The fresh tracks and mountain views of Maroon Peak, one of the few peeks over 14,000 feet in Colorado, make it worth the effort though. Highland Bowl isn’t for the faint of heart and is best reserved for the latter part of your stay once you’ve acclimatized to the altitude.
Of course, you don’t have to take the hike to Highland Bowls to have a good time in Aspen Highlands. The Cloud Nine trails offer plenty of runs for less the work.
Buttermilk Ski Resort – The Family Friendly Resort
Don’t let the first two ski resorts on this list dissuade you from going to Aspen. They have beginner-friendly ski resorts, too.
Buttermilk is perfect for freestylers and beginners with its gentle runs and huge snow park, most famous for being the choice venue of the X-Games.
So if you’re a newbie looking for a less crowded training ground, Buttermilk is the perfect resort.
Ski parents can enjoy the Tiehack section and its gorgeous views of Maroon Creek Valley, which has a couple of advanced runs. True, it’s not like the ones at Highlands or Ajax but it’s not as crowded so that’s a plus.
Meanwhile, their kids can enjoy The Hideout, Buttermilk’s learning center specifically made for young skiers two and a half to four years of age.
Buttermilk is an all-around family friendly resort with world class amenities.
Aspen Snowmass: Home of the Capital Peak Lodge and The Best Rentals in Snowmass
Aspen Snowmass is the biggest and most popular resort in Aspen. The combination of diverse slopes in Snowmass mountain, ski school, excellent dining options, and extensive hotel options make them the top choice for travelers.
Their après options – or after skiing activities – and nightlife also live up to the town’s glitzy hype. There’s also plenty to explore at the base town — Snowmass village Colorado.
Well-positioned lifts throughout the resort’s 3,300 acres of skiable terrain means there’s hardly a line to enjoy the slopes of Snowmass, and less climbing, more skiing for everyone.
Outside the ski area in Snowmass Village, guests can enjoy an Ice Age discovery center that features a woolly mammoth and other huge skeletons that were found in the area before it became the now famous Snowmass village.
There’s also a climbing wall, ice rink, and the newly opened Limelight Hotel in Snowmass Village. Capital Peak Lodge is also located here, along with several boutique stores in Snowmass village mall.
Considering a Longer Stay? Snowmass Village Condos for Sale
Aspen is organized in a grid framework, with the resorts surrounded by a healthy number of restaurants, hotels, and boutique shops.
As with any skiing destination, Snowmass condos ski in ski out hotels command a higher price than vacation rentals a shuttle bus ride away. They also get booked solid in the months leading up to the ski season.
Non ski in/ski out properties offer free shuttles and bus rides to the resorts. Just ask your hotel for the trip schedules.
You also have the option to leave your gear in ski lockers available at the base of the gondola, so you don’t have to lug them back and forth to your room.
This is why ski in/ski out townhouses and luxury condos in Aspen are great investments for avid skiers.
It’s not just a sure-fire way to ensure you don’t have to catch a shuttle to enjoy fresh powder, it can also turn into a good secondary source of income. A three bedroom ski in, ski out property can fetch anywhere from $800 to as much as $4,000 a night.
Outside the ski season, these properties can also be rented out or enjoyed for a bit of hiking or countryside biking.
Ski in/Ski Out Snowmass Condo and Vacation Homes for Sale
Unit A 755 S Aspen Street “One Aspen”
This property has 3 bedrooms and 4.5-baths, and sits on 5, 507 square feet of mountain side. It’s located at the base of Ajax, just beside Lift 1A.
It’s part of a collection of 14 mountainside residences but still close to the restaurants and shops downtown.
And with its modern lines, spacious layouts, and coveted outdoor living spaces, it might just be the best Aspen address yet. Incredible opportunity to get into this neighborhood before the new ski lift is constructed to replace the current Lift 1A! A public vote approved a new chairlift (and two new hotels) to be constructed on South Aspen Street. Once those improvements are in place the ski and chairlift access to Aspen Mountain will be across the street!
Nearby Ski Resort: Ajax
623 South Monarch St, Aspen
Selling Price: $3,650,000
Superior Aspen core townhome in triplex.
Light and Bright with windows on three sides. End unit with large private deck overlooking Aspen Mountain and town.
Both exterior and interior remodels in 2015.
Main floor includes an updated open plan kitchen with a gas stove, built in dining table, gas fireplace and floor to ceiling windows.
- Entire top floor is master bedroom with steam shower
- Garden level has queen bedroom and custom bunk room with hang out space for kids.
- Second bathroom with tub/shower
- Enormous rental potential
- AC and ski storage
Location is exceptional with ski in access at present and the property will be ski and out with new lift 1-A and all the amenities of the coming Aspen Street hotel projects.
Back of property will be the new city park, Dolinsek Gardens.
Nearby Ski Resort: Ajax
112 Falcon Road at FiveTrees Subdivision
Selling Price: $12,800,000
Based on just over two secluded acres, bordering private land and positioned at the end of the road for extra security, sits this exclusive ski-in, ski-out enclave of Five Trees.
This five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom single family home elevates artful design to new heights and is offered professionally decorated and fully furnished, including the kitchenware and artwork, the home is truly turnkey.
The home’s interiors are defined by exquisite finishes, including Venetian plaster walls, walnut floors, and soaring ceilings with dramatic beam trusses.
Expansive copper cladded windows frame mountain views of Baldy Peak and the Willow Creek Valley showcasing the breathtaking natural surroundings and reinforcing the secluded feeling of this home.
This Aspen single family home is for sale and has 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 3 partial baths and was built in 2007.
Nearby Ski Resort: Aspen Highlands
38750 Highway 82 #2203 Luxury Condo in Aspen
Selling Price: 259,000
This 347 square feet, 2nd floor king suite has enviable access to the front desk, Home Team BBQ, Buttermilk ski lifts and all amenities the Inn has to offer.
It’s not a condo in Snowmass but if you want a family-friendly place, this is for you.
- king with pull out soft
- ·private owner’s closet in room
- complimentary shuttle service
- restaurant and bar
- exercise room
- 24 hour front desk on site.
- 2 parking spaces
Private owner’s storage closet in the room allows for easy visits – as does the Inn at Aspen van that connects guests and owners to the airport and downtown Aspen.
Nearby Ski Resort: Buttermilk
366 Pfister Dr, Aspen
Selling Price: $10,500,000
Exclusive Ski-In Ski-Out at Tiehack!
Whether you prefer downhill skiing, skinning, mountain biking or perhaps neither, this slope side Tiehack home offers easy access to some of our most beloved local activities, or just the right amount of privacy to qualify as a true mountain escape.
The Robert Trown-designed 6-bed, 8-bath home embraces the mountain aesthetic with classic finishes, expansive living spaces with vaulted ceilings, grand kitchen with breakfast nook, inviting bedrooms, opulent baths, and media room plus private decks, a patio and views.
Convenient to downtown Aspen with the Maroon Creek Club just down the hill, the airport and neighboring Aspen Highlands and Snowmass ski areas are just minutes away.
Nearby Ski Resort: Buttermilk
Explore More Ski in/Ski Snowmass Condos for Sale
Whether you’re looking for a 3-bedroom condo or bigger 5-bed townhome for your stay in Snowmass, having the right guide to show you around is key.
After all, you’ll be buying a prime real estate. Not all Snowmass ski in ski out condos will fit your particular needs when it comes to a vacation home or vacation rental.
Some properties have hot tubs or a golf course, others compensate for it with a heated pool and other amenities. A membership to the Snowmass Club, while coveted, is only available upon purchase of certain properties in Aspen Snowmass.
You’ll take the time to research to find one that meets your need, location and amenity wise. But online research on Zillow and agent online listings can only take you so far.
There are subtle differences in property condominium amenities, locales, and even unit furnishings that only a visit with an experienced realtor can show you.
Let us know what it is exactly you’re looking in Aspen snowmass condos—or nearby areas in the Roaring Fork valley, and we’ll take care of the rest.