Exhilaration. Champagne powder means it’s time to get out the skis or snowboards and head up to Colorado’s high country for world-class fun. A day on the slopes is like nothing else, and Colorado truly boasts the best of best. Fantastic terrain, gorgeous accommodations and excellent restaurants and shopping. Paradise with a mountain view!
The Aspen/Snowmass ski resort complex features four of the state’s best mountains for skiing and snowboarding, all conveniently located near some of Colorado’s top mountain towns. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, each of the four resorts is worth a visit while you’re in Colorado.
Forming the backdrop for downtown Aspen, this ski resort has been around for nearly 70 years. Famous for its black-diamond terrain, the mountain offers a variety of glades and mogul runs. For the adventurous at heart, Aspen Mountain Powder Tours offers out-of-bounds access to the fresh powder on the back side of the mountain. The Sundeck restaurant at the summit features phenomenal views and is conveniently accessed via the gondola.
Lauded for its backcountry Highland Bowl and experts-only runs, Aspen Highlands boasts some of the toughest terrain in the country. Even so, the mountain is split nearly 50-50 between easier and more difficult runs, allowing it to cater to a variety of skiing and snowboarding levels. Visitors can take in the breathtaking views of Maroon Bells from the top, then enjoy a tasty lunch or hot beverage at one of the two on-mountain restaurants.
A favorite for families, Buttermilk Mountain is located three miles from Aspen and six miles from Snowmass. It is perhaps best known as the site of the Winter X Games, an intense winter sports competition slated to return to Aspen Jan. 22-25. The wide-open mountain characterized by gently rolling hills is perfect for beginners, but roughly two-thirds of the mountain offers more advanced terrain for those with experience. The nationally renowned Buttermilk terrain park features a 22-foot superpipe and an X Games slopestyle course.
Just nine miles from downtown Aspen, Snowmass is the perfect mountain for skiers of all ages and abilities. More than 20 lifts and gondolas traverse the 3,000 acres of terrain, granting skiers and riders access to 94 different trails and three terrain parks. With 4,406 vertical feet between the base and the summit, Snowmass Mountain covers the most vertical terrain of any resort in the country. Snowmass Village is located at the base of the mountain, complete with world-class dining and an impressive retail scene. And, of course, there are plenty of locations to purchase or rent winter gear, from shiny new skis to warm, comfy coats.
DINING IN ASPEN
533 East Hopkins Avenue, 970-920-2212
Kenichi Aspen offers contemporary Asian cuisine and world-class sushi in a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. Thanks to master sushi chef Kiyomi Sano and executive chef Kenichi Kanada, it has become one of Aspen’s finest and hippest dining establishments. Enhancing the already delicious food, Kenichi offers an
exquisite wine list and one of the most extensive sake lists in the country.
Steakhouse No. 316
316 East Hopkins Avenue, 970-920-1893
Owned by Aspen restaurateurs Craig and Samantha Cordts-Pearce, Steakhouse No. 316 is known for its gigantic, sizzling, delectable steaks. Top them off with a 6 oz. Maine lobster tail or king crab legs, or choose from seven handcrafted sauces. Don’t skip over the seafood menu, either. The Cordts-Pearce duo is also behind three other Aspen dining locales: The Wild Fig, Brexie Brasserie and CP Burger.
328 East Hyman Avenue, 970-429-8192
Located in the historic Wheeler Opera House building, Justice Snow’s is the perfect mix of past and present in downtown Aspen. With
a nationally acclaimed bar and an ever-
changing seasonal menu, it’s a great location for brunch, lunch, dinner or late-night drinks. The restaurant features live music on most Wednesday and Sunday evenings.
320 South Galena Street, 970-925-7585
Craving something sweet? Swing by Paradise Bakery for delectable cookies, muffins, brownies and ice cream. Located conveniently in the middle of downtown Aspen, it’s perfect for a quick stop between shops or after skiing.
Shopping in Aspen
More than 230 shops and boutiques line the streets of downtown Aspen, creating a shopper’s haven. Whether you’re on the hunt for fashion or function, designer duds or stellar sales, you’re sure to come home with everything on your list. The town features a variety of pedestrian malls with restaurants and coffee shops peeking out between storefronts, making for the perfect day.
With more than 100 bars, pubs and nightclubs adorning the streets of Aspen and Snowmass Village, the nightlife scene is one of the best in the nation. From billiards to jazz clubs, there’s a little bit of everything. Plus, between the outdoor music venues and the indoor concert halls, there are always big names rocking the stage.
Aspen Brewing Company
304 East Hopkins Avenue, 970-920-2739
Stop by the Aspen Brewing Company’s scenic tasting room for locally brewed beers and fantastic views. From the barrel-aged Temerity series to seasonal specialties, there’s a beer to please every palate. Planning a party? The tasting room and brewing facilities are both available for reservation.
Belly Up Aspen
450 South Galena Street, 970-544-9800
An iconic venue, Belly Up brings some of the best musicians to Aspen throughout the year. With an incredible sound system and an intimate setting (the building accommodates only 450 guests), it’s sure to provide a night to remember. Also available for private parties and events.
330 East Main Street, 855-331-7213
Aspen’s favorite watering hole, the J-Bar is located in the historic Hotel Jerome. Whether you’re in the mood for a cold beer or a vintage-inspired cocktail, it’s the perfect Rocky Mountain experience.
The Red Onion
420 East Cooper Avenue, 970-925-9955
One of Aspen’s oldest restaurants and saloons, The Red Onion dates to the silver boom of the nineteenth century. The building was recently renovated, but the Wild West atmosphere remains. Happy hour from 3 to
6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight every day.
Wheeler Opera House
320 East Hyman Avenue, 970-920-5770
Since 1889, the Wheeler Opera House has been Aspen’s community performance venue. For everything from world-renowned musical and theater performances to local creations and community events, the Wheeler is the place to go.
The ski resorts of Summit County are local favorites because of their proximity to Denver and their
excellent terrain and snow conditions. Each ski town has its own unique flavor, and Coloradans consider them go-to destinations for a great day on the slopes or an extended visit.
Consistently rated the “Locals Favorite,” Copper Mountain offers family-friendly fun for all ages and abilities. Woodward Copper is the popular place for kids, with unique programs and an uber-cool 22-foot Olympic-sized Superpipe. But it’s not all about skiing at this great resort. Visitors can take advantage of a great variety of off-hill activities including the Alpine Rush Zip Line, the Tubing Hill, Critterland (for the little kids), ice skating, the Woodward Cage and year-round mountain events.
Copper is home to the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center, and hosts a variety of ski and snowboard events featuring world-class athletes. In early November, Copper plays host to the U.S. Ski Team, where the top racers train on a two-mile, 2,300 vertical drop course, cruising at speeds up to 75 mph. The skiing is terrific, the snow is some of the best in the state, and the mountain is sheer fun.
Don’t miss the great restaurants, bars and shops located in the village town, right at the base of the mountain.
This quaint town has retained its western charm, while earning bragging rights as a great après ski locale. The skiing is not bad either, with a phenomenal variety of terrain on Peaks 7, 8, 9 and 10. Breck boasts some of the best scenery around, especially when seen from the top of the Imperial Lift where you can take in 14,000 foot peaks, including Quandary, Grays Peak, Torreys Peak, Mt. Massive, Mountain of the Holy Cross and Pikes Peak.
For powder hounds, Breckenridge is a staple, since the resort’s unique location often means more fresh powder than other areas. Designated the largest historic district in Colorado, the town of Breck is rich in colorful history, dating back to 1859. The town has more than 30 bars and restaurants, and more than 200 charming, original shops for those wanting a day off the slopes.
Stretching seven miles along the Snake River, Keystone Resort is Summit County’s largest ski resort. The skiing is great, and there are activities galore, include snow tubing, cat skiing and night skiing for a little something different. In fact, Keystone likes to tell visitors that it has the longest ski days in Colorado, with the most lighted trails. Just imagine how cool it is to experience a fantastic day on the slopes, then to be able to take in a beautiful Colorado sunset …
and return for more skiing!
Skiers and boarders will tell you there’s something special about taking some turns on a beautifully groomed moonlit slope! Keystone truly has it all, from world-class skiing to horse-drawn sleigh rides and dogsled tours. The dining is wonderful, and high-end lodging options abound.
One of Colorado’s best-kept secrets is the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which has been in operation since 1946. This fun mountain opens for the season in late October and closes in June, giving it one of the longest ski seasons in North America. With a base of nearly 11,000 feet and a summit elevation higher than 13,000, A-Basin boasts the highest skiable terrain in North America. In fact, half of the mountain is above timberline, and one of its signature runs, Pallavicini, is one of Colorado’s longest and steepest trails. But don’t worry: there’s terrain for every type of skier, and the attitude is laid back and fun.
Vail and Beaver Creek have it all: incredible skiing, gorgeous lodging, fantastic restaurants, nightlife and shopping and an A-list of beautiful people. It always ranks among the world’s top ski resorts and garners a lot of attention from the international crowd.
Ranked as one of the largest ski resorts in the world, Vail Mountain offers more than 5,200 acres of skiable terrain, including seven Back Bowls spanning seven miles. Three separate villages, Vail Village, Golden Peak and Lionshead offer skiers and snowboarders easy access up the mountain, and numerous high-speed lifts make sure outdoor enthusiasts will get more than enough runs before calling it a day. This season marks the 15-year anniversary of Blue Sky Basin, a local favorite that has a distinct backcountry feel and breathtaking scenery.
Dining, Shopping and Nightlife
Modeled after the European village of Zermatt, Vail melds the charm of an Alpine village, with the sophisticated allure of international flair. Excellent restaurants are steps away from beautiful hotels and condos, and the shopping is nothing short
of first-rate. From high-end boutiques to edgy nightclubs, Vail truly lives up to its motto: “Like nothing on earth.”
A challenging day on the powdery slopes is sublime when capped off with a deep-tissue massage at one of the many luxurious spas. Here pampering is brought to new heights (literally), and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and relaxed — and ready for another fabulous day on the mountain! Kids will love Adventure Ridge, a great on-mountain venue accessible by gondola. Here they can go ziplining, tubing, ski biking, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. There’s even a bungee trampoline for some added adrenaline!
New for Kids
A cool new venue at Beaver Creek is the Candy Cabin, located at the top of the Strawberry Park Express Lift and Upper Beaver Creek Mountain Express Lift. Here kids and their adults will love the bulk candies and custom chocolates, all in a setting reminiscent of an old-fashioned candy store.
Start the Day Off Right — Powder Style
New this year is White Glove First Tracks, an unique adventure for downhill enthusiasts. Here, guests can experience a stunning sunrise from the top of the mountain — before the lifts
open to the public. You can cruise down groomed slopes,
and end your pristine morning run with a gourmet breakfast at one of Beaver Creek’s exclusive on-mountain cabins!
Teens Having Fun
Beaver Creek has a special Teen program featuring evening programming for kids ages 13-17. Known as BC<3+2, activities include twilight snowshoeing and pizza party, tubing at Adventure Ridge and even a Teen Trick Class at the Anti-Gravity Center in Edwards.
Aspen, Vail and Telluride have the glitz. Summit County and Grand County have the Front Range appeal. Then there’s Crested Butte. One-of-a-kind, eclectic, irreverent … and just plain fun. And oh, the scenery. Once a coal-mining town, this charming, authentic and unfettered spot rightfully earned the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado” designation by the state legislature. There’s even an annual festival to commemorate the occasion.
Winter in “The Butte”
The season kicked off in December with Gunnison-Crested Butte’s second annual Santa Ski & Crawl. The town attempted to land a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the number of Santas skiing during the Santa Ski & Crawl. Then it was on to Light Up Night in Mt. Crested Butte, for a nice vs. naughty vote.
Skier’s Costume Party
The 29th Annual AlleyLoop, presented by Western State Colorado University, takes place on February 7. Part of the American Ski Marathon Series and an American Birkebeiner qualifying race, this is also Crested Butte’s largest costume party. You’ll see it all — a unique course meandering along false-fronted stores and restaurants, over footbridges and alongside restaurants. The event also features a Friday night Fat Bike Race and Pub-Ski, culminating with a fun awards party.
Mountain High Music
In mid-January, a new event brings together singers and songwriters who will take part in the Mountain High Music Festival. The weeklong event features a great array of recording artists and songwriters, performing in intimate venues in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, as well as at the base of the ski area.
Adventure is in the air — literally, with snowmobiling events and fun. On January 10 the third annual Roost the Butte kicks off, with four competition categories: snowcross, hillcross, snowovals and hill drag. And at the end of the season, in mid-April, hillcross, hillclimb, hilldrags, snowovals, snowcross and “speed ‘n style” categories will decide the Ultimate Snowmobiler.
The Kenny Mac Ski Fest brings out Nordic lovers, with three- and five-kilometer races for kids and 15- and 30-kilometer adult races. Then it’s time for the 29th Annual Alley Loop Nordic Marathon on February 7, featuring high-tech racing suits along with silly costumes and lots of fun. And if you just happen to love that combination of air and water, you’re going to love the ski jump in the middle of downtown. On March 7, watch as a snowmobile pulls top skiers and snowboarders, who launch off a step-up-style jump with a 45-foot gap located at Third Street and Elk Avenue. And on April 4, the annual Slush Huck features monumental water crashes and impressive pond skins as contestants of all ages battle for the title on skis, snowboards or even unique contraptions.
And finally, the zaniness culminates the first week of April with the 47th Annual Flauschink, a riotous event that includes an historical slide show at a local nightspot, coronation ball and polka dance, parade and ski slope salute on closing day. The king and queen of Flauschink are presented scepters made from toilet plungers and locally crafted crowns, and the “Has Beens” (previous Flauschink royalty) join in on the fun.
Gunnison County in southwest Colorado is home to Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte, Almont and Gunnison. The nearly two
million acres of glorious wilderness offer a limitless array of outdoor activities, dining, shopping and sightseeing. There’s always something to do and adventures to be had at every turn!
The breathtaking mountains of Telluride are what first attracted miners to the area during Colorado’s silver and gold booms in the nineteenth century. Today, they provide a variety of winter adventures that beckon visitors and locals alike, from helicopter skiing and sleigh rides to dog sledding and backcountry snowshoeing.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Telluride is famous for its skiing and riding terrain, whether you’re looking to hit the slopes at the resort or explore the backcountry on a helicopter tour. Telluride Ski Resort, which encompasses more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, was rated the top ski resort in North America by Conde Nast readers. Considering the region receives more than 300 inches of snow and 300 days of sunshine annually, the conditions are top-notch. The resort has also established a reputation as a major culinary destination, so be sure to take advantage of the on-mountain dining options. Plus, there are six Nordic skiing areas nearby, featuring some of the best
views in the state.
Explore the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests with a team of Alaskan Huskies in this unique winter activity. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience for dog lovers
and a great way to explore the scenic backcountry surrounding Telluride.
The San Juan Mountains are renowned for their beauty. Telluride’s glider tours allow visitors to take in the impressive views from above, where the details of every peak, valley and alpine lake are brought to life. The local pilots are sure to provide a thrilling and memorable experience.
Explore the scenic terrain located along the San Juan Hut System, which encompasses five cozy backcountry huts between Telluride, Ridgway and Ouray. Each hut can be individually accessed, or experienced skiers can travel hut to hut in the European style. Huts are furnished with padded bunks and kitchen equipment, as well as propane stoves and lamps.
Telluride’s alpine setting allows for some of the best ice climbing in the state. Bridal Veil Falls — Colorado’s tallest free-falling waterfall at 365 feet — provides one of the most difficult ice climbs in the country.
There are a variety of sleigh rides available in Telluride, from horse-drawn adventures to snowcat-powered journeys. Depending on which company visitors book through, options range from afternoon explorations of the surrounding scenery to dinnertime experiences at the historic Aldasoro Family ranch on Last Dollar Road.
An extensive network of groomed trails traverses the scenic terrain outside Telluride, creating a snowmobiler’s paradise. Local outfitters provide a variety of half- and
full-day guided adventures for all ages
Winter Fly Fishing
A number of streams and rivers wind their way through Telluride, providing fantastic fishing opportunities year-round. Whether visitors are looking for a day off from the slopes or are angling pros headed to Telluride specifically for the fishing, winter is a prime time to experience the rivers.
Perched 9,500 feet above the valley floor, Mountain Village provides breathtaking views and unbeatable access to Telluride Ski Resort. The European-style village is easily accessible via the free gondola — a 13-minute scenic journey from Telluride. The 2,000 acres of rolling mountainside have been sustainably developed, and the village adheres to green practices. For an unforgettable dining experience, check out La Piazza Del Villagio, Palmyra Restaurant and Siam’s Talay Grille.
DINING IN TELLURIDE
221 South Oak
221 South Oak Street, 970-728-9507
Boasting an intimate atmosphere, incredible food, an extensive wine list and friendly service, 221 South Oak is one of Telluride’s most popular restaurants. The cuisine is New American, ranging from soups and salads to steaks and seafood. All of it is prepared from scratch in-house, making for a delicious dining experience.
565 Mountain Village Boulevard, 970-728-7474 | allredsrestaurant.com
Featuring some of the best views in town, Allred’s is located at the San Sophia mid-station of the gondola at Telluride Ski Resort. Perched at 10,551 feet in elevation, the restaurant features an award-winning wine list and an original menu of American cuisine. Perfect for romantic dinners or apres-ski drinks at the bar.
Chop House at the New Sheridan
233 West Colorado Avenue, 970-728-9100
Classically trained chef Erich Owen combines his experiences from New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and France to create the delectable menu at the Chop House Restaurant. The tailored wine list enhances the incredible entrees, ranging from elk short loin with a caramelized onion mushroom tart to housemade lasagna with butternut squash. Both the food and the drinks are filled with global flavors.
300 West San Juan Avenue, 970-728-1292
Originally a grand saloon during Telluride’s mining days, the Cosmopolitan Restaurant is located in the lobby of the luxurious Hotel Columbia. It’s a local’s favorite for cocktail hour, but don’t miss out on the seasonal dinner menu, either. Chef and owner Chad Scothorn offers a variety of cuisines, including French, American and Thai.
With no chain stores in the area, both Telluride and Mountain Village are filled with unique boutiques and retail shops. From jewelry and home decor to art galleries and men’s and women’s apparel, there’s a bit of everything for everyone.