Aspen’s four ski areas offer a vast variety of terrain, from gentle slopes on Snowmass’s Fanny Hill and much of Buttermilk to the take-a-deep-breath-and-point-’em steeps of runs like Kristi or the Mine Dumps on Aspen Mountain and areas like Steeplechase and Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands. Amid all of this bounty, making the most of your days on the slopes requires a good game plan.

To help you formulate one, we combed through our archives, compiling advice written by some of our contributors who know these mountains best: Todd Hartley (Snowmass), Catherine Lutz (Aspen Mountain), Abby Eagye (Buttermilk), and Tim Mutrie (Aspen Highlands). After reading their tips on everything from navigating Snowmass’s expert terrain to finding stashes at Buttermilk on a powder day, you’ll be ready to ski or ride like a longtime local. (And even if you are a longtime local, you may learn something new.)

Meanwhile, with rejiggered pass options, blackout days, and the potential for reservations, ski access is limited in Aspen this winter, making it a good time to venture a bit farther afield. Consider day-tripping to Sunlight Mountain Resort outside of Glenwood Springs or (Covid restrictions permitting) taking a road trip to explore one or more of the five Utah ski areas on the Ikon Pass, which is included with all Aspen/Snowmass premier season passes.

Wherever you make your turns this season, please follow the pandemic’s unprecedented protocols, stay safe, and have fun.

In This Feature:

This Winter’s Ground Rules for Skiing in and Around Aspen

Everything you need to know for a successful pandemic-adjusted sojourn on the slopes


Snowmass Ski Area Has It All

The valley’s biggest mountain is a diverse playground for all abilities.

12/23/2020 By Todd Hartley

Making the Most of Aspen Mountain Takes Some Know-How

Savvy trail finding delivers big results at the town’s original ski area.

12/23/2020 By Catherine Lutz

Buttermilk Belies Its Beginner Rep and X Games Alter Ego with Wide-Ranging Terrain

Discover kids’ tree trails, terrain parks for all skill levels, and lots of powder.

12/23/2020 By Abby Eagye

Tackle Aspen Highlands’ Flagship Terrain

Hiking to the top of Highland Bowl is just the half of it—here’s what to consider when skiing down.

12/23/2020 By Tim Mutrie

Discover Sunlight Mountain Resort

This fifth ski area near Aspen merits a visit for family-friendly pricing, new expert terrain, and old-school charm.

12/23/2020 By Cindy Hirschfeld

Visit Five Utah Ski Areas with One Ikon Pass

Where to ski, sleep, and eat at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton, and Deer Valley.

12/23/2020 By Cindy Hirschfeld