Glitz and gravity-ruled sports may appear to dominate the famous ski town of Aspen, Colorado, but do you know about many of the other adventure opportunities you could explore?
“Live to ski” is a common saying in a ski town, but how about “ski to eat”? Pine Creek Cookhouse, located up the Castle Creek Valley, is a traditional log cabin restaurant situated in the beautiful dead end valley of Ashcroft. Hungry participants must cross-country ski or take a sleigh ride to get there…and back! Equipment and excellent food are included, but reservations are a must.
Ski touring is dramatically increasing in popularity as people begin to want to “earn their turns”. Take a day off from the frontcountry slopes and check in with Aspen Expeditions (AE) for a guided backcountry adventure. For those interested in further exploring the backcountry, Aspen has access to two hut systems where happy tourists spend a night or more traveling from hut to hut. Get more information at 10th Mountain Huts or Braun Huts. AE also provides guided and catered hut tours!
Uphill ski touring and hiking junkies can choose between full-moon adventures up Buttermilk to dine at the Cliff House, or spend Friday evenings in Snowmass for Ullr Nights at Elk Camp. Night enthusiasts in Snowmass can skin, walk or ride the gondola to the top of a mountain and enjoy a meal with all their friends every Friday during peak season. Buttermilk uphill fans must get up and down on their own power.
For those who would rather let someone else – or something else – do the uphill trek for them, Aspen Powder Tours’ luxurious snowcats can take you and eleven of your pals off the backside of Aspen Mountain to explore 1,100 acres of beautiful and untracked terrain. Lunch is provided at a quaint backcountry hut and skiers are returned to the top of the Aspen Mountain Gondola at the end of the ski day.
Lunch at Cloud 9 Restaurant on Aspen Highlands is reaching folklore status for its crazy crowds and champagne showers. As fun as it is during the day, it’s even better at night. Groups travel up and down via snowcat to candle-lit tables in a cozy atmosphere. For lunch reservations, skiing up and down is required.
Fatbiking (think mountain biking with much bigger tires and treads for snow) is the new hot sport and Aspen has numerous trails to explore. Bikers can ride up to the photogenic Maroon Bells or Independence Pass, or explore the Hunter Creek trail system and the Marolt property. Bike rentals, lessons and weekly rides can all be found at Ute City Cycles.
Aspen boasts over 60 miles of cross-country ski trails around the Roaring Fork Valley. Weekly group lessons and community organized races contribute to a very strong Nordic (or as the locals call it, “nordorking”) community. More information, gear and lessons can be found at the Aspen Nordic Center.
No strong skier should leave Aspen without hiking the Highlands Bowl. Skiers can take a snowcat out along the Highlands Ridge to shorten the hike before heading to the summit, which stands tall at 12,392 feet. Hikers will gain 782 vertical feet (roughly a 20 to 50-minute hike depending on fitness level) and have access to 250 acres of terrain with up to a 48-degree pitch.
Family run for 75 years,the Deane Family’s T Lazy 7 Ranch offers cross-country snowmobile tours by guides who have extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna and history of the White River National Forest. Tours fill quickly, so reservations are recommended.
All of these adventures and more await you in Aspen, Colorado!
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Lyndsay Meyer and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the article or found by following any link within this article.