Skiing & Winter Recreation

Weather & Clothing

Check the Aspen weather:

You’ll want to dress casually but warmly with a winter coat, hat, gloves, wool socks, winter boots with non-skid soles or tracks, sunglasses, and sunscreen. If you plan to ski, you need ski pants. Most of the clothing stores in Aspen are very expensive, so we do not recommend waiting to buy winter clothing here. We recommend the Aspen Thrift ShopReplay Sports, or Susie’s Limited Consignments for affordable options in town.

Click here for the Aspen Snowmass ultimate ski trip packing list.


Aspen is a great place to ski! There are 4 mountains, all of which are valid with an Aspen Snowmass lift ticket: Aspen Mountain (sometimes called “Ajax”), Buttermilk Mountain, Snowmass Mountain, and Highlands.

If you attend a winter conference, you can get a discounted lift tickets from the front desk at Physics, or in advance of your arrival. We will also send instructions via email for discounted rentals. The discount is larger when you reserve your rentals in advance. Note: Our lift ticket discount is for a full-day, but it is cheaper than the half-day rate. However, if you are a Senior (65+), buying directly from Aspen Snowmass at the Senior rate is likely cheaper than what we are able to offer. Learn more here. (Rates change each week – make sure you have the week of your conference selected.)

If you are not planning on skiing, with a “sightseeing” lift ticket you can ride the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain to enjoy the view and have lunch at the Sundeck restaurant there. Many conferences do a group lunch there one of the days. You can also get a “sight-seeing” coupon from the front desk at Physics – but you’ll still need to go to a lift ticket office to redeem it.

For more information about skiing, please visit Aspen Snowmass’s website here.

There is a free bus between all the mountains, there is more information about transportation to the mountains on this website here.

Nordic/Cross-Country Skiing

Nordic/Cross-country skiing does not require a lift ticket, and there is a wonderful Aspen Nordic Center. It features 60 miles of groomed trails. Daily boot/ski/pole rentals are ~$42.50 at the Aspen Cross Country Center (as of Winter 2023-2024), which is a free 10-minute bus ride on RFTA (take a local bus to the Truscott stop). Group and private lessons of one hour are available. The Center does not have discounts on nordic skiing. 970-925-2145 or

Photo of cross-country skiers from the Aspen Nordic Trail System website.
Cross-country (Nordic) skiers on the Aspen Nordic Trail System

Lunch with Stunning Views

For incredible views, plan to ride the gondola on Aspen Mountain or the chairlift at Buttermilk and meet friends for lunch – no skiing required! Stop by the ACP front desk when you arrive for a discounted sightseeing pass voucher. (Once you have the voucher, you can purchase the pass at an Aspen Snowmass ticket office.)

Check out the Aspen Snowmass camera of the top of Aspen mountain here!

Other Winter Recreation

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) has put together an extensive online guide to activities in Aspen. Sort by the season, and see what you can discover!

Activity Recommendations from the Aspen Chamber

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) also has many non-skiing activities during the winter, and they lead a wonderful guided snowshoe tour daily at 10am and 1pm on Aspen Mountain. They also offer winter birding at Hallam Lake select mornings.

Nature-inspired Winter Activities & Snowshoeing from ACES

Aspen Snowmass Ski Company also has many Winter Activities that are *not* skiing! As they say, “Our slopes aren’t just for skis. All ages and abilities can find thrills—or a little peace and quiet—with the following winter activities.”

Aspen Snowmass Winter Activities Guide

If you are still at a loss, please stop by the front desk for suggestions and we are happy to help out!

A Naturalist-guided snowshoe tour by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies on Aspen Mountain.
A Naturalist-guided snowshoe tour by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies on Aspen Mountain.

Arts & Culture

If you prefer an “inside” activity, we suggest starting off by visiting the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies, located next door to the Aspen Center for Physics. Admission is free, and they are open Tuesday – Saturday 12-5pm.

The Aspen Art Museum is also free, and they are open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm. They also have an amazing rooftop café that feature farm-fresh food.

The current exhibit at the Herbert Bayer Center is the "World Geo-Graphic Atlas" which many physicists have already enjoyed viewing!