Aspen Mountain is actually one in a chain of four resorts that fall under the same lift ticket (the other three being Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk). And while all four of the resorts share one of the most exciting and glamorous ski towns in the world, this is the one closest to the action. As for the skiing, Aspen Mountain is a modest 675 acres, yet over half of its terrain is still expert-only fall-line skiing. Catering to a more traditional ripper, the groomed and bump runs of spots like Bell Mountain are among the best in Colorado, some of which have hosted World Cup events. But Aspen Mountain’s biggest appeal is definitely its access, having a few runs that literally spit you out into some of the best après bars on the planet. This is the place to ski and be seen. Lift tickets are $139 for access to all four mountains.
Where to Stay: Aspen Mountain has far more hotel options than its neighbors, so it can be a bit of scrum trying to get first chair. If you’re here to ski, stay at the modern and airy Limelight Hotel, which offers an opportunity to make first tracks with the Aspen Ski Patrol at 8:15 a.m.
Insider Tip: For an even better chance at fresh tracks, skip long breakfast lines in town and jump straight on the Silver Queen Gondola. At the top, hang a hard right and follow Cutoff, then Midway Road to Bonnies Restaurant, where you can dive into oatmeal pancakes at 10,400 feet and enjoy the views before your first run.