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Roaming Gnome Guide: Aspen’s Top Outdoor Activities

With 11,000-foot peaks and an average of 170 inches of snowfall a year, Aspen is the ultimate snow country. And there is more than one exhilarating way to put all that fresh powder to use. While visiting the mountain town for the Winter X Games, the Roaming Gnome tried out Aspen’s ultimate outdoor activities. Here’s his guide to help you figure out how to pack the most outdoor action into your visit:

 

1.  Go Skiing:  This is the no-brainer. Aspen Snowmass has four mountains to suit a range of skiing skill sets. Hit Aspen Mountain for expert groomed runs and 76 trails. For gentler slopes perfect for families and beginners, hit the greens and blues at Buttermilk. And to feel the rush of the double-black-diamond backcountry, hike up local favorite Highland Bowl.

Social_Skiing_1.27.14
“Note: Always remember to go to the bathroom before putting your skis on.”—RG

 

2.  Go Snowboarding:  Boarders are welcome on any of Aspen’s slopes. But if you really want to shred your heart out, you belong at the terrain parks at Snowmass and Buttermilk. As host of the Winter X Games, saying they know how to build an epic snowboard park would be a serious understatement.

“I have no words for this place. Except for those seven I just said.” —RG
“I have no words for this place. Except for those seven I just said.” —RG

 

3.  Go Snowmobiling:  Want a little more horsepower in your snow day? Head to T Lazy 7 Ranch for a snowmobile tour. After a quick lesson, you’ll get to drive your own machine past Maroon Lake to take in the view of Aspen’s most iconic mountains: the magnificent Maroon Bells.

“You get hot chocolate when you’re done. Which is much better than cold chocolate. It’s freezing here.” —RG
“You get hot chocolate when you’re done. Which is much better than cold chocolate. It’s freezing here.” —RG

 

4. Go Snowshoeing:  If you want to take in the breathtaking scenery at a more leisurely pace, try your hand…er, feet…at snowshoeing. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies hosts daily guided snowshoe tours through the Aspen groves and historic Ashcroft mining town. All equipment and even lunch is included.

“They said this was the best way to get closer to nature. SO WATCH OUT NATURE, I AM COMING FOR YOU.” —RG
“They said this was the best way to get closer to nature. SO WATCH OUT NATURE, I AM COMING FOR YOU.” —RG

 

5. Go Fat Biking:  The newest passion to hit Aspen, fat bikes are mountain bikes with giant tires for navigating snow-covered trails. Rent your gear at Stapleton Ski or Ute City Cycles in town, bundle up and then hit the Rio Grande trail.

“It’s just as thrilling as biking in the summer. Except there’s snow and it’s not summer.” —RG
“It’s just as thrilling as biking in the summer. Except there’s snow and it’s not summer.” —RG

 

6.  Go Paragliding:  You don’t get the most breathtaking views of Aspen from standing on a mountain; you get them from flying off one. Aspen Paragliding offers tandem paragliding trips daily, weather permitting. You take the gondola up Aspen Mountain, then glide off for an incredible bird’s-eye view — touring the town from 10,000 feet.

“TIP: Eat before you go. In-flight snacks are not provided.”—RG
“TIP: Eat before you go. In-flight snacks are not provided.”—RG

To start planning your Aspen snow day getaway, check out Travelocity’s Aspen vacation page.

 

Four Ski Deals to Jump On

If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to be more active in 2013, then a ski vacation should be in your future!  I tracked down four fantastic February ski deals at some of North America’s most popular mountains including Park City, Utah, Lake Tahoe, Telluride, and Banff National Park.  I went on Fox & Friends First this morning to share these white hot packages as well as tips on how to lock in the cheapest ski vacation deals.  Read more

Ski, Beach or City? Travel Deals to Sate Your Vacation Hunger

It´s that time of year again. Winter is in full swing; the weather is crummy; and all you can think is: I NEED a vacation!

As you dream about where your next vacation destination will be, you´re presented with a lot of options ranging from warm and sunny beaches to snow-covered mountain tops. Just the other day I was talking with a good friend who was unsure about where he wanted to go for vacation. Did he want to go on a cruise? A solitary retreat in a national park? Or some place with lots of bustle and energy like New York City?

Five Best Places to Sate Your Ski Slope Hunger

The second best part of skiing—the third best part is finally taking those ski boots off at the end of the day and the best, of course, is whooshing down the slopes at top speed—has to be the break you take in the middle of the day to refuel. Call me crazy, but food just tastes so much better halfway up a mountain when you’re cold and spent and exhausted. But where are the best places to grab a bite while you’re skiing? No sad $14 bowl of chili for you, buddy; here are some of my favorites:

* Chimney Corner Lounge at Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada: It’s cozy without being cutesy, the fire is always roaring, and the prime rib burger can’t help but hit the spot. Hey, you can eat three million calories if you’re going to be working it off in the afternoon, I swear.

What Travelers Need to Know about Super Bowl Scams

Please join us in welcoming guest author Libby Zay, a travel writer and contributor to Aol Travel.

Looking to score big on a Super Bowl travel package? Be careful, because scam artists love to dream up new tricks for major sporting events. The American Society of Travel Agents says millions of dollars are defrauded out of sports fans each year, with the Super Bowl being the main event for swindlers.

“I’ve been in hotel lobbies and in the line at the game and seen people crying because they’ve spend $15,000 on tickets and are turned away,” says Chris Russo, President and Chair of the ASTA who has had the opportunity to attend four Super Bowls in the past.

Read the original story on Aol Travel for six tips on how to avoid Super Bowl Scams.