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.
- “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
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
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
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
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
Ready to start planning your snow day getaway? Check out Travelocity’s top ski deals for powder perfection at a great price.