Some 200 miles west of Denver, Aspen, Colorado, is nestled in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. It’s a peaceful retreat in every season, alive with colorful wildflowers in the summer and golden yellow aspen leaves in the fall. But in the winter, this mountain town feels especially magical—fresh snow glitters on the trees, and downtown comes alive with twinkling strings of lights. With four ski resorts and expansive terrain to explore on snowshoes or cross-country skis, Aspen is a major winter outdoor recreation hub. Plus, after you come in from the cold, you can warm up at the chicest après-ski scene in the country. At 8,000 feet in elevation, Aspen sees chilly temperatures in the winter, but thanks to Colorado’s abundant sunshine and dry climate (and the right jacket and gear), you’ll hardly notice.
Here’s everything you need to know about planning a luxury vacation in Aspen in 2021.
Mobile Network in Aspen
There are zero issues with network availability in Phoenix. Services like AT&T, Verizon works best everywhere in Aspen, and all properties provide WIFI.
Traveling in and around Aspen
The best way to get around Aspen is on foot or by bus. Bringing your own car will prove to be a headache, particularly with the limited parking and the challenges of driving in winter weather. Instead, consider getting acquainted with the town on foot. When it comes to exploring Aspen, all you need is a comfy pair of shoes or snow boots. This tiny mountain town (measuring a measly 3.5 square miles) is easy to explore on foot. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority runs an affordable and reliable bus service; buses – which connect Aspen to nearby ski areas (including Snowmass) and neighboring villages – run approximately every half hour.
Food Options in Aspen
Aspen is home to one of the world’s premier culinary festivals (the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is held every summer), so it should be no surprise that this ski town boasts a plethora of dining and drinking options. If you’re a self-proclaimed foodie, you may want to splurge for a ticket to the festival to sample the wine and food and attend seminars with celebrity chefs, master sommeliers, and more. More casual eateries include Zocalito (lauded for its Latin cuisine and creative cocktails) and L’hostaria (which gets kudos for its tasty Italian fare, cozy atmosphere, and generous wine pours).
Weather Conditions in Aspen
January to April- -2° C to 12° C
May to August- 7° C to 25° C
September to December- 21° C to -2° C
Best Time to Plan a Vacation in Aspen
The best time to visit Aspen is from December to February. The town sparkles when it’s buried under fresh powder, and its slopes are ready to be taken by storm. Keep in mind that this is the most popular time to visit, so prices will likely be elevated, but you can find some deals if you plan a few months in advance.
Things to pack for a Workation in Aspen
No matter whether you are visiting in summer or winter your suitcase needs to include these essentials-
- Hiking boots
- A long-sleeved jacket in case it gets windy
Where to Stay in Aspen for a Luxury Vacation
The St. Regis Aspen Resort
Accommodation Type: Mountain view, pool view, Non-smoking rooms
Cost : $1055 per day
Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, Free Parking, Pool, Bar, and lounge
Address: 315 E Dean St, Aspen, CO 81611-1807
Aspen Meadows Resort
Accommodation Type: Suites and Family rooms, Mountain view
Cost : $586 per day
Amenities: Valet Parking, Wifi, Gym, Pool
Address: 845 Meadows Rd, Aspen, CO 81611-1149
Accommodation Type: Mountain View Family Suites, and Nonsmoking Rooms
Cost : $273.98 per day
Amenities: Wifi, Parking, Hiking
Address: 232 W Main St, Aspen, CO 81611-1712
Mountain Chalet Aspen
Accommodation Type: Nonsmoking room and suites
Cost : $ 145.23per day
Amenities: Private parking, Wifi, Gym, Bar
Address: 333 E Durant Ave, Aspen, CO 81611-1839
Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection
Accommodation Type: Suites and Family room
Cost : $807 per day
Amenities: Pool, Wifi, Gym, and Free Parking, Skiing
Address: 330 E Main St, Aspen, CO 81611-1930
Cost for a 1-Month Vacation in Aspen, Colorado (Minimum)
|COST PER MONTH
| $1643 for one week
$74 per night
Off-beat places to explore in Aspen on a Vacation
If there’s one thing Aspen’s known for, it’s skiing. This tiny mountain town is surrounded by four monumental ski areas: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk (a favorite among beginners), and the ever-popular Snowmass Ski Resort. The luster isn’t lost when the snow melts, however. The Rockies offer some spectacular hiking spots – like the Maroon Bell peaks – with jaw-dropping vistas. So, if you are looking for an offbeat place to explore in Aspen, here is the list-
Rising more than 14,000 feet, these twin peaks are a favorite spot for hikers and wildlife-watchers, boasting beautiful vistas and breathtaking scenery. In fact, Maroon Bells’ jagged peaks and multicolored slopes make it one of the most photographed sites in North America. The surrounding area features numerous trails and campsites, granting you a variety of viewing points from which you can capture the perfect shot.
Ticket Cost- $6 for adults, $4 for children
Timing- 8 AM TO 5 PM
If there’s one reason to rent a car in Aspen, it’s to take the 20-mile drive through Independence Pass. This scenic road is one of the highest in North America, meandering along the Continental Divide at a whopping 12,095 feet above sea level. Get ready to feel like a daredevil as you navigate tight turns along towering cliffs and through thick forests. When you’re ready to stretch your legs, a paved hiking trail leads to a sightseeing platform where far-reaching views of the Continental Divide are sure to make your jaw drop.
Ticket Cost- Free
Timing- 9 AM TO 6 PM
Aspen’s largest and most popular ski area is the ultimate destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Comprising 3,332 acres of skiable terrain, this massive complex features 150 miles of trails, multiple lifts, and a charming village with a variety of shops and restaurants. Roughly half of the trails here are designed for intermediate-level skiers, but more advanced powder hounds will find plenty of challenging stretches of snow to try. Snowboarders should also note that Snowmass has one of the best snowboarding schools in the United States.
Ticket Cost- $127.81 ( for skiing)
Timing- 8.30 AM TO 3.30 PM
While you’ll have no trouble finding ways to fill your time in Aspen proper, you would be remiss if you visited the Roaring Fork Valley and didn’t make a stop in Glenwood Springs. Sitting about 40 miles northwest of Aspen along Route 82 – near the junction of I-70 – Glenwood Springs offers just as many spots to hike as its more popular neighbor, not to mention fishing and whitewater rafting opportunities. The town is also home to an intricate collection of caverns that are worth exploring.
Ticket Cost- $15-$22
Timing- 9 AM TO 11 PM
With 21 miles of open, stress-free trails, Buttermilk is the perfect spot to try your first run or to teach your kids to ski. According to visitors, all the beginner trails are groomed and the runs are wide so there’s plenty of room for skiers to maneuver. You can also sign up for private ski and snowboard lessons if you need some guidance. Recent visitors described the instructors as friendly, positive and helpful.
Beginner-friendly slopes aside, this mountain also offers trails for intermediate and expert skiers and is known for its 22-foot superpipe and X Games-inspired course. Buttermilk’s two terrain parks (not counting an easier area for novice boarders) comprise more than 100 distinct features.
Ticket Cost- $12-$28
Timing- 7 AM TO 1 PM
How to Reach Aspen, Colorado
Fly into the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, which offers direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, and several other major cities, as well as hundreds of connecting flights. And when you fly directly to Aspen, you can lower the environmental impact of your flight for a small fee through the airport’s new carbon offset program.
To explore more of Colorado, fly into Denver International Airport, then rent a car (ask about a vehicle that meets Colorado traction law standards, which go into effect during winter storms) and head west on I-70. This four-hour drive will take you past the Denver city skyline as well as through gorgeous mountain scenery. There are also daily passenger shuttle options from Denver International Airport to Aspen if you don’t feel like driving yourself.
Aspen is the kind of place that regulars revisit season after season. As much as we love hunting for new spots, there’s something comforting about knowing you can rely on old favorites to persist (and stay great) year after year. Even if you’re not an every-year diehard, the relatively small and walkable size of Aspen proper makes it pretty easy for first-timers to navigate, with a little context.