From gorgeous ski resorts to vibrant holiday markets and wintry walks, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Aspen in winter!
Are you thinking about spending winter in Aspen, Colorado? Well, trust me when I say that’s one of the best ideas you’ve ever had! As one of the top-rated ski towns in the world, there’s no better place for a luxury wintry getaway. Along with skiing, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Aspen in winter.
From carving up a storm on the slopes of Aspen Mountain, to shopping the luxury boutiques in the Downtown area, to soaring above the resorts on the Silver Queen Gondola, there’s a little something for everyone here.
Well, Aspen is an ideal place to visit. Plus, there’s a range of beautiful luxury hotels, vacation rentals and chalets in the Aspen area, so grab your friends and start planning your trip to Aspen in winter!
Weather in Aspen in winter
The average temperatures in Aspen, CO in winter sit between 2°C and -12°C (35°F – 10°F). For those of you looking for a blanket of snow, there tends to be 3-4 days of snowfall in Aspen each month during the winter season, accumulating around 20 inches of snow on the ground.
17 Amazing Things To Do In Aspen in Winter
1. Take a guided snowshoe tour
If you’re looking for fun winter activities in Aspen that are a little more relaxed, why not join a guided snowshoe tour of the backcountry?
Snowshoeing is a cool sport where you essentially hike with things that kind of look like tennis rackets on your feet. If you’ve never tried it before, now is the time to give it a go! It’s a great way to experience the hiking trails of Aspen in winter. The views will blow your mind.
2. Get the adrenaline pumping on the Breathtaker Alpine Rollercoaster
Unstable on skis? Rather than risking broken bones, you’ll be pleased to hear there are plenty of things to do in Aspen in winter besides skiing!
How about flying down the mountainside on a high-octane rollercoaster that weaves in and out of the trees? It’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping and give you great views as you fly down the hillside. It reaches speeds of 28mph, which combined with the icy air, will definitely give you a thrill!
3. Give cross-country skiing a go
If you’re looking for slower things to do in Aspen in winter, check out the cross-country skiing routes. This more relaxing skiing experience is ideal for people who want to take in their surroundings and maybe spot some nature along the way.
To find some routes, check out The Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System, which boasts more than 60 miles of free cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. There’s a broad variety of options too; some that will be perfect for first-timers, others that are ideal if you’re more advanced.
4. Take in the sights on the Silver Queen Gondola
Want to travel above the resorts and get the best view during winter in Aspen? The Silver Queen Gondola is one of the most beloved Aspen winter activities and gives you panoramic views of the area.
For an added treat, there are also a ton of great restaurants and bars when you get to the top! Enjoying a beer with that view? It’s hard to beat!
5. Go ice skating surrounded by festive lights
Is it really the festive period if you don’t go ice skating? Even if you’re not very graceful on skates, a tootle on the ice is a great activity before a tasty hot chocolate!
The Silver Circle Ice Rink in Downtown Aspen is normally covered in gorgeous festive lights throughout winter which makes the experience magical. See there are plenty of things to do in Aspen in winter besides skiing!
6. Hike to Maroon Bells Lake
Fancy strapping on your crampons and heading out on a wintry hike? One of the most popular trails for winter hikers and cross-country skiers has to be Maroon Bells Lake.
This is one of the prettiest and most iconic spots in Aspen. It’s absolutely stunning, with snowy peaks around the pristine lake. Maroon Peak is a whopping 14,163 feet and is the 27th highest summit in Colorado. At some points in the year it’ll provide mirror reflections, at others it’ll be fully iced over. For an extra fun adventure, strap on some snowshoes and hike there.
7. Learn to ski at Aspen Snowmass
Okay, let’s be honest, the main winter activity in Aspen has to be skiing – it’s world-famous for it. The Aspen Snowmass is the largest ski area with routes for all abilities and tons of vacation rentals, shops, and bars all around.
You’ll find four mountains, all accessible on a single lift ticket, with slopes to suit all abilities. If you want to learn to ski in Aspen in winter, this is the place to be.
If you’re looking for another great place to ski in Colorado, check out my guide to visiting Telluride in winter. It’s home to over 2,000 acres of amazing ski resorts!
8. Test your skills on Aspen Mountain or in the Aspen Highlands
If you’re an intermediate or advanced skier or snowboarder, you might want to test your skills on Aspen Mountain or in the Aspen Highlands.
There are zero beginner routes in these areas and they offer a great challenge for seasoned snow riders. These routes aren’t for the faint-hearted so make sure you’ve practised and feel up to the challenge!
9. Go luxury shopping in Downtown Aspen
It’s hardly news that Aspen in Colorado is a luxury town. Some of the biggest designer brands such as Prada have stores in Aspen’s bustling downtown area.
Needless to say, this isn’t your average shopping trip in a mountain town. New handbag? Shoes? Ski suit? Go ahead, treat yourself, you deserve it!
Also, while you’re exploring the town, how about booking a guided tour of Aspen? A friendly local will give you the lowdown, share some interesting historical facts and recommend the best places to explore.
10. Experience the backcountry with Alaskan husky sled dogs
Want to know what it’s like to drive a husky dog sled? Well, you can do just that in Aspen in the winter months.
On a husky tour, you’ll be shown how to control a team of 10 Alaskan husky sled dogs as you travel through the snowy wilderness! These bright-eyed creatures are absolutely amazing! You’ll get to see some hard-to-reach spots too, so be sure to take some photos along the way.
11. Get in the Apres ski mood at Snowmass Base Village
Some Aspen winter activities are just sacred, and enjoying Apres Ski at Snowmass Base Village is one of them. Chilling out with your friends after a day on the slopes with a mulled wine or stein of beer is the best way to enjoy winter in Aspen.
Just make sure you’re definitely done skiing before you start ordering though. It could be a wobbly ski back to your hotel!
12. Take a horse-drawn snow sled ride
If you want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the wintry scenery all around you, check out horse-drawn snow sled tours of Aspen.
Nestle down in a huge wooden sled with blankets and enjoy the ride as a horse trots its way through the snowy backcountry. This is one of the most romantic things to do in Aspen in winter, so if you’re with your loved one, snuggle up!
13. Enjoy the local thriving restaurant scene
With so many people coming to Aspen each season, you know the restaurant scene is on point. Pine Creek Cookhouse is an Aspen institution that specialises in locally-sourced food.
It’s pretty remote in a log cabin about half an hour outside Aspen, but it’s worth it for the great food, cosy vibes, and awesome mountain views.
14. Slide down the mountain on the Snowmass Snow Tubes
Want to slip and slide down the mountain at Snowmass without strapping on skis or a snowboard? How about trying snowtubing?
Just grab your rubber ring (or tandem if you want to go with someone) and shoot down one of the lanes carved into The Meadows at Elk Camp.
These super fun rubber rings are one of the best ways to get down the mountain if you don’t feel like working up a sweat. Kids will love it too!
15. Get cultured at the Aspen Art Museum
If you want a warm day away from Aspen’s wintry weather, head inside to the Aspen Art Museum. With pieces in all different mediums including sculpture, digital art, paintings, and more, it’s an amazing way to get a feel for the local art scene.
There’s also a great rooftop cafe serving brunch dishes, salads, sandwiches and coffees. The bonus is that from up there, you’ll have an awesome view of the downtown area.
16. Trek to the observation point on Smuggler Mountain
Looking for some of the best views of the mountains near Aspen? Put on your crampons and hiking boots and head out to the trail on Smuggler Mountain.
This trail is very popular in the summer months, but is also lovely in winter. The 2.9-mile out-and-back trail will bring you to the observation point which will take your breath away – and not because of the altitude!
From the deck you’ll have incredible views of the surrounding Elk and Sawatch mountains. Don’t forget your camera!
17. Work up a sweat on a fat bike
You might think that extensive snowfall means that cycling is out of the question. Well, not with a fat bike which is designed for softer terrain, like snow.
You can rent fat bikes all over town and head out onto the hiking and cross-country trails to explore the beautiful scenery. If you love adventures, you’ll love seeing Aspen on two wheels.
So there’s a lot more to this town than skiing! In fact, that’s almost an entire list of amazing things to do in Aspen that don’t involve stepping foot in a ski!
I hope you have a great trip, whatever you decide to do. If you’re looking for more inspiration, don’t miss these handy travel guides:
- The Ultimate Colorado Itinerary
- 11 Amazing Things To Do In Denver In Winter
- 19 Amazing Things To Do In Telluride In Winter
- 16 Amazing Things To Do In Breckenridge In Winter
- 9 Amazing Things To Do In Utah In Winter
- 16 Amazing Things To Do In Ruidoso, New Mexico
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