ASPENS' TOP 10 MUST DO'S
The 10 things you must do before you leave Aspen
There’s Aspen and then there’s Aspen in the know. Lucky for you we know the latter. Tick these 10 things off your Aspen holiday list and impress your mates on the gram.
First things first, literally. Book in for a First Tracks session at Aspen Mountain or Snowmass, then set the powder alarm and head to the chair with a select group of first trackers ready to make your mark on the uber groomers and fresh powder. Those first tracks you always see? Well, this time they’ll be yours.
Ullr Party at Elk Camp
Friday night in Snowmass can only mean one thing – Ullr Nights. This winter wonderland party can be found at Elk Camp throughout the winter in honour of the god of snow, Ullr. Take the gondola ride up for some tubing, snow biking and alpine roller coasting under the stars. Add s’mores and hot chocolates around a bon fire, live music and more.
Hiking the 45 minute ridge line to the top of Highlands Bowl is a rite of passage for any upper intermediate to advanced skier. It’s not easy so prepare to sweat, puff and groan (depending on how late après was the night before) but the views at the top will be worth it and you’ll have 17 off piste double black diamond runs to choose from to ski back down.
It’s another rite of passage to ski into Cloud 9 at Highlands to celebrate conquering the Bowl. Book the later lunch session and prepare to dance on your seat in your ski boots in a spray of champagne to a live DJ. Ski patrol will guide you back down the mountain at the end of the day, because, you know, champagne.
The Aspen Art Museum
The building alone is an iconic latticed landmark in an already legendary town. Step inside for some of the most progressive art exhibitions in the land and a roof top view to lose yourself in.
Few know there’s a lake downtown. You’ll find Hallam Lake at ACES (Aspen Centre Environmental Studies) where you can take a nature walk through the wilds, checkout the exhibits and even meet an American eagle.
Hot chocolate at The Little Nell
Many speak in heavenly terms of the truffle fries at ski in ski out Ajax tavern on Aspen Mountain. But we think the hot chocolate in The Little Nell is as close to the gods as you’ll get. Picture a house made marshmallow the size of a moose’s head and melted Valrhona chocolate stirred with cream. Now sip slowly by the fire in the lounge.
The tamales at Woody Creek Tavern
Hoarders will be beside themselves at Woody Creek Tavern, minimalists, not so much. This eclectic heritage tavern has walls that are filled with mementos, nick knacks, images and more. It was a favoured destination for gonzo journo Hunter S Thompson back in the day and it shows (in a good way). Go, order the tamales, thank us later.
Few know of all the makeshift shrines dotted in the woods on Aspens four mountains where locals have hung photos from branches and pinned memorabilia to trunks of clustered trees. Look for John Denver, Gerry Garcia, Jimmy Hendrix and friends.
This is a no brainer, just head to where the music is and start dancing. You won’t go wrong if you’re on the roof top at the W Hotel bar or celebrating happy hour with the locals at The Limelight or sipping whiskey in leather seats at Hotel Jerome.