Aspen ski resort is famous for its epic nightlife, celebrity spotting & world class hotels, but just a few miles drive from Aspen and on the same lift pass is Snowmass ski resort, perfect for families with children.
Where Aspen is bustling and full of activity, Snowmass is quieter, more low key and has everything families need from a ski resort to make their lives easier and Snowmass has fantastic skiing to boot!
Whether you decide to stay in Aspen or Snowmass you can easily ski at the other resort by getting on the free bus that connects the 4 Aspen mountains. If you book ski rental with us, you can even leave your skis at say Aspen Mountain and tell them you want to ski Snowmass tomorrow. Your skis will be taken to Snowmass for you (so you don't have to carry them on the bus) & be ready for you at the Snowmass base area the next day all for no charge!
When Snowmass was developed, most of the accommodation was built around the ski runs, so there are many ski in, ski out places to choose from. So many of our clients tell us ski in, ski out is the way to go especially for families with young children. This way Mum and Dad don't have to cajole their children & lug their gear very far after a strenuous day on the ski slopes. Try Crestwood, Chamonix or Woodrun Place for ski in ski out apartments just above Snowmass base area.
Snowmass has recently opened "The Treehouse", a stunning modern new facility for children's ski school & childcare. The Treehouse is located right next to the major lifts at the Snowmass base village, making it very quick & easy for parents or grandparents to drop off the kids for their lessons on their way to slopes. With different rooms & amenities for each age group, the kids have exactly what they need and parents can rest assured that they are getting the best care possible. The Snowmass base village is also home to several apartments complexes, so if you choose one of those you can drop the kids off and head out onto the ski hill quickly and easily in the mornings. See Capitol Peak Lodge for example, located above the shops in the base area or Limelight Snowmass with hotel rooms & apartments right at the base.
Many of our clients with families opt for apartment style lodging, so they can put the children to bed and relax in the living area, just like at home. Parents can have some privacy and adult time, without having to worry about the children being down the hall in a separate hotel room or wondering what to do if you're all in one room and the kids need to go to bed early. Snowmass built a huge variety of different size & style apartments to accommodate families with children. Some apartments are just the apartments without any add-ons and others have hotel like facilities including restaurants on site & pools to keep the kids entertained, such as Timberline.
Many of our clients with families tell us it can be really helpful to have a kitchen they can use, even if it's only stocked with a few simple items for breakfast & snacks. Having breakfast at home tends to make it quicker & easier to get to ski school without the mad rush and you can get the little ones the things they like! You may prefer to go to a restaurant in the evening if you prefer not to cook on holiday and there are plenty nearby or you can cook some nights if you prefer to stay in.
"Tamarack" for example is just across the road from the base area & ski school & a good affordable option for families.
If the kids are a little older and can already ski a bit, there are some great ski in, ski out options at the top of Snowmass Village. With these you can just ski down to the base village & ski school and at the end of the day you can take the lifts up and ski down into your accommodation. Examples are "Top of the Village", which has washer / dryer in the condos, very handy for families, pool, hot tub, sauna & gym keep everyone entertained. "Timberline" has a restaurant on site, so you can have dinner in the complex or you can choose from other dining options within walking distance or of course you can cook in your apartment if you prefer. "Laurelwood" is perfect for the budget conscious smaller family with its studio suites, sleeping up to 4 people. They have a queen bed and sofa bed in the lounge area of the studio, but separated with an accordion wall for some privacy.
In case you or the children need a break from skiing there are plenty of children's activities organized by Snowmass: Storytelling at the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Centre in the Snowmass mall, "Sing-a-long & S'mores" by the campfire with a cowboy strumming on his guitar & a "Winter Wild Things" free interactive nature programme, to name just a few.
Memories of happy times together as a family can be invaluable. In addition to the above children specific activities, you can also enjoy traditional winter wonderland activities with all the family. Snow tubing, Snow shoeing, snowmobiling, sleigh & dog sled rides are just some of the great things for families to do together, giving plenty of opportunities for family photos.
Snowmass does have a good selection of restaurants etc., mostly in the Snowmass village mall, but for lively nightlife you really do need to go into Aspen. So the Snowmass accommodation generally doesn't incur too much noise, perfect for getting those kiddos off to sleep.
Snowmass is one of the "Power of 4", the 4 mountains comprising the ski area of Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk & Aspen Highlands. Snowmass is the largest of the 4 mountains in terms of runs, so many people spend most of their time skiing at Snowmass, although the lift pass does cover all 4 areas.
Snowmass has a huge variety of runs, something for everyone. The nursery slopes of Fanny Hill are great for beginners & children alike. For any intermediates in the family there are cruisy blue runs on Elk Camp, Sams Knob, 2 Creeks & Alpine Springs. The "Big burn" (which I skied last December) is famous for being 1 1/2 miles long & a mile wide & certainly makes those thighs burn if you ski it top to bottom! Sam's Know has plenty of black runs for advanced skiers and if you're an expert skier, who wants to try some double black diamond terrain, the Cirque is perfect for powder days & Hanging Valley Glades have steep chutes & headwalls.
If you want to venture away from Snowmass and try one of the other 3 mountains, the Aspen area has a wonderful and complimentary bus system providing quick & easy access to the 4 mountains. You can even leave your ski gear at one mountain & ask for it to be delivered to another ski area ready for the next morning!
Buttermilk is a great for beginners, whereas Aspen Highlands specialises in more advanced & expert terrain. Aspen mountain has good intermediate skiing as well as some more advanced double diamond slopes and the slopes reach right down into the centre of the world renowned town of Aspen.
It takes 15-20 minutes to get to Aspen from Snowmass on the bus and it's definitely worth a day or evening out to do some people watching as well as see the chic fur coats, boutique shops, art galleries, coffee shops, bars & restaurants for which Aspen is famous. Right in the centre of Aspen there is an ice rink and believe it or not a rugby pitch, perfect for the kids to let off some steam. And of course if mum and dad do want a hip night out in Aspen, there are babysitting services available in Snowmass and a plethora of nightclubs to choose from.
We live in the USA, know the ski resorts & accommodation and visit them regularly.
We can give you expert advice and save you time & effort finding the right USA ski holiday for you.
Helen & Rob Brown
UK Tel 01223 655642
US Tel 303 482 1961