Feeling cooped up? Our winter guests tell us how much they enjoy Aspen's great outdoors, and they're not just sticking to Aspen's ski slopes.
Aspen Snowmass is home to hundreds of miles of trails, including hiking trails starting right in town and more than 60 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails. And while an easy stroll through snowy forests is a lovely activity, there are many ways to enjoy our roads and paths when they're covered with snow.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Aspen Snowmass boasts the largest free Nordic trail system in the United States with more than 60 miles of groomed trails that meander through public lands and private property. Groomed for both classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing, trails are well marked for beginners or advanced skiers, and some are dog-friendly! Read our Guide to the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System >>
Aspen is a booming mountain biking town during summer months, and the craze continues during the winter. Equipped with extra-fat tires (4 to 5 inches in width), fat bikes provide adequate grip and a smooth ride on snow-packed surfaces. Rent a fat-tire snow bike from Stapleton Ski and take a spin on the groomed trails around town.
Read our Guide to Winter Fat Biking for information about trails, equipment, and more.
Hiking in the winter may seem counterintuitive. (Isn't snow slippery?!) The trick is stabilizers: rubber and metal grips that can be stretched over the bottom of your shoes to provide extra traction on snowy surfaces. Pick up a pair at the Ute Mountaineer and hit the trails!
- Easy: Independence Pass | Closed to cars during winter months, Independence Pass becomes a playground for hikers, backcountry skiers, and snowmobilers when the snowpack is set. The gentle grade is perfect for enjoying a winter walk and taking in spectacular views.
- Moderate: Smuggler Mountain Road | A fire road in the summer months, Smuggler offers a wide path that's well-trodden during winter months. Hike 1.3 miles to the observation deck, and don't forget to take a photo - if it's not on Instagram, did it really happen?
- Difficult: Buttermilk | If you really have some energy to hike out, head up Buttermilk on the designated uphill route. Bring stabilizers and poles; the terrain gets steep! Uphill traffic is permitted during ski area operating hours, so you can hitch a ride down on the chairlift, free of charge!
Embark on an excursion into Aspen's backcountry with a snowmobile tour starting at T Lazy 7 Ranch. With a special permit to access Maroon Bells Scenic Area with motorized winter vehicles, T Lazy 7 guides can take you up groomed trails to spectacular wildness zones. T Lazy 7 offers lunch rides, and this is one of our top-recommended non-skiing activities.