Locals call Aspen Highlands their favorite. Use our Highlands Mountain Guide to help you get to know it better. Rising 3,635 vertical feet, Aspen Highlands offers some of the most challenging skiing in North America. Ski and ride Highlands Bowl with locals as you work on your technique and explore new terrain. It's a competely unique experience, and one that every skier should experience. Located only a few minutes outside of Aspen, Highlands is different than Aspen Mountain in many different ways. This week, our blog team takes a closer look at Aspen Highlands from a local's perspective. What makes it so special?
Frias vacation specialist Mike Duffy first skied Aspen Highlands in 2006 while he was on college spring break. He was first impressed by the size of the mountain, and quickly fell in love with the one-of-a-kind Highlands Bowl, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Elk Mountains. Below, we sit down with Mike to discuss the finer points of Aspen Highlands.
Q: Aspen Highlands is located outside of Aspen. Is it worth the trip? A: "Highlands is not that far out of town and is certainly worth the 5-10 min drive or bus ride."
Q: What's the best advice you can give someone heading to Highlands for the first time? A: "The best advice I can give would be to do a warm up run, and then head to the top and start hiking the bowl. Once you achieve your first aEUoebowl lapaEU head over to Cloud 9 for a victory beverage!"
Q: How is Highlands on a powder day? A: "Highland's is amazing on a powder day! It has great steep terrain for powder skiing."
Q: When is the best time to ski Highlands? A: "I like to go early with three other friends. If you arrive with four people, you can get free parking!"
Q: Do you hike and ski the bowl? A: "I do like to hike and ski the bowl! The bowl is famous and I had heard of it before I saw it for the first time. It is an amazing ski experience. Not something that a lot of resorts can offer."
Q: What's the best advice you can give someone heading up to ski the Bowl for the first time? A: "Don't let the bowl intimidate you. I have brought friends and family who arrived to town from sea level, and they have made it to the top. It is worth the hike. There is even a snow cat that can help bring you up a 1/4 of the way. Just take your time and enjoy the view."
Q: Tell us some of your favorite runs? A: "My favorite runs are the far skiers right of the bowl, G3-G6."
Q: It's the first run on a powder day, and you're first off the lift. Where are you headed? A: "I most likely will head to the Deep Temerity area and ski that lift, till patrol opens the bowl and then I would head up there."
Q: Last run of the day. What are you taking? A: "Probably a nice long cruiser to the Ale House to celebrate the day!"
Q: What's your favorite thing to do at Highlands that's NOT skiing? A: "Cloud 9, the Merry Go Round, The Ale House, and of course the Highland's Closing party."
Q: Is there a good place to grab a snack or lunch? What do you recommend? A: "Lunch is either at Cloud 9 or the Merry Go Round on the mountain."