7 Reasons to Visit Snowmass Colorado
I’ve not long returned from a short trip to Colorado, and I’m already planning a return trip to Snowmass in the Rocky Mountains, both in the summer and the winter. Not only is it spectacularly beautiful, perfect for families, has a non-pretentious vibe, it also offers incredible outdoor experiences all year round.
Here are 7 simple reasons to visit Snowmass, Colorado:
1. Incredible Beauty
We don’t get mountains in Australia; we have hills. Spending time in Snowmass left me feeling like I was a child walking into a fairy tale book of unearthly kingdoms. I was mesmerised everywhere I turned. Snow-covered, jagged peaks rising monstrously out from the lush valley floors dwarfed me, yet left me feeling so connected and alive.
2. One of the USA’s Premier Ski Destinations
Snowmass is known as one of the best ski destinations in the US, especially for families. It’s a huge resort, with 3,128 acres of skiable terrain. While the mountain is known for its wide cruiser runs and family-friendly atmosphere, Snowmass is also home to several terrain parks, extensive extreme skiing terrain, mogul runs and steep glades. There are plenty of ski schools for kids, plus an incredible child care facility a.k.a. Adventure Park called The Treehouse. Snowmass also offers snow tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and dogsledding. I cannot wait to get there this winter and hit those slopes with my girls in tow!
3. Endless Hiking Trails
Snowmass doesn’t die in the summer. The ski fields bloom with wildflowers and turn into hiking and mountain biking trails. Recommended trails in the area include Ditch Trail, an easy one to two-hour hike, and Rim Trail, a moderate hike along the alpine ridgeline with spectacular views of Snowmass Mountain. We took the quick 30-minute switchback hike up to the “Ying Yang” with incredible 360-degree views of Snowmass, Mt. Daly, Capital Peak and down on Ziegler Reservoir (site of the Ice Age Discovery).
4. Endless Biking Trails
There are plenty of biking trails in the Snowmass Aspen area ranging from mountainous and adventurous to flat and easy. For an easy bike ride that offers incredible views of the mountains and follows the Roaring Fork River, try the paved Rio Grande Trail. The Rio Grande Trail, which follows the region’s historic old rail line, extends over 80 miles between Aspen and Glenwood Springs.
We cycled for 20 miles slightly downhill with Blazing Adventures. It didn’t feel that long at all and was an enjoyable afternoon ride. Blazing Adventures did drive us back up the hill, so we missed the harder return ride!
5. White Water Rafting
The region has plenty of rivers to enjoy for a bit of adventure and stunning mountain scenery. Whether you’re seeking a day trip with class IV rapids on the Arkansas or a quick, gentle float on the Roaring Fork, Blazing Adventures offers white water rafting, inflatable duckies, kayaking, or something more unique like stand-up paddle boarding. If you have your own gear, you can choose your own river rapid adventure!
6. Farm to Table
This region has an incredible amount of produce which is evolving a farm to table trend. Not only do local restaurants in Snowmass and nearby Aspen embody the locally grown, fresh food movement, but there are numerous food and beer festivals and unique dining experiences that are purely farm to table. Our bike ride and white water rafting experience ended at Rock Bottom Ranch, an 113-acre wildlife preserve. We had a delicious barbecue courtesy of Slow Groovin’ BBQ from Marble Colorado and craft beer from the Roaring Fork Beer Company located in Carbondale, Colorado. There was a bit of lassoing thrown in around the campfire as well. These are the unique cultural flavours we travel to experience.
7. Independence Pass
Forget taking the motorway from Denver into Snowmass, take the shorter, and more awe-inspiring, Independence Pass. Actually, it could take longer as you will want to stop every five minutes to gawk and take photographers. Luckily some sections of the road are narrow so you can’t, but there are plenty of pull over vantage points along the way. Independence Pass is the highest paved mountain pass in Colorado at 12095ft and one of the most spectacular drives in the US, passing clear rivers, beautiful valleys, steep peaks and extensive aspen forests. It will take you over the Continental Divide and through the US’s highest incorporated city, Leadville, a whopping 10,152ft high.