A Family Ski Vacation in Snowmass
A top skiing destination, Snowmass is well-known for its ability to provide families with a memorable skiing experience. The resort offers a long list of attractions that appeal to kids and teens along with a great dining scene, ski-in/ski-out accommodations, and an après scene for all ages.
If you are planning on a family ski vacation in Snowmass, this list of tips will help address anything you might need to know.
- Getting There
- Getting Around
- Equipment and Gear Rental
- Ski and Snowboard Lessons
- On-Mountain Safety
- Altitude Sickness
- Family Dining
- Après Ski
- Maximizing Your Mountain Time
Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) aka Sardy Field, Eagle County Airport (EGE), Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), and Denver International Airport (DIA) surround Aspen Snowmass.
To reach Snowmass, you will need to take a shuttle ride from Sardy Field Airport. Driving is also possible, but Independence Pass is closed during the winter months.
The town of Snowmass is easy to navigate and explore without a car. You can utilize public transportation for nearly all of your needs, and there are also private transportation services available.
The Village Shuttle
The Village Shuttle provides free service to nearly any location in Snowmass Village. This includes the Snowmass Center, Snowmass Recreation Center, Base Village, and the Snowmass Mall. Choosing the shuttle also means forgoing the hassle of finding and paying for parking, and it's a great way to socialize and meet other visitors.
The shuttle terminal is located just below the Village Mall on Daly Lane, and buses travel eight routes within the Village’s bus system. (See all of the Routes, Maps, and Schedules for areas served within the Village.) Combined routes provide service between the Snowmass Center and the Village Mall every 10 minutes from 7:10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA)
Bus service between Snowmass and Aspen is easy and free. Daily RFTA buses depart from the Snowmass Mall bound for the Rubey Park Station in downtown Aspen and offer a convenient alternative to driving.
For a list of routes, schedules, and locations, check the RFTA website.
Four Mountain Connector
Enjoy easy, fast, and free transportation to the mountains. The Four Mountain Connector connects skiers and riders to the four Aspen Snowmass mountains via high-frequency routes.
With hassle-free travel and no parking worries, the bus-only lanes make the entrance and exit to Aspen fast and convenient. All services are 7 days per week except where otherwise specified.
Sky Cab (Skittles) Gondola
The Skittles gondola provides free transportation between the Base Village and Mall areas. It runs daily through Sunday, April 21st, 2024 from 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM.
Private Limo/Van Service
Scheduled and chartered services are available from Denver International Airport and Eagle County Regional Airport:
Brio Limo – 970.366.6393
Aspen Limo Services – 970.925.2060
High Mountain Taxi/Limousine – 800.528.8294 or 970.925.8294
Smiddy Limo – 888.925.7505 or 970.925.7505
Snow Limo – 877.634.SNOW (7669) or 970.544.6475
Corporate Transportation Specialists / CTS Aspen – 970.925.8842 or 1-800-SKI-LIMO (754-5466)
Bustang – 800-900-3011
Equipment and Gear Rental
Ski and snowboard rental is made easy at Four Mountain Sports. For the entire 2023-2024 season, rentals booked at least 24 hours in advance will save 20%.
Four Mountain Sports is the only outfitter conveniently located at the base of all four mountains—offering free overnight equipment transfers between our locations and easy storage, making gearing up easy, so you can spend more skiing and riding!
Ski and Snowboard Lessons
Well-regarded as one of the best ski schools in the country, the Snowmass Ski and Snowboard School provides families with a variety of choices of ski and snowboard lessons on Snowmass Mountain. Kids can elect to spend a single day with an expert instructor or extend the fun with a multi-day lesson. Time spent with our excellent and dedicated instructors will make kids of all abilities and interests have a blast, hone their skills, and boost their confidence on the mountain.
On-mountain safety is incredibly important, as there are many risks and hazards involved in skiing and riding. Here are some of the main points you and your family should know before hitting the slopes:
- Always wear a helmet and appropriate clothing for the weather and terrain.
- Apply sunscreen and protect your eyes from the sun’s radiation! Snow reflects the sun’s rays, so even overcast snowy days pose a risk to your skin and eyes.
- Follow the Your Responsibility Code, which outlines the basic rules of conduct and etiquette for skiers and riders. Stay in control of your speed and direction, and respect the safety of others.
- Obey all signs, warnings, and closures on the mountain. Do not enter closed areas or backcountry terrain without proper equipment and knowledge as this is incredibly dangerous. Any accidents should be reported to the ski patrol.
- Be aware of the dangers of tree wells and deep snow immersion, which can cause suffocation if you fall into them. Always ride with a partner, and keep them in sight.
- Have fun, but remember that skiing and riding are inherently risky activities. Your decisions affect your safety and the safety and well-being of others.
Most visitors to Snowmass do not experience altitude sickness, particularly if they have prepared themselves for the adjustment. Travelers headed to higher altitudes, such as 14,000 feet, are more at risk for severe altitude sickness, which can be serious. Severe sickness is not common at elevations under 8,000 feet.
Here are tips to avoid altitude sickness during your vacation:
- Allow yourself time to acclimate. Take it slow during your first day or two, and do not exert too much energy when you first arrive.
- Hydration is key. Drink as much water as you can. Fluids will help the body adjust as altitude helps accelerate dehydration. Add electrolytes to your daily consumption, such as sports drinks (mixing with water to minimize sugar). Stay away from alcohol or caffeine.
- Add a humidifier. The high and dry air of Snowmass is a challenge. Adding a humidifier to your room will add moisture to the air, further aiding in combating the dry mountain air.
- Eat well. Eat light carbs such as pasta, and avoid "heavier" foods.
- Descend. If you are affected by altitude sickness, the first step is to lower your elevation. Going down in altitude of 1,000 or 2,000 feet may help the body return to normal. Remember not to ascend again until you are 100 percent better! When you do ascend, avoid increasing by more than 1,000 feet per day so your body can adjust.
- Give your body time to adjust. Before you even attempt that hike or ski/snowboard day, make sure you’ve allowed at least a day of rest to acclimate.
- Take supplements. An anti-inflammatory like Aleve or Advil may help with the discomfort and headaches. Ginkgo has been known to enhance circulation, which means more oxygen in your body.
- Prepare for the sun. Because the risk of sunburn, or sunstroke, increases at a higher altitude, be prepared with lip balm, sunscreen, sunglasses, or other forms of protection.
Looking for a great meal out while you are on vacation? It can be challenging to find a place that is kid-friendly when you are in a resort town, but Snowmass has some great options.
The Limelight Lounge offers wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and pasta, while Elk Camp has great sandwich options and tasty baked goods. Start the day off with a short stack or the famous breakfast burger at Daly Diner, and who doesn’t love tacos? Venga Venga has some tasty options for everyone in the family.
Snowmass has an après scene with food, activities, and plenty of fun after a day out on the mountain. During the ski season, Snowmass hosts Ullr Nights, an all-ages, activity-packed event to honor the Norse God of Snow. Ride the gondola up and dine at Elk Camp Restaurant, or enjoy live music!
Snowmass S’mores is also available every day at 3:30 throughout the winter season. We can’t think of a better way to end the day on the mountain than with chocolate and marshmallows with the family.
Maximizing Your Mountain Time
To make the most of your time on the mountain, plan ahead and avoid waiting in lines. Purchase your lift tickets ahead of time for the biggest discounts and to make it easier for you once you arrive. Pre-purchased lift tickets can be picked up without ever entering a ticket office by utilizing the pickup boxes located around Snowmass Base Village and the Snowmass Mall. `
Ready to plan that family ski trip? At Alpine Property, we offer rental properties that can accommodate any group size, small or large. Choose from vacation rentals with ski-in/ski-out access onto Snowmass Mountain; private hot tubs; daily housekeeping; media rooms; cozy wood-burning fireplaces; fully-equipped kitchens for family meals; incredible mountain views; spacious interiors; and elegant mountain décor.
Browse our Snowmass vacation rentals, then call 1-866-209-1540 or send us an email to start your ski vacation planning!