Aspen Highlands Travel Guide, Colorado
Aspen Highlands is a destination that has a lot to offer for your next getaway. Of course it is a bit different from Aspen and it is shadowed by the famous resort with which it can’t compete, but still it has something to lure people here. It has a peaceful charm and small town cozy atmosphere more to the taste of those who like it quiet. It is just three miles from downtown Aspen and you can make it your base to visit the resort especially if you have a smaller budget as prices are a bit higher in Aspen. It can also be your gateway to the Maroon Bells.
Though part of the larger Aspen Resorts network along with Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, and Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands Village is a less crowded resort and less spoilt by tourism, here you can feel closer to nature and to the adventurous spirit of the locals that have added a personal touch to the place beginning with Whip Jones the founder of the settlement. He was the one who owned a property in the area and founded Aspen Highlands in 1958 with the idea of making it a ski area and he did. It was first a family business and had a reputation of a laid-back resort but little by little it succeeded in shaping up and becoming an attraction for all those who appreciate quality and a bit of privacy.
It is a less touristy place, a place where skiing is the most important and tourism comes second. This is the place where all those who want an intermediate-to-expert difficulty level skiing mountain come as the most intense skiing is taking place here. That’s why the Highlands Bowl is so renowned. Opened in 2002, it is the crown jewel of Aspen Highlands and it offers the ultimate skiing experience on experts only terrain and one of the most challenging courses in the United States making it the expert skiers' favorite destination. Highlands Bowl also offers a ride which culminates in untracked descents down 45-degree pitches and there’s also access from the summit into the steep and highly avalanche prone back-country Five Fingers Bowl.
There are 970 acres to ski and a 3,635-foot vertical, a challenge for all skiers who want to pass their limits. And there’s more: the 1000 feet of expert-only hike-to terrain opened in the 2005-06 season. But all this high level skiing should not scare other lower levels from coming to Aspen Highlands as there are also some entry-level slopes and intermediate trails at the Mid and Lower Mountain Terrain and there’s plenty of mid-mountain beginner terrain to practice on before hitting the steeps. Here is where you’ll find most of the ski competitions. As long as you stick within your skill level you will have a great time here. A bit of relaxation is offered by the Merry-Go-Round restaurant and the Cloud Nine Bistro offering great views of the Maroon Bells. They are both located in the Mid-Mountain area.
The lift system has known a renewal and it become a quick way to get around the mountain, so you can quickly get to the area nicknamed Steeplechase known for its double-black freefalls. There’s a speedy new triple chair which climbs 1,700 vertical feet in a little over seven minutes and accesses acres of new advanced and expert landscape.
Being in Aspen Highlands gives you the feeling of being on top of the world in a majestic natural setting, unique place in the world, a location that gives you the freedom to find yourself, both mind and body.
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