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Chamonix Charm, Colorado Conditions

Aspen & The Roaring Fork Valley, an Ideal Way to Spend a Winter Holiday

Traveling to Chamonix, France, was not feasible last year so my family opted for an in-state, Colorado ski vacation. Visiting Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley is an ideal way to spend any holiday break.

Home to the world’s first World Championships held outside of Europe, Aspen is renowned for its incredibly dreamy winter experiences and celebrity sightings. And this year is even more special because @AspenSnowmass is celebrating 75 years of skiing, offering guests four world-class mountains to choose from: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. These mountains offer a wide variety of terrain perfect for everyone from beginner to expert and this year's celebratory events include Luminescence in Snowmass, Winterskol in Aspen, XGames at Buttermilk and so much more!

Runway to Slopeside in Minutes

As a group of 10, we opted to stay in a vacation rental outside of Carbondale, between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. We chose this location as a home base because within 35 minutes we were either on the slopes at Aspen Snowmass or Sunlight Ski Resort near Glenwood Springs. With nearly 730 skiable acres and a 2,000 vertical foot drop, Sunlight offers big skiing at an affordable price. And you can enjoy the best après-ski fun at the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. 

We found that riding the local Roaring Fork Transit buses was convenient for getting to the slopes. These buses run the entirety of the Roaring Fork Valley and can get you around easily and many (but not all) routes are free. Free routes include all City of Aspen routes and all Aspen to/from Snowmass Village routes. Seniors 65 and older and children 5 and under always ride free. The Village Shuttle within Snowmass Village is also free to ride. RFTA’s real time bus information is available in an easy-to-use mobile app called Transit. 

Where to Stay?

When you’re looking for the perfect place to rest your head after a day on the slopes, look no further than a vacation rental outfit for your accommodations — you’ll find an amazing selection of great places to stay in the Roaring Fork Valley. We stayed at "AspenWood" in Carbondale. Located on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, this four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home is a 35 min drive to Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort and Sunlight Ski Resort in Glenwood Springs. This beautiful river compound was like our own tiny resort without the crowds. With unsurpassed views of the Roaring Fork River, two fireplaces in the Great Room including radiant heating, a gourmet kitchen with amenities fit for a professional chef, and an eight-person Sundance Optima hot tub overlooking the river, we wished we could have stayed longer.

For planning, you’ll want to check out how easy it is to drive to your accommodation, as some rental homes are difficult to reach in wintertime without 4-wheel drive. Luckily, Aspenwood was located down a regularly snow plowed road and the rental property had driveway snowmelt making the home easily accessible during snowstorms. There was also a bus stop 2 minutes away and we could simply hoist our skis onto the exterior bus ski carriers, leaving the driving to someone else.  And our host offered to drive us if we didn’t feel like walking to the bus stop. We love SuperHosts.

Ski Resort Lift Tickets & Rental Gear

The Aspen Snowmass 2021-22 ski season runs from late November through early to mid-April, depending on the mountain. All four of Aspen’s mountains are open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, and one lift ticket gets you on all four mountains. Be sure to book seven days in advance and save on ticket prices. In addition to day and multi-day lift tickets, Aspen Snowmass offers a variety of season passes and participates in some of the industry's best multi-destination ski passes including the Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective Pass, and Colorado Ski Country's Gold Pass. If you need to rent skis or snowboards, Stapleton Ski Shop and Up Snowboard Rentals and Miller Sports is located in the heart of Aspen. Or better yet, reserve your skis/snowboards with Ski Butlers who deliver all your equipment rentals directly to your accommodations. 

We discovered @RaggedMountainSports, an outdoor gear store located in Carbondale that offered a plethora of used and new gear that residents donate from all over the Aspen region. This was a great shop for friendly customer service vibes in the gear-head affluent ski world if you quickly need to grab a thermal base layer or a helmet.

Find more information about ski passes at

Our accommodations: AspenWood House

RFTA Transit App: Bus, Uber, Bikeshare

  • Aspen at night
  • The town of Aspen
  • The whole crew
  • House on the Roaring Fork
  • On the Mountain
  • Snowmass