Spring Break Bucket List

Everything You Need for a Fun-Filled Spring Break with the Family, Right Here at Home

March is one of my family's favorite months of the year. Spring is in the air with longer days and warmer temps, and the list of things to do in the valley right now is endless. Like many people who now live here full-time, I arrived for one ski season and never left! I moved to the valley in 1986, and I am so thankful to have met my husband here. Together we have raised our two daughters and we are very passionate about life in the Roaring Fork Valley. As an adventure-loving family, this time of year we have often preferred a "staycation" for spring break because there are so many unique opportunities to continue enjoying the snow right here at home. We are a skiing family, and have rarely felt the tug to travel away from spring days on the mountain. When we think of perfect spring days, this is what we have in mind.

Patty Brendlinger has been a real estate agent for 24 years, and is currently with Coldwell Banker Mason Morse. She resides in Carbondale and finds fulfillment in helping clients' dreams of finding "their" home come true.

West Buttermilk

A favorite activity that we have been doing for years is to load the car with ski and sledding gear and head to West Buttermilk in Aspen, where my husband grew up. We congregate with family and friends to play and picnic the day away, ending with hot chocolate and fondue. It's a fun way to celebrate the end of the cold season.


Independence Pass

We also like to spend time touring up Independence Pass. The road is closed in March, but that lends itself to a peaceful experience without cars. When my girls were young we pulled them up the road in pulks, but now we cross country ski or use our AT (alpine touring) skinning gear. Carry a backpack with your lunch, lots of water, and hang out and soak in the views. 

Highland Bowl

For the more hearty, an all-time favorite is to hike and ski Highland Bowl. Hiking to the top of the bowl is a feat to be celebrated when we all reach the prayer flags and greet the majestic peaks. We soak in their energy and are then rewarded with a magnificent family run down some of the steepest ski trails in our valley.

Home Sweet Home

As active as we are as a family, and with my daughters now in their 20s, we do have a great appreciation for down days that we fill with puzzles and games right at home. Sometimes these days might also include visits to local museums, hot springs, and a few favorite restaurants like Crêperie du Village in Aspen, Free Range Kitchen in Basalt, and Izakaya in Carbondale.

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