10 Insider Tips for Springtime in Aspen

Champagne powder—or maybe just champagne—there is plenty to do on and off the slopes

Spring skiing, at the mercy of the snow gods, can be hit or miss. The secret to success is choosing a resort that keeps its options open. According to Aspen insider Dana Laughren, buyer at iconic Pitkin County Dry Goods, her Rocky Mountain Shangri-La has plenty to offer. She shares 10 picks:

1. Spectator events

Literally spilling into town, Ajax (Aspen Mountain) offers slopeside viewing of quintessential races. Aspen’s spring ritual, America’s Uphill, climbs 3,000 feet via snowshoes, track skis, telemark skis or alpine touring gear, March 10, 2018. The Après Ski Cocktail Classic serves up craft cocktails and mixology, March 8-11. The backcountry Grand Traverse starts at midnight in Crested Butte, finishing at Ajax 7-16 hours later, March 23-24.

2. Music and festivals


Live music is an Aspen standby at Belly Up and Wheeler Opera House. And the Bud Light Spring Jam offers free downtown concerts over two lively weekends, March 23-April 1.

3. Local culture

Rated one of the world’s top-50 film festivals, Aspen Shortsfest at the Wheeler in Aspen and Crystal Theater in Carbondale screens more than 80 shorts from every genre, March 3-8.

4. Local flavor

Experience a taste of old Aspen sipping hot chocolate or cocktails amid the historic Hotel Jerome’s period Victorian decor—and check out a history tour while you’re there.

5. Borrow a dog

[Photo: Aspen Skiing Company]

Drive up to the Independence Pass closure gate, park and walk a dog. No pooch? Borrow one from the Aspen Animal Shelter. Contact the shelter for details.  

6. Go for the burn, indoors

Spin class at CycleBar, Pure Barre, yin yoga at Arjuna and Thug Yoga at Aspen Shakti work muscles sans ski boots.

7. Retail therapy

Don’t miss end-of-season sales on ski wear and hard goods.

8. Photo ops

Majestic Maroon Bells, a photographer’s dream, is a popular year round destination ready for its close-up.

Drive up Maroon Creek or Castle Creek for the ultimate selfie.

9. Celebrate like a local

It always hurts to say goodbye (to ski season) but the closing-day party at Aspen Highlands helps ease the pain. [Photo by Jeremy Swanson]

Dress up or feel like a dud at Aspen Highlands closing day, April 8. The party rages at Cloud 9 and continues at the bottom long after lifts close. Find costumes at Aspen Thrift Shop.

10. When in doubt, dine

Bartending has become an art form. Now called mixologists, the best in the business are in town to mix up some craft cocktails and fun. [Photo: The Little Nell Hotel & Residences]

A few of Dana’s favorites are the chicken board at Meat & Cheese with a jalapeño margarita; fondue at Crêperie du Village; roasted acorn squash at Justice Snow’s (great comfort food!); Big Wrap bowls; Home Team BBQ tacos; tortilla soup at The Little Nell; salmon at Rustique; and 520 Grill kale salad.

Editor's pick

[Photo: St. Regis Aspen Resort]

The St. Regis Spa For the best spa experience ever, visit the Remède Spa at the St. Regis Aspen Resort. With over-the-top personal service and luxurious amenities like sumptuous throws and champagne, it’s easy to see why the Remède was voted #1 Spa in the World by Travel + Leisure readers. The spa includes an oxygen lounge, steam caves, cold plunges, hot tubs, fitness center and Confluence waterfall. Hotel guests without treatments are charged $50 per day to use the facilities; $75 for non-guests. Tip: While waiting for your appointment, sip champagne as you lounge in the oxygen room.

Categories: On Location