15 Best Things to Do in Snowmass, CO

Snowmass, CO
Kristi Blokhin / shutterstock.com

It’s safe to say that Snowmass, Colorado, is the winter wonderland you’ve never heard of.

Snowmass doesn’t attract as many visitors compared to nearby Aspen, but that only adds to its charm.

You don’t have to compete with hundreds of families just to ski or snowboard.

It’s a vast expanse of snow all to yourself.

In 1967, Snowmass opened to the public as the biggest winter resort in the United States, under the leadership of Stein Eriksen, director of skiing.

The Snowmass project also began from the efforts of former Olympic skier Bill Janss.

For nine years, Janss had bought up ranches in Brush Creek Valley because of a tip from a local ski instructor.

This tip said that the nearby slopes of Bald Mountain were a skiing paradise.

Janss had wanted Snowmass to be like the American version of the ski slopes in the Alps.

Snowmass took nine months to build, opening five chairlifts and 50 miles of trails.

Today, the community has become a hidden gem in Colorado.

Besides skiing, the family winter resort is open to biking, hiking, and snow tours.

Do you want to know more about Snowmass, CO?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in town:

Ski to Your Hearts’ Content at Aspen Snowmass

Cable cars at aspen snowmass ski park.
David A Litman / Shutterstock.com

In 2019, Ski Magazine voted Aspen Snowmass as the Resort of the Year, burnishing its reputation as one of the premier ski destinations in the United States.

However, if you don’t want to take their word for it, why not see for yourself?

The resort covers four mountain peaks, from Buttermilk to Aspen Mountain, the Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass.

Aerial view of the aspen snowmass ski park.
David A Litman / Shutterstock.com

You can enroll in ski or snowboard lessons during winter or get passes to navigate these majestic slopes.

Likewise, locals can also take you on guided tours across the mountains.

The summer sun doesn’t hamper operations here, either.

It just transforms the resort into an area for hiking, zip-lining, and biking, among others.

Chairlifts at the aspen snowmass ski park.
David A Litman / Shutterstock.com

Check Out the Artwork at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Snowmass is not just for skiing and snowboarding.

It’s also a place for artists and creatives, which you can see at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

For more than 50 years, this center has provided a space for local artists to express themselves.

Likewise, this is true for all artists, whether they are already established or still coming up.

You might happen upon a special event hosted there during your visit, which is one of many throughout the year.

The campus spans five acres, and it’s open to the public, so you can explore as you please.

Every year, the arts center holds an art auction and lectures from local and guest artists.

Ride the Slopes with the Krabloonik Dogsled Rides

Do you want to traverse the Snowmass slopes without skiing?

You’re in luck because the village offers you the next best thing.

It’s getting a dogsled ride from the Krabloonik dog sledding tour shop in Snowmass.

As a bonus, you can also eat at the Krabloonik’s well-appointed restaurant.

Explore the Colorado Rocky Mountains on a dogsled, with a pack of eight to ten trained huskies leading the way through the beautiful winding trails of Aspen and Snowmass.

The Krabloonik sleds can take two adults and a kid.

On the driver’s seat, you’ll also have an experienced guide called the “musher.”

Besides dogsled rides, Krabloonik also offers kennel tours.

You can see how the center trains the dogs, and you can even spend time with the dogs and the puppies in training.

See the Alpine Cowboys at the Snowmass Rodeo

A woman riding a horse at the rodeo.
PawelSkrabacz / Shutterstock.com

If you want to see some cowboys do some cowboy stuff, visit Snowmass every Wednesday night between June to August.

Those nights are Rodeo Nights, and they are a genuine Snowmass tradition.

What happens during Rodeo Nights?

A man looking at the rodeo.
PawelSkrabacz / Shutterstock.com

First, you can join the barbecue every 5 p.m., the traditional launch of the Rodeo Nights for almost 50 years.

Then, you can watch cowboys compete at barrel racing, cattle roping, bronco riding, and barrel racing.

Likewise, you can also see them ride bulls.

Rodeo Nights in Snowmass are a thrilling spectacle, and you don’t want to miss watching these tremendous athletes practice their craft.

See the Rockies along the Government Trail

This time, take your mountain bike and go from Snowmass to Aspen, where you will see the Rocky Mountains unfolding before you in all their glory.

You’ll see groves upon groves of aspen trees, along with vast green meadows teeming with wildflowers.

Likewise, you’ll come upon forests of evergreens.

At its peak, the trail stans 9,606 feet above sea level, and you’ll climb more than 2,000 feet on the one-way singletrack.

You’ll also climb down 2,500 feet.

This trail only goes one way, so once you finish it, take the shuttle back to Snowmass for a fee of $2.00.

The trail is also open in the summer.

Practice Your Swing at the Snowmass Club Golf Course

Why not practice your swing amid the backdrop of gorgeous mountains buried in snow?

Visit the Snowmass Club Golf Course to get the full high-quality golfing experience with world-class views.

You can try the full 18-hole course to challenge yourself through the varying terrain.

Likewise, you can play around first just to see where your skills are.

The course also offers 13 indoor and outdoor tennis courts and an Athletic Club.

If you visit the Athletic Club, you’ll find pools, a spa, and fitness equipment. You can also join fitness classes.

Depending on the season, the course also offers programs and facilities for children.

Book a Stay at The Stonebridge Inn

Its nearness to the slopes of Snowmass should be enough to recommend The Stonebridge Inn for tourists looking for lodging.

However, if that’s not enough, then you might want to hang out at The Artisan, the bar and restaurant at The Stonebridge lobby.

After a long day at the slopes, grab a bite at The Artisan.

Then, rest your bones by the large fireplaces, and admire the majestic scenery outside.

You can try their tasty gourmet selections and wash them down with premium cocktails and delicious craft beers.

The Artisan is also open in the summer, with patio seating.

Ride Your Bike up the East Snowmass Trail

Way to the east snowmass trail.
Elena Arrigo / Shutterstock.com

Get your juices flowing with a nice bike ride along the East Snowmass Trail.

You’ll climb a steep slope, winding your way through evergreen and aspen forests, along a 7.3-mile trail.

The climb ends at the summit, standing at 12,014 feet, meaning you’ll climb 3,3631 feet to get there.

If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, nothing will.

You might also be lucky enough to spot some wildlife on your climb.

Likewise, you might want to stop to pick some wildflowers along the road.

The East Snowmass Trail has a high difficulty level, but you can climb it on foot, by bike, or on horseback.

Enjoy Home Cooking at Taster’s

This pizza parlor might not transport you to Italy, but it still fills your belly with delicious and satisfying meals.

Besides its inviting ambiance and friendly staff, Taster’s offers a variety of mouth-watering dishes.

You can try their chicken wings, eggplant rolantini, their meat lasagna, chicken parmigiana, and pasta alfredo.

For healthier items, they also serve salads.

They also prepare sandwiches and hot subs, along with calzones and pizza.

It’s the pizza menu where Taster’s shines the brightest.

They make conventional pizzas like meat and cheese and prepare unique concoctions like a jalapeno popper pizza.

You can even choose your own toppings.

All this is why Taster’s likes to call itself Snowmass’ best-kept secret.

Reflect on Life at the St. Benedict’s Monastery

You might not expect to find a monastery in the Rocky Mountains, but the St. Benedict’s Monastery sits right near the village of Snowmass.

This monastery belongs to the historic Trappist order, or the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, founded in 1098.

Covering 3,000 acres, the monastery also works as a defense for nearby wildlife migration routes.

There are only a few monks inside, but they offer retreat facilities for people who want to meditate or pray.

However, they don’t offer guided retreats for individuals or groups, so you’ll have to reflect by yourself.

After your retreat, you can stop by the monastery bookstore and grab some books to help enrich your life and spirit.

Bring Your Family to the Lost Forest

Who says you can’t enjoy Snowmass in the summer?

Visit the ski resort in the summer, and you’ll find a terrific summer getaway with tons of fun activities to do.

One of them is spending the day at the Lost Forest, tucked in the heart of Elk Camp, on Snowmass Mountain.

During your visit, you’ll find a hair-raising coaster called the Breathtaker, where you can zoom down the mountain at truly breathtaking speeds.

Likewise, the Lost Forest has the Canopy Run Zipline Course, offering seven ziplines up to 90 feet above the ground.

You can also challenge yourself at the 14-lane Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall or go further at the Treeline Trial Challenge Course.

This course has five difficulty levels, so pick the one that fits you.

Try the Italian at Il Poggio

If you miss the flavor of Italian food at Snowmass, then you don’t need to worry.

Just go to Il Poggio to satisfy your cravings quickly.

The restaurant does its level best to remind you of Italy, too, with its marble tables and stone pizza oven.

If you’re with a special someone, you might want to head to the back dining room for an intimate atmosphere.

Il Poggio offers a diverse selection of great wines handpicked from vineyards in California and Italy.

Likewise, Il Poggio makes their pizzas inside the stone ovens, and you can even order gluten-free versions of your favorite pasta and pizza.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Learn Local History at the Wheeler/Stallard Museum

Exterior of the wheeler/stallard house.
Daniel Case, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1888, Jerome B. Wheeler built a house in Aspen, where he and his family lived.

He built the house in the grand Queen Anne Victorian style, and the large house occupied an entire city block.

However, the house itself ended up unoccupied because Wheeler’s wife, Harriet Macy Valentine Wheeler, refused to leave her Manitou Springs, Colorado mansion.

In 1905, Edgar Stallard and his wife, Mary Ella, moved into the house, and they bought it in 1917.

In 1969, the Aspen Historical Society bought the house and turned it into the Wheeler/Stallard Museum.

Today, you can visit the museum and explore its two levels.

The first floor is a recreation of the old Victorian home, while the second floor is an exhibition floor with rotating exhibits showcasing local history.

See a Show at Jazz Aspen Snowmass

Drive 17 minutes away from Snowmass to reach Aspen, where you can pick from even more activity options.

If you’re a fan of jazz music, you should familiarize yourself with the name “Jazz Aspen Snowmass.”

The non-profit group consistently hosts terrific and exciting jazz concerts with the country’s best performers and musicians.

Catch these shows, and you’ll do your part in preserving the music and culture for future generations.

Jazz Aspen puts on shows from up-and-coming jazz musicians and established performers throughout the year, both local and guest.

They also give student jazz bands their time to shine.

So, if you like jazz, you should catch a show one of these days.

Fly High with the Above It All Balloon Company

Stay in Aspen, where you can get your chance to fly inside a hot-air balloon.

Visit the Above It All Balloon Company if you want to see all of Snowmass, the Colorado Rockies, and Aspen in one sweeping panorama.

The company has already taken hundreds of people on hot-air balloon tours through the Rockies for over 25 years.

Bring your camera, but be careful not to drop it!

You can reserve your balloon flight 36 hours ahead.

Likewise, you can reserve a private flight if you want an entire balloon to yourself.

Bring your family and friends aboard since the balloon can hold two to 16 people.

Just wear your thickest jacket because it gets really cold up there.

Final Thoughts

Even though it has “snow” in its name, Snowmass is a terrific family getaway in winter and summer.

You’ll never run out of things to do there, from skiing to zip-lining.

Likewise, you can visit nearby Aspen to learn interesting local history and visit more sites.

Why wait?

Book your Snowmass trip today!