Aspen Highlands Ski Resort

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

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Aspen Highlands Ski Resort has the privilege of overlooking the gorgeous Maroon Bells in the Colorado Rockies.

View of Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands Ski Resort.

Aspen Highlands is high indeed, starting at 8,040 feet and peaking at 11,675 feet. And actually, you can get even higher by hiking up to the top of Highland Bowl at 12,392 feet!

The bowl is what makes Aspen Highlands famous, and is home to some of the best (and most intense) in-bounds backcountry terrain in Colorado. It opened in 2002, and since then has become known as the crown jewel of Aspen Highlands. A Snowcat can cut your hiking distance, but only by a third. The ski patrol conducts avalanche control for skier safety in this deep powder zone.

The bowl has three zones- the G Zone, B Zone and Y Zone. The letters correspond to the color of wax that skiers use according to the temperature of snow. In descending order: green, blue and yellow. The G Zone is known for the best snow, the B Zone for the steepest terrain, and the Y Zone for its relatively easy access (by Snowcat).

The total resort terrain covers 1,028 acres and drops 3,635 feet. Most of Aspen Highland’s terrain runs off the narrow ridge coming down from Highland Peak.

Rolling, wide learning terrain along with some intermediate trails run through a typical pine forest in the mid-to-lower mountain region. At the very bottom, don’t miss Thunderbowl, a steep intermediate run that is often host to skiing competitions. Lower Stein, P-Chutes, and Scarlett’s (a legendary mogul run) are a couple more nice advanced runs on the lower portion of the hill.

The upper mountain peeks just above the tree line and provides fantastic views of the Maroon Bells and the surrounding Colorado Rockies. The area is primarily served by the Loge Peak lift. The area is for experts only, but does have one blue run, Broadway, which follows the ridge spine. From the spine Steeplechase and No Name Bowl descend steeply to either side.

The newest terrain at Aspen Highlands opened for the 2005/2006 season. The fixed grip triple lift “Deep Temerity” eliminated the long hike out from the bottom of the Highland Bowl, the Temerity glades and Steeplechase. 180 acres accompany the new lift, with an ultimate potential of 270 new acres.

Of the 118 trails at Aspen Highlands, the longest stretches 3.5 miles long. Test yourself and see if you can cover all 84 miles of their trails! Easy terrain covers 18% of the mountain, 30% is more difficult, 16% is most difficult and 36% is for experts only.

Five lifts serve the area: three high-speed quads and two triples. They are all open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Rental equipment is available from Four-Mountain Sports at the base of the mountain.

This ski area is smaller than its sisters Aspen, Snowmass and Buttermilk, but still have two delicious restaurants: Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro and Merry-Go-Round. Buy  a lift ticket and have access to Aspen Highlands, Aspen, Snowmass and Buttermilk.

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