Aspen Snowmass welcomes spring with an abundance of fun events across all four mountain resorts: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. Downtown Aspen and neighboring Carbondale also get busy with some exciting events, as the snow begins to melt and the flowers begin peeking out.
If you are traveling to Colorado over the springtime and your path is taking you to Aspen, here are eight ways to enjoy the popular ski towns, with and without the snow.
1. Elk Camp Surf and Snow Beach Party
There's something similar between snow bums and beach bums, a similar kind of laid-back attitude. Bring the two together in Snowmass mid-April with a snow beach party. This event, at Elk Camp, includes a live DJ, volleyball, drink specials and raffles. Munch on tacos and drink margs. Participants are encouraged to wear their swim attire (and get a free lei for participating). The ultimate goal? To create the largest swimsuit ski parade.
2. Annual KickAspen Big Air Invitational
Every spring break, the Annual KickAspen Big Air night competition features 20 invited skiers and 20 invited snowboarders the opportunity to battle it out under the lights on a big air terrain park jump located at the base of Aspen Mountain. Athletes will compete to take home a portion of the fat cash prize that will be divvied up amongst first, second and third place finishers, as well as the athletes that throw down the best trick in both skiing and snowboarding. For spectators, the event is free to watch and includes music and a beer garden.
This is a part of the Bud Light Spring Jam.
3. Bud Light Spring Jam
This is a two-week festival in Aspen that includes concerts in downtown, followed by KickAspen Big Air and a Terrain Park Boot Camp. This boot camp is set up on Fanny Hill for anyone age 13 and older to learn the ropes of the park.
4. Banked Slalom
Every March in Aspen Snowmass, the Banked Slalom is a snowboard-only race held on upper Snowmass Mountain with multiple age divisions.
5. Belly Up Aspen
You can catch live music at the Belly Up into the spring season. You can expect to see world-class musicians, such as Social Distortion, Chris Isaak, BB King, Damien Marley, Redman and more.
6. Aspen Snowmass Après-Ski Cocktail Classic
Early March, look for the four-day Apres-Ski Cocktail Classic. After a day on the power (or on your day off the mountain), this event features everything apres: hot toddies, spirits, champagne, cocktails, apps, fireside gatherings, mountain-top bashes. This is considered one of the nation's top cocktail festivals. Kick it up a notch with the cocktail-paired dinner series. There's even a pub crawl, if you're feeling especially thorough.
7. Aspen Shortsfest
Colorado loves its film festivals. The international Aspen Shortsfest in April is all about (you guessed it) short films and videos. It's well renowned for finding some of the best shorts in all categories, from comedy to documentary. Visitors can choose from more than 80 films from around the world. The fest is located in the Wheeler Opera House and Crystal Theatre in nearby Carbondale.
8. Aspen Ascent Weekend
Here's an extra special way to do skiing in Aspen, a way you can ski the Aspen area for free with minimal crowds. Well, naturally, there is one little catch.
After the lifts are closed for the season, the Buttermilk Ski Area will open its mountain to uphill travelers only. Early April, you'll find skiable terrain and even patrollers, gear to rent and food, if you want to do the uphill as well as the downhill. That's right: No lifts will be running. Expect a killer workout, but the trade-off is you get to extend the ski season a little longer. And the crowds will be thin. And this event is free and open to the public.
Expect the hardcore skiers and athletes.
Even if you don't want to participate in the actual "ascent" part of Aspen Ascent Weekend, you can hang out at the base, where you can find a vendor village, demos, clinics, gear and more.