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Aspen Advice! Restaurants, Bars, and Trails

jaywbigred

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Anyone have any recommendations on where to eat and drink in Aspen? We know it will be expensive, but are always looking for bang for our buck of course.

Most importantly, what trails should we not miss?

I've skied a week in Aspen but that was 15 years ago and I don't remember too much, and assume much has changed.

Thanks for any input!
 

deadheadskier

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Highland Bowl is an absolute must.

That is if you're not limiting your skiing to just Ajax. I like Highlands the best of the four areas in Aspen. In addition to the Bowl, all of the terrain off the Deep Temerity lift is pretty sweet.

Snowmass has some great stuff in the Hanging Valley Wall and Cirque areas but most of it requires lots traversing and run outs that require multiple lifts to get back up.

Ajax proper is a great mountain and skis much bigger than it's 675 acres. The stuff skiers right of Gents Ridge is good and if you take it all the way down there are some nice glades emptying from skiers right of the Gondola.
 

4aprice

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I haven't been since 2001 but from what I've heard Aspen has changed quite a bit. DHS has good suggestions with Highlands and Snowmass. Bell Mountain, Steeple Chase, Olympic Bowl, Elk Camp and Big Burn are ones I didn't see on his list. I would suggest IF it snows while you are there do not forget Buttermilk and the Tiehak area, may be one of the few places you can actually see. Don't know if the Tippler Lodge by the Gondola is still around but that's where we used to go for dancing and swilling. The true western ski town. Have fun.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

SnowRock

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Agree with DH's general sentiment. Snowmass alone is enough to keep things interesting and fun. Cirque and Hanging Valley might need a bit more snow to make it worth the treks to get to those goods.. both my trips to Aspen i have been a lone boarder with skier friends so know the burn of some of those traverses.

Highlands is amazing, especially if you get some snow. I really have enjoyed my time on Ajax on my trips out there.. DH is right is that the mountain feels bigger. Its also a great experience to ride for the day, finish and walk somewhere in a real town for a beverage. I barley know the name of trails I ride at my local spots so I'm not good on that. I've yet to make it to Buttermilk.

As far as Aspen itself... well I lived in NYC for 10 years so I am very familiar with absurd prices. That said, I actually thought things might have been worse. You should definitely do a beer or two at Ajax Tavern for people watching alone at some point, but avoid eating if you don't want to deal with sticker shock. Not sure what the composition of your group is.. but 39 degrees is another people watching spot, albeit a bit cheezy.

More laid back I liked Zanes and Red Onion. My first trip out there I caught a local NJ band (Railroad Earth) at the Belly Up.. if you like music its worth seeing who is there, they get great acts. Cantina was decent for Mexican and not too hard on the wallet. If sushi and high prices are you thing you have a Nobu and Kenich, i prefer the later and it might be slightly less pricey.
 

jaywbigred

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Thanks for the input guys, we are on Route 70 heading west out of Denver.

SnowRock, we just Railroa Earth in New Brunswick a few months ago! We check the line-up for Belly Up. They have some decent acts and seeing Bloc Party would be cool but not for $75 a ticket.

We have a car and three ski days so we will likely do a day at each place. Probably Highlands today, Snowmass tomorrow, and Ajax on Friday.

If anyone else has any input, let me know!
 
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