Buttermilk Aspen's Best Beginner Skiing

The Ski Mountain

When you’re learning to ski, there’s no better place to start than Buttermilk Ski Resort. Its mellow slopes and rolling hills cater to people trying to get their ski-legs. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s your first time on the slopes, or your first attempt at snowboarding or park jumps. This is a resort with designated learning areas for all ages. Not surprisingly, it’s also heavily family-friendly, so get your Mom-face on. You’re skiing with kids here.

The Mountain Experience

Buttermilk Resort

Because of the location and clientele, Buttermilk is a great place for your first experience of mountain culture. It allows you to enjoy Colorado’s characteristic light snow and gorgeous scenery without the stress of going down a mountain that’s too steep and narrow.


Buttermilk Ski Resort Terrain

• Beginner: All of the lifts access an abundance of beginner terrain. From the top of the mountain to the base, novice skiers will feel comfortable exploring because the mountain is full of wide gentle slopes, easily navigated by even rank beginners. The slow-skiing zone near the base, accessible from Panda Peak lift, is best for early learners. Once you feel comfortable on your skis or snowboard, take advantage of the beginner trails in West Buttermilk.


Current Snow Conditions


• Intermediate: Long and winding intermediate trails are found along the Upper Tiehack and Summit Express lifts. Intermediate skiers should stick to the east side of the mountain, where it’s a bit less crowded. Stop at the picnic tables half way down Magic Carpet trail and enjoy a sack lunch while taking in the views.

• Advanced: If you’re looking for expert terrain at Buttermilk, you’re lost. You obviously meant to get off the bus at Aspen. It’s okay. Aspen is just five miles and a free-shuttle away, and they’ll accept your lift ticket. Oh, you’re skiing with a beginner and need something – anything — to keep you occupied? The only advanced terrain is located on the eastern side of the mountain via the Upper Tiehack lift. These runs are steeper than the nearby intermediate trails but lack moguls and bumps. Keep in mind, Buttermilk is largely a learner’s mountain so the biggest hazards here are likely to be other skiers, who have strayed onto a run that’s too difficult for them. Play nice. No using the fallen tourists as moguls.

Around the Mountain


• Terrain Park: Buttermilk is consistently rated number one for “Best Terrain Parks” by virtually every authority. Its five parks are designed to accommodate all levels and styles of skiers. Four of the parks are connected along one trail so skiers can enter or exit at various points along the way. S3 Park is tailored for beginners with 20 smaller features and is sectioned off from the rest of the mountain. If this is your first park experience, this is where you should start. X Park is the most famous and advanced park at Buttermilk. It has 25 features and a 22-foot Zaugg cut Superpipe. The slope style line includes jumps that range from 45 to 70 feet in height. These features are labeled “advanced to expert” and intermediate skiers are advised not to attempt these features. Note, this park closes for one month following Christmas for the Winter X-Games/Aspen Snowmass Open.


Best Advice

Come here with kids, your Monopoly board and some wine to share with your significant other in the condo once the kids have hit the sack. This resort is built for families and is full of them. You’ll have a better time if you’re mentally prepared for mellow skiing and plenty of rug-rats to keep you company. If you’ve got any other mind-set, you’re in the wrong place. If you are feeling adventurous, hang with the locals and hike up Buttermilk Mountain at night. There is a warming hut at the top where skiers gather for small bites and good conversation. This moonlight hike and ski will be the highlight of your trip.


Après Skiing

Buttermilk does not have as many bars and restaurants as the other Aspen mountains. “Bumps” – that’s a restaurant, not a terrain — is located at the base but is better for events or large groups. They do have homemade pasta, pizza, and other hearty eats that the kids will enjoy. The best après options are in the town of Aspen, just 3 miles away. Many happy hour and après specials are available until the dinner rush starts around 6 pm. Visit 39 Degrees bar in the Sky Hotel. Adjacent to the bar is a pool and hot tub that is also open to the public. This is a popular spot among adults. Lodging The lodging is in Aspen, just a few miles away. The Inn at Aspen is near Buttermilk’s base. Houses, condos, and hotel rooms are available throughout Aspen, which is connected to Buttermilk’s resort by a free bus ride.

Nearest Ski Town

A vacation haven for the rich and famous, with a quaint and authentic Western feel.

Buttermilk Lodging

Buttermilk is part of and easily accessible from Aspen. Use the Ski Lodging Deals box above and right to find Aspen’s best Lodging choices and deals.


Skiing with Kids

Buttermilk is a great mountain for families. Because the mountain is smaller, parents are better able to keep an eye on their kids, while allowing them to think that they’re venturing out on their own. Ski-school is available for children as young as 2 ½. Buttermilk also has a Teen Park & Pipe Camp designed to teach skiers how to do tricks without breaking their necks. This is a three-day camp where students ski with professional park riders and test their abilities at the different parks

Lift Tickets and Season Pass Cost*

2 Day Lift Tickets (pre-purchase online): Adult $174-$202; Child $104-$132; Senior $156-$184 (PURCHASE NOW) Season Pass: Adult 1,599-$1,959; Child $559; Senior $1,179-$1,699 Other Passes: Flex (non holiday) Pass = Adults $879-$1,019 Special Deals: • Passes good on all 4 Aspen mountains • Seniors 70+ season pass $419 *prices reflect our best effort to gather from resort published information.

Driving Directions

By Amanda Markert

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