The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the vibes are great. Spring skiing in Aspen is one of a kind, especially at our iconic mountain, Aspen Highlands. While spring skiing at all our mountains is fun in the sun, locals flock to the Highlands for good reasons. Here’s an insider’s guide to spring skiing at Aspen Highlands.


For a sunny spring day, we recommend getting to the mountain early. If you’re planning on driving, note that the Highlands Garage tends to fill up quickly. The garage has paid parking, but free for carpoolers of 4+ passengers.  

A free and more eco-friendly option would be to take the local RFTA bus. From Ruby Park bus station in town, the CM or AH bus leaves regularly from the stop and drops you off directly at the ski area.  

The lifts at Highlands start spinning at 9am, so if you have some time to kill, grab a coffee or breakfast at Willow Creek Cafe located at the Ritz-Carlton Club.  

Once you’re ready to load, we recommend taking some top to bottom groomers on freshly groomed corduroy. Take the Exhibition Lift up to the top and then ski to the Loge Lift or Cloud Nine Lift for some bright and fast groomers.  

Late Morning/Afternoon Skiing 

Once the temps heat up, the snow will begin to soften and make for some slushy spring bumps across the mountain.  

If you’re up for the challenge, try hiking the famous Highlands Bowl. At 12,392 feet, Highland Peak boasts some of the steepest and best skiing and riding on the mountain. While some skiers like to drop in early, we recommend sticking out the hike to the top as the G-Zone trails are often the softest and most enjoyable to ski on. Have questions or reservations? Chat with Ski Patrol at the top of Loge Lift for conditions. 

Another area for some steep and fun spring bumps is within Temerity. Here, you’ll find a variety of tree skiing and variable terrain to enjoy.  

If you’re looking for something a bit more mellow, we suggest exploring runs off the Cloud Nine Lift including Scarlett’s, Robinson’s, and Grand Prix. Be sure to snap a picture at Picnic Point atop Upper Robinson’s of the iconic Pyramid Peak and Maroon Bells.  

Lunch Time 

At Aspen Hiighlands, there are plenty of options for a mid-day break, but we usually find ourselves on the deck of Merry-Go-Round. Here, you’ll find cafeteria-style food options as well as a full bar. In the spring, the bar oftentimes has specials for you and your group to imbibe on in the sun. On the weekends, weather permitting, the restaurant will usually have a DJ outside. Pizza and Spritz, anyone? 

Reservation permitting, Cloud Nine is Aspen’s quintessential après party spot. Here, you can find both some of the best dancing around as well as some great fondue. Note that there are two different meal seatings at this restaurant. If you’re wanting a low-key lunch with some Veuve to sip on, go for the earlier seating. Want to stay for the infamous champagne-spraying party? The après seating is your best bet. 

While Cloud Nine is fun year-round, locals especially enjoy the spot on a warm spring day when the outdoor patio is open. Sunshine, views, Veuve, and dancing? What’s there to miss? 


End the Day at Highlands Alehouse, located at the mountain’s base, for delicious bar food and drinks. Because the lifts run later in the spring, you can enjoy a long day on the slopes followed by an energetic scene at the base. Alehouse will also regularly have a DJ or live music on weekends if the sun is out.  

How to Dress 

Note that just because it’s “spring” in the mountains, doesn’t mean that the Rockies are done seeing snow. When planning for a ski trip, come prepared for all conditions.  

However, if the forecast is promising sun and high temperatures, we’ll usually bring the following: 

  • A warmer jacket for the mornings as the temperatures are often below freezing until the late morning. 
  • A packable puffy or sweatshirt to swap-out for your warmer jacket.  
  • Polarized sunglasses for when you’re ready to take off your goggles. 
  • Sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.  
  • A creative and bright outfit if you’re feeling funky. 
  • Water to stay hydrated. However, if you don’t want to carry a hydration pack, Merry-Go-Round has water stations inside.  

About Julia Aldrich