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Buttermilk Ski Holidays

A sanctuary for wobbly skiers everywhere, Buttermilk lets you in on Colorado’s legendarily light snow and spectacular surrounds without the stress of a mountain that’s too wide or steep. Family crowds flock here to learn to turn, but never in numbers big enough to mean you’ll find lift lines. A terrain park that’s often voted the best in the US and annually hosts the X Games keeps it all from getting too sedate.





At a glance: • Family friendly • Gentle mountain • Awesome terrain park

Great for: • Beginners • Families • Freestyle

A sanctuary for wobbly skiers everywhere, Buttermilk lets you in on Colorado’s legendarily light snow and spectacular surrounds without the stress of a mountain that’s too wide or steep. Family crowds flock here to learn to turn, but never in numbers big enough to mean you’ll find lift lines. A terrain park that’s often voted the best in the US and annually hosts the X Games keeps it all from getting too sedate.

Buttermilk Resort

As its name suggests, Buttermilk is the gentlest of the 4 Aspen ski areas, with wide, smooth groomers and just enough nooks, crannies and little forested areas to keep an 8-year-old fully entertained. When you’re enjoying a quiet cocoa at the base village’s only hotel, it’s hard to imagine glamorous Aspen town sits just 3 miles down the road (reach it by the shuttle that runs between the two). Even if said hotel it is a chic rustic-modern ski-in/ski-out number.

This mountain doesn’t know the meaning of the words “lift line”, the crowds are thin and the ski school and childcare are top-notch, making this place perfect for families. On its own it might not provide you with many nights to remember, but it’s perfect as a quiet base where you can leave the kids in the capable hands of the Hideout ski centre while you explore the 4 Aspen mountains and hundreds of Aspen restaurants.

Buttermilk wasn’t content with just being the quiet family mountain, it's also home to a 22ft superpipe and one of the world's longest terrain parks, Crazy T’rain, stretching a whopping 3km from the top of the mountain to the base, with over 100 features and over 30 rails. This has hosted ESPN's Winter X-Games every year since 2002 – and if you head up in January, you’ll find it awash with Olympians.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Colorado, USA

Established: 1958

Open: December - April

Downhill: 470 acres / 44 runs

View our detailed Buttermilk snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Buttermilk snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Denver International Airport (DEN)218km, 3h40
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 35%

  • 39%

  • 26%

Top Altitude:9901ft / 3018m
Bottom Altitude:7870ft / 2393m
Resort Altitude:7870ft / 2393m
Longest run:4.8km
Slope Orientation:N E W
Vertical Drop:2030ft / 619m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No

Snow Report

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Web Cam

Buttermilk web cams
Downhill Runs:470 acres / 44 runs
Beginner slopes:35%
Advanced slopes:26%
Lift Pass Price: $145 (adult single day pass)
Nearby resorts: Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Buttermilk

At 470 acres, Buttermilk’s by far the baby of the Aspen ski areas, but for new and tentative skiers, it couldn’t be better. All these gentle greens and mellow blues are super quiet and progressing from the top to the bottom of a 10,000ft mountain in peace (a daily practice here) will do a first timer a world of good. Completing a tempting package, the talented ski school is so confident in its instruction it has always previously offered a guarantee of a 2nd lesson entirely free if you aren’t satisfied with your first.

With 5 lifts just for novices and the innovative new ($10 million…) Hideout play-and-learn centre for the kids, the resort will have first-timers of all ages up and running in no time, especially with of one of the ski school’s Magic Beginners packages. You’ll soon be carving turns from the fast quads and sailing down West Buttermilk’s green trails. Don’t miss snaking Homestead Road, a thrill from beginning to middle to end, full of switchbacks to keep you on your toes.

Timid intermediates will leave Buttermilk puffed up with confidence after a week cruising mellow blues like Bigface Hollow or Columbine, where this resort’s Sharpshooter photographers will take action shots of you. When it’s time to up the ante, you’ll find steeper stuff, glorious glades and small moguls in the Tiehack area. And when you’re ready for something stronger than Milk… The huge Snowmass resort is just 6 miles down the road and accessible by hopping on a free shuttle. In fact, while you’re at it, you can purchase a 4 Mountain ticket and check out the best bits about Ajax and Highlands too.

This place is primarily a wobbly skier sanctuary, and everyone knows it. That’s why the powder stashes off its black runs can go untouched for days. While everyone rushes to Highlands or Ajax after a storm, savvy skiers hit the Milk. If you’re an advanced skier accompanying a beginner here, the black runs off the Tiehack chair will keep a couple of afternoons busy, but you will definitely want to venture further afield.

You’d be forgiven for assuming everything at Buttermilk is unintimidating, that is, until you get a glimpse of the Crazy T’rain park. One of the longest parks in the US, this has 100+ fear-inspiring features, including an Olympic sized superpipe and an X Games course with jumps you need to crane your neck to take in. You won’t want to begin your freestyle career here, but you can certainly get practicing on the easy S3 park off the Buttermilk Express Chair and put youngsters to work on the Panda pipe near the base area.

Buttermilk Apres Ski

Part swank, part rustic ski lodge, The Inn at Aspen’s Mckenney’s Bar is the first and last word in après at Buttermilk – where you can celebrate a hard day learning to make turns with live music, drinks specials and wood-fired pizzas, quite possibly alongside your instructor. If employees don’t hang out here you’ll find them at the Bumps lodge, loading up on delicious pasta specials and Bloody Marys big enough to fill a ski helmet…

For dinner, all who are able-bodied should hike up to the mountainside Cliffhouse for free hot chocolate and live music beneath the moon. This cabin has been a popular hangout for decades, most recently for its day-time Vietnamese pho bar, Mongolian BBQ, and the odd Antonio Banderas sighting…

The options in resort don’t overwhelm, but when the touristic, artistic powerhouse that’s Aspen town sits only 3 miles away by free shuttle, trips downtown are almost compulsory. Start by finding out what all the fuss is about the Ajax Tavern, and eat your way through everything from haute sushi to cheddar grits in old-fashioned saloon bars.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Buttermilk

Best time to visit & ski Buttermilk

Buttermilk has the lowest elevation of the Aspen mountains, and while still between a respectable 2 and 3000 metres this area is not historically at its best very early in the season. The snow depth and fall is usually on top form between January and March, when most of the annual average seasonal 200 inches comes down. That said, if peace and quiet with the option of frivolity in downtown Aspen appeals, Buttermilk is ideal for Christmas and New Year skiing. Keep your nose to the ground for good conditions and jump if you find them!

Peak Dates

Decent snowmaking ups the chances of a white Christmas in Buttermilk, and this resort still tends to be beautifully quiet at this time of year. Nothing like downtown Aspen, which buzzes with the activities of an annual 12 Days of Christmas program. Go for a double dose of festive spirit listening to carollers in Victorian garb, joining Christmas art workshops and stroking Santa’s real live reindeer.

Aspen town’s population trebles as the visitors roll up for galas and swank parties, outdoor DJs and fireworks. As the quietest Aspen Mountain at this time of year, spending New Year in Buttermilk will let you learn to ski (or ski better) in peace and get in on the fun downtown.

The slopes are quieter than ever for Half Term in Buttermilk since our American friends don’t take this school holiday off. The snow’s usually in tip top condition, so nothing gets in the way of learning how to perfect your turns. Unless of course you’re into art galleries, snowshoe tours and celeb spotting…

Tonnes of north-facing slopes help the snow stick around for Easter in Buttermilk, when the end of the season sees events like Bacon Appreciation Day and Rail Jams with live DJs.

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Families in Buttermilk

Buttermilk is THE Aspen mountain for young families, with the perfect combo of gentle slopes, mild après and kiddie-friendly caféterias – plus the Crazy T’rain park and Teen Park and Pipe camps that’ll keep an adolescent from grumbling. The slick new Hideout kids centre doesn’t hurt matters, offering the largest, liveliest kids ski club in all of Aspen and innovative “indoor learning” rooms, so you won’t be missed when you slope off to meatier terrain in the Tiehack region or further afield to Snowmass or Ajax. Daycare is available for all from 8 weeks and up and the ski school has a special Cubs on Skis program for little ones as young as 2, plus small, targeted group lessons for all the ages thereafter.

Staying in the ski-in/ski-out Inn at Aspen makes a family ski week with really little ones easy peasy, but holing up in Aspen town can be just as convenient. Kids can ride the Max the Moose Shuttle to Buttermilk with a ski instructor, so you don’t have to hold up your explorations to schlep them to school. If having something to occupy the evenings is important, Aspen has everything from the Rec Center’s water slides to horseback rides and art classes. In Buttermilk, evenings will be more about board games and winter warmers by the fire – just as fun depending on what you’re after.

GroupsGroup Holidays Buttermilk

For a group with a healthy number of new skiers, Buttermilk is the ideal place to pick up ski skills and, keeping shredders satisfied, has one of the biggest, baddest terrain parks in the country.

With a group to fill Mckenney’s or Bumps, the après starts to look a whole lot more exciting and the shuttle to Aspen is always an option for rowdier revelry in town (running till 2am if you need to make it back for the night).

You haven’t skied Aspen until you’ve tried all 4 of its mountains, and with free shuttles between them, holidays here are about travelling from one to another for a combined 5303 acres of varied terrain and a series of unique resort experiences.

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