WHEN TO GO
Prime season runs from late-November through mid-April. Ski bums and bunnies have the run of Aspen's powdery-white mountains, but the après-ski scene is reason enough to go. If you hate lift lines, beware the throngs that arrive around Christmas and Presidents' Day. You'll find peak conditions in early springmilder weather and a snow base packed with a winter's worth of snowfall. Events are scheduled throughout the winter, such as ski and snowboard competitions, so ask what's planned before you book your trip.
There's still plenty of slope-side action to keep visitors busy when temperatures rise (to around 80° F in July), and travel is decidedly less tricky then. Sporty types turn the mountains into a biking and hiking mecca, while the town continues to offer culinary excitement and musical entertainment (check out Jazz Aspen Snowmass in June; 866-527-8499; www.jazzaspen.org). Crisp days and bright foliage lure visitors in the fall while the town is gearing up for a new ski season.
HOW TO GET THERE
Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is three miles from downtown Aspen (970-920-5384; www.aspenairport.com). NOTE: It will be closed for runway work April to the beginning of June in 2007. Eagle County Regional Airport is 70 miles away (970-328-8600; www.eaglecounty.us/airport). The risk of flight delays owing to weather is relatively high.
Main Visitor Center
425 Rio Grande Place
Tel: 970 925 1940
Closed Saturdays and Sundays
Visitor Center at Wheeler Opera House
320 E. Hyman Avenue
Tel: 970 920 7148