Sure, après traditionally refers to the ritual of gathering for a drink after skiing, but activities during every other season in Aspen warrant celebration.
When it comes to après-ski, location is everything. And both Ajax Tavern (685 E. Durant Ave., thelittlenell.com) at the base of Aspen Mountain and the Highlands Alehouse (133 Prospector Road, Ste. 4109A, highlandsalehouse.com) at the base of Aspen Highlands are so close to the slopes, you can practically ski onto their patios.
The infamous Woody Creek Tavern (2858 Upper River Road, woodycreektavern.com) can be incorporated into multiple road biking routes from Aspen, or a simple 8-mile pedal downhill from town. Splurging on the guacamole and chips with a fresh margarita is worth the extra calories burned.
A well-executed alpine picnic can elevate a mountain adventure to something memorable. Pack a charcuterie spread and a sophisticated canned wine like the dry, refreshing rosé from West + Wilder, and presto: free-range après.
The cross-country skiing at the end of the Castle Creek Valley can figuratively and literally take your breath away. The Ashcroft Ski Touring rents equipment and grooms more than 20 miles of trails meandering up to the Pine Creek Cookhouse (11399 Castle Creek Road, pinecreekcookhouse.com), where skiers can quench their thirst on the sun-drenched patio or by the fire after a moonlit ski.
Hometeam BBQ (38750 Highway 82, hometeambbq.com) at the base of Buttermilk makes it an easy finish line for a ride on Buttermilk or in Sky Mountain Park. Happy hour is also family hour on the large patio and lawn filled with games and space for kids.
The Snowmass Bike Park centers around Elk Camp Restaurant, which serves local beer and spirits and a locally sourced a la carte menu midmountain on Snowmass Ski Area. In July and August, Elk Camp stays open late on Tuesdays, coinciding with Snowmass Bike Park’s Bonus Bike Nights.
Photography by: Jennifer Pallian