Aspen Mountain, Snowmass will open on Thanksgiving Day with combined 57 acres

Ajax will open with 50 acres; Snowmass will open 7 acres at Elk Camp Meadows

Staff report
Crews work Monday morning to set up at Gondola Plaza at the base of Aspen Mountain. Aspen Skiing Co. announced Monday that opening day Thursday will include 50 acres at the top of Aspen Mountain and skiers and snowboarders will have to download on the Silver Queen Gondola.
David Krause / The Aspen Times

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Ski Area will open as scheduled on Thanksgiving Day despite the challenges presented by warm and generally dry weather.

Aspen Mountain will open with 50 acres of terrain at the top of the mountain accessed by the Ajax Express and Gent’s Ridge chairlifts. Uploading and downloading will be required on the Silver Queen Gondola.

The open trails on Thanksgiving Day on Aspen Mountain will include portions of Silver Bell, Upper Copper, Lazy Boy and Deer Park. The lifts will run 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the Sundeck will also be open for food and beverages.

Snowmass will open with 7 acres in the Elk Camp Meadows learning area. Uploading and downloading will be required on the Elk Camp Gondola.

“We’re thrilled to be open,” Katie Ertl, Skico senior vice president of mountain operations, said Monday. “Amid a challenging start to winter, it has been great to see our teams come together to give us all the chance to get out on the hill and make some turns. We will continue to work hard to open more terrain as we get cold temperatures and more natural snow, and we’ll have a ton of people working out on the hill, so please be alert and aware out there.”

Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are scheduled to open Dec. 11. Skico will celebrate its 75th year in business this season, with special events marking the occasion throughout the winter.

Aspen Mountain’s expanded snowmaking system paid dividends for the second season in a row. Skico added snowmaking to limited terrain on the upper one-third of the mountain prior to the 2019-20 season.

Without that expanded systems, it is likely the opening would have been delayed this season.

Visitors walk around the base of Aspen Mountain on Monday morning. Aspen Skiing Co. announced it will open Thursday with 50 acres at the top of Aspen Mountain with downloading required on the Silver Queen Gondola.
David Krause / The Aspen Times

Lift tickets are $149 for adults and $99 for children, teens and seniors. Sightseeing tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for children, teens and seniors.

At Snowmass, access will be free on Thursday and Friday. Starting Saturday, tickets will be $40 for adults and $30 for children, teens and seniors for sightseeing as well as skiing and riding.

The Elk Camp Gondola will provide access to the beginner terrain at Elk Camp Meadows as well as the Breathtaker Coaster and the Elk Camp Restaurant. A small terrain park will open on Fanny Hill and the climbing wall at the Limelight Hotel Snowmass will open in the afternoons.

The Ski & Snowboard School will offer both group and private lessons for all ages at Snowmass, including children’s lessons out of the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center. Private lessons will be available at Aspen Mountain. Four Mountain Sports will be open for rentals and gear.

Per Pitkin County guidelines, masks are required in all indoor facilities. For these guidelines, gondolas are considered to be indoor spaces and masks are required. For full COVID-19 procedures and information visit

The Aspen Snowmass app will be updated with tracking, snow reporting, parking lot status and skier information as well as on-demand, on-mountain dining options for takeout. For more information, visit:

This is a developing article that will be updated.