There's More to Uphilling than Skinning


Aspen’s uphill community has become increasingly popular over the years but what most people don’t know is that uphilling doesn’t necessarily mean strapping on a pair of skis and hiking up.

Here are six more ways to earn your turns that don’t require skinning:

  1. Snowshoeing is a popular way to climb up our mountains without clamping into a pair of skis. Aspen locals even say that snowshoeing up and snowblading down is their favorite winter pastime. However, you don’t have to be a local to enjoy the sport- hire a guide with Aspen Alpine Guides to take you out or explore Aspen with ACES on their daily guided snowshoe tours. More snowshoeing information here.
  2. Hiking is not just for summer months. Hiking in the winter is another great way to uphill on our mountains. We recommend dressing in layers- having a variety of clothing will help you regulate your body temperature and stay warm on the hike. If it’s icy make sure you’re wearing crampons on your hiking shoes, so you don’t slip. Smuggler Mountain is a great winter hike with an observation deck located at the top to take in the snowy views.
  3. Fat biking has become a popular sport in the winter. Not only does it keep you in shape for summer mountain biking, but it also is a great way for you to get off the beaten path. Fat bikes run at a lower tire pressure so you’re able to float on snowy surfaces where normal mountain bike tires would sink. Visitors can rent fat bikes from various local shops in town including Replay Sports, Stapleton and Ute City Cycles.
  4. Snowmobiling is a scenic way to explore higher elevations without working too hard. T-Lazy-7 is Aspen’s premier snowmobile tour operator offering various tours throughout the area including the Maroon Bells, Independence Pass, Klondike cabin and more. We recommend hiring a guide and booking a tour to take you through Aspen’s scenic spots.  
  5. Cross Country Skiing is another great option to get on the trails without skinning. Aspen is home to some of the best cross-country skiing in the country with sixty miles of groomed Nordic trails that connect Aspen, Snowmass, and Basalt. The Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System operates Cross Country Centers in both Aspen and Snowmass for all your equipment needs and offers private and group lessons, cross country ski tours, special events, and more.
  6. Ride the Silver Queen Gondola up Aspen Mountain and enjoy the views at Sundeck. Who said uphilling required breaking a sweat? Purchase a foot pass at the ticketing office located at the base of Aspen Mountain and ride the gondola up where you can enjoy the 360 degree vistas on the patio at Sundeck. We suggest going on a bluebird winter day where you can relax in a lounge chair and take in the scene.


Independence Pass and Maroon Creek road are great options and are open to skinning, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and hiking throughout winter.

Click here for more information on uphilling and mountain policies.

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Category: Adventure & Recreation

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