The exhilarating feeling of fresh mountain air on your cheeks as you whizz down snowy slopes. A sun-kissed day hiking through the lush alpine meadows. The silent approach of the sun rising over the mirror-like Maroon lake. An unforgettable landscape turning from verdant green to brilliant yellow. The smell of fresh roasted coffee and the smile of a local as you stop to get your morning fix. All these are moments that our photographer had as she explored the rich landscape and culture around Aspen Snowmass; a corner of Colorado that we’ve long held close to our hearts.
Perhaps the surprise we have for you here is not the beautiful destination, but the variety of unique moments it holds throughout the year. Here are just 12 of our favorite shots from Black Tomato’s adventures across Aspen Snowmass.
For the chance to WIN a Black Tomato trip for two to this beautiful part of the world, simply tell us which moment inspires you the most. The winner will jet off to the lively city of Denver for a couple of days, before wending your way up to Aspen Snowmass for 4 days of unadulterated mountain adventure, staying at some of our favorite hotel’s along way…
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The moment the Aspen trails turn golden #AspenSnowmassCaptured
Each year the end of summer can be seen sweeping the landscape around Aspen and Snowmass, as the lush greens turns into a startling golden yellow. It’s a spectacular scene to discover for the first time, but the locals also confess that it takes them by surprise every time it happens; nothing quite prepares you for the intensity of the colour that the fall foliage brings.
The moment you experience the Snowmass Balloon Festival #AspenSnowmassCaptured
September sees the Snowmass Balloon Festival come to the area, which is an annual highlight for many. The already colourful vision of yellow trees, green fields, rich autumn flowers and bright blue skies become even more vibrant as a rainbow of balloons dot the sky. During this weekend event, you can also catch the night time ‘glow show’ where the balloons light up the deep night sky. It’s a very special time to find yourself in Snowmass.
The moment you realise Aspen’s true character #AspenSnowmassCaptured
Far from being simply a luxury mountain resort, Aspen is alive with creativity and character. A short walk around the streets with their coloured clap board houses and pretty flower-filled gardens, and you will also see the eclectic mix of typography used on cafe, bar and road signs, as well as the friendly smiling faces that greet you along the way. A warm welcome always awaits.
The moment you glide down the Aspen ski slopes #AspenSnowmassCaptured
While there are moments to be captured here throughout the year, we can’t deny Aspen’s incredible ski credentials. This is one place where you really can rely on the crème de la crème of powdery white snow, off-set by the brightest of blue skies. Not much beats a day gliding on the slopes around Aspen Snowmass, followed by some much-needed fuel at one of the many world-class restaurants in town.
The moment you meet one of Snowmass’ elegant equine residents #AspenSnowmassCaptured
The hills around Snowmass are alive with animals, from the wild birds, moose and bears that scope the land for leafy edibles, to the beautiful horses that are lucky enough to call this place home. If hiking or biking along the trails isn’t for you, why not explore the area by horse back instead? Not only will you have yourself a fine companion, but you will get a slightly fresh perspective on the ground you cover.
The moment the rush of fire breaks the silence on your hot air balloon #AspenSnowmassCaptured
Drifting over phenomenal scenery in a hot air balloon is surely bucket list stuff and in Aspen Snowmass this is one of the best ways to really get a sense of the varied terrain. Take to the skies in one of the oldest modes of air transport and soak up the silence as you travel through crisp mountain air, the only interruption being the occasional roaring whoosh of fire being pumped into the balloon’s silk.
The moment you reach the peak of a Snowmass bike trail #AspenSnowmassCaptured
A trip up the gondola is a perfect way to give the Snowmass scenery your undivided attention, but nothing is quite as satisfying as conquering the peaks by bicycle. There are a whole host of hiking and biking trails across the region that you can choose according to your ability and ambition. However you get up there, you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views that are worth every second of the challenge.
The moment you step back in time, Independence Ghost Town #AspenSnowmassCaptured
Nestled in the mountain side a short drive from Aspen you will find Independence Ghost Town; an actual ghost town that has been preserved so perfectly it’s as if it were alive with inhabitants just yesterday. This is a moment when you can step back in time and get a vivid sense of the rich history from the area’s silver mining days in the 1980’s.
The moment you find yourself in the arty enclaves of Anderson Ranch #AspenSnowmassCaptured
Yes, the landscapes of Aspen Snowmass are ripe for outdoor activity, but there’s also a strong sense of culture and community that weaves itself throughout. Find yourself at Anderson Ranch and you will understand this acutely. A small collective of artists, this is where the community come to get their creative fix from resident artists, exhibitions and courses that mean everyone can involved. This is a truly unique place hiding away near Aspen Snowmass, and one that we were tempted to keep a bit secret…
The moment you breathe fresh mountain air as you cycle around Aspen #AspenSnowmassCaptured
Our favourite way to get around town has to be by bike. Feel the liberation of whistling through quiet streets in clean, fresh air as you explore all the different places Aspen has to offer; from the Art Museum, to the John Denver Sanctuary and all the little cafés and boutiques between.
The moment you see Snowmass village light up in winter #AspenSnowmassCaptured
After immersing yourself in village life and looking up from quaint cabin-dotted slopes to the majestic mountain peaks, take time to reverse the lens. Seeing Snowmass light up the valley from afar is a beautiful sight. It’s the perfect way to reflect on the day you’ve had, and make you look ahead to the warming meal that awaits at the bottom of the slopes.
The moment you see the sun rise over Maroon Lake #AspenSnowmassCaptured
At the break of dawn, Maroon Lake’s waters are completely still and mirror like. Make the morning jaunt to witness the sun creep over the mountain tops and you won’t be disappointed. This is a quintessentially Aspen Snowmass moment to capture, but until you see it for yourself, you’ll never understand the impact of it…