Evolved to become a world-class resort, winter and summer.
Established as a ski area in 1967, Snowmass Village has evolved to become a world-class resort, winter and summer. Luxury houses, condominium developments and first-class hotels continue to appear on the landscape and in the expanding Base Village, many with ski-in/ski-out access.
Residential subdivisions along the two roads leading to Snowmass feature large estates on generous acreage. But Snowmass is not just for skiing anymore.
On-mountain summer activities, the Anderson Arts Ranch, the Snowmass Golf Course, and special events draw thousands of visitors to this gem in the Rockies that has become world-renowned in its own right, and just a few miles from Aspen.
39.3310° N, 106.9848° W
In the 1880s, the Ute Indians were once again displaced from their native territory when a migration of primarily European ranchers settled in the Brush Creek Valley, now known as Snowmass Village. Soon sheep, cattle, and fields of wheat and hay filled the valley, surrounded by the magnificent peaks of the Elk Mountain Range (Mt. Baldy, Mt. Daly, and Capitol Peak, to name a few).
Following the silver bust that silenced the mining industry in the late 1890s, Charles Hoaglund, a Swedish native, was hired to close down the Smuggler Mine. In the early 1900s, he brought his family to the Brush Creek Valley, where they became one of the foremost ranching families in the area. Many of the Hoaglund property buildings can be found today on the campus of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. The Little Red Schoolhouse, an 1894-era one-room schoolhouse attended by Charles’s daughter Hilda Hoaglund, remains a viable part of life in Snowmass.
Many of the immigrant ranchers lived a rather quiet and isolated life during the 1940s and 1950s. While many of the early settlers were Scandinavian and ski equipment was not foreign to them, it wasn’t until 1958 that the seeds of a ski mountain were planted. That year, Bill Janss, a former ski champion, secretly began buying up ranches at the base of Burnt and Baldy mountains with the goal of developing a world-class ski resort like Aspen.
In 1967, with permits from the U.S. Forest Service in place, the 3,300-acre Snowmass-at-Aspen opened, and in 1977, the Town of Snowmass Village was incorporated. Janss’ vision had been realized. Today, Snowmass is a top-ranked ski resort that draws skiers from around the globe.
Facts: The Mall at Snowmass Village sits at an elevation of 8,223 feet, while the highest point within the ski boundary is 12,510 feet; the year-round population is just under 3,000 residents; the land area is 25.5 square miles and is home to the second-largest ski area in the United States with a vertical drop of 4,406 feet — the most vertical in the country.
Snowmass will soon turn 50 years old, having grown dramatically from a winter ski destination into a year-round recreational paradise. Downhill skiing and snowboarding dominate during the winter season, though cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and, more recently, uphilling are popular seasonal pastimes. But come spring, summer, and fall, activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rafting, golfing, fly-fishing, off-road Jeeping, horseback riding, or even an old-fashioned rodeo can fill the day. There’s no more beautiful time of year to enjoy the best Mother Nature has to offer than autumn when the aspen leaves turn golden yellow and a quieter pace prevails. In the fall, an easy hike or Sunday drive is magical.
The world-famous Anderson Arts Ranch, founded in 1966 by ceramicist Paul Soldner, is located on an idyllic five-acre mountain campus minutes from the Village. The facility offers summer workshops in all areas of artistic expression: ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking, furniture building, painting, and drawing. Additionally, the Ranch conducts several art auctions throughout the season. 10-week artist-in-residence programs and exhibits in the gallery fill the calendar during fall, winter, and spring.
There is no lack of special events in Snowmass — a myriad of mountain races, music festivals, food and wine gatherings, holiday celebrations, a hot air balloon weekend, and more take place all year round.
The development of Base Village means that accommodations for visitors, shopping options, and dining choices have expanded in recent years. Snowmass has evolved into an ideal place for families to create priceless memories and for organizations to hold conventions and meetings.
Private residences, whether condominium units or single-family homes, range from relatively modest to multi-million dollar properties, all located on the mountainside surrounding the ski area. Many luxury homes are ski-in, ski-out, and many estates sit on large parcels of lush land with magnificent views.
All the above, just 15 minutes from Aspen.
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