Few Americans need to be told why Aspen is noteworthy. It is, first and foremost, America’s winter playground. A skiing destination par excellence, many hardcore ski enthusiasts compare it to Alpine locations.
With four mountains – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk (perfect for beginners) – you’ll have plenty of choices for hiking, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowshoeing.
Then there’s the fact that it’s just plain beautiful. It has featured in comedies such as Dumb and Dumber and Winter Break, the snowy backdrop as perfect for clumsy romance and shenanigans as it is for the many documentaries the area has inspired.
Lastly, you don’t have to be a skier to come here. If you simply love strolling along snowy tree-lined boulevards with the chance to glimpse an A-lister or three, this is the place to come.
As an added bonus, it’s fun in spring, summer, and fall too – and you’ll find some good deals if you come at the right time.
Speaking of good deals, how about an entire guide that shows you how to save on hotel bookings, flights, activities, food and drink, and transportation? If you said “yes, please” then you’re exactly the type of traveler we like … so read on.
Average Trip to Aspen Cost in 2024
An average one-week trip to Aspen for two people will cost around $4,050:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $100 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $625 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $150 per person, per day – TIMES 14
- Transportation: $0
- Total Cost: $4,050
The bottom line is yes: Aspen can be expensive. However, if you know where to look for savings, you might be surprised how easy they are to find. One of the simplest ways to save in Aspen is to avoid renting a car.
The robust shuttle system in town and to the slopes means you will have an easy time getting around without spending out. We’ll go into that in more detail below.
You can also find some serious steals on food and drink if you know where to look.
Overall, Aspen is an affordable destination with a delightful European flair – and the added benefit of possibly running into Bradley Cooper or JLaw as you’re taking in the sights. Which I have to point out is totally free!
As for the things that aren’t? Let’s take a look at how to save.
Aspen Trip Cost: Average by Item
As we like to remind readers, there are no guarantees when it comes to the cost of a trip. Your traveling style, companions, time of year, destination, and individual preferences will all factor in when calculating the totals.
However, there are a few things you can do to save: book ahead, price shop, and browse in incognito mode – which prevents the browser from serving you higher-priced results later based on your interest.
We’ll offer as many additional hacks as we can below!
If you’re coming to Aspen on a honeymoon or while celebrating a big anniversary, you can of course find a wealth of lovely, high-end accommodations that are perfect in every detail. Most travelers, however, prefer to save where they can.
Both lodges offer pools and other amenities. Try the well-reviewed complimentary breakfast at the St. Moritz and the game room at the Mountain Chalet. You can save further by traveling in the spring or the fall, when tourists are less frequent.
If you’re going in winter, opt for early December or late February. Aspen’s winter peak is in the month of January, so avoid that where possible.
Also note that while Aspen is widely known as a winter wonderland, it offers tons of hot weather fun as well, so budget travelers should avoid it during high summer. For a good average cost, plan to spend about $100 a night as a couple.
Aspen isn’t the cheapest town to fly into. For one thing, most travelers choose to fly into the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, which is a smaller one and will therefore cost you a bit more to get to from a hub or the regional airport in your area (which will mean connections).
That said, the average round-trip flight cost from Los Angeles is about $500 and from New York City about $750. Split the difference and you’re looking at about $625 per person.
If you love traveling and you haven’t already, it might behoove you to set up an account for airline miles.
If you’re loyal to one airline, you can accrue them simply by flying on only that airline. If you don’t fly a lot but still want to earn miles to spend on trips, you can sign up for a credit card where each dollar equates to a certain number of miles flown.
Not sure how to Do The Thing? Take a minute and learn how.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
If you’re going to Aspen to ski, then lift tickets are likely going to be your biggest expense. It costs, on average, between $150 and $200 for a single day of skiing. If you purchase a one-day pass, you will need to use it on the specified date.
However, if you’re there for a whole week of skiing – either with days off or not – then you can save big money by purchasing a multi-day pass.
With each extra day you plan to ski, you will see additional savings. Also, the multi-day passes become more flexible … if you purchase a four-day pass, for instance, you can use it any four days within a 10-day window on Snowmass.
The other mountains have similar deals. To save money, be sure to book in advance. Walking up to a ticket window once in Aspen is a surefire way to be massively overcharged.
Booking at least a week ahead of time helps keep prices low and plan your adventure more efficiently. On average, plan to spend $175 per day of skiing.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money on food and drink. The number one method is grocery shopping.
Eating consumables out of the grocery store and drinking water will keep costs down, especially if you book a place with a kitchenette (though this will cost you a bit more in accommodations).
Another tip: look for skiing-related deals in town. “Powder pancakes” are free pancake breakfasts put out by the lodges any time there’s a snowfall of 8 inches or more, so keep your eye out.
“Après ski” deals are essentially happy hours for skiers, offered by lodges and restaurants in town. Many places – including the budget lodges listed above – offer complimentary breakfasts.
Aspen also offers food carts and affordable dining, so when you do go out, try and limit your meals to around $15 once per day.
Assuming yes on skiing and no on expensive fare, you should plan to spend about $150 per day, per person. Happily, you can offset those costs with some very good transportation news …
So, how much does transportation cost? Well, would “none” surprise you? It’s true! “Aspen and Snowmass Village both offer free bus and shuttle services to residents and travelers,” reports Insider.
“The buses are free and operate year-round; during the ski season, there are also shuttles that transport skiers to the two town’s most popular ski mountains, according to the city’s website.”
Not only are these free, they’re very efficient. You won’t get there faster by walking, renting a car, or hiring a driver, so why bother? If you’re coming in the warmer months, you will need to take public transportation or a hired car out to wilderness destinations.
You can avoid this by paying for guided tours for hiking and rafting, which wrap the cost of transportation in (and still cost less than ski passes). In all, budget travelers can plan to spend a delightful $0 on an Aspen adventure.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Aspen:
- Aspen sits at around 8,000 feet above sea level, which is high enough that altitude is a concern. Don’t plan to ski on the first day or two that you’re there to give your body time to adjust. Exerting yourself before this window can risk altitude sickness, which is serious and even deadly. Watch out for headaches, nausea, and vomiting, which are all potential signs of a problem.
- Drink tons of water! This is another important way to avoid altitude sickness and will make you feel all-around better during your outdoor fun and after.
- Aspen is very pet-friendly. Both the Mountain Chalet and St. Moritz welcome pets for a small additional fee, so if you can’t live without your furry friend, feel free to bring them along! Just note that dogs should also limit their exertions at the beginning.
- There’s a happening event scene in Aspen. Traveling during the holidays might cost you a little more, but it’s well worth it if you love a good holiday or Fourth of July scene.
- If you’re an art lover, consider a trip to the Aspen Art Museum. It’s an unusual combination of a world-class museum in a small town, with rotating exhibitions and free admission. This is the perfect place to spend a few hours while adjusting to altitude.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Aspen expensive?
Aspen definitely isn’t the cheapest vacation you’ll take, but it is affordable if you know where to save. All told, a one-week trip to Aspen will run you around $4,000, which is roughly commensurate with any other trip of the same length to a popular US destination.
How long should I stay in Aspen?
A week is plenty of time to see the main sights in Aspen. If you’re coming for a week to ski, keep in mind that you can get better deals on lift tickets the more days you book, so coming longer might work well for your budget if you have the time and money.
In summer, outdoor activities abound. Walking and hiking are popular, as are boating and rafting.
Aspen is also a lovely place to simply wander and eat at the food carts. While a week is plenty, you won’t be sad if you have more time.
Is it safe in Aspen?
Yes, Aspen is super safe. There are very few thefts and assaults, and you should be more worried about wildlife than about human nefariousness. That said, you don’t need to be very worried about wildlife either – though occasionally bears do wander through downtown!
When is the best time to visit Aspen?
The “best time” to visit Aspen depends on your goals. If you love skiing, you should obviously go in the winter, but avoid peak season (January) to save money. Go in early December or late February for the best winter prices.
If you’re traveling during the warmer months and want to indulge in Colorado’s famous year-round sunshine, then consider fall or spring. These are the cheapest times of the year for accommodations and activities.
Is it easy to get around?
Yes, it’s extremely easy to get around Aspen … and free too! Take the city’s complimentary shuttles and busses to the mountains to ski. Sign up for tours to other outdoor adventures, which will avoid your needing to rent or hire a car to get there.
So, What Is the Average Cost for a Trip to Aspen?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost
|$100 per night
|✈️ Average Flight Cost
|$625 per person
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities
|$150 per person, per day
|💲 Total Cost
The average cost of a one-week trip to Aspen is around $4,050 for two people. If you ski less than the estimated four days and mostly stay in town, you can shave down prices pretty dramatically.
But whether you have lots of money to spend or are on a shoestring, we highly recommend Aspen either way. So, with so much to see and do and the ability to visit this picturesque destination on a budget, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!