You haven’t truly skied the Aspen area until you’ve hiked “the Bowl.” No excuses. Hoof it to the 12,392-foot summit of Highland Bowl for a unique inbounds-but-feels-like-backcountry experience and catch the region’s best view of the postcard-ready Maroon Bells. Then ski the resort’s five other bowls to complete what “Battle in the Bowls” competitors race to accomplish every March. With 52 percent of Highlands’ terrain rated “most difficult” or “expert,” this mountain offers some of Colorado’s most challenging big-mountain terrain while still serving up long, cruising groomers everyone can enjoy. Just as famous as Highland Bowl, Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro has the look, feel, and taste of a European alpine hut. Every skier should sit down for a fondue lunch at some point, and what better occasion than celebrating fresh tracks down the Bowl? — Tess Weaver
WHAT’S NEW >> Watch some of the best skiers and boarders compete in the Colorado Freeride Championships, a new, invite-only backcountry slopestyle competition in Highland Bowl Jan. 28–30.
DON’T MISS >> Highlands’ closing-day party is a week’s worth of spring-break revelry crammed into a single day—April 14.
ON-HILL LUNCH >> Willow Creek Bistro, at the slopeside Ritz-Carlton Club, is open to the public and serves hot, hearty fare in front of panoramic slope-facing windows.