Aspen Mountain, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, is a legendary ski and snowboard resort and outdoor recreation area situated at an elevation of 11,212 ft (3,417 m). The mountain is considered moderate-to-difficult with no “green” (beginner) ski runs. One fun discovery: there are many homemade memorials, “shrines,” and tributes hidden in the trees on the mountain.

I went skiing here twice during the COVID pandemic, in December 2020 and January 2021. Locals said they had never seen the mountain so empty. During my visit in January 2021, the Pitkin County Board of Health closed all indoor dining at restaurants as the county reported the highest incidence rate for the coronavirus in Colorado.

I would often have an entire run to myself. Skiing on the empty runs felt peaceful and special.

Downtown Aspen is known for high-end restaurants, boutiques, salons, and art galleries. 

The mountain is connected to the town. Silver Queen Gondola allows visitors to ascend the mountain from the center of Aspen town, and ski down the Little Nell Run back into town.

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