French for "after ski," what is dubbed "après" marks the slopeside tradition of sips, snacks and socializing as the sun goes down.
After hours of quad-burning laps on the hill, loosen your boots, relax and rehash the gnar, the champagne powder stashes and epic lines with friends old and new. Or get out the sillies with some tabletop dancing.
Whatever your fancy, here's a cross-Colorado collection of our favorite post-pow party places to have a grand ole time.
If you're fresh off the freshies ...
Red Lion — Vail
If you're looking for the stereotypically rowdy après ski scene — with oversized pint glasses, a special tap list dedicated to Colorado microbrews, live cover bands and an abundance of people watching — the Red Lion is your spot. Open since 1963, this fixture got its start as a hot spot for meeting and eating, and over time added a night club for P.M. dance parties.
Double Diamonds Bar — Steamboat Springs
Named the best après ski bar in North America by USA Today readers in 2018, this late-night mainstay situated at Steamboat's base village is known for its casual fare — think brats, sandwiches, bacon or truffle tots. Wash it down with some of the most affordable drinks in town. The dance floor plays to the mountain town party scene, complete with flashing lights and tunes — from retro to top 20 — spinning into the wee hours, all across the street from the mountain base shuttle stop for a safe trip home.
Ajax Tavern — Aspen
Next to the Silver Queen gondola for prime see-and-be-seen views, this mountainside "Aspen casual" patio bumps blaring beats from a regularly rotating DJ booth. Warm up with a cup of tomato soup or share the oysters and craveable truffle fries with your nearest and dearest as you clink glasses (or full bottles) of bubbly.
- Pro tip: Don't forget sunscreen!
Off the slopes ...
Outer Range Brewing Co. — Frisco
Nestled at 9,100 feet in Summit County, this beer lovers' paradise, where all the bartenders are Cicerone Level 1-certified, specializes in hazy IPAs but also makes Belgians and other styles. The brewery took over the building and now includes a coffee shop and Thai-style fried chicken restaurant called Bird Craft.
- Hot tip: In the winter, don't miss the cozy yurt.
Bread Bar — Silver Plume
For weekend warriors and locals alike, this small-town, mountainside drinking establishment along the continental divide is open for Friday-to-Sunday service. Housed in an 1800s-era bakery, Bread Bar garnered a cult following for its boozy beverages served in a cozy, vintage setting.
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