Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen (2023 Guide)

Looking for an unforgettable adventure in Colorado? Look no further than the Silver Queen Gondola, a must-visit attraction at the Aspen Mountain Resort.

This incredible gondola ride provides visitors with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and is the perfect way to explore the area, whether you’re visiting during the summer or winter months.

In this article, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know about the Silver Queen Gondola, so keep reading to discover what makes this experience so special.

Table of Contents

Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen Mountain Colorado in summer
Photo Jesse Paul by licensed under CC BY 2.0

Aspen Mountain – Silver Queen Gondola

The Silver Queen Gondola links the town of Aspen with the top of Aspen Mountain.

According to the Aspen Mountain website, the gondola takes about 14 minutes and rises 3,267 feet (996 m) from start to finish.

In winter, this gondola transports skiers and snowboarders up the mountain from where they can access over 75 trails.

Non-skiers can also purchase a separate ticket, catch the gondola to the top, and enjoy the many activities on offer at the Sundeck.

In summer, you can purchase a Sight Seeing Ticket which gives you a round-trip ride on the gondola.

In addition to the incredible views, there are many activities available at the top of the gondola. We cover these in more detail below!

The gondola ride is expensive, but most visitors agree that this is a must-do activity if you’re in Aspen.

Activities at the Top of the Silver Queen Gondola

Once you’ve reached the top of the Silver Queen Gondola, there are plenty of activities on offer for you to enjoy in summer and winter.

The activities below all require gondola access.

Gondola access can either be via a season pass, day lift ticket or Sight Seeing Ticket.

Winter Activities

1. Skiing and Snowboarding

It goes without saying that the most popular activity in winter is skiing and snowboarding.

The top of the Silver Queen Gondola provides you with access to 75 trails on the mountain.

Most of the trails from the top of the Silver Queen Gondola are rated blue so they are perfect for intermediate skiers or beginners looking for a challenge.

2. Aspen Mountain Powder Tour

If you love powder and you want to avoid lift lines and crowds, then the Aspen Mountain Powder Tour is a great option for you in winter.

10-person snowcats provide skiers and snowboarders with access to fresh tracks on the backside of Aspen Mountain.

Guides select routes to suit the day’s conditions and the experience of the group.

The Powder Tours are reservation only, so if this is something you’re interested in make sure you book in advance.

3. Guided Snowshoe Tour

Non-skiers have the option to enjoy a two-hour guided snowshoe tour around Richmond Ridge. These tours start from the top of the Silver Queen Gondola.

On this tour, you’ll learn about wildlife, tracking, mountain ecology, Aspen history, avalanches, and winter habitats.

You can more information about the winter snowshoe tour here.

4. Eating and Drinking

Located at the top of the gondola, the Sundeck is an American, Mediterranean & Asian style restaurant offering lunch and après ski (in winter).

The restaurant is best known for its hamburgers, pizzas and incredible views of Aspen Highlands and Highland Bowl. Grab-and-Go items are also available.

The restaurant can be hired for private events in summer and winter.

More information can be found here.

Summer Activities

1. Hiking and Walking

Aspen Mountain is open to hiking in the summertime, offering visitors this chance to explore the trails, forests, lakes and wildflowers in a beautiful mountain setting.

Starting your hike from the top of Aspen Mountain, via the Silver Queen Gondola, is a great way to save some energy while still being able to enjoy the incredible views.

One thing to note is that it is not recommended that you hike down from Aspen Mountain. There are no easy routes down and the trail is steep and long.

A better option is to hike up Aspen Mountain and catch the Silver Queen Gondola back down.

2. Disc Golf

Aspen Mountain has one of the world’s highest official disc golf courses.

Disc Golf is available daily from 10:30 am – 3:30 pm. You will need to bring your own discs or you can rent them from Four Mountain Sports.

Disc Golf is free to play but to access the course you’ll need to get to the top of the mountain.

This can either be via a gondola lift ticket (see below) or if you’re up to it a hike up the mountain.

3. Yoga

Outdoor yoga is another great activity on offer at the top of Aspen Mountain during the summer season.

This popular program includes an hour of open-air Hatha yoga at the top of Aspen Mountain! 

If this is something you’d be interested in then you can out more information about times and dates here.

How Much Does the Silver Queen Gondola Cost?

In summer and winter, you can purchase a Sightseeing Ticket which allows you to ride up and down the gondola.

At the time of writing, the cost to purchase a Sightseeing Ticket in summer is as follows:

TicketPrice ($)
Sightseeing Single-Ride$35
Sightseeing Package*$44
Season Pass**$167

Sightseeing Single Ride

This ticket includes one ride up and down on either Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen gondola or Snowmass’s Elk Camp Gondola and Chairlift.

Sightseeing is free for children ages 6 & under.

Tickets must be purchased or picked up and can be done online, on the phone, or in person.

Sightseeing Package gives you the following:

  • Up to 3 days of the gondola and chairlift rides (valid 3 of 7 days) at Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola and Snowmass’s Elk Camp Gondola and Chairlift;
  • 10% off Lost Forest Base or Treeline ticket
  • $10 Lunch Credit valid for one-time use at one of three restaurants: the Sundeck Restaurant (top of Aspen Mountain), Ajax Tavern (base of Aspen Mountain) or Elk Camp Restaurant (top of Elk Camp Gondola at Snowmass)

**Season Pass

The Season Pass gives you unlimited access to Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola and Snowmass’s Elk Camp Gondola and Chairlift.

More information about summer prices and opening times is available here.

At the time of writing, the cost to purchase a Sightseeing Ticket in winter is as follows:

TicketPrice ($)
Adult (18 – 64)$46
Senior (65+)$34
Child/Teen (7 – 17)$34

Note that in winter, the cost to ride the gondola is included in your day lift ticket or season pass.

The Sightseeing Ticket is a separate ticket for non-skiers.

Is the Silver Queen Gondola free?

The Elk Camp gondola is only free for children under the age of 3.

If you purchase an Adult Sightseeing Package you can enjoy one complimentary kid Sightseeing Package (ages 4-12)

Silver Queen Gondola Operating Hours

The gondola is open in both the summer and winter seasons.

Winter Operating Hours

In winter, the gondola is open from the end of November to mid-April. It operates from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm with the last right down at 4:00 pm.

More information about the winter operating hours can be found on the official website here.

Summer Operating Hours

In summer, the Silver Queen Gondola is open from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

The summer season 2023 opening dates are: May 27-29, June 3-4, 10-11, Daily June 16–September 4, September: 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-October 1

It is the only lift on Aspen Mountain that operates and services trails during summer.

More information about the summer operating hours can be found on the official website here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many gondolas does Aspen have?

Aspen only has one gondola known as the Silver Queen Gondola.

How long is the Silver Queen Gondola?

The Silver Queen Gondola is 2.5 miles long and takes 14 minutes from top to bottom.

The gondola starts at the gondola plaza in Aspen at an elevation of 7,945 feet (2,422 m) and climbs to the top of Aspen Mountain, finishing at the Sundeck at 11,212 ft (3,418 m).

Where is the Silver Queen Gondola?

The Silver Queen Gondola is located at the Gondola Plaza in Aspen, Colorado.

What is at the top of the Silver Queen Gondola?

Here is what you’ll find at the top of the Silver Queen Gondola:

  • Sundeck restaurant – a great spot to relax and enjoy something to eat and drink.
  • Skiing and snowboarding (winter)
  • Snowshoe trails (winter)
  • Powder Tours (winter)
  • Hiking and walking trails (summer)
  • Disc Golf (summer)
  • Yoga (summer)
  • Live music (summer)

Can you take a dog on the Silver Queen Gondola?

Dogs are welcome on the Silver Queen Gondola and most hiking trails during summer.

Make sure to check leash laws for individual trails before embarking.

Before you go..

Check out the following articles that might be relevant to your visit to Aspen:

Recent Posts