North Fork of Crystal River Loop to Snowmass Lake

HARD 7 reviews

North Fork of Crystal River Loop to Snowmass Lake is a 25.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Aspen, CO that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until September.

25.9 miles 8223 feet Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

FOUR PASS LOOP West Maroon loop trail starts at Maroon Lake and winds through alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, past gorgeous lake shores, over four 12,000-foot passes, and around these iconic snowy peaks. An ambitious backpacking trip located in the beautiful Maroon Bells/ Snowmass Wilderness that is routed over four mountain passes (West Maroon - 12,500 ft.; Frigid Air - 12,415 ft.; Trail Rider - 12,420 ft.; Buckskin - 12,500 ft.). The variety of terrain encompasses scenic forests, mid to late summer wildflowers, challenging river crossings, and provides spectacular views of the Maroon Bells and numerous other peaks of the Elk Mountain Range.

backpacking
2 months ago

I would echo everyone's comments here, difficult but rewarding hike.

backpacking
4 months ago

It was amazing. Hard but totally with it in the end

5 months ago

backpacking
6 months ago

This is an epic hike, a true Colorado classic that will take you over 4 high passes while circumnavigating Maroon Bells. The beauty of this area cannot be overstated. We were there at the height of wildflower season, mid-summer. Go then if you can. It is difficult, but you will be rewarded with some of the finest views in the state.

According to the National Park Service the view of Maroon Bells from Rainbow Lake is the most photographed scene in all the parks. So, there will be crowds at the beginning. But, as always, head a couple miles in and you'll be quite alone.

Because of those crowds there are special considerations for the trailhead parking lot and even access to it. You can find many more detailed reviews online. Follow the link I provided here to the main site we used for planning.

camping
10 months ago

Incredible. Epic. Spectacular. This one is ambitious, and possibly my favorite multi-day hike ever. Knocked it out in 2 days (plus a half day driving on each side)...definitely recommend taking 3-4 days to enjoy it.

1 year ago

Probably the best backpack I've ever been on in Colorado. Also one of the harder ones, I'm not in the most epic shape but to me it felt like hiking up a 14er everyday with a back pack, that said I did it no problem, solo, and it was absolutely amazing. Highly recommend .

1 year ago

This loop is AMAZING but far from moderate. Difficult and strenuous is a better description but very worthwhile! We did the loop in four days and loved it. Most amazing views you will find in Colorado! Make sure you have a bear canister if you are camping as these are now required by the forest service (recent change).