Explore Aspen - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Aspen Map

Top 3 best hikes of my life, (1st being Kalalau trail and 2nd being grand Tetons valley). Beyond spectacular for photography enthusiasts, simple walk in the park with beauty worth capturing in every angle. Continue to crater lake after this short hike and your day will be filled the magic✨

Beautiful views, lots of people, easy hike.

Like said with previous reviews the scenic trail was closed but I had my skates with me so I put those bad boys on and took a few laps around the lake . Be careful there are some soft spots. 11/12/18

Went on 11/10 - scenic trail was closed but the lake is frozen and lots of people out playing hockey. Was fun to watch. Looked like other trails were open but very muddy/snowy. Sign said road will close 11/15

One of the most spectacular experiences one can have, especially in the fall!

trail running
1 month ago

I loved it. A panting, sweaty, water guzzling man advised I’d be better off doing an easier run at the one mile marker (swing). As he was about to turn back down looking exhausted, I kindly said thanks for the tip and kept going up. My two cents for whatever it’s worth, the top is beautiful and running back down felt amazing.

Super easy hike. Gorgeous views!

Worthwhile! Great lunch spot followed by a rewarding and short walk. We didn’t make it to the end- just did the loop and still lots to see.

Amazing little hike. Creaky trees and beautiful path followed by outstanding lake. The path along the lake is impossible to find, but bouldering was fun.

Bit muddy, Saw beaver dams and beaver teeth marks on felled trees. Ended with some confusion with construction, but found our way back through the mall.

Amazing trail. Bit rocky, but great!!!!!

on The Grottos Trail

2 months ago

Really unique area to explore! Not a real hike but definitely still worth a stop.

It’s beautiful but a tourist zoo. Not saying I wasn’t one visiting the bells (from CO) but go before 8 or after 5 so you don’t have to take the bus or pay $8 a person if you already have a npks pass. Have to take the bus even if you have a dog. That was fun.

The bells we’re worth it but also tourists were playing football in front of the lake. Just keep in mind the time you go.

Went leaf peeping with my fiancée and 2 year old son, we did the 3.5 mile hike down from the lake. Perfect day to see the top of the Bells from where the shuttle drops you off. We were maybe a week too late for the best leaf colors but the aspens were still a stunning golden color. First part of the hike had a lot of rock slides so it took our kiddo forever to navigate but we were in no rush and enjoyed the different scenery along the way. (He finally had enough scrambling and let us pack him in the Kelty, we made great time from there...) Muddy from moisture that morning and horse droppings along the way but no complaints here. You can choose to turn around to hike back up or just meet up with the road at the end of the 3.5 miles and the shuttle will stop for you and take you back to the parking lot. We will be doing the more difficult hikes next year when our son can handle it better. Five stars no doubt.

Definitely worth a stop! The waterfall alone is worth the short walk. There are also picnic tables right at the parking lot next to the stream for an easy picnic lunch. Parking lot is one minute from the road at the most....

2 months ago

Beautiful scenery. Arrived early to secure a parking spot and a spot by the lake for the sunrise photo. Honestly the photography was much better after the sun was up for a couple hours. Easy hike some running water although the levels are lower due to the dry conditions. The gold and orange aspen trees are a beautiful contrast to the green pines and the grey of the mountains.

This is a very popular photography interest point. I had researched ahead of time, and new to arrive very early. I arrived at the park at a bit after 6:30AM on a Tuesday morning, and I'm pretty sure I was able to secure one of the last available parking spots. After 8:00AM, it is required that you take a shuttle. The walk to the lake is very easy, mostly paved, and was very crowded at sunrise with photographers, who left shortly thereafter. I went in autumn, so the colors were amazing against the backdrop of the mountains, though it was a dry year, so the lake was a bit dehydrated. I'll give this trail a higher rating only because of the views, but I highly recommend continuing the hike to Crater Lake after.

2 months ago

Somewhat difficult if not in shape or lowlander. Views were gorgeous south pines and aspens. 2 areas of scree to maneuver but just take your time and don't rush. Remember to start down before sun starts to set for light on the way down.

2 months ago

I did this hike about 3 weeks ago with my friend. Lots of up. Has a very cool look-out rock over Aspen. The trail goes all the way up to the ski lodge. Just our luck the lodge was open, but the bar was closed.

I've walked this trail a dozen times. No way is it a moderate trail. Very easy. Very beautiful, especially in fall when the aspens are turning color.

I am a professional photographer and decided I would go and see what all the hoopla is about with regard to this iconic location. The trailhead and parking is incredibly busy I was surprised at how many photographers were on site trying to photograph the sunrise at Maroon Bells. I've seen so many other awesome sites in this country, honestly, I wasn't impressed with this Trailhead or the scenery other than the beautiful Aspen's on the drive out. If you plan to photograph sunrise at Maroon Bells particularly in the fall, I would recommend that you are at the trailhead no later than 4:30 a.m. We arrived at 5 a.m. and we're on the verge of not being able to find a parking spot. I will say I don't think I'd go again. It just wasn't as spectacular as everybody talks about it being. while we were driving and it was Pitch Black. However the exit provided stunning scenery. I will say that that was worth the effort more so than the photography of the lake.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike until you get to the top and everyone and their mom rode the gondola up.

One of my favorite hikes. Perfect time right now with gold aspen leaves. The first 6 switchbacks thru the Aspens are worth it and then the climb thru the pines and meadows is even better. Be on bear alert.

2 months ago

Lovely views of the river and cascades- lots of picturesque scenes. Not a long or challenging hike- you’d mostly be going for the views!

2 months ago

Easy and short hike that doesn’t have a lot of traffic in the morning, but may start to get busier after 12pm. There are many great spots to take very scenic pictures, especially during the fall when the aspens change.
To get there, we parked in the parking lot at the base which costs $35 a day (originally $25 but was charge an extra $10 on the way out), and took the shuttle to the trail, approximately 20 minute ride, which runs every 20 minutes and costs $8 per person for the day. A different shuttle will also take you into town for free.

2 months ago

Tough trail, definitely a beautiful lake. Not sure I’d need to do it again.

on The Grottos Trail

3 months ago

It’s fine. Not a hike. A great spot to stop, have some lunch, and dip your toes in the refreshing mountain water. Very poorly marked trails, so you just kinda wander around.

A great trail, but be prepared for some elevation gain. There was a mix of aspen stands and conifer forest. The lake is beautiful and totally worth the time spent on the trail.

Beautiful and not too highly trafficked. Easy for kids.

Up hill most of the way up. Switchbacks galore. Challenging but great little hike, saw lots of wildlife. Be aware, it’s hunting season. Throw on some orange!

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