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My first Mountain to hike. Started at 6am and got back to my car 4pm. Beautiful views once above tree line all the way to the top. I took my time enjoying my day alone and was in no rush hung out at the top about an hour. Last August

Did this hike back mid September last year. straightforward until 1/4 above treeline. got icy and a bit snowy. had to don microspikes. quads were buurrnniinnngg. vast wind gusts at the top, some shelter but not much. simply amazing views! 3L water was enough. trail was well marked.

backpacking
2 months ago

10/10. Loved every step of this trail. I suggest counter clockwise. The climb up trail raider from clockwise direction looked miserable. Glad I was going down!

They elevation made this hike more difficult, but the view from the top is definitely worth it. I started hiking around 7:50 in the morning and arrived at the summit at about 11:55. I spent about 2 and a half hours at the summit and left to head down at 2:30. I arrived at the trail head at 5:30. It was challenging but i would definitely recommend doing this hike.

backpacking
3 months ago

Second time on this loop in September with friends. Campsites were crowded around Snowmass Lake. Pics from the trip: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffreydgraham/albums/72157688773204146

backpacking
3 months ago

First backpacking trip this past September and fell in love! Elevation was no joke but a little bit of training beforehand and you’ll be alright. Views are amazing!

This is a decent trail. There is one rough section just below the first false summit but it’s doable in good weather.

11/26, failed summit attempt... 1) 5 miles before getting to the trail head was cover by snow, challenging and kind of dangerous (have to speed up to go over hills but couldnt see incoming traffic). 2) started at 730am, but heavy snow on the trail before the tree line, have to switch between snowshoes and crampons several times. 3) struggled too much just to get to the tree line (1130) plus altitude sickness, finally gave up at the first false summit (1230). Thanks for people who posted here. I have gotten good information by reading the reviews.

backpacking
5 months ago

My girlfriend and I completed this trail in 4 days in early July, 2017. It was her first backpacking experience. Much of the trail was still covered with snow pack, we used crampons on a couple traverses and used ice axes to glissade down from two of the passes. We were hoping to summit Snowmass Mountain, but decided it was too much for a first time backpacker. The only bugs we encountered were immediately surrounding Snowmass lake. We saw no traces of bear. There were not many people on the trail when we were there, probably due to the amount of snow pack. Water was abundant and we never carried more than 2 quarts each. A few of the creeks were tough to cross without getting our feet wet, so I would recommend bringing sandals for the trip. The trip could easily be done in 3 full days, but add a fourth if you make a Snowmass Mountain summit attempt.

backpacking
5 months ago

Most epic backpacking trip I have ever done. Simply outstanding!

off road driving
5 months ago

One of our favorite trails while we were in the silverton area! Beautiful lake!

It was an hard hike but it was one of the greatest experience I had, above tree line views are mind blowing.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this on Oct. 5, 2017 with Jay. We slept in his car at the trail head and started at 3 am. It happened to be a full moon that night so we were super luckily with the light from the moon. Through the beginning wooded area it was ice and it seriously required out micro spikes (we passed most people without them and I don’t know how they did it!!), then once we lost the tree line we hiked through about 4-9 inches of snow the whole way. It was incredibly difficult but the sunrise was spectacular. I did not summit as I am a bit terrified of heights and thought the final stretch vertically to the (*false*) summit looked too dangerous for me, Jay really wanted to get to the top so he made it and there were a few other people already there. The way down was sooo much easier as you just kind of tumble through the snow. Jay got a bit of altitude sickness on the way down but felt much better once we hit the tree line. The weather was gorgeous, barely a cloud in the sky. HIGHLY recommend micro spikes and I personally would never do that hike again unless it was in the peak of summer!
Start: 3 am
Summit: ~830 am
Back to car: 1 pm

backpacking
6 months ago

Best hike of my life so far! Stunning. Very difficult. Very worth It!
We did it in 4 days and 3 nights.
We took too much food. There were plenty of spots to fill up water so I started carrying no more than 1.5 to 2 liters of water any given time.

off road driving
6 months ago

Very nice view when you reach the top. It's a slow drive with narrow parts, and many switch backs, but well worth the trip.

hiking
6 months ago

It was challenging! But the weather was not too bad, and the view at last make it all worth it ! :) going again in November on Veterans Day weekend, hopefully the trail is open !

Loved this hike. I'm coming back with more friends.

I'm not used to the altitude so this hike was hard for me, there was also snow on the trail on the last 1000 feet so it was slippery on many parts. The view at the top was worth it.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome experience!

backpacking
7 months ago

Did the Four Pass Loop counter-clockwise over four days as a birthday present to myself. Pretty stunning way to celebrate 25 years. Hiked in 1.5 miles to Crater Lake the first night to get a jumpstart on the next day. Plenty of water along the trail (I carried 2L) - no bugs - gets cold at night so bring a 15º bag and pad with good r value. Favorite campsites were a grassy knoll below King Falls in Fravert Basin and the beaver pond 1 mile past Snowmass Lake. SM Lake is beautiful, and also very crowded (but that can provide some humor - I woke up to someone's dog pooping in my campsite). The Elks are teetering on the brink of winter - it snowed lightly every night, adding dramatic striations to the peaks. Even though it was the weekend I didn't find the trail to be overcrowded and was vaguely inspired to try running it sometime in the distant future.

The counter-clockwise trip on the 4 Pass Loop is fantastic. We did it in 3 days camping at Snowmass Lake the first night, and Crystal Falls the second night. 8 miles on the first and second days left about 12 miles and two passes on the final day. That sounds like a lot, and it is. But the final two passes aren't nearly as difficult on the third day leaving from Crystal Falls for a couple of reasons. First, you are lighter. After eating two days of food and figuring out that we don't need to start each day with a ton of water (there is plenty of water on this hike), we were much lighter. Also, Crystal Falls is at roughly 11,000' so the climb up Frigid Air Pass was only 1,500 feet or so. And in between Frigid Air and West Maroon Pass you only descend to 11,500ish feet so again, West Maroon Pass is not that bad of a 1,500 foot climb. The long gradual descent back down to Crater Lake makes the final 5 miles go by quickly. This was one of my all-time favorite hikes. There are stunning scenes at every glance. And if you go mid-week, the trails are relatively empty.

Just got back from this! Surprisingly enough, this was the first trail I ever truly hiked. I am very new to hiking and my group set out to attempt the entire Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells, but quickly realized as beginners to hiking (and as Detroiters who are not accustomed to elevation) that to complete all four passes was too difficult. Instead, we decided to complete this trail. The trail is mostly up hill and the terrain is very rocky. There are a few streams to pass but since it is September, they were low and manageable. I would rank this as a hard trail - but it is SO rewarding. Loads of wildlife - we saw many Pikas and Marmots. I plan on tackling the whole Four Pass Loop after training long and hard but this trail was an amazing introduction to hiking!!

Did this -many times in 70s- 80s -90s don't get any better. Check out the little lake on top the gem-it has ice all year. I believe is Siberia lake. Nice to see young ones have the same taste- once stayed till ran out of supplies-(15 days)

off road driving
7 months ago

Beautiful drive up the mountain. The view is breath taking all the way up!

This is a tough test. From 10,000ft to 14,400 ft in 5 miles is hard going. The altitude will hit you at about 11 to 12,000 ft. It took me 4 hours to hike to the top. Did feel the altitude but pushed on through it
People along the trail did suffer and turned back
After you leave the tree line it's heavy going
It's for seasoned altitude hikers.
A great accomplishment.
Good luck

Very tough hike. Came from sea level and attempted this beast without acclimatization. Made it to over 13,000 feet but altitude sickness laid me low. Very sick. Was able to make it down. Learned some valuable lessons.

off road driving
7 months ago

Beautiful trail!

backpacking
7 months ago

Absolutely incredible. Did it as a 3 day/2 night loop. Came from sea level (Boston), acclimated for 4 days in Denver and doing day hikes at 8-12k in Boulder and RMNP and the elevation on this hike DESTROYED me. I am in pretty excellent physical shape, but this hike was absolutely brutal. Didn't suffer from elevation sickness per se (no headaches or nausea or vomiting), but the ascents up the to the passes are so steep, I was sucking wind the entire time. If I had to do it again or did it with less masochistic people, I would take 4 days/3 nights and do 1 pass a day. Also for the photographers, i think the lighting is generally better if you do the hike in a CCW loop - beginning with the buckskin pass.

Beautiful sunny and warm day. The views are just the best along the stream with 13,500 ft mts on either side of you. Quarter of the aspen trees had turned yellow. The trail is very much open to the sunshine and views of the mountains. As you head in on the trail, you have more pines along the route. The trail takes the hiker to high pines and steep incline compared to the trail before it. At this point the hiker will be at around 10,800 ft . Had no idea there was a lake if I continued. I was tired and turned back. Maybe I will come back next year and go see the lake.

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