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Buckskin Pass is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September.

Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 2,916 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (89)
Photos (880)
Recordings (70)
Completed (274)
maslin mellick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 30 2020
HikingBlowdownBridge out

Did this trail on Saturday, June 27. Started at the Maroon Bells and ended at Snowmass Lake. It’s a gorgeous trail and most of Buckskin pass is clear of snow and debris until you reach the lower part closer to Snowmass creek trail #1975!!! My friend and I came across A TON OF DOWN TREES to the point where we almost lost the trail. Down trees go for about 1.5-2 miles and we just had to follow what looked like packed soil from other hikers and hope it was right. We then reached the bottom where the river meadow is. THERE IS A BROKEN BRIDGE WHERE YOU NEED TO CROSS THE RIVER TO GET TO SNOWMASS LAKE. Before the bridge there are 2 logs that get you across. Take those and turn right to find the trail again. Please be aware of these obstacles and be safe out there! We called the US forest service to make them aware, so they can hopefully clear it for future hikers.

Lee Van Wyhe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
Hiking

Awesome experience! we left from Marion bells parking lot at 7am and made it to the top at 11am with quite a few rest stops. Very strenuous trail but well worth it! the view from the top is one of the best I have seen in 30 plus years of hiking. I am used to hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and this is one of my first in this area. I will definitely be back.

Bryann Elise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
Hiking

Great trail! The best views are definitely from the top. I clocked it at around 10miles round trip from the parking lot at Maroon Bells. We even saw a bear (far across the valley). Snow was mostly melted (hiked 6/28) except for the very top and we were able to just walk across it. A few stream crossings but were able to stay on rocks. Definitely a difficult trail with the elevation gain and terrain. Wide trails in the beginning and narrow towards the top but well-maintained. Not too many day-hikers except up to Crater Lake.

Dan Richard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 16 2020
HikingIcySnow

What a rewarding hike! Truly gets more and more beautiful as you keep going on. This is probably my favorite hike in CO to this point. It comes with a few warnings: Completed on 6/15, and was doable, but difficult. Towards the top, there’s quite a bit of snow remaining. Was fortunate enough to bring spikes; they were essential for the last half mile or so. Also felt it was longer than 8.2, but we took a few detours along the way for some of the incredible views. Because of snow cover, we were forced to leave the trail to climb up to the top, which was a very easy climb. Still - this plus the slippery ice might present challenges for an inexperienced hiker. We did see some turn around. Many deep streams to cross with snowmelt. My shoes and socks were drenched from the streams, and the tall snow towards the top only made it worse. Wish we would’ve been up for making even further to Snowmass, but we were already spent. Can’t recommend highly enough!

Pat Ribotto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
HikingRocky

Hard not to give this area 5 stars. It's beautiful whether you make it to your destination or not. We hiked up this trail today and it's always a great hike. We only made it to the creek crossing in Minnehaha Gulch and had to turn around as our time limit was running out (new covid rules). Kinda sucked, as we would have gone further without a time constraint. So I'll be back some day to go all the way. It looked as though there was still quite a bit of snow at the pass anyway, so maybe another month or so. We did hike up the west maroon trail a ways too, just to burn up some of our time slot. Awesome waterfall in a narrow grotto once you get past the lake. Very cool!! It was worth going up that far just to see that. Hiked about 7.8 miles total and that was good enough for today. Lots of people, no surprise. Looking closely at N. Maroon peak on your map here, and it calls it out at 13,980'. Wrong. Its a 14er. just FYI.

Mireille Fehler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 13 2019
Hiking

Absolutely breathtaking the entire way. Most rewarding hike I’ve done

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Danny Herrera
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 27 2019
Hiking

This was an amazing trail! Arrived at 550am and got one of the last parking spots. There are allllll the photographers there ready to get the perfect shot. Saw the sun hit the bells and started the hike at 720am. Very rocky portions of the trail and would recommend hiking poles. Completed it in 5h15 but took our time enjoying the views and cracking open a cold one at the top. Very challenging but unreal hike!

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Tyler Morrissette
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 26 2019
Hiking

Got up early since we decided to do this trip too late to us the shuttle. Got to the parking lot at 5:30 and I would say it was 50% filled and filling fast. As others have commented, not a lot of hikers in this group...everyone is lugging camera gear in the dark to take sunrise photos. Our hike was amazing!!! The views can't be captured on a cell phone. We took a 2mph pace on the way up which felt right and allowing for breaks, etc. The last mile was the hardest but we made it to the top (12500ft) in just under 3 hours. The hike down was fast and we only started to see folks on our decent. We are from sea level and took the previous 4 days getting acclimated to the elevation and doing short prep hikes (e.g. Upper piney lake, hidden lake).

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Joseph Conrad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 23 2019
Hiking

Loved this trail! Absolutely gorgeous time to to go! Leaves are changing, the weather is perfect! Some things to note: No access to 14k+ in the area without climbing gear (I was warned by the woman selling tickets), Parking at highlands $15, shuttle to Maroon Bells $8. Shuttle stops at 5, make sure you're back to base by 5 :-) I would love to backpack the, and continue down the pass to the lake on the other side. Some day :-) Enjoy!

Meg Claiborne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 14 2019
Hiking

I hiked to the top of Buckskin pass and back down. It was beautiful, miserable, and a wonderful challenge. There's a goat at the top of the pass, plus a multitude of other wild life. It was pretty much all incline, then all decline if you turn around. Can't wait to go back and do it as a backpacking trip!

Karina Durso-Cain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 26 2019
HikingRocky
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Ashley H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 20 2019
Hiking

this was the most epic backpacking trip I’ve ever done! the views just kept getting better and better. plenty of previously established campsites for a mid-week adventure and the people on the trail were awesome. we ran into quite a few people that got serious altitude sickness though. one even had to be rescued. if you’re not accustomed to the altitude out here, try to acclimate for a few days before diving into this. the mileage and elevation gain each day is no joke. this is tough, but worth it if you’re prepared!

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Ed Hodgens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 14 2019
Hiking

Did it clockwise and took our time with four day. Best hike we have ever completed. Beautiful blue skies all days and wildflowers everywhere!! Trails and passes can be a handful for us Floridians.

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Ken Best
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 09 2019
HikingBugsMuddyOff trailOver grownRockySnowWashed out
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Jason Hatch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 07 2019
HikingRockySnow

Did the Maroon Bells/Snowmass trail clockwise. Excellent trail conditions given the amount of snow that had fallen in the winter and the avalanche damage. It rained 4 out of the 5 days we were on the loop.

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Jeff Clyman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 28 2019
Hiking

Hiked July 27, entirely passable despite ranger advice. Trail was already cleared through new avalanche debris fields beyond crater lake. Snow packed stream obscured crossing, but easily adapted by hiking upstream about 50 feet on snow pack, crossing left bank to rejoin trail over the crest. Easily traversed two larger snow fields, simply connecting trail segments. Large impressive snow cornice just below pass, allowing trail to progress freely. Encountered three parties who were just completing four pass loop; but only one was equipped with micro spikes. Only trail rider pass was reported to be dicey due to snow. Fabulous trail and views, glad I was not discouraged by outdated trail condition reports distributed by forrest service on web and at the Aspen station.

Jack Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 28 2019
Hiking

Went from Maroon Bells parking lot up to Buckskin Pass then down and up to Willow Pass 7.28.19. Snow cornice on Buckskin Pass though easily passable on the left. Some snow scattered around water draws but easily passable.

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B B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 16 2019
Hiking

Hiked this on July 16th. Part of Buckskin pass is still covered but you can walk around it if you're comfortable following some snow treks. We were able to get to about 100ft (altitude) from the top and were able to see Snowmass on the other side. The trail still has some damage from avalanche debris but if you keep to your left you will connect back with the trail no problem.

Oleg Tchernyshyov Baltimore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 13 2019
HikingSnow

On July 13, Buckskin Pass was still not accessible. We came within a quarter of a mile of the pass. The trail was mostly under snow above 12,000 ft. A big pile of melting snow on the pass itself.

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Daniel G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 25 2018

Hiked this in August 2017. Awesome. Rushing streams. Full of wild flowers. A herd of mountain goats in the distance. 14k peaks in all directions at the top. Two beautiful mountain lakes along the way.

Jess H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 29 2018

At the end of the season - super icey and not recommended! Wait until 2019.

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