Capitol Creek Trail is a 16.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Snowmass, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Aspen: Drive 14 miles west on Highway 82 to Old Snowmass and turn left. Continue 2 miles to the T intersection. Take the right turn 5 miles until the pavement ends. Follow the dirt road about 3 miles to the trailhead. The last mile is on a 4WD road. If you don't have 4WD, park in the BLM meadow on the right approximately 2-1/4 miles below the trailhead. The road does continue past the Capitol Lake Trailhead and climbs very steeply to the Hell Roaring Trailhead. The road is slick when wet.
Amazingly awesome hike! It's going to take you 3 hrs to get to the lake and 3 hrs to down hike but it's worth it! The tough part of this hike is the last 2 miles of the hike in and the last mile of the down hike because you end the hike by going back up the switch backs up to the parking lot.
Amazing just don't camp in cow pastures and you'll enjoy every bit of it.
Hiked as part of a Capitol-Snowmass loop. Far too many cows are allowed on this range. The trail was fine when it was dry, but it was raining on the way back and I would get caught between cows with visiting calves and the mother of the visitor. The cows move down the trail, turning mud and pies into a slick mess. Once out of the grazing range, it is fine. The views open up and there are columbines. The lake is great. The trail is a little less obvious on the other side of the pass, but still easy to follow.
An awesome trail up Capital Creek to Capital Lake and beyond if you want. We backpacked to the lake and camped there, and did a day hike farther up the trail.The scenery is awesome, the lake sits right under Capital Peak and Mt. Daley can be seen from the lake also. The trail follows Capital Creek and is mainly in the aspens most of the way. After the aspens you are in the forest before you break out in the open at tree line, the lake is farther, under Capital Peak.