Conundrum Creek Trail to Conundrum Hot Springs

HARD 89 reviews

Conundrum Creek Trail to Conundrum Hot Springs is a 16.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September.

DISTANCE
16.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3044 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

hot springs

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

no dogs

Conundrum Hot Springs/Conundrum Creek Trail is great for backpacking and normally takes a full day each way. It takes about 5-8 hours to hike in and 3-6 hours to hike out, on average. The trail is at high elevation, beginning at about 8,000 feet and ending at about 11,200 feet. The hike in is almost entirely uphill, at a fairly easy grade. The hike out is almost all downhill. The trail can be rocky and muddy but it is easy to follow and rated somewhere between moderate and difficult. The trail starts out at the trailhead where you will find parking for about 25 cars. However, because this trail gets so popular in late summer you may want to arrive early to ensure you get a spot. You will also need a bear canister for your food and scented products. Nearby retailers rent out these canisters. You may want to bring an extra pair of shoes because your feet are going to get wet. The hike begins with a mild grade through meadows, along Conundrum Creek, and through stands of aspen trees. There are lots of wildflowers and epic views of the snowy mountains in the distance. At about 2.5 miles you will come to your first major creek crossing, where there is a nice, wide, wooden bridge. From there the trail continues along the water and through more meadows. You will also pass a few ponds, and begin to see more pine trees. At mile 6 there is another major creek crossing with a wide wooden bridge. At 6.5 miles there is another creek crossing, this time with no bridge. You will see a sign directing you to a rope that you can hold onto while you cross the creek. The water may be deep and it is very cold, so use caution when making this crossing. From there, the last few miles of this trail are a bit steeper and may still have snow on them, especially if you are making this trip in June. At mile 8 you will see a cabin and a sign pointing you to campsites and the springs. The final hour or so of this hike involves many small creek crossings and your feet are likely to get wet. The springs are located above most of the campsites and are easy to find. There is one main hot springs pool that fits about 15 people and is about 102 degrees. Please note that you cannot have campfires in the upper campgrounds, and you will need to camp in designated spaces only. Rangers do patrol this hike and because of it's popularity, please be mindful to keep this area pristine. Please pack out all trash and follow all rules.

3 days ago

The best hike of my life. The scenery was amazing. Wading the open stream and crossing the railless bridges were unforgettable challenges.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

backpacking
7 days ago

Hardest hike of my life because of the altitude, I'm from a sea level city and never been in the mountains before, but it was definitely worth the hike and experience. Scenery was amazing and the people you meet on the way were very nice. We camped over night and left early morning; to be honest I wish we could've stayed a little longer for the view and hot spring. Would recommend to anyone wanting a hike with great scenery.

8 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

23 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

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26 days ago

hiking
30 days ago

1 month ago

We went from 8/18/17-8/20/17.
As challenging as it was, it was incredibly rewarding once you get to the top and soak in the hot springs. Bring flip flops/ water shoes (highly recommended) if you need them to cross water or also to use at the hot springs. Get there EARLY, and start the trail early to get a camp site at the top. Really be mindful of how you pack your load. Be prepared for the ascent up, it's not easy with 20-40lbs on your back. You cannot have fire at the very top camp sites so be prepared to bring freeze dried food/ or any type of food that you just need to add water.
Make sure to bring a rain cover for your pack and dry bags in the case there is a random rain shower (it really saved us from having wet everything inside our packs), especially since it gets COLD at night!
The hike was just insanely beautiful the whole way and back! Highly recommended.

1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Okay, WOW, where do I begin? First off, if you are planning on backpacking, this is not an 'easy or moderate' hike by any means. 7.5 miles with a full backpack is DIFFICULT no matter what terrain you are going up. However, if you are not carrying an overnight backpack, then I could see this being a moderate hike. The uphill is not too bad, it's just very long.

The hike itself was my favorite part. The views are absolutely unbeatable and the obstacles you have to go through make it such a fun and exciting hike.

Beware - we got to the parking lot at 9:15 on Saturday morning (had to rent a bear canister in town, store didn't open till 9 :x (don't overlook this!!)) and we got one of the last spots. I would not recommend starting this hike any later than 9:30 on a weekend as you will likely not get a parking spot or a camping spot.

We got one of the last camping spots as well. If you can get to the top early, I would definitely hike to the very top where the hot springs are and camp up there.

The hot springs were awesome. Such a cool and unique experience. There were a lot of people up there when we went as it was late in the summer and a weekend, however, it was by no means 'out of control, or too rowdy' as some reviews (mostly on other sites) claim. I would recommend bringing some flip flops or sandals to wear to the springs and also to cross the river (on the hike) with.

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

The Hike, as many said before, is moderate with planning. Wish I had water proof hiking boots. My feet were soaked on regular trail before and after the ford; however wool socks kept me moderately comfortable. Take the advice someone mentioned below on the second pair of shoes to ford river, or at least to walk around in at the springs/campsite. I was happy I had them. After the ford there can be little bit of bouldering if you zig off the trail. Stick to the left and go across a "pond" with makeshift bridge with logs and rocks if bouldering is not for you.