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Crater Lake Trail is a 3.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.8 mi Elevation gain 692 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Walking

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Blowdown

Bugs

Rocky

Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions from Aspen: From mid-June through September the Maroon Creek road is closed from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., you will need to take a shuttle. You can catch the shuttle from Rubey Park on Durant Street in Aspen. There is a fee for the Maroon Creek Shuttle.If you get an early start, drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left at the roundabout onto Maroon Creek Road. Keep right and continue 9-1/2 miles to the Maroon Lake parking area.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1421)
Photos (1064)
Recordings (984)
Completed (3351)
Josh Sutton
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 12, 2020
HikingFee

All Trails needs to be updated so that trails that require a reservation are marked as such. This trail does not just require a fee to take a shuttle (as noted in the description). It actually requires you to make a reservation to take the shuttle. Do not go here without making a reservation days or weeks ahead of time.

Scott P.
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HikingRocky

We arrived at Maroon Bells thinking our hiking would be limited because we brought our dog. Found Crater Lake trail open to dogs & a doable length. It said it was 1.4 miles but seemed a lot longer. The trail is very rocky. Most of it was up & when we finally saw Crater Lake it was more like a puddle. We turned back without even going down. A difficult decent with all the rocks.

Dmitriy Bykov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 11, 2020
Hiking

moderate trail with worthy views in the end. however the trail is very rocky and you have to constantly watch where you are stepping not to trip on a stone or roots.

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Betsy Miller
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Hiking
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Katt Crowdis
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Hiking

Great 14er. It is certainly challenging, but I enjoyed North Maroon way more than Maroon Peak. The descent and route finding for North Maroon are much more manageable. There is a trail up until the talus field. Trail segments exist in both the first gully (basically switchbacks) and the second gully (on the left hand side until the top where you begin going right to cross several rock bands). Both gullies are quite steep, but there are stable rocks along to help with the ascent and descent. The chimney is certainly class 4. Besides this though, there was only one or two class 4 moves during the summit push. The summit push section has very loose rock! Overall though, if you are prepared with other 14ers under your belt, then go for it! I was nervous for North Maroon because of the loose rock and steep gully stories, but I was pleasantly surprised with this route and enjoyed it a lot more than I had anticipated!

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Emily Hamilton
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Do you have to have a pass to do this trail?

Morgan Speer
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Hiking

This trail was so amazing. You have to get a permit to park, and the trail is a gradual incline but the major UP is all at once. It’s a gorgeous result. Gorgeous result.

Trip Stern
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HikingGreat!
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Alex Grimes
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Came from Iowa to visit some friends. drove and hour from Glenwood to see this place, get there and they turned us around because you have to make a reservation?... nice

Josh LeComte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020

My fiancee and I really enjoyed this trail today. Took us and hour to get to Crater Lake from Maroon Lake and about 40 minutes on the way back. When we got back to Maroon Lake a bull moose was wading in the water. would highly recommend this. Perfect for a day outing.

Anna Hardy
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Hiking
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Mary S.
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HikingRocky
Anthony Ruikis
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Hiking
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Andrew Marshall
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Hiking
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Christie Richardson Barnes
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HikingRocky

Great trail and hike. If you’re new to hiking, this trail will be difficult but if you can push through, the prize at the end is totally worth it. Plenty of shade most of the way and lots of opportunity to stop and take breaks. The trail was clearly marked and we didn’t see any trash along the way (yay!). I bring a trash bag to pick up stuff left behind and was happily surprised to have an empty bag on my way home. Dogs are welcome on leash however if the dog isn’t used to hiking this might not be the best place to get started.

Nathaniel Redmon
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HikingGreat!Rocky

some of the best views I've ever seen

Manon Nectoux
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HikingGreat!
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Audrey Cheng
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Hiking
Mike Langford
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Hiking
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Brandy User
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Hiking
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Derek Smith
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Hiking
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meagangoes User
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HikingRocky
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Marie C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingRocky

Absolutely beautiful views; easy/moderate hike. Shuttle from Aspen Recreation Center makes getting there (and back) very convenient. Currently dry but with significant amounts of rocky trail towards the end, wear shoes with good a good tread (especially for when the trail is wet). As of 7/29/20 it was mostly dry, but we experienced a few brief showers which made some of the trail slick. Bring snacks, water and maybe a towel to sit on to enjoy the lake at the top of the hike before heading back down.

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Suzi Rapp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
HikingRocky

Beautiful hike! One of our favorites in Colorado. We had reservations for 7:30am. We hiked all the way to the lake with very few people. By the time we headed back, a lot more people were on the trail heading to the lake or further. We saw a fox running along the trail as well as marmots. The wildflowers are pretty and the views of the Maroon Bells are spectacular!

Hannah Spieldenner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous trail. Although fairly crowded, it’s one of my favorite hikes to bring Colorado visitors on. The hike to Crater Lake can be rocky at times, and you go “up” the whole way, but the short distance and amazing views really pays off. During COVID times, you need a reservation for the parking lot, so do your research if you plan to visit.

Don Squires Jr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

What a great great hike. Took e-bikes from the Aspen Highlands and biked 7 miles to the Maroon Bells trailhead. Once we arrived, we made our way up to Crater Lake. Beautiful overcast day and the trail wasn’t too crowded. Big fan, and we got to see tons of wildlife: eagle, fox, and marmots,

Michelle Kloberdanz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
HikingRocky

Very crowded but beautiful trail. Lots of wildflowers and gorgeous views along the way. You definitely want good hiking boots for all the rocks. This is not a strenuous hike at all as far as elevation goes, but there are a few areas where you have to navigate through very rocky area. No scrambling, just a lot of jagged and loose, large rocks.

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Nicole Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

We tried to do the loop. We stayed in Aspen at a hotel on Friday. Our shuttle left at 8 a.m. Everyone we saw coming down had tried to do the 4 Pass, but got soaked from the rain on Friday, so they were coming back down. The only people we saw who were successful were a group of guys who did it CCW and they said they had tarps. The forecast wasn’t good, but we were trying anyway. We hiked up to the last camping spots before West Maroon Pass. We got our tent up just before it started raining at about 3 p.m. It pretty much rained for about 12 hours straight! We kept hearing rockslides all through the night. Our tent was soaked despite being “waterproof” and our sleeping bags and pads were drenched. The forecast was for more rain again today. We didn’t think we could get our stuff dried out before it rained again. So we decided to go with Plan B - hike out, go eat Mexican food and drink margaritas! See ya another time 4 Pass!

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Chris James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

Had to be out of the parking lot by 730am with the reservation system this year. A lot more that would have been nice to explore but we only had an hour and a half of sunlight Beckie we had to leave. Great views, rocky trail. I imagine after 8a the trail is super busy.

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