Four Pass Loop

HARD 52 reviews

Four Pass Loop is a 26 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Aspen, 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 October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
26.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
8182 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Absolutely amazing multi-day trail. Counterclockwise direction is recommended but not required. This hike is not for the novice. Very punishing, but infinitely more rewarding.

backpacking
2 days ago

Done clockwise and beautiful! Fair amount of people on the trail. I recommend you plan a day at snowmass lake if able; its beautiful and we were able to catch our dinner along the far edge of the lake. We went in Tuesday and came out on Saturday, pushing 5-8 miles per day and spending Friday at the lake. Many different beautiful views :)

hiking
2 days ago

2 days ago

backpacking
3 days ago

One of the most stunning hikes in Colorado. I went clockwise - West Maroon Pass -> Frigid Air Pass -> Trail Rider Pass -> Buckskin Pass. Was going to do it in 2 nights, but ended up completing the loop in one night. Camped at the top of the headwall about 1.3 miles down from Fravert Basin, beautiful views! Highly recommend this loop

hiking
3 days ago

backpacking
4 days ago

Went counterclockwise and loved it! Brought our pup and the rocks we're definitely hard on the paws, have booties just in case even if you think your pup is well seasoned! From the trailhead to West Maroon pass is the rockiest portion of the trail. Loved springing out of the tent at 4:30am and on the trail by 5:30 and had the whole trail to ourselves!

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

backpacking
9 days ago

Amazing! Best alpine meadows! Got very lucky with weather. I was truly sad when we were done. Wish I could stay on the trail longer. Fravert basin was enchanting but definitely chilly at night. Pack accordingly if you plan to camp. Recommend alternate footwear for water crossing. Hiking poles were helpful.

backpacking
10 days ago

Really enjoyed this trail. Went clockwise starting with West Maroon Pass and Frigid Air on Day 1. Very well marked so hardly any need for a map (or this app). Only downside is that it is very heavily trafficked. Thankfully that doesn't correspond to litter/trash being an issue. Also lots of mosquitoes so bring spray or appropriate clothing. Views and settings were spectacular. The dog leash rule is strictly enforced. I brought my pooch and had him off a few times. Other back packers gave me a piece of their unhappy mind on the matter. I also witnessed two other parties receive $130 tickets from a ranger for having dogs off leash. Would go again but probably would come in from Buckskin Pass and stay for a while at Snowmass Lake - a gorgeous spot.

11 days ago

backpacking
11 days ago

My wife and I completed this hike a few days ago and we both were exhilarated with how beautiful this place really is. Traversing 4 mountain passes with a 30-35 pound pack for 3 days is beyond exhausting and brutal (especially in the rain), but so worth it. Three river crossings, 8,000 feet of elevation gain, 3 lakes, thousands of wildflowers. DO IT! But be smart and do it in 4 days and 3 nights. We did it in 3 days and 2 nights and that kind of mileage was killer.

hiking
17 days ago

19 days ago

I did this a year ago starting from Aspen. I will start from
Schofield Pass this year. Reports of a lot of mud east of Maroon Pass. Snow plug near Emerald Lake will increase mileage by 2.5 mi. Quite a bit more snow this year due to late storm. Incredible hike. Wildflowers amazing. Be fit for this one!

24 days ago

It's as challenging as it is beautiful, worth every step. Buckskin Pass and Snowmass Lake were absolutely incredible. @jamesoutdoors

backpacking
25 days ago

Incredibly beautiful hike! We went in early October & the Aspen trees were golden yellow. There was plenty of water, even in the Fall. Some loose gravel in places, but was able to do it in trail runners. We used our poles a lot and were thankful to have them. I would recommend being physically fit for this loop.
Plenty of evidence of crowds from the weekend a mile or two in both directions from the trailhead. A lot of poop and even candy wrappers sticking out from under rocks...not fooling anyone!

hiking
25 days ago

backpacking
28 days ago

A relatively strenuous, but very rewarding loop. Try to start your day relatively early if you want to secure one of the better campsites along the route, as the good ones are usually taken by mid afternoon or so. Make sure you have a good mosquito repellent, or plan on wearing long sleeve's, pants, and hats, or hanging out in your tent to avoid them.(at least in July anyway, when we did this loop) There are many places to filter water along the route, so you generally don't have to have any more than a couple of liters on you. Snow was not a hindrance to us in the third week of July 2017, but poles may be useful to some at a few points, in particular at a snow covered boulder field when coming down to Snowmass lake. (when doing the route clockwise) The mosquitoes were quite tenacious at our campsite near Snowmass lake. No cellular service throughout the route. You will definitely encounter muddy conditions, and multiple creek crossings, so don't plan on keeping your feet dry all day, unless you bring water shoes specifically to change into at those points. (which takes up a lot of time) Bear canisters are required, as well as wilderness permits. (two tents per permit). There are decent trout fishing opportunities along the way, particularly on the second half of the loop, Snowmass lake probably being the best location to fish for your dinner. If you're looking for solitude, this is probably not your hike, as it is moderately trafficked, and you definitely won't feel like you're alone on the trail, be that good or bad. I met multiple park rangers along the route (mainly near Snowmass lake), that have to clean up SO much human feces every week it's shameful. Please dispose of your waste properly so those who follow can enjoy unpolluted campsites!

backpacking
29 days ago

Great trail with lots of climbing and beautiful scenery. Pack light if possible!

hiking
30 days ago