Maroon Snowmass Trail and Snowmass Lake and Snowmass Mountain

hard 44 reviews

Maroon Snowmass Trail and Snowmass Lake and Snowmass Mountain is a 20.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Snowmass Village, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 20.3 miles Elevation Gain: 6,213 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers


Directions from Aspen: Drive 4.7 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Brush Creek Road. Follow Brush Creek Road 4.8 miles and turn right onto Divide Road. The road passes the Krabloonik Restaurant at 10.3 miles, and descends steeply before reaching a fork. Continue straight to the end of the road (Passing the East Snowmass Trail at 11.9 miles on the left.) where there is parking (12.1 miles).

Overall a nice in-and-out route for a single night backpacking trip. We did not complete the 14er but stopped at the lake and camped out there (a common place with lots of nice camping sites). Knocking a star because a) a lot of horse poop the first half of the trail, 2) still a lot of avalanche debris (but most has been moved aside as to not block the trail)— there’s just one section 6.5 miles in (see photo) where you have to cross the river over the debris/fallen trees/logs. Don’t make the mistake we made and keep following some trails without crossing the river at that spot because it gets really sketchy and impassable and we had to turn back and ultimately cross over those logs. After this spot it’s smooth sailing and worth it! Definitely gorgeous views of the mountains with wildflowers and waterfalls that go the majority of the way. Great spots to fill your water bottle filters with crystal clear water from the lake. Parking in the main Snowmass trailhead lot was a breeze even at 11 am on labor day weekend.

6 months ago

This was an out and back hike. I lost GPS signal at the bottom of Buckskin Pass but went to Willow Pass and back. Beautiful views every place we went. Log Jam about 6.3 miles into the hike on Maroon-Snowmass trail (#1975) which covered log bridge crossing but was passable by scrambling over logs to other side of river. Don't forget the bug spray for Snowmass Lake.

6 months ago

Hiked up to Snowmass Lake 7/27 to 7/28. We arrived around 9am on Saturday and found a spot in the lot, though it was mostly full and not too big. The trail was incredible and was mostly shaded. The final destination was gorgeous, the lake was stunning and the water was so clear. Tons of places to camp along the way and near the lake. The log crossing near mile 6 was a little sketchy with overnight packs on and after rain, but if you go super slow it is doable. Don't forget bug spray, the mosquitos were out in force, or your bear canister, they are required to overnight.

7 months ago

Trail completed on 7/20. decent size creek crossing on logs from avalanche debris just after mile 6, not difficult if you take your time. Trail was harder than anticipated with backpacking pack, but final destination is 100% worth it and the camping area is perfect.

7 months ago

Heads up that Maroon Snowmass trail right near Crater Lake is impassable, blocked by avalanche damage.

off trail
private property
9 months ago

Wed Jul 25 2018

Hey this trail does not let dogs in the loop

Sun Jun 24 2018

Completed this as a day hike on 6/23. No snow crossing at all. Took approximately 7 hours round trip. If you’re thinking of doing this hike, go! Weather was amazing and the views are unbeatable.

Tue May 29 2018

hard work but so worth it

Sun Jul 02 2017

anyone know the snow pack to snowmass lake?

Wed Apr 19 2017

Went backpacking there as a teenager and it remains my favorite place in the world.

Sun Jul 17 2016

Gorgeous Lake. Don't let the first several miles fool you. I was keeping a good pace and then slowed down on the second half of the hike up to the lake especially with pack weight. Bring fly spray as they were biting and hard. Glad I wore long pants as some parts of the trail are pretty lush in growth. Parking for the trail head was a challenge and had to go down the road even at 9 am. Its a pretty long day up and back and took me about 7 hours roundtrip not including a rest at the lake.

Thu Aug 13 2015

The snowmass trail was clean and a nice hike. I continued on past Snowmass lake and summited snowmass mountain. The trail was muddy in spots and a bit overgrown around and above snowmass lake. There were many foxes and possible porcupines that I saw throughout the hike and could hear during the night. Check out my blog for the full description of the day of hiking as well as my attempt to climb all the Colorado 14ers this year:

Sat Oct 04 2014

The Snowmass-Maroon trail winds up Snowmass Creek to a beautiful alpine lake at the base of Snowmass Mountain. We started at the Maroon Snowmass Trailhead which is located at a dead end of a dirt road (Co Rd 11) near the entrance to Snowmass Falls Ranch. We got a late start, and arrived at TH at about 10am and the designated parking lot was full, but we found some parking on the side of the road about ½ mile of TH. The trail contains a little bit of everything. Mild to strenuous elevation gains, multiple livestock gates that you have to close, large meadows, creeks, river crossings, beaver damns, small lakes, waterfalls, views, pine an aspen forest. We made camp at Snowmass Lake and camped for 2 nights. Was surprised to see so many people camping, but there was still plenty of camping spots. We fished, walked around the lake and explored the area. One of the guys in our party summited the mountain. A lot of work to get there, but it was well worth it. Would definitely do again.

Sun Aug 03 2014

Definitely a heavy use trail with prime access to Snowmass Mountain. A five star trail except for one thing - this trail sees heavy horse traffic due to local outfitters and you will enjoy bountiful odorous manure for much of the trek. There are also several places where the trail has been heavily damaged by horses with one area near a waterfall below Snowmass Lake that is about to drop off into the gulch. That aside this trail makes a long steady climb to Snowmass Lake meandering through aspen groves, long scenic valleys with old beaver dams, and eventually winding it's way through dense pine forest to arrive at the lake. Water is in abundant supply crossing several small creeks with river access opportunities along the way. Given the horse traffic I definitely recommend water treatment. Camping is hard to come by until about 6.5 miles in. Plenty of campsite opportunities around the lake. The lake itself is stunningly beautiful and well worth the trip!

Thu Mar 20 2014

Awesome backpack trip to Snowmass Lake. Beautiful lake and awesome mountains at and around the lake. Fishing below lake in the stream was great for brookies.

Sat Jul 13 2013

This is a beautiful trail. Though, maybe my own luck, I have never seen anyone at the lake. The two times my buddy and I did the trail, we only saw someone once near the beginning. The trail can be tough but the beauty is awesome and the challenge of going up the skree on the backside of the lake is rewarding.

Mon Jul 08 2013

Very beautiful and rigorous trail. The only drawback is that there are a lot of people using the trail. If you want amazing views and fishing at Snowmass Lake, and are not worried about running into dozens of other people along the way, then I would highly recommend this trail. On the other hand, if you are looking for seclusion, you will have to hike very far from this trail to get there. If you are fly fishing at Snowmass Lake, the Brook Trout are extremely active during the mornings and evenings. The morning was the most generous to me, when I landed two 10+ inch Brook Trout. I didn't catch anything in the evenings, but the fish were active and going for my flies and made for excellent fishing. For the best casting angles, you will have to wade to about waist-deep water. The water is extremely cold, and even though I did not use, or have, them, I would recommend using waders.

4 months ago

paddle sports
5 months ago

recorded West Snowmass Trail

5 months ago

5 months ago

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