Maroon Snowmass Trail is a 18.3 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.
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).
Went backpacking there as a teenager and it remains my favorite place in the world.
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.
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: http://freeoutside.com
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.