DISTANCE
11.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5843 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Planned on doing the 4 Loop Pass but due to Moose activity we had to change to this trail at the last minute. New plans were to hike West Snowmass Trail to the Snowmass Lake / Buckskin turnoff and come over Buckskin pass and out Maroon Lake where we parked our vehicle. After 2 days of hiking, we were encourage to turn back by a couple older/experienced hikers because the trail was still closed due to the moose and we would likely be forced to turn around by rangers and not allowed to exit at Maroon Lake where our vehicle was waiting. The decision was hard but seemed like the only option. This was our very first hiking voyage in our lifetime and we are 50yrs old. Decided not to make any big mistakes and turned back on the same trail we came in on.
The rain was horrible every afternoon. We were forced into our tents by 6pm every night and layed on the hard-cold ground for 12hrs. We should have taken a large tarp to put over our campsite.
Additionally, our packs were 50+ lbs each. I will easily cut that back to 30lbs on my next hike.
The trail was beautiful but I didn't expect the first 3 miles to be going through gates and walking in cow poop. The poop was thick in places and it got all over my hiking poles and lower pant legs.
The brush overgrowth in areas was 10-12 ft tall and after the evening rain, it would get you soaked as you walked through it the next morning.
Overall..... a beautiful area for my first hike. Definately more difficult than I ever expected but worth it.
Looking forward to going back. Less pack weight and earlier in the season to avoid moose and the heavy rain period. More experience will be helpful as well.