Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Aspen with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

One of the most beautiful and rewarding hikes I have done!! The only annoyances were the mosquitos/flies and the final 2 mile uphill (especially since we were in campsite 11). I found the whole area to be very clean and peaceful. Although all sites were booked on the website, we found that less than half were actually occupied on the Wednesday and Thursdays nights we stayed. I would consider this a MUST do hike if you can physically do the mileage with backpack.

11 hours ago

Well worth the hike. Once you have made it to Crater Lake, look for waterfalls way up on side of Mountain.

Very rocky with not a lot of scenery before the lake. But the lake is beautiful. I’ve done some moderate trials this trip so for my money, I’d just relax and enjoy the scenic loop instead and do a more worthwhile trail later. It was just not diverse enough for me. Too much scree.

Completed this trail on 7/7

This was an amazing trail! The mileage here is a little off. My garmin watch calculated it around 9.25 miles each way(18.5 round trip). The trail takes you through several different landscapes which adds a lot of great visuals for the hike. It is about 7 miles to the ford crossing which you will need to either take off your boots totally or switch to other footwear to cross without significant water intake. The final 2 miles are very tough and up hill. A full pack certainly makes it more difficult. Once at the hot springs, it was a great relief. With the new permitting system, our stay had about half the sites occupied. Some of the grounds were on a slant which made sleeping not ideal but some of the spots were perfect and flat. We watched the sun set in the hot springs and called it a night.

Make sure to bring bug spray, your bear canister, and human waste bags! The rangers are on the lookout for folks not bringing the bear canister as their reports say the activity is high in the area.

Also, be mindful of when you stop and rest. A moose came out of the trees and there wasn't much for cover besides a rock and a very thin tree. Luckily it saw us and kept walking.

6 days ago

Fantastic trail with gorgeous views. We did it wearing our 2 year old in a Deuter backpack, which was a must. The trail is really rocky in parts and would be difficult for young children. Definitely a heavily used trail, but well worth it!

This trail was absolutely beautiful! The hot springs at the top are completely worth it.

The trail leads through several valleys, fields of wild flowers and refreshing river crossings! My boyfriend and I reached the hot springs at about 4 hours (moving time), by keeping a good pace with the bags on. The last stretch was a little bit of a false hope due to seeing signs for the campsites, then ended up trekking about another mile to our site. The last stretch is all up hill. We ended up doing 9.1 miles to the hot springs.


Beautiful view. Perfect amount of challenge and having to pay attention and beautiful and fun!

Incredible 3day/2night solo trip July 4-6. Not crowded at all. Wildflowers were amazing throughout nearly the whole trail. Did it clockwise based on others reviews- think counterclockwise would be easier. It is rigorous. Passed several groups the first day who were turning back after their first day. Many were from sea level. Acclimatization is key carrying a pack through the whole 7500ft + elevation gain.

Another MUST SEE trail in Aspen!!!

9 days ago

Beautiful hike. Be prepared for a rocky trail. Saw too many people in sandals, not a great idea! We hiked this on a holiday week, too many people! Next time we will do this on a non holiday week!
Overall it was still awesome, the views were amazing!

9 days ago

If you are from flat land and are scared to do this hike after reading some of the reviews, please ignore the reviews and DO THIS HIKE! I am from Chicago, 50 years old, and an OK hiker. The trail is Rocky and that altitude is definitely hard on the lungs, but if you go slow and take breaks and stay hydrated, it is totally doable! Absolutely stunning hike that is shaded by aspens in many places but every now and then a Mountain View pops up. The boulder field just before the lake can be challenging if you don’t have proper footwear and aren’t paying attention to your footing. But, again, totally navigable and there are plenty of people taking breaks along the way so no reason to feel rushed. Don’t miss this hike!

Relatively easy hike to a great view. Lake is big enough to spread out the crowd so you can always get your own spot on the shore!

It’s been a long time since I’ve hiked this but one of the greatest hikes I have ever been on.

Amazing. Hike of a lifetime. Hiked in with full gear, spent three full days and nights hiking and camping. beautiful, God's country. elevation will kick your butt if you're not acclimated.

13 days ago

Amazing views at Crater Lake, but not much scenery between Maroon and Crater as the trail climbs through thick forest. Worth it though!

Did this for a second time June 23rd 2018. Awesome views. We did it counter clockwise (best way hands down). Had a little snow over final pass on last day. There was also frost 20 yards from our campsite.

An extraordinary, beautiful, world-class hike with every feature. Recommend 2 nights, 3 days to enjoy fully.

Beautiful hike, not too difficult other than the incline, but lots of beautiful places to stop, rest, and enjoy the scenery along the way. There’s also a beautiful creek you can walk along that goes to an overlooking bridge. Certainly a must do hike while in Aspen!

14 days ago

Excellent hike. We did it clockwise in the afternoon, which was great because the first part is then in the shade, and you can see the sunset from the road on the way down. Recommended!

From the parking lot at maroon bells to buckskin Pass is a great day hike. Very hard but well worth the effort. Get going early because you can’t drive up the road after 8 AM and you actually want to get there by 7 AM to beat the traffic

15 days ago

beautiful and there are not much words to describe it.

trail running
16 days ago

Flowers are beautiful right now. Great trail, has it all, technical single track, steep grades, shade, sun, perfect training trail.

Great trail just hard enough. Well marked.

Did this trail on Saturday and Maroon Bells is absolutely gorgeous. It was well worth the long drive from Denver. I kind of wish we went a little further past Crater Lake, but it was the most beautiful trails I’ve done so far. Definitely recommend

on Crater Lake Trail

20 days ago

Most beautiful place I’ve hiked!

Hard hike but just as scenic the entire way up as at the top. We got lost at the top, so stay left and cross the creek. No snow on the trail as of 6/16.

We are two first time backpackers from Wisconsin. We planned to do the hike in four days but completed it in 3 days. Definitely one of the most beautiful hikes we have ever done! There are lots of water options, the false summit had an extra hump that surprised us, and there was a small section that still had snow which was challenging but do able (near snowmass lake). We would definitely recommend this hike!

***no glass***
***pack out your poop***

Stunning hike and hot springs, except that we cleaned up and packed out a previous camper's food trash and poop, in addition to our own. The hotsprings was lovely but people brought glass wine bottles and glass pipes. This area is world class! Be a better steward!

We are pretty fit ladies from Denver and we took six hours going up and four coming down. My GPS/Garmin claimed it was 9.8 miles (?!?).

The creek fording was mid-calf/below the knee on June 13-15.

Gorgeous place. I hope people don't ruin it.

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