Explore the most popular camping 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.

I love how you can see so much on this trail: aspen forests, rock slides, three lakes (2 from a distance), and lots of wildlife. But, I think it’s the same beauty from Maroon Lake.

One of my favorite places I’ve ever hiked. It’s difficult, but worth the views.

hiking
2 days ago

Amazing views, easy trail. If you want to get cool pictures of the bells reflecting on the lake you need to be there quite early in the morning before the breeze starts.

Coming from the Crested Butte side, things to know in mid-May: There is a gate three miles prior to the trailhead in which only locals can pass. The gate opens for a short 30 minute window each day if you’re lucky. Bring snow shoes, there is snow 3 miles up from the trailhead which gets as deep as five feet. If not, prepare for miles of postholing which will really slow you down. There are five water crossings. Two have downed logs to carefully walk across. The other 3 will get you wet below the knees. Once you’re above tree line, the snow covers most of the trail, making it slippery and slow moving. Don’t forget your permit, bear spray, and bear box as they are required.

Fantastic vista views on this hike. There is still snow on upper half of the trail. Good shoes are helpful. Bring your trek poles if you have them.

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike. A bit icy in places above 10k fasl, but with sensible hiking shoes quite manageable.

Conditions report as of 5/13: Snowshoes highly recommended. The last 2.5 miles (starting at the pond) is waist deep snow. We did it without snowshoes, but we were post holing a whole lot. Most people without snowshoes gave up and camped in the snow, whereas most people with snowshoes made it all the way to the springs. Campsites are covered in snow, but there are plenty of grass patches if you want to set up camp wherever is convenient.

Scenic and steady hike up. Perfect amount of backpacking-per-day. Springs were great, campground was dispersed. We thought the hike was quite manageable, but we found two texans stranded on the trail with no water and some pretty bad altitude sickness. Creeks are everywhere, so bring a water filter. High avalanche danger in the winter.

One of my favorite hikes ❤️❤️

hiking
3 months ago

I walk every day with my dog around local parks at home in Ohio. This was what I would call my first true hiking experience. It was a little difficult maneuvering through the rocks, and my family and I had only brought tennis shoes. However the difficulty was all worth it! Every step of the way you could turn in any direction and the views would take your breath away! There was one scary area with a very steep drop off of all rocks, I just tried to keep my eyes on the other side. The pay off at the end was a gorgeous peaceful lake. We went on a cool, foggy morning, but I honestly can’t imagine it being any more beautiful than it was. Be sure and go early so you can drive and park your car right at the park, and take some stunning pictures of Maroon Bells Lake and mountains before you begin.

10/10. Loved every step of this trail. I suggest counter clockwise. The climb up trail raider from clockwise direction looked miserable. Glad I was going down!

worth seeing and hiking up past the bells! (Did in August 2017)

Second time on this loop in September with friends. Campsites were crowded around Snowmass Lake. Pics from the trip: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffreydgraham/albums/72157688773204146

First backpacking trip this past September and fell in love! Elevation was no joke but a little bit of training beforehand and you’ll be alright. Views are amazing!

This trail was difficult because of all the rocks and it gets very slippery. A man in a group ahead of us slipped and fell and lost his life so I can't urge you enough to use caution on this trail as it is dangerous and doesn't take much to get hurt. It does get extremely crowded so start out before 8am if you can. Once you reach the lake it is very peaceful and beautiful. Just hiked yesterday but the lake was very low.

Road closed not due to snow. It is blocked with pile of dirt.

hiking
5 months ago

At the peak, you get a clear view of the Maroon Bells, along with a panoramic view of 14ers and 13ers. Probably my favorite hike so far!

on Cathedral Lake Trail

5 months ago

Stunning views!

Spikes were helpful second half of the trail. Had the lake to ourself early on a Saturday morning. Beautiful views!

My girlfriend and I completed this trail in 4 days in early July, 2017. It was her first backpacking experience. Much of the trail was still covered with snow pack, we used crampons on a couple traverses and used ice axes to glissade down from two of the passes. We were hoping to summit Snowmass Mountain, but decided it was too much for a first time backpacker. The only bugs we encountered were immediately surrounding Snowmass lake. We saw no traces of bear. There were not many people on the trail when we were there, probably due to the amount of snow pack. Water was abundant and we never carried more than 2 quarts each. A few of the creeks were tough to cross without getting our feet wet, so I would recommend bringing sandals for the trip. The trip could easily be done in 3 full days, but add a fourth if you make a Snowmass Mountain summit attempt.

Most epic backpacking trip I have ever done. Simply outstanding!

hiking
6 months ago

Did this hike two days ago and about half a mile in it was muddy, icy and snow packed. We brought micro-spikes just in case, and they were a HUGE help. Literally within five-ten minutes of getting to the portion of the trail with ice we saw three people take spills and what looked like one kid injured coming back down. Don't do this trail with the expectation of just being able to wear casual shoes this time of year.

Other than that, trail was absolutely gorgeous with snow still on some trees and surrounding the trail. One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. And of course Maroon Bells. Not sure how the trail would be now with the recent storm blowing through. I'm sure just as beautiful.

Enjoy yourself.

I don't recommend doing this hike all in 1 day. It's a bit much even for relatively experienced hikers. Even so, this was a great hike with a couple cool (but mild) challenges. Docking 1 star because the hot spring area wasn't that well kept and because I've been on better hikes.

hiking
7 months ago

Good hike, a bit crowded. At the beginning all muddy but then snow covered, good view. Very easy fun hike.

walking
7 months ago

Very easy hike; more of a walk. Beautiful, though! We got there early on a Saturday & there weren’t a lot of people.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike but pretty crowded when we went . People on the trail everywhere . Trail was icy at some points . Lots of rocks . Not too steep though as many options for trails depending on how far you want to hike . Dog friendly !

Best hike of my life so far! Stunning. Very difficult. Very worth It!
We did it in 4 days and 3 nights.
We took too much food. There were plenty of spots to fill up water so I started carrying no more than 1.5 to 2 liters of water any given time.

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