Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

Echoing previous reviews... this mountain is not to be trifled with. It's less of a hike and more of a challenging mountaineering route. If it's your first 14er, don't go. If you're not completely confident in your ability, don't go. If you didn't bring proper gear (helmet, layers for bad weather, lots of water) don't go. Uncomfortable with airy climbs and steep drop offs? Definitely don't go. Everything past the first gulley is steep, technical and relentless. Definitely review the route on 14ers.com. definitely get an alpine start - it will take considerably longer than other hikes of similar distances. Even if you don't have knee issues, poles are a game changer on the steep and loose descent. After branching off from Minnehaha Gulch, there is nearly zero chance to refill your water this time of year, so bring more than you think you'll need. All that said, it was very rewarding to make it to the top... feels like a major accomplishment. The view is epic from start to finish.

It tricked my watch! Shorter than the app posted!

off road driving
5 days ago

We hiked both Castle and Conundrum on Saturday, August 11th and the conditions were perfect! I noted in the activity “off road driving” , because my review is trying to give what I think is a more accurate description of the road up to Montezuma Basin.

We rented a stock (bare-bones) Jeep Wrangler with street tires on it and drove all the way to the top of Montezuma Basin (around 12,800 ft). Many of the reviews we read stated the road was too difficult to drive. Our plan was to drive as far as we could and then park. I would agree four wheel drive is a must, but with careful wheel placement/driving it is actually not that difficult. My husband is an experienced 4x4 trail driver, so if that describes you, I would recommend driving up as far as you can go.

My only complaint of the trail is hiking on an old road is lame, so it was fun to drive up as far as we could. Doing this also cut out about 10 miles round trip, which on this particular trail was welcomed. Not the prettiest scenery along the trail we’ve seen, although the views from the summit are spectacular.

I would highly recommend taking the spur hike off the paved path. It can get a bit steep, but the views are astounding. I think we only did ~3.6 miles roundtrip since we deemed it unsafe to continue with the baby on my back. However, without the baby I would have continued to the top - it is a bit steep.

on Ute Trail

8 days ago

Tourist trap. Comparable to Boulder’s Sanitas but with a looser and more narrow trail, heavier crowds, less shade, essentially nothing worth hiking to/seeing unless you just want a killer calf workout. Easily the worst hike I’ve done in Colorado.

11 days ago

Great hike. I found it tough but glad I did it.

12 days ago

A great hike, incredible views and very strenuous. I thought I was doing well till a dog with 3 legs passed me up.....made it to the top & took gondola down.... best option.

Make sure to go on the river run trail. You can access it just past the two story hotel building. Nice easy trail mostly along the river. Some posted pictures are from this hike.

18 days ago

It’s a challenging hike,but worth it. Great views from the top.

Very long a lot of ups and downs but the lakes are pretty!!!

19 days ago

A great day, but it would have been better if we’d had a high clearance 4x4 to drive further up the road. We drove to a beautiful campsite about 1.3 miles up the road and hiked from there after sleeping the night before. The initial several miles are on a Jeep road that continually deteriorates as you climb. Once we reached the end of the road the real fun began. We had a fun snow climb up the right side of the snowfield. Steep, like climbing an expert ski run. We then picked up the trail and reached the ridge up Castle. Definitely follow the advice to stay in the ridge. I got sucked into following a trail to the right and had to climb a nasty, steep, and loose couloir to regain the ridge. Once I got back to the ridge it was easy going to the top. We then descended to the connecting saddle and climbed Conundrum, as well. The descent from the connecting saddle into the basin is loose and has a risk of rockfall after the snow melts out (like yesterday).

The hike out the road to our campsite was long but went well. All in all, a great day!

Gorgeous hike, quickly leave the trees for open hiking through fields of wildflowers surrounded by rugged peaks. Reminds me more of the Alps than a typical setting in the Rockies. BUT, and it’s a big but, it’s easy to forget in this range they the valleys are high and the ridges even higher - we got crushed by a massive hailstorm at 11:30am on our way down and even deep in the valley, there was no cover and a big hurting from nickel hail that accumulated thick on the trail. Respect the weather, and remember that the storms don’t always wait till the afternoon.

So beautiful!

definitely go counter clockwise.
took me and my friend 3 days 3 nights.
6 miles the first day, 7 miles the next and 12 miles & the last two passes the last day back to over flow parking lot.

24 days ago

25 days ago

My first trail to hike in Aspen.. It was absolutely beautiful.. but very hard.. my husband, son and I really enjoyed the view.. the wild flowers were gorgeous.. will definitely do this trail again..

26 days ago

Very hard. Beginner here, but worth it and very very hard.

26 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous view but it was pretty steep and I would call it more hard then moderate

Amazing trip. Went clockwise. Planned for 4 days, but did it in 3, mainly because we didn't want to stop in the valley between Frigid Air and Trailrider because there were so many flies and mosquitoes, so we pushed on and made that a 13 hour day. I think from the 4-day people we met, we were probably in a better place mentally than they were, so I was thankful to be out in 3. Just loved it tho. Can't think of a much better way to spend 3 days.

27 days ago

Difficult but worth it - spectacular views

Absolutely loved this hike!!! Our GPS said it was 8.3 miles. GREAT WORKOUT. breathtaking beauty loved hiking through several Alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers of every color, crossed a few streams. pretty steep up the final mile ... really worked to get to the top. but we zipped down. We had a very late start after 4:15 so recommend starting earlier

Amazing wildflowers and mountain views! Fantastic trip that was well worth the climbs to the top of each pass. Those are no joke for a flatlander like myself coming straight from Missouri!!

Did the trip in 3 short days and 2 nights. If you’re fit and willing 1 night is possible with an early start.

Plenty of water so never carried more then 1.5L between stops.

No sign of bears or much wildlife other then the marmots, birds, and ground squirrels. Saw a couple of deer run by camp one night but nothing else.

Trail is very easy to follow except around popular camping areas like Snowmass lake. Lots of side trails and crisscrossing so it took a bit to get back on the main loop. Not dangerous, just a little frustrating even with a GPS and topo map.

We stayed near Snowmass Lake at the group/campfire sites the first night going counter clockwise. Sites at the lake would have been better and avoided a long descent and climb back up to the main trail.

Second night was on the approach to Frigid Air pass just above the waterfall. Camping between Frigid Air and West Maroon pass would be possible but not ideal unless you really want to split the miles more evenly.

Bear canisters are required and they checked when we got there so be prepared.

The weather was mostly typical for Colorado summers. Cool nights, warm if the suns out and afternoon thunderstorms. We did have hail the first evening for about 20-30 minutes straight. Completely covered the ground!

A must do hike all in all!

1 month ago

Love this hard hike all uphill..... so close to town.

off road driving
1 month ago

We did the drive from Aspen to Created Butte on this Jeep trail.. The scenery was a beautiful and the Jeep trail was great. There were some big rocks and narrow spots but overall a great drive. You’d need a 4x4 to do it because of the rocks and other obstacles. I did it in a 2018 Jeep Wrangler and it was effortless for it. There was a guy that came up in an older Montero and he did just fine. I think he’s done it before and has some experience though.

1 month ago

Relatively terrifying. Decent amount of exposure and loose rock. Unfortunately this trail is wearing down badly making it a little more difficult. Huge thanks to the ladies who picked my friend and I up and drove us up the 4x4 road to save us some time, and thank you to the more experienced climbers out there who helped us find a safe route down from the summit.

Good luck getting up this road even with 4WD— you’re going to need pretty high clearance on this one. I would also recommend prior experience on 14ers, unless you’re fearless.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Take the kids. Have a picnic. Get in the water. It’s cold, refreshing, and the kids will love it! Prepare to be bounced around.

1 month ago

A great hike but don’t turn back at lookout rock. Head to the gondola. That trail will give you the feel of the mountain and the slopes that in months to come will
the source of more adventure.

heavily trafficked and a lot of road.

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

trail running
1 month ago

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

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