Explore the most popular fishing 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.

hiking
12 hours ago

Beautiful scenery the entire walk and quite spectacular at the top. Considering the low mileage the solitude at the top was surprising.

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

This hike was stunning. It was a pretty quick one, it took us two hours to get to the top. The trail itself was easy and well maintained, the hard rating is due to the near constant elevation gain.

The hike is great, lake is underwhelming. Views along the hike are awesome.

For those of us not used to the altitude (we are from GA) this was a pretty difficult hike on the way to Crater Lake. Mostly uphill and very rocky. Took about an hour hike to get to Crater Lake but the view was gorgeous! Plan on packing a lunch or snacks and taking in the view—and a short rest! Definitely want to get there early as it gets very crowded on the narrow, rocky trail as the day progresses. We got to Highlands at about 8:15 to take the bus up to Maroon Bells. Go early—very popular destination! Bring lots of water too.

This trail was amazing. I went two nights 8/6-7. I suggest going two nights. Spending a whole day just relaxing is worth it.

I went up solo. It took Me quite a while to make it up. Start early and take breaks as needed. It’s not a race. The altitude was pretty rough for me. The trail is pretty rocky so bring solid foot wear. Also many parts of the trail are through thick brush. Long sleeves will save some scratches. On the way back down by the ponds past the creek ford I encountered moose. But I came up on the with no coverage or protection. The bull was chill enough that I could back off slowly and not spook it, but easily could have been bad. Be mindful out there.

The people up there were all great. Just a group of strangers all there to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Everyone was there for a great time. Don’t be uptight cause there will be drinking, probably nudity and a few were smoking pot.

I would suggest bringing foot wear you can wear in the spring. It’s great but the bottom and edges are super rocky. It’s very painful getting in and out. Sunscreen and bug spray cause flys and mosquitoes were all over me. Also don’t skimp on cold weather stuff. The days were very nice, but even early August as soon as the sun sets behind the mountains it got VERY cold.

on Cathedral Lake Trail

hiking
6 days ago

The hardest part is the last stretch before you top out to reach the lake, so be prepared for that. The switchbacks are very steep and in the sun. There were a LOT of gnats around the lake but the views were beautiful.

We started at 8am and the trail was pretty unpopulated. We ran into a LOT of people making their way up as we came down, including people blasting music from their phones (please do not blast music on trails).

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
6 days ago

I found the low level of the lake and the dirty water to be a little underwhelming. The view of the surrounding mountains is very nice, as is the aspen forest on the way in.

Absolutely beautiful hike! Flowers/colors are amazing! We hiked in on 8/3 for 1 night.
Took us about 5 hours to get to the first camp site #19 and at least 30 minutes more to get to site #4 (our site). The hike from #19 to #4 may have been the most difficult part of the hike. We saw 3 moose, a few deer and a far off bear sunning itself in a rock near silver dollar lake! Rangers stopped us on our way and asked to see our permit, ID and bear canister. The springs were spectacular and surprisingly uncrowded. Took us 3.5 hours to hike out.

hiking
9 days ago

Go early to beat the crowds and dress in layers.

Did this hike a few years ago. Totally worth it!

Challenging, but totally worth it. It was a steady uphill with some switchbacks to start, followed by some serious rock navigation. The toughest part was the switchbacks up the mountainside around mile 2. Poles would be handy. the lake was gorgeous and peaceful.

hiking
10 days ago

Nice to stretch your legs when driving independence pass

hiking
13 days ago

Amazing views at Maroon Lake (starting point) and at Crater Lake! I found this to be more easy to moderate...the moderate being due to the higher elevation and all the rocks. The rocks are no joke. I rolled my ankle a few times in hiking shoes...wished I had full on boots. There are really only a couple patches without rocks, so be prepared for that. We started around 11:45 on a Wednesday in July and it was still super busy. Come early to enjoy the peace and quiet. Took us about 2hrs round trip, plus about 30 minutes of lounging at Crater Lake.

Wonderful hike but it was tough for us two 50-something flatlanders with only one day acclimating. Loved lake.

Easy hike with a beautiful lake at the end. My dogs loved it! We went in the evening so it wasn’t busy

Hard but really rewarding with beautiful vast views and the lake at as a nice reward at the end. Difficult and moderate parts with beautiful waterfalls and wildflowers. Looking forward to doing it again. A fun hike with friends.

This is one of my favorite hikes. The trail is a bit busy on weekends but worth it!! Kid and dog friendly but watch your footing because it gets a bit rocky!

Great hike and doable with young children. Bug spray is helpful walking through the woods. A lot of loose rocks along the path so tread carefully. If you’re planning to go on a weekend and want to avoid taking the bus, plan to arrive well before 8am. We reached around 7:50am and the lot was already full and closed.

hiking
17 days ago

Great trip! We got there at 5:45, parked, got our gear and hit Maroon lake about 6:15am. Stopped to take pictures then started our hike to Crater Lake. Very rocky, but so worth the trip. Got up to Crater Lake about 7:20am, sat around and watched a momma duck and her ducklings swim around the lake when some dips&*t had his dog unleashed. Dog went after the ducks, while owner laughed. A bunch of us started yelling at him and about 2-3 minutes later had the dog on a leash (sadly we ran into them about 2 miles up the trail past the lake and the dog was off leash again). Our hiking goal wasn’t to go much further, but we did venture up another mile and half.

We turned around and started back down. Got back to Crater Lake and took a break to see the bells in a later (11:00am) light. Started our trip back down and it was busier than Cherry Creek Mall at Christmas!! You can tell when the buses drop people off. About every 15 minutes there would be a new wave of tourists heading up to the lake with a camelback, no food, no protection, and their poodle (on leash) struggling to get up and over the rocks.

Got to our car and headed down the mountain. We hit 82 and started to head west and about a minute later got dumped on. Our thoughts were with all of those people hiking with nothing to protect them from the elements.

Would I do this again? Yes, during the week, after Labor Day, and at 5:30am.

hiking
21 days ago

Nice trail to get a look at the Bells and Pyramid from the bottom! Lots of biting flies-so remember your bug spray
Pleasant way to spend the morning.

Short little hike with amazing wild flowers and a nice lake greeting you at the top

hiking
22 days ago

Nice moderate hike. I didn’t know the road to West Portal was closed to public traffic from 8am-5pm. You pay to park at the Highlands. Buy a bus ticket $8 adults, $6 kids and take a bus up. We had a lovely singing bus driver who pointed out many nice features along the way. At the West portal bus drop off, water and restrooms available. The short walk to Maroon Lake had nice views. We started our hike to Crater Lake about 3:30. It took about an hour to get there. We hussled back to catch the last bus at 5:00 and missed it by 10 min. (Due to hiking with kids). My husband hitch a ride back down and drove back up to get us. After 5, pull up to the bus route to pick up where you were dropped off, or take the lower public parking down by the lake.
It was a long day since we hiked at the Grottos in the morning. Totally worth it!

hiking
23 days ago

CRATER LAKE/MAROON BELLS AREA. Late start arriving (230pm) put me on high alert to get back in time to catch last shuttle bus out! I pledged to turn around 330pm no matter what. Moving at a good pace with trekking poles for me in scree field where I could see lake from distance. I look at my quick photos I snapped and marvel at “this is not even enhanced!”

Would allow for more time! I was able to hoof it back, take time to put my feet in the icy waters of the lake/river and catch the 440pm bus.

An afternoon perfectly spent!

hiking
24 days ago

We hiked in late July on a Saturday and the trail head parking area was full. We parked on the road with a large number of hikers. The trail rating is correct and the trail is well maintained. There were lots of wildflowers and a number of scenic views. The area near the lake and the lake itself were great.

backpacking
26 days ago

Great views!!

Wildflowers are out and beautiful!

Great view at end, but very rock, uneven trail for 90% of the hike..

fishing
29 days ago

Cool short hike. Went Saturday afternoon and there was some others but not busy at all. Most ppl were doing Independence tail/lake or the Lost Man trail. They all start here.
Beautiful views, cool lake and fish. I didn’t catch any but saw a few swimming around.

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.

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