Explore the most popular trail running 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 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.

hiking
2 days ago

23rd May - quite busy at the bottom half of the trail, no one to be seen after Ute Rock Overlook. There is still a fair amount of ice at the top of the mountain but I managed with hiking boots. Check to see if the Gondolas are running if that’s how you plan to get back down, they weren’t today ;)

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
7 days ago

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

7 days ago

Favorite of all time!!

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.

hiking
26 days ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Took the hunter creek trail up and looped around to smuggler on the way down. Views of the mountains with ski runs and downtown aspen below were so beatific on sunny day. Snow made it a little muddy but snow views were worth it! Uh-ohh somersault jump!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this loop after a good 4-6 inch snow accumulation over night. First tracks around 9 am were fine trudging through with beautiful snow covered trees and babbling streams. Took smuggler coming down with great snowy views of the valley below. Got a bit muddier as it got warmer. Great trail and loop! Wubba lubba dub dub!

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!

4 months ago

Great views on way up. . Option of riding tram down!

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

hiking
4 months ago

Due to lack of snow, you have to watch out for ice patches in some sections, hiking poles were helpful. Absolutely gorgeous hike/scenery with mixture if moderate and easy hiking.

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!

Great trail for the inexperienced but still excited for a workout. Beautiful view with easy cut backs. Good for groups

4 months ago

Trail closed on 12/27/17 due to conditions.

hiking
5 months ago

Easy drive to trailhead from Aspen (about 20 minutes from downtown). Limited parking. The hike starts off through a beautiful canopy of aspens. The trail narrows as you take multiple switchbacks through the forest of aspens with a modest incline on a narrow trail. There are many different views of not only the aspens and pines but also rock formation. After the switchbacks and climb flattens a bit as you traverse around the mountains. You eventually hit a rock patch with a great view. From that point you are only a few hundred yards from American Lake with an amazing mountain backdrop view.

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.

5 months ago

Closed 12/17

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

hiking
5 months ago

Definitely one of my favorite day hikes. At the peak, we just had bagels and cheese, with the glorious view of the lake. Returned with some friends visiting from California; they loved it.

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

Load More