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

hiking
7 months ago

Day hiked to the lake Thursday, 10/12/17. Out and back 7.5 hours. Beautiful trail. Last two miles to the Lake were difficult due to the 1 to 3 feet of snow drifts and ~40 mph winds. Overall very happy with the hike and views.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail started (or ends) right where we went camping in white river national forest. Being adventurous, my boyfriend and I started in on what we thought was an 18 mile hike (round trip). After the first 2 miles we came upon an amazing fishing spot with beaver dams. Tons of fish, and if we were fishermen then I would have different ratings. However, we continued on the abandoned path until we couldn't find it anymore. We only made it about 3.5 miles in before turning around. On top of failing our mission, the entire hike was all thistle and pokey plants! Mix that in with an overgrown trail and you have failure

hiking
9 months ago

This trail started (or ends) right where we went camping in white river national forest. Being adventurous, my boyfriend and I started in on what we thought was an 18 mile hike (round trip). After the first 2 miles we came upon an amazing fishing spot with beaver dams. Tons of fish, and if we were fishermen then I would have different ratings. However, we continued on the abandoned path until we couldn't find it anymore. We only made it about 3.5 miles in before turning around. On top of failing our mission, the entire hike was all thistle and pokey plants! Mix that in with an overgrown trail and you have failure

Excellent hike and beautiful lake

The map seems to show a hike up the Snowmass ski area to an overlook into East Snowmass Creek valley. The excellent review by Edward Troy has an actual description of the East Snowmass Creek trail. This is somewhat confusing as the directions to the trailhead are for East Snowmass Creek, one of my favorite hikes.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked June 16, 2017. Parked at Hay Park and walked up the road 1.9 miles to the Capitol Creek Trailhead. The road would have been mostly driveable except for a few rough spots that I'm glad my Santa Fe didn't have to do. There are only a FEW spots to ditch a car too if you decide you can't handle the drive after a while. Just beyond the trailhead are stunning views off to the left of Capital and Daily Peaks. About a mile from Williams Lake, the trail descends into the trees off to the right. There are some stream crossings and patches of snow, but no big deal. However, maybe a half mile to the lake, I lost the trail due to snow pack and had to use my blue GPS dot atop my alltrails app to head in the general direction. Some post holing, but not too bad. Pretty lake, below tree line. But no real great place to take a picture of the whole thing in one frame due to tree obstruction.

backpacking
10 months ago

Still a good amount of snow present at 10,300 ft amsl on the switchbacks. Beautiful hike.

The map shown for this trail has you starting mid-mountain near a ski lift. Be advised: you cannot drive to the trail head. We did, then got locked out and had to find another way around. The trail is also not marked with this trail name and is a bit confusing. However, we loved the hike and the scenery is spectacular!

hiking
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Planned on doing the 4 Loop Pass but due to Moose activity we had to change to this trail at the last minute. New plans were to hike West Snowmass Trail to the Snowmass Lake / Buckskin turnoff and come over Buckskin pass and out Maroon Lake where we parked our vehicle. After 2 days of hiking, we were encourage to turn back by a couple older/experienced hikers because the trail was still closed due to the moose and we would likely be forced to turn around by rangers and not allowed to exit at Maroon Lake where our vehicle was waiting. The decision was hard but seemed like the only option. This was our very first hiking voyage in our lifetime and we are 50yrs old. Decided not to make any big mistakes and turned back on the same trail we came in on.
The rain was horrible every afternoon. We were forced into our tents by 6pm every night and layed on the hard-cold ground for 12hrs. We should have taken a large tarp to put over our campsite.
Additionally, our packs were 50+ lbs each. I will easily cut that back to 30lbs on my next hike.
The trail was beautiful but I didn't expect the first 3 miles to be going through gates and walking in cow poop. The poop was thick in places and it got all over my hiking poles and lower pant legs.
The brush overgrowth in areas was 10-12 ft tall and after the evening rain, it would get you soaked as you walked through it the next morning.
Overall..... a beautiful area for my first hike. Definately more difficult than I ever expected but worth it.
Looking forward to going back. Less pack weight and earlier in the season to avoid moose and the heavy rain period. More experience will be helpful as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Amazingly awesome hike! It's going to take you 3 hrs to get to the lake and 3 hrs to down hike but it's worth it! The tough part of this hike is the last 2 miles of the hike in and the last mile of the down hike because you end the hike by going back up the switch backs up to the parking lot.

hiking
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Amazing just don't camp in cow pastures and you'll enjoy every bit of it.

camping
Friday, October 10, 2014

Awesome trail. Especially demanding if you are not acclimated to the altitude. We encountered very few hikers on the three day trip to Willow Lake and back. Do it. A number of wonderful trails in this wilderness area.

hiking
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hiked as part of a Capitol-Snowmass loop. Far too many cows are allowed on this range. The trail was fine when it was dry, but it was raining on the way back and I would get caught between cows with visiting calves and the mother of the visitor. The cows move down the trail, turning mud and pies into a slick mess. Once out of the grazing range, it is fine. The views open up and there are columbines. The lake is great. The trail is a little less obvious on the other side of the pass, but still easy to follow.

hiking
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hiked as a Capitol-Snowmass loop. Was really hoping there would be a bridge as I came down Snowmass and was watching all the snowmelt surge. There is no bridge across Snowmass Creek. There are cows in the wilderness area, but they are not as bad on the Snowmass side as the Capitol side. It is the cowboy trails that will get you lost on the Snowmass side. I followed solid trail to a makeshift barn, then had to find the real trail which did not quite connect. The Capitol side is a choose-your-own adventure due to the cattle trails. The cows do not seem to go over 11500, which means you can actually see Columbines up there. The scenery is alright, but I had just come off some rather good views.

hiking
Sunday, March 23, 2014

An awesome trail up Capital Creek to Capital Lake and beyond if you want. We backpacked to the lake and camped there, and did a day hike farther up the trail.The scenery is awesome, the lake sits right under Capital Peak and Mt. Daley can be seen from the lake also. The trail follows Capital Creek and is mainly in the aspens most of the way. After the aspens you are in the forest before you break out in the open at tree line, the lake is farther, under Capital Peak.

hiking
Monday, September 27, 2010

I have done this trail many times. This review is composed of several of these hikes. This trail is fairly steep, with many pitches. The TH is very close, and is one of my favorites. The beginning is just past a wooden bridge to the left. Going past the sign and NPS map you soon start a fairly steep pitch for about a mile with a few switchbacks. A forest of conifers, with patches of Aspen, dominate undergrowth, which includes service berries (when ripe, look and taste like blueberries)raspberries, poisonous red and white moonberries as well as Queeen Anne's lace.

At the end of one of the switchbacks there is a watefall spectacular during spring runoff. When you reach a White River National Forest sign the trail levels out for another mile or so. After crossing a couple of glades and meadows there is an intersection where the Ditch trail ends (this goes to Snowmass village where the Base village is located and connects to the Government Trail)and a sign for the trail indicates a hard right hand turn. The trail generally follows the drainage from Willow Divide, 4320 ft above the TH. After going through more forested areas, there are the first views worth noting.

There are usually very few people on this trail and the vastness is inescapable. The trail goes through alpine grassy meadows and then goes once more into a conifer forest. Once through the forest there is more open area populated by a profusion of wildflowers of every color in late spring. A showy array of blue, purple, white, yellow, pink and red, short and tall, offer nature's finest perfumed boquet to be had. If you love flowers, this is a must!

After more switchbacks with a grade that varies from fairly steep to moderate, and meandering across seasonal washes the trail begins to arc to the left after a while. When leaving the treeline and getting to the steepest part, you can see Willow Divide. Whe reaching the divide you can see Willow lake far below and where the trail continues to the right to meet with the Willow Lake trail with a spur going to Willow Lake to the left or continuing to the Maroon Snowmass Trail and Snowmass Lake. The Maroon Snowmass Trail will go back to the same road the East Snowmass TH is on making the potential for an exceptionally brutal one day loop. If you want to enjoy moments of beauty, this loop should be done over a 2 day period.

hiking
9 months ago

road biking
10 months ago

hiking
Sunday, October 02, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

hiking
Friday, July 29, 2016

Saturday, September 27, 2014