Aspen 4-Pass Loop - Quintessential Colorado Backpacking Tour!


Maroon-Snowmass Trailhead - Aspen, CO

Fri, Aug 23 at 12:00 PM - Sun, Aug 25 at 12:00 AM, 2019

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This is it, the most famous backpacking loop in Colorado! It starts and ends at the Maroon-Snowmass Trailhead, the one with the iconic shot of the Maroon Bells over the lake. The 27 mile route takes us up and over four separate mountain passes, each with its own special kind of awe, encircling the Bells and visiting Snowmass Lake in the process. We'll plan to do it as a 2 day, 1 night trip. Expect gorgeous greenery and vibrant wildflowers as well. - Thursday - Carpool from Denver. Tent at either Difficult or Silver Bar CG. - Friday - Meet at the TH. We'll start out hiking toward the Bells, past Maroon Lake and beyond Crater Lake. Climb up and over West Maroon Pass. Drop slightly, mostly contouring, and take Frigid Air Pass into another valley. We'll find camping somewhere near the low point, along the North Fork of the Crystal River. 14 miles, 3,800 ft. - Saturday - Pack up camp and climb over 2,000 ft to Trail Rider Pass. Below is the magnificent Snowmass Lake at the base of the peak itself. We'll enjoy this scene for a little bit before tackling the fourth pass, Buckskin. From the top, we'll finally have views of Crater Lake near where we started. 13 miles, 4,200 ft. Route 27 miles total 8,000 ft 2 days References I have booked two campsites. One's at Silver Bar CG, 10 minutes from the TH. The other is down at Difficult CG, 35 minutes from the TH. Should be able to fit all of us on the two sites. Also note that there is a fee to enter the area. Arriving outside of hours, you have to self-register near the guard stand. I think it's $10. I'll post the specifics of this when I look them up, going off of memory for now.