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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Capitol Creek Trail

Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,200 Feet (685.8 Meters)
High Point: 11,600 Feet (3535.7 Meters)
Length: 6.5 Miles (10.5 Kilometers)
Pets: Yes - Leash required
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1961
Usage: Heavy
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger or 4WD Vehicle - The last mile is on a 4WD road. If you don't have 4WD, park in the BLM meadow on the right approximately 2 1/4 miles below the trailhead. The road is slick when wet.


Outfitters and Guides



Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Snow-covered Capitol Peak rises 14,130' out of the valley
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Snow-covered Capitol Peak rises 14,130' out of the valley
From the trailhead the trail descends steeply, losing 600 feet in elevation the first 1/2 mile. The trail then crosses Capitol Creek and bears to the right, paralleling the creek most of the way up the drainage. A sign marks the West Snowmass Trail on the left at about 4 miles. At the 6 mile point the trail switchbacks to a double log crossing. In another 1/2 mile, the trail crosses the stream again. In the fir stands on the right, 1/3 mile from this crossing, are the last campfire sites. Stove only sites can be found on the knolls to the right about 500 yards before the Mt. Daly Trail. Camping is not allowed in the meadows or within 200 feet of Capitol Lake. Continue on the trail to Capitol Lake. To reach the pass and Avalanche Creek Trail, follow the trail along the west side of the lake.

Directions from Aspen: Drive 14 miles west on Highway 82 to Old Snowmass and turn left. Continue 2 miles to the "T" intersection. Take the right turn 5 miles until the pavement ends. Follow the dirt road about 3 miles to the trailhead. The last mile is on a 4WD road. If you don't have 4WD, park in the BLM meadow on the right approximately 2-1/4 miles below the trailhead. The road does continue past the Capitol Lake Trailhead and climbs very steeply to the Hell Roaring Trailhead. The road is slick when wet.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: June through September (NOTE: Snow may obstruct the trail at high elevations through July.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:35:00.0


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Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: A well marked trail which afford stunning views at very turn. Often you would pop out of the trees, turn to look over your shoulder and be rewared by a long open valley or jagged peaks with elk clings to them. The mountain flowers were in full bloom, adding brilliant reds and oranges, bright blues and soft pinks to the meadows around the lake.

Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The views were stunning. Sometimes you would pop out of the trees, turn to look over your shoulder and be rewarded with views of long open valleys or jagged peaks with elk clinging to them. It is a well marked trail and well worth the effort.

Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This summer (1999) a large mudslide occurred just before the lake. A portion of the trail has been obliterated, but this area quickly dried up and is not much of an obstacle for hikers, though possibly for horses. Watch for cows along the way!



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Camping is not allowed in the meadows surrounding or within 200 feet of Capitol Lake.
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Capitol Creek Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Capitol Creek Trail
Yes



Related Activities
Capitol Creek Trail (Avalanche Creek Access) - This trail starts 9 miles up Avalanche Creek trail and ends at the pass. The trail starts in conifers then opens up into alpine areas with wildflowers and fantastic views of Avalanche Creek.



More Information

Visitor Information:

Aspen Chamber Resort Association, 425 Rio Grande Pl. , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1940

Hickory House, 730 W. Main St. , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-2313

Annabelle Inn, 232 W. Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-266-2466, Fax: 970-925-3328, info@annabelleinn.com

Aspen Alps, 700 Ute Ave. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-711-0522, Fax: 970-920-2522

Aspen Meadows Resort, 845 Meadows Road , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 800-452-4240 or 800-452-4240

Aspen Mountain Lodge, 311 West Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-7650 or 800-362-7736, Fax: 970-925-5744, aml@aspenmountainlodge.com

Aspen Square Condominium Hotel, 617 East Cooper Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1000 or 800-470-0530

Hotel Aspen, 110 Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 888-738-8492, info@hotelaspen.com

Hotel Durant, 122 East Durant , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-438-7268 or 970-925-8500, Fax: 970-925-8789

Hotel Jerome, 330 East Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 877-916-5430 , Fax: 970-920-2050, jerome.info@aubergeresorts.com

Independence Square Hotel/Frias Properties, 404 S. Galena Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 800-542-7736, Fax: 970-925-2006

Inn at Aspen/Aspen Administrative Office, 38750 Highway 82 , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1500 or 844-997-8727, aspeninfo@wynvr.com

Limelight Hotel, 355 S. Monarch Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 855-925-3025 or 970-925-3025, Fax: 970-925-5120, info@limelighthotel.com

Molly Gibson Lodge, 101 West Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3434 or 888-271-2304, Fax: 970-925-2582, info@mollygibson.com

Mountain Chalet Aspen, 333 East Durant Avenue , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-7797, Fax: 888-925-7798, res@mca.travel

Residence Hotel, 305 S Galena St. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-315-2977, reservations@aspenresidence.com

Residences at the Little Nell, 675 E. Durant Ave. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 855-420-9009 or (970) 920-4600, STAY@THELITTLENELL.COM

Sky Hotel, 709 E. Durant Avenue , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-6760 or 800-882-2582, Fax: 970-925-6778

Snow Queen Lodge, 124 E. Cooper Ave , Aspen, Colorado, 81623, Phone: 970-925-8455, Fax: 970-925-7391, sqlodge@rof.net

St. Moritz Lodge & Condominiums , 334 W. Hyman Avenue , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3220 or 800-817-2069, Fax: 970-920-4032, info@stmoritzlodge.com

The Crestwood Condominiums, 400 Wood Road , Snowmass Village, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-2450 or 800-356-5949, res@thecrestwood.com

The Gant, 610 S W End Ave , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-5000, Fax: 970-925-6891

The Innsbruck, 233 W. Main St. , Aspen, colorado, 81611, Phone: 866-925-2980

The Little Nell Hotel, 675 E. Durant Ave. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-920-4600, Concierge@thelittlenell.com

Tyrolean Lodge, 200 West Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-4595 or 888-220-3809, Fax: 970-925-4598, stay@tyroleanlodge.com

Asie, 413 Main St. , Aspen, Colorado, 81623, Phone: 970-920-9988

Brexi Brasserie, 411 S. Monarch St. , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-2838, Fax: 970-429-4348

Gwyn's High Alpine Restaurant, P.O. Box 6400 , Snowmass Village, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-5188

Grateful Deli, 223 E. Main Street , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-6647

New York Pizza, 409 E. Hyman Ave , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-920-3088

Sam's Smokehouse, On Mountain , Snowmass Mountain, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-8686

Stew Pot, 62 Elbert Lane , Snowmass Village, Colorado, 81615, Phone: 970-923-2263

Taster's Aspen, 455 Rio Grande Pl , Aspen, Colorado, 81611, Phone: 970-925-1952

Links to other sites:
Forest Conservancy - Current Information from Local Volunteers: Closings and Conditions

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Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel



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