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Backpacking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

East Snowmass Trail

Average Time: 2 Days
Beginning Elevation: 8,600 Feet (2680.8 Meters)
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain: 4,320 Feet (1346.6 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,680 Feet (3952.6 Meters)
Length: 8.5 Miles (14.17 Kilometers) one way
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 128 Maroon Bells, Redstone, and Marble
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1977 to Willow Lake
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Maroon Bells, Highland Peak

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Hiking the East Snowmass Creek trail
Copyright: Zander Higbie - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Hiking the East Snowmass Creek trail
This trail is good for hiking, backpacking and horseback travel. The camping is limited due to the steep terrain. This trail is less popular than the Maroon-Snowmass Trail and has very steep sections and may contain snowfields until late July. The trail begins ascending steeply and forks to the right in about one-mile. The trail continues through spruce, aspen and pine forests for approximately three miles. The trail then breaks out into a meadow before continuing a moderately steep climb. There are some steep sections that require caution. Once on East Snowmass Pass, the descent to Willow Lake is through a boulder field. The last mile meanders through rolling tundra to Willow Lake.

Directions from Aspen: Drive 6 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Brush Creek Road. Continue on Brush Creek Road 5.3 miles and turn right onto Divide Road. Divide Road turns into a gravel road and passes Krabloonik Restaurant & Kennels, then descends steeply to the valley bottom where the road forks. Take the left fork, the trailhead will be just beyond the wooden bridge, on the left side of the road (The Maroon-Snowmass Trail is at the end of the gravel road).

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: June through September (NOTE: Access to Willow Lake may be prevented due to snow at high elevations.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:36:00.0

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Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: You can access this trail right from the Ditch trail, about 1.5 miles, to the the bridge and head up (turn left) the trail. From the top of the East Snowmass Creek Pass it is about 4 miles to the bridge crossing.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
ICON Hiking & Walking East Snowmass Trail
ICON Horseback Riding East Snowmass Trail, #1977

Related Activities
Brush Creek Road - Brush Creek Road leads travelers from Highway 82, west of Aspen, to Snowmass Ski Area. Its a good starting point for many recreation opportunities.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3445


Local Lodging

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

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