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

Quick Facts

West Snowmass Trail

Average Time: 6 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 8,600 Feet (2680.8 Meters)
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,500 Feet (457.2 Meters) Capital Creek Trail to Pass
Elevation Gain, Round Trip: 4,500 Feet (1371.6 Meters) To Capital Creek Trail and Back
Ending Elevation: 10,100 Feet (3078.5 Meters) Junction with Capital Creek Trail
High Point: 11,600 Feet (3535.7 Meters) Unnamed Pass near Haystack Mountain
Length, One-Way: 7 Miles
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 2187
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Capitol Peak




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Low-impact camping techniques help to keep our wilderness areas pristine
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Low-impact camping techniques help to keep our wilderness areas pristine
This trail connects the Maroon-Snowmass and Capitol Creek Trails. It climbs steeply for 4-1/2 miles to the top of the ridge (passing through the low spot between Mount Daly and Haystack Mountain) separating Snowmass and Capitol Valleys, before plunging another 2-1/2 miles to Capitol Creek. The view from the top is magnificent, several 14,000'+ peaks are visible, and wildlife is abundant. You must be in good shape to hike this trail with a backpack. The trail leaves the Maroon-Snowmass Trail, crosses Snowmass Creek (cold & swift), and climbs through stands of aspen for 1-1/2 miles. At higher elevations the trail journeys through stands of Spruce-fir and flower-filled meadows, passing below Mt. Daly, and finally above the timberline where deer and elk are often seen. From the pass, the trail descends very quickly as it carries you through undisturbed meadows and forests where few people visit.

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).NOTE:You will pass the East Snowmass Trailhead on the left. Continue past it to the end of the road. Hike 1-1/4 mile along the Maroon-Snowmass Trail to the junction with the West Snowmass Trail (About a 1/4 mile past the gate across the trail.).

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through September (NOTE: Snow may obstruct the trail at high elevations. Be careful at stream crossings in the Early Summer months as the currents may be swift.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:39:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking West Snowmass Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding West Snowmass Trail
Yes



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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