Smuggler Road is used heavily by mountain bikers, runners,
hikers and their dogs. Smuggler Road provides a short (1-1/2
mile) work out with great views of Aspen, which makes it very
popular. The section of trail through Hunter Creek is not open
to motorized vehicles and is not as heavily used, but is popular
with hikers, mountain bikers in the summer and fall, and cross
country skiers in the winter.
View from Smuggler Mountain
Smuggler Road is a fairly well
maintained four-wheel drive road and immediately begins a
steep ascent. The switchbacks get longer and in about 1-1/2
miles the road curves behind Smuggler Mountain. There is a
short steep path on the right, leading to a platform which is
good for viewing Aspen.
To continue to Hunter Creek, take
the left just after the platform (the right goes to Warren Lakes).
There are several side roads, please stay on the main route. The
road has some moderate up and down hills. At about the 2 mile
mark, there is a gate, go around the gate and continue up the
At about the 3-1/2 mile mark there is an old bridge,
from here there are several options: 1)You can cross the bridge
and turn left, following the trail along the west side of the river
and cross back over the Tenth Mountain Bridge. 2)Turn left
(don't cross the bridge) and follow the single track on the east
side of the river. 3)Cross the bridge, turn left and follow the
river along the west side and continue right along the fence line
to access Van Horn Park, Sunnyside Trail or Lenado. 4)Cross the
bridge, turn left follow the trail along the west side of the river
and turn right onto the single track Hunter Creek Trail which
leads to the Sunnyside Trail, Van Horn Park, and Lenado.
Options (1) and (2) converge above the
Tenth Mountain Bridge. The single track continues through the
meadow and descends steeply through the trees and crosses
Benedict Bridge. Keep straight, the trail soon reaches the paved
road of Hunter Creek. Take a left and follow Hunter Creek Road
to the intersection of Red Mountain Road. Take another left and
follow Red Mountain Road back to Aspen.