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Backpacking: Colorado > Colorado Community Areas > Aspen Area

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Backpacking Guide
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Activity Location Description
American Lake Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail can be either strenuous day hike, or a short backpack. It leads to American Lake.
Arkansas Mt. Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail starts one mile up the Silver Creek trail and ends when it joins Carbonate Creek trail. Arkansas Mt. Trail connects 3 trails together.
Aspen-Norrie Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Mt. Yeckel provides a breathtaking view of the Fryingpan River drainage and the Elk range. The trail ends at Sawmill Park, but you can continue all the way to Aspen by picking up the Spruce Creek trail.
Avalanche Lake Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail runs along the cold, clear waters of Avalanche Creek for eleven miles and ends at Avalanche Lake. It is an enjoyable two or three day trip and yet some folks have been known to do it in one day.
Braderich Creek Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail travels through open meadows and aspen. It is an easy hike, but there is very little water along the way. Be sure and treat any water that you may drink.
Buckskin Pass Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Avery popular, but steep day hike; often used as a starting point for extended backpacking trips into the wilderness. Great views of Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak and Snowmass Lake.
Capitol Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
A good backpacking trail with access to the Avalanche Creek Trail, West Snowmass Trail and Capitol Peak. This area is popular with horseback riders, hikers, and climbers.
Capitol Creek Trail (via Avalanche Creek) Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
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.
Carbonate Creek Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail has various vegetation at first and then mostly aspen and meadows with lots of wildflowers and spectacular views of the Raggeds Wilderness Area.
Cathedral Lake Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Cathedral Lake Trail is a difficult day hike and strenuous backpack trip. Cathedral Lake is very scenic with fair fishing.
Conundrum Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Although the trail is moderate in terrain, it is a long day hike or 2 day backpacking trip. The trail generally parallels Conundrum Creek up the valley, following an old jeep trail which then turns into a trail.
Crater Lake Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail serves as a short and very popular day hike, or starting point for extended backpacking trips into the wilderness.
East Creek/Gift Creek Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This is one of the most challenging of our trails in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. It follows East Creek and much of the Gift Creek and rises to a spectacular pass of over twelve thousand feet.
East Fork/West Pass Maroon Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Aspen area. Hikers, Backpackers, and horse travelers enjoy wildflowers, views and access to wilderness areas.
East Maroon Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This wilderness trail provides good backpacking opportunities and is also a good horseback trail.
East Snowmass Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
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.
Fryingpan Lakes Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Beginning at Nast (Horseshoe Bend), the trail is a fairly easy climb and parallels the Fryingpan River for nine miles until it reaches the lakes.
Geneva Lake Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The easy accessibility of the lake makes it one of the most popular and therefore, one of the most heavily used trails on the district. The trail is moderately steep and has some good views of the surrounding mountains.
Granite Lakes Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The lakes are nestled in a secluded cirque of the Fryingpan Wilderness and provide the opportunity for solitude and beautiful scenery.
Grizzly Lake Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This is a moderate climb with fair fishing at the lake. There is limited camping (stoves ONLY) at the lake. Due to the fragile alpine tundra, it's recommended that you camp below the timberline.
Hay Park Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Hay Park trail starts 1.5 miles up Thomas Lakes Trail and ends at Hay Park. It travels through aspens and meadows with occasional patches of spruce and fir.
Hell Roaring Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The trail starts 2 miles up the Avalanche Creek Trail. It is a steep trail with some flowers near the top or the ridge and great views of Avalanche Creek and the Roaring Fork Valley.
Holy Cross Wilderness-Sopris Ranger District Wilderness Area Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The Sopris Ranger District portion of the Holy Cross Wilderness lies to the east of Basalt. The different trails are accessed from various points in the Frying Pan drainage, above Reudi Reservoir.
Josephine Lake Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
There are great views of the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness to the south with the Elk Mountains off to the right and in the distance. Wildflowers are in abundance in the meadow on the trails leading to Josephine Lake.
Last Chance Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Last Chance Trail located about 27 miles from Basalt, Colorado. The trail crosses Last Chance Creek near the beginning and then is an easy walk through meadows most of the way. It ends at the junction with Tellurium Lake trail.
Lily Lake Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The Lily Lake Trail goes through areas of lush vegetation. Large, dense stands of trees make it a beautiful area to hike through, and also provide the opportunity to spot wildlife.
Lily Pad Lake Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The views from the trail are great with lots of open meadows. This route also makes a great loop for bicycles.
Linkins Lake Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This is a moderately steep but short climb to a high alpine lake above the timberline with fair fishing. Located near the top of Independence Pass.
Lost Man Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail is good for hiking and backpacking, also fishing is fair in Independence Lake, Lost Man Lake, and Lost Man Reservoir. The trail is not a complete loop; it is a good idea to set up a shuttle.
Lyle/Mormon Lakes Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
If you decide to go on this hike, it is one of the most scenic in the Fryingpan River area.
Maroon Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail offers a less crowded alternative to viewing the Maroon Valley. There are good views of the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak. This is a good day hike and is also a popular trail for horseback riding.
Maroon-Snowmass Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Aspen area. Hikers, backpackers and horse travelers enjoy the wildflowers, views and access to other areas within the Wilderness.
Midway Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This is a great trail for backpacking and horse travel. The trail is mostly in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness and is one of the less-used trails in the Aspen area.
Miller Divide Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail accesses some of the finest deer and elk habitat in the country. It also provides scenic views of the Fryingpan Valley and Rocky Fork Creek.
Mt. Thomas Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The views of the Fryingpan and Eagle Valley are fantastic. This trail makes an excellent loop trail connecting with Reudi Trail #1912. It is a very challenging and long trip.
New York Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This is a moderate to difficult hike through spruce and fir forests. From the White River National Forest and the Gunnison National Forest boundary the trail is not maintained, you need to use orienteering skills to continue to Ptarmigan Lake.
North Fork Cutoff Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The North Fork Cutoff Trail connects the Geneva Lake Trail to the North Fork Fravert Basin Trail. It has a nice view of the north fork of the Crystal River Valley and Lead King Basin.
North Fork Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The trail follows the North Fork of the Crystal until it goes over Frigid Air Pass. The back of the Maroon Bells can be viewed from the basin.
North Lost Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This hike starts in aspens and soon turns into a pine/spruce forest with numerous meadows of wildflowers. There are nice views of the Raggeds Wilderness to the south and high peaks to the north.
Petroleum & Anderson Lakes Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The Trail follows an old jeep road that is now closed to mechanized vehicles. The trail follows Anderson Creek passing through fir forests then tundra.
Placita Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The Placita Trail provides access to the Lily Lake trail. The trail goes through large, dense stands of aspen and then pine at the upper end. It ends at its junction with the Lily Lake trail.
Raspberry Creek Loop Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This lightly used trail offers beautiful scenery as well as solitude. This trail is very difficult to find in spots, so bring a topo map and compass.
Rocky Fork Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail is fairly steep for the first half mile, then levels off to a gradual climb until it connects with Road #528.
Savage Lakes Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
Numerous snow drifts can be expected on the trail throughout the month of June. Even though the trail starts out as being rather steep, it soon becomes one of our more moderate hikes in the area.
Sawyer Lake Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail is a gradual to moderate hike for the entire distance. You will find yourself traveling through thick forest, opening up into several meadows where elk and deer are occasionally spotted.
Silver Creek Pass Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This lightly used trail varies from easy to fairly steep in some areas and consists of a few loose, rocky stretches. The majority of the trail affords an excellent view of the encompassing mountains and the East Fork Valley.
Spruce Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This is a good moderate hike or backpack through wooded areas, with plenty of places to camp. This trail is not as heavily used as some of the other trails within the Aspen Ranger District.
Sunnyside Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The trail offers a challenging day hike or backpack trip and access into Hunter Creek, Lenado and Van Horn Park. There are beautiful aspen groves and good views of Aspen and the surrounding mountains.
Tabor Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail follows Tabor Creek and ends at the top of a pass which looks out onto the basin of Anderson and Petroleum Lakes. A side hike, using orienteering skills, can be made to Tabor Lake to the west.
Tellurium Lake Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail is an easy trail to hike with lots of meadows with flowers.
Thomas Lakes Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The trail is very well maintained and in good condition. It is very heavily used on weekends, so plan your trip accordingly. The hike is a beautiful one with many wild flowers and scenic overlooks.
Weller Lake Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
An easy hike takes you to Weller Lake, located just inside the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. The fishing is poor and campsites are limited.
West Maroon Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Aspen area. Hikers, backpackers and horse travelers enjoy the wildflowers and access to the wilderness areas.
West Snowmass Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This trail connects the Maroon-Snowmass and Capitol Creek Trails. The view from the top is magnificent, several 14,000'+ peaks are visible, and wildlife is abundant.
Willow Lake Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This scenic trail is heavily used. Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing and camping are available. The trailhead is 9 1/2 miles up Maroon Creek Road. It's located within Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
Woody Creek Trail Aspen Ranger District,
White River National Forest
This is a good moderate hike or backpack through wooded areas with plenty of places to camp. This trail doesn't receive as heavy use as some of the other trails within the Aspen Ranger District.
Yule Creek Trail Sopris Ranger District,
White River National Forest
The first 3/4 mile of this trail is steep but levels off to a gradual climb when you reach the creek. After the creek crossing the trail follows the creek through willows, meadows and patches of conifer.
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