- This 17-mile hike presents a continuous visual buffet line of amazing mountain scenery. Gin-clear alpine lakes, cascading streams, beaver ponds, and endless mountain peaks are the norm rather than the exception. Time this two-day hike in late July for an amazing wildflower display. Camping options abound in the Minnehaha Gulch area. As an exclamation point to the hike it ends at the base of the famous Maroon Bells. From Snowmass follow Divide Road past Krabloonik's Restaurant. After a deep descent, take the left fork. The trailhead is at the end of the road. 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. Camping at Crater Lake (designated sites only) and Snowmass Lake can get very crowded.
This trail description starts at Snowmass Falls Ranch following a road that turns into a single track. In a little over 1 mile the trail forks, stay left (right goes to West Snowmass Trail). The trail ascends to the east side of the Snowmass Creek for about 6 miles. The trail continues to the left of a large beaver pond and shortly crosses a second beaver pond via a large log jam. The trail continues (south) on the other side ascending several switchbacks then entering forest. About 1/4 mile before Snowmass Lake the trail forks, take the left fork to continue on the Maroon-Snowmass trail or find the group and fire sites area (the right goes to Snowmass Lake). Continue past the group sites to another trail junction. Stay left, the trail descends through forest and crosses Snowmass Creek via a ford. The trail ascends into the valley and begins a steep ascend to Buckskin Pass. From the top of Buckskin Pass the trail switchbacks down to the junction with the Willow Lake Trail. Take the right fork to continue on the Maroon-Snowmass Trail. The trail descends through Minnehaha Gulch to the junction for Crater Lake. At the Crater Lake bulletin board take the left fork. The trail continues to descend to Maroon Lake. Directions: Drive 4.7 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Brush Creek Road. Follow Brush Creek Road 4.8 miles and turn right onto Divide Road. The road passes the Krabloonik Restaurant at 10.3 miles, and descends steeply before reaching a fork. Continue straight to the end of the road (Passing the East Snowmass Trail at 11.9 miles on the left.) where there is parking (12.1 miles).
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