- If you have a day to hike, and then another day to recover, jot this remote trail down on your 'Things to do while in Aspen list.' This mountain path covers 8.8 miles and zigzags near Independence Pass before descending down a jeep trail back to Aspen. The thin air can be a factor because the hike starts at 10,504 feet and peaks at over 12,000. You will need someone to shuttle you to the trailhead because it is a one-way journey. Follow Route 82 east for 14 miles; the trailhead is directly across the road from Lost Man Campground. 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. Combined with the Hunter Creek Trail, you can start at the Lost Man Trail parking area and end in Aspen. The trail begins to the left of the bulletin board and quickly crosses a wooden bridge. At 1/2 mile the trail forks, take the left (right goes to the Lost Man Trail) and begin the steep climb up the switchbacks. Shortly you will be in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness and above tree line. The trail contours through alpine meadows on the right side of the Coleman Creek drainage. After crossing to the other side, you reach Midway Pass and follow Midway Creek. The trail passes through forest and meadows. Shortly before the Hunter Creek Trail junction, the trail crosses Hunter Creek. This crossing can be tricky during high spring run-offs, and may even be impassable. In about another 1/2 mile the trail reaches the junction with the Hunter Creek Trail. The left fork will take you to Aspen. Directions: 1. Lost Man Campground: Drive 14 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to the parking lot directly across from Lost Man Campground. The trailhead begins on the left (north) side of the highway. 2. Last Switchback: Drive 18-1/2 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to the parking lot at the last switchback before the top of Independence Pass. The trailhead is on the left (north) side of the highway.
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