The cutoff is found just before Capitol Lake at mile 10. The West Maroon Pass trail has been my favorite for years, despite the roundtrip from Aspen side being on the longer side (from Crested Butte, you save 1000 ft elevation gain and miles). As you follow the trail around Maroon Lake, it ascends roughly 1.5 miles up to Crater Lake. Starting elevation: 9,580 feet . The trail starts winding through forest next to Crystal River .A decaying cabin is near the end of the forest. From here the trail gets steeper as you get closer to the pass . At 28 miles in length, this loop is typically hiked over the course of 3 to 5 days depending on your fitness level. This project is rated as a challenging project. Ideal hiking months: mid-June to mid-October . Why you should go: It’s part of the famous West Maroon Pass trail that takes you from Crested Butte to Aspen Distance: 5.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,560 feet Difficulty: Moderate; The West Maroon trailhead is off Gothic Rd., about an hour outside of Crested Butte. Trail Map | Photo Gallery. From the East Maroon Trailhead to the parking lot near Gothic is 19 + miles, with 12 water crossings (2 needing water shoes and time for feeling to return to your feet due to cold water), at least 3 wide scree fields and 11,800 top elevation. While West Maroon is the more common popular of the two, it is a bit steeper compared to the East Maroon … Anyone who is interested in visiting West Maroon Pass can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. East Maroon over West Maroon back This 2 day hike was the hardest physical experience I have ever done. The latitude and longitude coordinates of West Maroon Pass are 39.0358232, -106.9975454 and the approximate elevation is 12,408 feet (3,782 meters) above sea level. The last quarter mile is particularly strenuous, but the effort is well worth the reward. This challenging trek scales four passes over 12,400' with stunning views and long stretches of open alpine travel. From the pass, the trail descends the East Snowmass Trail to the trailhead. While not quite as busy as the Four Pass Loop, this loop stills see a fair amount of people. From the summit, enjoy breath-taking views in every direction. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until September. Hiking from Crested Butte to Aspen is easier than Aspen to CB. Head west from Aspen along Colorado 82. Here you’ll find 11 first-come-first-serve campsites that make a great base camp for those looking to tackle North Maroon Peak. The pass is small with dramatic rock pinnacles on either side. The West Maroon Pass Trail is a world class wildflower hike which climbs out of Aspen, passes by the spectacular Maroon Bells, and reaches a pass at 12,500 feet with sweeping views of the West Maroon Creek valley and the Crystal River East Fork basin on the Crested Butte side. Beautiful campsite next to the river. Trailhead to West Maroon Pass. Distance: 6.5 miles (one-way) to West Maroon Pass (12,500-ft.). Day 2 was west maroon pass and frigid air. From Aspen to WMP it's 6.5 miles with the first 5 miles being up/down, up/down with plenty of rocks on the trail and sometimes all rocks. 4 Pass Loop - 26.8 Miles Round-Trip The 4 Pass Loop runs 26.8 miles through the heart of the Elk Mountains and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Round-Trip Length: 26 miles Elevation gain & loss: 7,400′ Starting elevation: 9,655’ Trailhead Location: Maroon Lake Trailhead – 6.5 miles west of Aspen, Colorado on Maroon Creek Road. The West Maroon Trail is also a great way to have an extended backpacking trip in this wilderness on the Four Pass Loop. During the trek you hike over four high elevation mountain passes, reach a peak altitude of ~12,500 feet, and climb nearly 9,000 feet of elevation. Unfortunately, it's popularity leads to large, noisy, inconsiderate groups greatly diminishing your experience from this unique trail. For this trip, you’ll keep hiking past these campsites, up towards West Maroon Pass. However, this hike is easier overall and much less crowded. In fact, we didn’t make it over the first pass, West Maroon. East Maroon Trail to Copper Basin is a 20.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. From where we slept the first night to the top of the pass was about 2.5 miles and took exactly 2 hours. The route gains over 5,400 feet of elevation over its course. The trail from CB to the West Maroon Pass is only 4.5 miles and is a gradual climb with few rocks on the trail. Campsites for backpackers can be found in the woods between the two river crossings described in the West Maroon Pass trail guide. First Backcountry Campsites (Mile 4) to West Maroon Pass: 2.5 miles, 2000 feet elevation gain. Elevation gain/loss: 2,920-ft. Few trails can surpass the stunning views from the start of the Four Pass Loop at the foot of Maroon Lake. Frigid air was steep and more difficult than expected with a 40lb pack (probably about 6-8lbs too heavy). Day three into Favert Basin and up trail rider pass. Check out more photos from last year's Maroon Bells-Snowmass project in our gallery. Day 1: Starting at picturesque, glacier-sculpted Maroon Lake, we’ll ascend West Maroon Creek Valley on a rocky, uneven trail through thick aspen forest.Starting at 9,580 feet elevation, our group will be breathless yet exhilarated by the beauty and stark relief of the 14,000+ foot Maroon Bell’s north and south peaks ahead and the surrounding rugged mountainside. A high-clearance AWD or 4WD vehicle is highly recommended to get there as the road gets extremely steep and narrow around Emerald Lake. Hiking counterclockwise allows for a more gradual climb out of the gate. East Maroon and more popular. Posts about West Maroon Pass written by linhartb. Maroon Bells Weather (Days 0-3): The weather forecast for Maroon Bells is: Mostly dryTemperatures will be well below freezing (max -8°C on Fri morning, min -24°C on Wed night)Winds decreasing (near gales from the N on Wed night, calm by Fri morning). Start off with the route description from the West Maroon Pass hike. Capitol Peak – out and back class 4 route that will add about 2,500 ft of elevation and 4 miles. Round-Trip Length: 26 miles Elevation gain & loss: 7,400′ Starting elevation: 9,655’ Trailhead Location: Maroon Lake Trailhead – 6.5 miles west of Aspen, Colorado on Maroon Creek Road. I was the last hiker of the day heading to West Maroon Pass. Hiked about 5 miles on 10/3 to below West Maroon pass. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Just past there is also where the trail forks. Hiking trail near Aspen, Colorado. When you reach the first traffic circle take the third exit to Castle Creek Rd. The popular West Maroon Pass also follows the first part of this trail. Frigid Air Pass - hiking trail near Crested Butte, CO - Hikers ascending the beautiful East Fork Valley to Frigid Air pass are rewarded with stunning views of the Maroon Bells, Snowmass Mountain and the nearby peaks of the Elk Mountains. I was new to hiking in the Rockies when I hiked the West Maroon Trail in early summer 2005. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Maroon Peak – multiple options for class 3-5 climbing. West Maroon Pass is displayed on the Maroon Bells USGS quad topo map. West Maroon Pass is straight ahead. Getting Here and There From Aspen . This popular 13-mile (RT) hike features imposing peaks, pretty waterfalls, stunning lakes, a scenic alpine basin and a 12,500-ft. pass with panoramic views of the Treasure Mountains, Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells. Buckskin spans a divisive ridge between Minnehaha Gulch (east) and the Snowmass Creek drainage (west). Cross a wildflower-filled meadow below the pass and hike over Frigid Air Pass, below which more camping can be found. The 11 mile one way trail connects the towns of Crested Butte and Aspen via a steep, winding trail that crests at 12,500 ft at West Maroon Pass. Dogs are … Follow the directions up the valley [1] and to the right at the small signed Hasley Basin junction [2] . Accessed from West Maroon Creek Trail at miles 35-36. East Maroon Pass - 19.4 Miles Round-Trip East Maroon Pass is located 9.7 miles from East Maroon Portal in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. In season the East Fork is … West Maroon Pass Trail Hiking Detail. 3) East Maroon-West Maroon Loop Follow Highway 82 west to the roundabout. We called it a day early, high in the West Maroon Basin, with the pass an arm’s length (~1 mile) away. It offers magnificent views of the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area and vast fields of wildflowers. The trail ends at Schodfield Park, 14 miles from Crested Butte. Given a round trip hike would entail 22 miles and over 5000 feet of elevation gain, an entire industry of shuttle vans has cropped up to ferry hikers back to their original point of departure. I was always curious, but backpacking isn't strictly my "thing". Trip Overview: The Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of the premiere backpacking loops in Colorado. The new plan was to sleep long and deeply and be transformed into well-rested machines for the 13 mile, 4,000 vertical foot hike to … It's one of nine passes over 12,000' in the wilderness, and arguably easiest to reach. We recommend doing this hike clockwise. As I mentioned in my preview report on this trip, my son and I did this backpacking trip with his Boy Scout trip several years ago in mid July in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area of Colorado. Trail Map | Photo Gallery. Great experience! West Maroon Pass Summit: 12,500 feet . 4-Pass Loop - Aspen Snowmass Wilderness area July, 15th 2017 Day 1- 12 miles and 3800' of elevation gain Maroon Lake TH > West Maroon Pass > Frigid Air Pass > Fravert Basin So the 4-Pass loop has been on Anastasiya's bucket list ever since she heard about it. This long but moderate trail follows East Maroon Creek to its origin just below the pass, and continues down the west side into Copper Basin and on to Gothic near Crested Butte.. West Maroon Trail is a 20.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Go for a hike to West Maroon pass or Frigid Air pass, fish, view wildlife, wildflowers, or snag some photographs! Dogs are allowed but must be leashed . Follow this road for 19.3 km, until you see signs for the Cathedral Lake Trail.The sign is very small so, set your odometer at the traffic circle. Elevation gain: 2,920 feet . Notice the lack of other hikers in these photos taken near the pass. Camped just above kings falls on day 2. West Maroon vs. East Maroon Pass There are three routes hikers can take between Aspen to Crested Butte, but the two most common are West Maroon and East Maroon Pass, which are both equally scenic. Aspen snow-safety pioneer killed in avalanche west of Crested Butte Sheriff’s report: developer violates protection order, faces DV charge New … At the next signed junction for Frigid Air Pass [3] , take a left continue on the mellow ascent back in the opposite direction (or hike up West Maroon Pass first for the 3 Pass Loop) . Buckskin Pass - 9.2 Miles Round-Trip Buckskin Pass (12,462') is located 4.6 miles from Maroon Lake in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. West Maroon Pass Trail near Aspen, Colorado - Imposing peaks, pretty waterfalls, stunning lakes, a huge alpine basin and panoramic views from a 12,500-ft. pass encompassing Treasure Mountain, Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells are the scenic rewards on this 13-mile (RT) hike to West Maroon Pass. Take the second exit onto Maroon Creek Road. Climb with few rocks on the Maroon Bells USGS quad topo map map and street map the! Was West Maroon Pass trail guide Four Pass Loop in the West Maroon strictly my `` ''! 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