5 Hikes With The Best Views Around Aspen
Who gets the right of way? Uphill hikers have the right of way over other hikers.
Updated August, 2023
Nothing will refresh your soul like a walk through the woods; or the view from that mountain summit as you take it all in from the top. Once you’ve discovered these trails, we're sure you'll agree that some of the best vistas in Aspen Snowmass are seen on foot.
Smuggler Mountain Trail
Length: 3.0 miles round trip to the Smuggler Mountain overlook
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Trailhead: Follow Highway 82 (Cooper Street) east out of town. Fifty yards after crossing the bridge, turn left onto Park Avenue. Where this street curves left, turn right toward the mountain on Park Circle.
Length: 2.4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1700 feet
Trailhead: Travel east on Main. As the street makes a turn to the right, it becomes Original and turns south toward Aspen Mountain. Where Original ends, make a sharp left onto Ute Avenue. Continue to the trail sign. A parking area is opposite the trailhead.
Length: 4.8 miles round trip to antennas in woods
Elevation Gain: 1700 feet to the antenna towers
Trailhead: Head west on Main Street. Turn right on Cemetery Lane (just past the Castle Creek Bridge) and drive 1.1 miles to a parking area near Slaughterhouse Bridge. The trailhead is across the street.
The Rim Trail
Length: 7.1 miles for full one-way trip
1.3 miles from South Trailhead to Spiral Point
South Trailhead: From Aspen take Hwy 82 west to Brush Creek Road and make a left towards Snowmass Village. Take Brush Creek Road for 5.3 miles and make a right onto Co 10 Road. The trailhead is on your right.
North Trailhead: From Aspen take Hwy 82 to Brush Creek Road and make a left towards Snowmass Village. Take Brush Creek Road for 4 miles then turn right onto Horse Ranch Drive. Turn left to stay on Horse Ranch Drive then turn right on Trail Rider Lane.
Off The Beaten Path: Capitol Creek Trail
Through beautiful forests of aspen and evergreens, gorgeous views of Capitol Peak will guide your way. If you’re really feeling ambitious, pack your tent and sleeping bag for an overnight stay at Capitol Lake. Otherwise, do the ‘loop’. Start along the Upper Capitol Creek Trail #1963 (ditch trail) then cross the stream about 3.3 miles up and head back down Capitol Creek Trail #1961.
Capitol Lake – Difficult
Length: Capitol Creek Loop - 6.6 miles round trip.
Capitol Lake Trail - 12.8 miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: Capitol Creek Loop - 1,500 ft.
Capitol Lake Trail - 2,105 ft
Trailhead: Drive 14 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 to Old Snowmass and turn left onto Snowmass Creek Road next to the Conoco gas station. Continue 2 miles to the "T" intersection. Take the right turn and continue 5 miles until the pavement ends. Follow the dirt road about 3 miles to the trailhead. The last mile is on a 4WD road. You MUST have 4 Wheel Drive to access the trailhead.
Before You Go...
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes with properly fitting socks
- Layer your clothing and prepare for sun, rain and cold
- Carry extra water to drink at regular intervals
- Bring snacks to fuel your energy
- Apply sunscreen