Both Snowmass and Aspen Mountain are open to hiking in summer time, offering nature-lovers the chance to climb the mountains (or skip the climb in the gondola) that they love to ski in the winter. But beyond the resort, incredible hiking options abound in the adjacent National Forest areas. Get to know these areas with our guide below.

At the Resort

Snowmass hiking
Snowmass hiking

Hiking on Snowmass

Take the Elk Camp Gondola and Elk Camp chairlift (Friday through Sunday) for stunning views and an amazing network of trails suitable for all levels of hikers. Pick up a map from the gondola ticket office in Snowmass Base Village and plan your route for the day.

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Aspen Mountain hiking
Aspen Mountain hiking

Hiking on Aspen Mountain

The top of Aspen Mountain is a gateway to some of Colorado's best alpine hiking and walking trails. Choose from easy, self-guided strolls to more ambitious treks. Stop by the gondola ticket office at the bottom of Aspen Mountain for a summer brochure with trail information and map.

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Snowmass Private Adventures
Snowmass Private Adventures

Aspen Snowmass Private Hiking Adventure

Book one of our expert hiking guides for a full- or half-day hiking adventure on our favorite Snowmass Rocky Mountain trails.

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Popular Area Trails

The area surrounding Aspen Snowmass is home to some of North America’s most beautiful — and rugged — scenery. Below are just a handful of local favorites ranging from easy to strenuous.

From Aspen

  • Rio Grande Trail – A mellow paved path (turning to dirt after two miles) accessed off Puppy Smith Road.
  • Smuggler Trail – For the iconic vantage point overlooking downtown Aspen (with Aspen Mountain as a backdrop) head to the scenic Smuggler Trail.
  • Hunter Creek – A popular spot for locals in the early morning, the Hunter Creek trail ascends to alpine meadows with historic, abandoned cabins.
  • East Aspen Trail – Travels along the Roaring Fork River through willows immediately east of town.

From Snowmass Village

  • Snowmass Village Nature Trail – Get acquainted with the unique ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains — many of them accessible on this trail.
  • Tom Blake Trail – Crossing Snowmass Mountain in the Two Creeks area, this popular biking and hiking trail enters sublime stands of aspen.
  • Rim Trail – For the best vantage point over Snowmass Village and Snowmass Mountain, head up the Rim Trail for a moderate and enjoyable climb.

In the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

  • Maroon Lake Scenic Trail – Home to the most quintessential view in Colorado, the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail traverses the north shore of the famed lake, with postcard views of the Maroon Bells in the distance.
  • Crater Lake – For a different perspective on the Maroon Bells, continue up Maroon Creek from Maroon Lake through glades of aspen, and arrive at Crater Lake immediately below their sheer eastern face.
  • Buckskin Pass – For a serious climb and unparalleled views of the wilderness surrounding the Maroon Bells.
  • Snowmass Lake – Soaring peaks, tumbling brooks, wildflower meadows and crystal-clear lakes define the route over Buckskin Pass to Snowmass Lake, easily one of Colorado’s most epic and challenging day hikes.

Near Independence Pass

  • Discovery Trail – Oriented on the visually impaired, the Discovery Trail includes braille signage and cord-based navigation for blind hikers. Located just off the highway between Aspen and Independence Pass.
  • Grottos – Also in between Aspen and Independence Pass, the trailhead to the Grottos is easy to find. Boulder formations and a pretty waterfall define this easy hike.
  • Ruby Ghost Town – Take a hike into the past with this 5-mile, challenging hike in the Grizzly Reservoir area.
  • Lost Man Trail – Traversing alpine tundra, the Lost Man Trail encounters nearly 100 different species of wildflowers at high altitude. Strenuous.

For more trail ideas, visit the websites of the Aspen Resort Chamber and Snowmass Tourism.