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.
At the Resort
Hiking on Aspen Mountain
Hiking on Snowmass
Free Hikes with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
Beyond the Resort
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.
For more trail ideas, visit the websites of the Aspen Resort Chamber and Snowmass Tourism.
- Rio Grande Trail – A mellow paved path (turning to dirt after two miles) accessed off Puppy Smith Road.
- 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.
Aspen Trail Spotlight: Smuggler
For the iconic vantage point overlooking downtown Aspen (with Aspen Mountain as a backdrop) head to the scenic Smuggler Trail.
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.
Snowmass Trail Spotlight: The 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
- 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.
Maroon Bells Area Spotlight: 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.
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.
Independence Pass Trail Spotlight: Lost Man
Traversing alpine tundra, the Lost Man Trail encounters nearly 100 different species of wildflowers at high altitude. Strenuous.