Make Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt, or Aspen your home base and experience various trails, each one unique beauty, among the pines, aspens, alpine lakes, wildflowers, and waterfalls.

Add a few authentic ghost towns, and your day is complete with adventure!

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Maroon Bells Lake and Crater Lake 

Maroon Bells is a worldwide destination that lives up to the hype, permits, and regulations for getting here. We’ve hiked all over Colorado, and stepping off the shuttle within Maroon Bells left us speechless. Gorgeous is a minor description! Hike around Maroon Lake Loop or take the trail to Crater Lake, which is incredible!

For information on how to visit Maroon Bells

> apenchamber.org

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Crater Lake Trail is not to be missed if prepared with good boots, weather protection, and awareness of high altitude sickness. It is not a long hike but very rocky on a moderate incline. 

3.5 miles out and back

Rated: moderately challenging

Elevation gain, 688′

The best times to visit are June – October

Rangers are available to ask about trail conditions.

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American Lake Trail

American Lake Trail has it all. Just minutes from beautiful Aspen, CO, this hike is what Aspen is all about. Beautiful aspen groves line the trail, soon leading into a dense forest of pines and spruces. Then, arrive at an alpine lake with sweeping peak views. 

6.4 miles out and back

Rated: Strenuous

Elevation gain: approx: 2000′

Highest elevation: 11,390′

No restrooms

Dogs ok on leash

Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness

Visit a Ghost Town one mile from American Lake Trailhead

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Historic Ashcroft Ghost Town

A Ghost Town from the late 1800s nestled at 10,830 ft., just below the Continental Divide and only 13.5 miles from Aspen, CO. Old buildings with signage throughout (from the Aspen Historical Society) showed us how the town was initially laid out.

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Hunter Green Trail

Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, CO, is a hiking, running, and mountain biking haven. It is a rocky dirt trail alongside beautiful Hunter Creek that goes to Hunter Valley, where you find a mixture of single-track trails of moderate grades.

North Hunter Creek – 8.9 miles

Rated: Moderate

Lower Hunter Creek Trail 1.7 miles

Rated: Easy

Running, MTB, hiking

Dog Friendly

For a map,>CLICK HERE

LEAVE NO TRACE 

ENCOUNTERING WILDLIFE  

APPROPRIATE HIKING GEAR

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Upper Lost Man Trail

Lost Man Trail is a Colorado gem! It is near the Summit of Independence Pass, a high alpine wonder with unstoppable views and two gorgeous alpine lakes.

I can’t recommend it enough — it is one of our favorite trails.

The trail is located just west of Independence Pass Summit.

5.5 miles out and back to Lost Man Lake

Rated: moderately challenging

Nearest town: Aspen, CO

Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness

The trail is above tree-line with full sun exposure – Elevation ranges from 11,000’+ to 12,800′

There are 2 ways to access Lost Man Trail. > READ MORE

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Linkins Lake Trail

Linkins Lake Trail is short, steep, gorgeous, and packed with everything Colorado on such a small adventure. 

The Linkins Lake Trail and Upper Lost Man Trail start where you find the Roaring Fork River flowing down to the lower regions of Independence Pass. It’s a beautiful start! You will find the Trailhead signpost just to the left of the Roaring Fork River.

1.6 miles out & back

Rated: moderate

Lake elevation: 12,008′

Popular for fishing

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Mountain Boy Trail

The Mountain Boy Ridge Trail at the Summit of Independence Pass is a must-do if prepared. It is stunning as you hike past the Summit along Mountain Boy Ridge across the Continental Divide and see views like no other.

Bring your boots and hiking essentials, and wander far beyond the lookout. You won’t be disappointed!

Just to the right of the walkway leading to the Lookout at the Summit, you will find an old jeep trail leading southwest. This is Mountian Boy Ridge Trail. There is no signage, but a well-traveled trail.

6 miles out & back

Rated: difficult

Nearest towns; Aspen, Leadville

Highest elevation: Near 13,000′

Independence Pass Travel Info

Restrooms at Summit

On your way up or down Independence Pass, the historic Independence Town Site is a gem.

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Independence Town Site

A Ghost Town from the late 1800s nestled at 10,830 ft., just below the Continental Divide and only 13.5 miles from Aspen, CO

Love history? Grab the latest guidebook on Ghost Towns!  >Colorado’s Best Ghost Towns

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Thomas Lakes Trail

Thomas Lakes Trail is a steady, moderate, rocky incline through beautiful meadows and pine forests to two stunning alpine lakes. Mount Sopris comes into view and follows you towards the lakes. The second lake is a short hike and a must-do! 

8.1 miles out and back

Rated: Moderate

1650′ Elevation Gain

Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness

Nearest town: Basalt, CO

Restroom at trailhead

ITEMS to CONSIDER

SIX MOON DESIGN HIKING UMBRELLA – Rain & Sun protection. I love mine!

HIKING FIRST AID KIT – Must have!

BEAR SPRAY by COUNTER ASSAULTI carry it and fortunately, have never had to use it! It’s smart to have with you.

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Hike to Crystal Mill

Iconic Crystal Mill and the town of historic Crystal are the main attractions, but hiking the 9 miles there and back is packed with pristine views along the Crystal River, passing colorful Lizard Lake, and the fantastic White River National Forest mountains surrounding you. You can go by 4×4, horse, or bike, but hiking is magical and much more rewarding

TIP: fall is a quiet time to hike here. 

9 miles out and back

Rated: easy/moderate

Open: only in summer and fall months

High 4×4 off-road traffic in summer

Family friendly

Rough, rocky & muddy

No restrooms

Bring: water & snacks!

Dogs ok on leash

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).

Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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