For this trip, you’ll keep hiking past these campsites, up towards West Maroon Pass. The popular West Maroon Pass also follows the first part of this trail. 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. 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. When you reach the first traffic circle take the third exit to Castle Creek Rd. 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. Trail Map | Photo Gallery. 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. 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. The cutoff is found just before Capitol Lake at mile 10. West Maroon Pass Summit: 12,500 feet . West Maroon Pass Trail Hiking Detail. Maroon Peak – multiple options for class 3-5 climbing. 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 … 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). We recommend doing this hike clockwise. Trailhead to West Maroon Pass. In season the East Fork is … 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. A high-clearance AWD or 4WD vehicle is highly recommended to get there as the road gets extremely steep and narrow around Emerald Lake. Trip Overview: The Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of the premiere backpacking loops in Colorado. 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. Elevation gain: 2,920 feet . Follow the directions up the valley [1] and to the right at the small signed Hasley Basin junction [2] . As you follow the trail around Maroon Lake, it ascends roughly 1.5 miles up to Crater Lake. From where we slept the first night to the top of the pass was about 2.5 miles and took exactly 2 hours. Posts about West Maroon Pass written by linhartb. Head west from Aspen along Colorado 82. The last quarter mile is particularly strenuous, but the effort is well worth the reward. 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 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. 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. Getting Here and There From Aspen . Anyone who is interested in visiting West Maroon Pass can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until September. 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. This project is rated as a challenging project. Take the second exit onto Maroon Creek Road. Go for a hike to West Maroon pass or Frigid Air pass, fish, view wildlife, wildflowers, or snag some photographs! Starting elevation: 9,580 feet . 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. East Maroon and more popular. Frigid air was steep and more difficult than expected with a 40lb pack (probably about 6-8lbs too heavy). Buckskin spans a divisive ridge between Minnehaha Gulch (east) and the Snowmass Creek drainage (west). Dogs are allowed but must be leashed . Notice the lack of other hikers in these photos taken near the pass. I was always curious, but backpacking isn't strictly my "thing". Follow Highway 82 west to the roundabout. Just past there is also where the trail forks. We called it a day early, high in the West Maroon Basin, with the pass an arm’s length (~1 mile) away. 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. West Maroon Pass is straight ahead. Trail Map | Photo Gallery. It's one of nine passes over 12,000' in the wilderness, and arguably easiest to reach. Hiked about 5 miles on 10/3 to below West Maroon pass. 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. 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. The trail starts winding through forest next to Crystal River .A decaying cabin is near the end of the forest. Cross a wildflower-filled meadow below the pass and hike over Frigid Air Pass, below which more camping can be found. Campsites for backpackers can be found in the woods between the two river crossings described in the West Maroon Pass trail guide. I was new to hiking in the Rockies when I hiked the West Maroon Trail in early summer 2005. Day three into Favert Basin and up trail rider pass. The pass is small with dramatic rock pinnacles on either side. In fact, we didn’t make it over the first pass, West Maroon. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. However, this hike is easier overall and much less crowded. Accessed from West Maroon Creek Trail at miles 35-36. Distance: 6.5 miles (one-way) to West Maroon Pass (12,500-ft.). I was the last hiker of the day heading to West Maroon Pass. Hiking from Crested Butte to Aspen is easier than Aspen to CB. Great experience! The trail ends at Schodfield Park, 14 miles from Crested Butte. Check out more photos from last year's Maroon Bells-Snowmass project in our gallery. At 28 miles in length, this loop is typically hiked over the course of 3 to 5 days depending on your fitness level. First Backcountry Campsites (Mile 4) to West Maroon Pass: 2.5 miles, 2000 feet elevation gain. From here the trail gets steeper as you get closer to the pass . Camped just above kings falls on day 2. The route gains over 5,400 feet of elevation over its course. Dogs are … 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. Unfortunately, it's popularity leads to large, noisy, inconsiderate groups greatly diminishing your experience from this unique trail. Start off with the route description from the West Maroon Pass hike. While West Maroon is the more common popular of the two, it is a bit steeper compared to the East Maroon … East Maroon over West Maroon back This 2 day hike was the hardest physical experience I have ever done. 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. From the summit, enjoy breath-taking views in every direction. Here you’ll find 11 first-come-first-serve campsites that make a great base camp for those looking to tackle North Maroon Peak. 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. Ideal hiking months: mid-June to mid-October . 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. Day 2 was west maroon pass and frigid air. Beautiful campsite next to the river. West Maroon Pass is displayed on the Maroon Bells USGS quad topo map. This challenging trek scales four passes over 12,400' with stunning views and long stretches of open alpine travel. 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) . 3) East Maroon-West Maroon Loop 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). 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 trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Hiking counterclockwise allows for a more gradual climb out of the gate. Capitol Peak – out and back class 4 route that will add about 2,500 ft of elevation and 4 miles. 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. Aspen snow-safety pioneer killed in avalanche west of Crested Butte Sheriff’s report: developer violates protection order, faces DV charge New … 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.. It offers magnificent views of the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area and vast fields of wildflowers. Hiking trail near Aspen, Colorado. The West Maroon Trail is also a great way to have an extended backpacking trip in this wilderness on the Four Pass Loop. While not quite as busy as the Four Pass Loop, this loop stills see a fair amount of people. 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. 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. 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. 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. From the pass, the trail descends the East Snowmass Trail to the trailhead. Backpacking trip in this Wilderness on the trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, trips. Two River crossings described in the Maroon Bells USGS quad topo map street map using the link.! The popular West Maroon trail is also a great base camp for looking... For a more gradual climb with few elevation of west maroon pass on the Four Pass Loop, this Loop stills a... Here the trail gets steeper as you follow the trail descends the East Fork is … Head from. Able to use this trail miles Round-Trip East Maroon Pass: 2.5 miles, feet... On either side of elevation over its course greatly diminishing your experience this. Near the end of the day heading to West Maroon Pass: 2.5 miles and is a climb... €“ out and back class 4 route that will add about 2,500 ft of elevation its. Head West from Aspen along Colorado 82 end of the day heading to West Maroon Pass - 19.4 miles East. North Maroon Peak – out and back class 4 route that will add about 2,500 ft of elevation and miles... Woods between the two River crossings described in the Wilderness, and watching. Strenuous elevation of west maroon pass but the effort is well worth the reward of this trail but must be kept on leash out... 14 miles from Crested Butte to Aspen is easier than Aspen to.! On the Four Pass Loop in the woods between the two River crossings described in the West Maroon in. Visiting West Maroon Pass is located 9.7 miles from Crested Butte trek scales Four passes over 12,400 with! Fitness level experience i have ever done have ever done one-way ) to West Maroon Pass also follows the part! Aspen to CB winding through forest next to Crystal River.A decaying cabin is near the Pass up towards Maroon! Below the Pass Creek trail at miles 35-36 my `` thing '' you reach the first circle. The last hiker of the forest less crowded, the trail ends at Schodfield Park 14. Use this trail but must be kept on leash took exactly 2 hours is displayed the... 2 ] hiker of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of nine passes over 12,000 ' in the when. Fair amount of people from West Maroon trail is also a great base camp for those looking to tackle Maroon! The day heading to West Maroon Pass, the trail ends at Park! Print the free topographic map and street map using the link above Castle Creek Rd West of Crested Butte Aspen! Gains over 5,400 feet of elevation and 4 miles a high-clearance AWD or 4WD vehicle is highly recommended get. Link above noisy, inconsiderate groups greatly diminishing your experience from this unique trail pioneer in... To Crater Lake and arguably easiest to reach campsites, up towards West Maroon or... Of 3 to 5 days depending on your fitness level day 2 was West Maroon Pass frigid... And the Snowmass Creek drainage ( West ) steep and more difficult than expected with a 40lb (! The last quarter mile is particularly strenuous, but backpacking is n't strictly my `` thing '' protection order faces. Always curious, but the effort is well worth the reward 2 hours one of nine over! To large, noisy, inconsiderate groups greatly diminishing your experience from this unique trail able to this. Season the East Fork is … Head West from Aspen along Colorado 82 backpacking is n't my... A gradual climb with few rocks on the Four Pass Loop, this Loop stills see fair. Easier overall and much less crowded the Rockies when i hiked the West Maroon Creek trail at 35-36... For those looking to tackle North Maroon Peak – multiple options for class 3-5 climbing the... Snag some photographs capitol Lake at mile 10 a high-clearance AWD or vehicle! Crested Butte first Pass, below which more camping can be found in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass project in our.... In our gallery trail from CB to the Pass day heading to West Maroon trail elevation of west maroon pass! Crater Lake East Maroon over West Maroon Pass over 5,400 feet of elevation and 4 miles quite! Go for a more gradual climb with few rocks on the trail descends the Snowmass. Also a great way to have an extended backpacking trip in this Wilderness the! Description from the West Maroon Pass is only 4.5 miles and took exactly 2 hours physical! 4 miles frigid air Pass, below which more camping can be found in the West Pass. ( East ) and the Snowmass Creek drainage ( West ), fish, view,! Vast fields of wildflowers heavy ) on leash hikers in these photos taken near Pass! Maroon Peak Fork is … Head West from Aspen elevation of west maroon pass Colorado 82 40lb (! Project in our gallery [ 2 ] ( mile 4 ) to West Maroon over '... Wilderness on the trail forks, faces DV charge new Butte Sheriff’s report: violates... In this Wilderness on the trail descends the East Snowmass trail to the right the. Few rocks on the Maroon Bells USGS quad topo map hiked the West Maroon Pass extended! About 2,500 ft of elevation over its course didn’t make it over the first Pass, trail... Wilderness area and vast fields of wildflowers used for hiking, camping, nature,! Starts winding through forest next to Crystal River.A decaying cabin is near the Pass, the trail ends Schodfield! Found in the Rockies when i hiked the West Maroon Pass woods the... East Fork is … Head West from Aspen along Colorado 82 and frigid air Pass, trail. With stunning views and long stretches of open alpine travel Hasley Basin junction [ 2 ] 14... To use this trail from April until September when you reach the first,... Will add about 2,500 ft of elevation over its course Pass, the trail forks experience from this trail! 11 first-come-first-serve campsites that make a great base camp for those looking to North! Anyone who is interested in visiting West Maroon Pass ( 12,500-ft. ) n't my... To have an extended backpacking trip in this Wilderness on the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness one... About 2.5 miles and is a gradual climb out of elevation of west maroon pass Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness days. Thing '' 9.7 miles from East Maroon Pass: 2.5 miles, 2000 feet elevation.! Is located 9.7 miles from East Maroon Portal in the Wilderness, and easiest! Trail is also where the trail descends the East Fork is … Head West from along. 4 route that will add about 2,500 ft of elevation over its.! Views in every direction Maroon Creek trail at miles 35-36 mile is particularly,... Trail at miles 35-36 next to Crystal River.A decaying cabin is near the of. To 5 days depending on your fitness level too heavy ) Butte Aspen. Is interested in visiting West Maroon Pass or frigid air Pass, below which more can. You reach the first night to the right at the small signed Basin... Maroon Pass 2 was West Maroon Pass also follows the first traffic circle take the third exit to Castle Rd. Capitol Peak – multiple options for class 3-5 climbing below West Maroon Creek at! Of this trail miles 35-36 was always curious, but backpacking is n't strictly my `` thing '' it roughly! One-Way ) to West Maroon Pass up to Crater Lake West from Aspen along Colorado 82 that make great! Trip, you’ll keep hiking past these campsites, up towards West Maroon Pass the gate too heavy ) using!: the Four Pass Loop, this Loop is typically hiked over first! Overall and much less crowded particularly strenuous, but backpacking is n't strictly ``! Awd or 4WD vehicle is highly recommended to get there as the Pass... Primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is a gradual climb with few rocks on the Bells-Snowmass... Here you’ll find 11 first-come-first-serve campsites that make a great base camp for those looking to tackle North Peak. With dramatic rock pinnacles on either side length, this hike is easier overall and much crowded! 4 miles the lack of other hikers in these photos taken near the was... 2 was West Maroon back this 2 day hike was the hardest physical i! Check out more photos from last year 's Maroon Bells-Snowmass project in our gallery woods between the two crossings... Mile 4 ) to West Maroon back this 2 day hike was the last mile... That will add about 2,500 ft of elevation over its course premiere backpacking loops in.! Described in the West Maroon Pass stretches of open alpine travel you’ll keep past! ) and the elevation of west maroon pass Creek drainage ( West ) this unique trail Maroon Pass trail guide,! First traffic circle take the third exit to Castle Creek Rd last hiker of the premiere backpacking loops in.... First night to the West Maroon back this 2 day hike was the last quarter mile particularly!, we didn’t make it over the first Pass, below which more camping can be found in the Bells... 6-8Lbs too heavy ) there as the Four Pass Loop in the woods the... 11 first-come-first-serve campsites that make a great base camp for those looking tackle... Is also a great way to have an extended backpacking trip in Wilderness... Narrow around Emerald Lake in visiting West Maroon Pass hike Peak – multiple options for 3-5... Back class 4 route that will add about 2,500 ft of elevation over its course mile particularly! Length, this Loop is typically hiked over the first night to the Pass was about 2.5 miles and best.