West Snowmass #2187


Bear canisters are required for all backpackers in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
• Advance reservation permits are required for overnight stays in the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness Overnight Permit Zones.

Get Permits

Hike 1-1/4 miles along the Maroon-Snowmass Trail to the junction with the West Snowmass Trail (about 1/4 mile past the second gate). The West Snowmass Trail then switches back towards Snowmass Creek. Cross Snowmass Creek. This can be a cold and swift crossing well into the summer months. Water sandals are a must! After crossing the creek, climb through stands of Aspen, CO for 1.5 miles. At higher elevations the trail journeys through stands of Spruce, Fir and flower-filled meadows, passing below Mt. Daly, until it finally emerges above the timberline where deer and elk are often seen. From the pass, the trail descends very quickly as it carries you through undisturbed meadows and forests where few people visit. The trail ends at its junction with Capitol Creek Trail.


SAFETY: Remember climbing is dangerous, even deadly! 

Check out Colorado Fourteeners Initiative YouTube Channel to learn more.

At a Glance

Permit Info: A permit is required for overnight stays in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Overnight Permit Zones. This permit must be acquired in advance at recreation.gov. 
For all other overnight trips to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, registration is required at the trailhead.  
Usage: Light

Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness regulations protect this special place:

  • Overnight permit required for overnight stays within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Overnight Permit Zones.
  • Food, trash and any scented items must be stored in an IGBC approved bear resistant containerHuman food habituated bears are a threat to human safety. Visitors without approved bear resistant containers will be ticketed and required to leave. 
  • You must have a plan for human waste. Human waste bags (WAG) bags are highly recommended and are available free of charge at the Conundrum Creek and Snowmass Lake trailheads. WAG bags must be packed out. Learn more about how to use a WAG bag. If a WAG bag is not used, visitors are required to deposit solid human waste in holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet (70 paces) from water, camp and trails.
  • Group size is limited to 10 with no more than 15 stock animals in one group. Large groups multiply impacts to the wilderness and disrupt the solitude of others.
  • Dogs are prohibited in the Conundrum Creek Valley from Silver Dollar Pond to Triangle Pass, including the hot springs.  Everywhere else, dogs must be leashed.
  • Campfires are prohibited at all designated sites at Conundrum Hot Springs, Capitol Lake, Crater Lake and above 10,800 feet including Snowmass Lake. Campfires consume wood, accumulate trash, kill fragile alpine vegetation, sterilize the soil and scar the land. Lightweight camp stoves are recommended.
  • Campers must camp in designated sites at Conundrum Hot Springs, Copper Lake, Crater Lake, Geneva Lake, Capitol Lake and Thomas Lakes.  Everywhere else campers should set up more than 100 feet from lakes, streams and trails and use previously impacted campsites.  Camp out of sight of others and away from fragile areas.
  • As with all designated Wilderness, motorized and mechanized equipment is prohibited including bicycles, motorbikes, chainsaws, ATVs, carts, drones, hang gliders and paragliders. This equipment is prohibited to provide visitors with a primitive recreational experience and to preserve outstanding opportunities for solitude.
Closest Towns: Snowmass Village
Water: Filter and treat all water
Restroom: No restrooms in Wilderness; see Restrictions
Information Center: Aspen-Sopris Ranger Station: 
620 Main Street
Carbondale, CO 81623

General Information


From Aspen, CO drive 6 miles west of  on Highway 82 and turn left onto Brush Creek Road. Continue on Brush Creek Road 5.5 miles then turn right onto Divide Road. Divide Road turns into a gravel road and passes Krabloonik Restaurant and Kennels. The road descends steeply to the valley bottom where it forks. Take the left fork. You will pass the East Snowmass trailhead on the left. The Maroon-Snowmass Trailhead, which is the starting point for the West Snowmass Trail, is at the end of the road. **A high clearance vehicle is recommended.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
7.5 miles (12.07 km)

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
8,600 feet (2621 m) - 11,600 feet (3536 m)