West Snowmass #2187


ALERT: Due to recent bear activity, bear canisters are required for all backpackers in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

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.

View a downloadable trail description and map (.pdf).

SAFETY: Remember climbing is dangerous, even deadly! 

Check out Colorado Fourteeners Initiative YouTube Channel to learn more.

At a Glance

Permit Info: Each party overnighting in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is required to self-register at the trailhead and to carry a copy of the registration with them during their visit. There is no fee charged and no limit to the number of permits issued.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply. Please minimize your impact by following Leave No Trace ethics.
  • Limit group sizes to 10 people and 15 stock/pack animals.
  • SANITATION - bury human waste 100 feet from water and 6 inches in the soil.
Closest Towns: Snowmass Village
Water: No potable water.
Restroom: Bury all human waste 6 inches deep and 100' from water or trails.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, 970-963-2266

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.

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  Area/Length : 
7.5 miles (12.07 km)

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

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


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