Explore Aspen Colorado's Summer Hiking Trails - An Outdoor Paradise

Stephanie Kroll

Aspen and Snowmass transform into a hiker’s paradise during the summer months, with their ski slopes giving way to lush, verdant trails that beckon adventurers of all levels. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll with breathtaking views or a challenging trek through rugged wilderness, Aspen’s trails offer something for everyone. Here's your guide to the best hiking trails in Aspen and Snowmass, ensuring an unforgettable outdoor adventure under the Colorado sun.

Hiking on Aspen Mountain

The summit of Aspen Mountain serves as the starting point for some of the most picturesque alpine hikes in Colorado. From easy, family-friendly walks to more demanding treks, there’s a trail for every hiker. Grab a summer trail map at the gondola ticket office and embark on a journey through Aspen's stunning landscapes.

Hiking on Snowmass

Accessed via the Elk Camp Gondola and Chairlift, Snowmass's trail network boasts panoramic views and paths for all abilities. Pick up a trail map at Snowmass Base Village and set off on an adventure through this breathtaking area, from serene nature walks to exhilarating mountain treks.

Free Hikes with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES)

Enhance your hiking experience by joining a free guided nature hike with ACES. Naturalists share insights on local flora and fauna, offering a deeper understanding of the area's natural beauty on trails around Snowmass and Aspen Mountain.

From Aspen

  • Rio Grande Trail: This gentle path starts off paved and transitions to dirt, offering a peaceful walk along the Roaring Fork River.
  • Hunter Creek: Ascend to alpine meadows and discover historic cabins on this beloved local trail.
  • East Aspen Trail: Follow the Roaring Fork River through lush willows on this scenic trail east of Aspen.

From Snowmass Village

  • Snowmass Village Nature Trail: Explore the Rocky Mountains' unique ecosystems along this accessible trail.
  • Tom Blake Trail: Wander through enchanting aspen groves on this popular path crossing Snowmass Mountain.
  • Vista Trail: Enjoy stunning views of Snowmass Village and beyond on this moderate climb.

Snowmass Trail Spotlight: The Rim Trail

For unparalleled views of Snowmass Village and the surrounding peaks, the Rim Trail offers a moderate yet rewarding ascent. This trail is a favorite for its scenic overlooks and vibrant wildflowers.

In the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

  • Crater Lake: Venture beyond Maroon Lake to this stunning spot at the base of the Maroon Bells for an iconic Colorado hike.
  • Buckskin Pass: Challenge yourself with a climb to this pass for breathtaking wilderness views.
  • Snowmass Lake: Tackle the trail to Snowmass Lake for a journey through wildflower meadows and past cascading brooks.

Maroon Bells Area Spotlight: Maroon Lake Scenic Trail

The Maroon Lake Scenic Trail offers the quintessential Colorado view, framing the Maroon Bells above the lake's tranquil waters. This easy trail is perfect for photographers and families alike.

Near Independence Pass

  • Discovery Trail: Designed with the visually impaired in mind, this trail features braille signage and cord-based navigation.
  • Grottos: Discover boulder formations and a picturesque waterfall on this easy hike near Independence Pass.
  • Ruby Ghost Town: Step back in time on this challenging hike to an abandoned mining town.

Independence Pass Trail Spotlight: Lost Man

The Lost Man Trail is a high-altitude journey through alpine tundra, showcasing nearly 100 species of wildflowers. This strenuous hike offers a deep dive into the heart of Colorado’s natural beauty.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, Aspen’s summer trails promise an enriching outdoor experience. With each step, you’ll uncover the stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems that make this area a true hiker’s paradise. So lace up your boots, pack your essentials, and set out to explore the natural wonders of Aspen and Snowmass this summer.


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