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Colorado Trail Report

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Buckskin Pass to Snowmass Lake

Contributed by ranchez

A challenging hike that traverses Buckskin Pass. Great views of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. Highlights include Maroon Lake, the Maroon Bells, Crater Lake. The trail skirts Minnehaha Gulch on the way to sub-alpine meadows below Buckskin Pass.

From the top of Buckskin Pass enjoy views Snowmass Mountain, Pyramid Peak, and southern views of the Maroon Bells.  From here the trail drops into the upper reaches of Snowmass Creek. About 2 miles from the pass, the descent mellows for a pine-shaded roll past a beaver-dammed marsh and a several well-marked junctions leading to Snowmass Lake’s rocky shore.

There are great campsites near the lake offer a place to recharge overnight for the climb back to Buckskin Pass. Backcountry camping in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is free, but expect to pay a fee for parking or shuttle to access the trailhead at Maroon Lake.


From Aspen - west on CO 82 for 0.5 mile.  Take the second exit at the traffic circle onto Maroon Creek Road and follow it 9.5 miles to the trailhead.

Length: 8.25 miles  |   Rating: Difficult
Activies: Backpacking

Trailhead Elevation: 9600

Trailhead Waypoint: 39.098430 N -106.941280 W

Permit Info:  

National Weather Service Forecast

Trailhead Maps:
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Management Area(s)
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness
White River National Forest

Pitkin County

Nearby Cities

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