After climbing for 4.8 miles and gaining about 3000' you reach a breathtaking view from the pass (approx. Almost to Buckskin Pass. Because this part of the wilderness area provides access points to many of the surrounding 14ers and different trails, like Buckskin Pass, it can be very crowded. The view of Pyramid Peak from here is spectacular! These were some of the best views I’ve seen in the lower 48. As we started running from Maroon Lake, a light rain fell. I opted for a pit stop on the shore of Snowmass Lake, which I had only been to once before when we backpacked the Four Pass Loop in 2014. Get your Ramblr app today! It’s a really rewarding place not too easily attained from any trailhead no matter what your mode of travel. Luckily there were mountain streams everywhere. Buckskin pass itself is covered in snow and impassable. Overnight hikers must self-register and carry the free overnight permit with them during their trip. Camped and hiked for three days until I got snowed out. Snowmass looks as though it has been directly transported from the steep granite cliffs of Patagonia. After dropping quickly from the pass, the trail crisscrosses a small stream before leveling out along the relatively flat, marshy valley. There were a bunch of down trees on the trail making it a little harder on the way down from this pass, but it's manageable. Snowmass Lake is located 8.5 miles from Maroon Lake in a massive cirque ringed by Snowmass Peak, Hagerman Peak and Snowmass Mountain. Interpretive signs at the beginning of the trail warn about the hazards of backcountry travel. Another beautiful meadow. At Snowmass Lake, turn east continuing on the Maroon – Snowmass trail to 12,462 foot Buckskin Pass. You get a wide open view of Snowmass Mountain, Hagerman Peak, and Capitol Peak. Or, turn right to scope out several individual campsites and a larger group site. The most beautiful sight from the pass is across to Snowmass Mountain (4295m). Start at the Maroon Lake Trailhead. This backpacking trip in the Colorado wilderness features mountain-encircled alpine lakes, 360º views at 12,462’ Buckskin Pass, lush wildflower meadows, and unbeatable backcountry campsites. It was hard but worth every step. Buckskin Pass (12,462 ft) is one of four passes along the Four Pass Loop. Beware the mountain weather! Read adventure travel stories from Backpacker. Your options are to cross the stream where the trail ends, over liquid water, or walk further upstream where the snow pack covers the water and cross over snow, then walk back downstream to find the trail behind a strip of forest, snow, and debris. The view from the top is stunning in every direction. We went to Buckskin pass and returned. The hike from the split to Crater Lake up through Minnehaha Gulch definitely gets the blood pumping, however once you get through the gulch you hike through a splendid meadow at the base of North Maroon Bell and Sleeping Sexton. 8.5 miles; +2,180 / -3,560 feet; Snowmass Lake to Maroon Lake Trailhead. Fear not, the trail does continue. View of Hagerman and Snowmass Mountain from the pass. At Snowmass Lake, turn east continuing on the Maroon – Snowmass trail to 12,462 foot Buckskin Pass. Buckskin Pass: Now this is a HIKE! The trail descends through forest and crosses Snowmass Creek. For one thing, East Snowmass and Snowmass Creeks see a lot less traffic these days than the traditional Four Pass Loop trails. © Kristy Holland, There are several established campsites between the pass and the lake. I would recommend leaving around sunrise. Take the left fork which continues to follow the Maroon-Snowmass Trail through the meadow to a series of switchbacks that climb steeply to Buckskin Pass. ALERT: Bear canisters are required for all backpackers in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Heading down the switchbacks of Buckskin Pass. Buckskin Pass came highly recommended from a friend, and the hike did not disappoint. Four 12,000-foot passes, classic alpine views and a rugged loop around Colorado's most-photographed peaks make this 26.5-mile backpack a Rocky Mountain epic. Be careful near the cliff edge, the log-jammed river is about one hundred feet below the rocky cliff. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. A backpack over Buckskin Pass into the Snowmass Lake area makes a fine outing and offers a unique approach to a climb of Snowmass Mountain, one of the Fourteeners. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/buckskin-pass--2 past crater it's a little snowy. The trail ascends into the valley and begins a steep climb to Buckskin Pass. My wife and I did this as part of the Four Pass Loop ( why that's not listed here I don't know) Be careful, this trail is steep and strenuous crossing the pass, especially with the foot of snow that fell overnight that we were not expecting ( but knew it was coming soon being the first of October in the Rockies!) Climb more than 2,000 feet from aspen groves near Woods Lake to the dramatic Navajo Lake basin. At the pass, mile 5, we had 360 views while we ate lunch. Passing by Crater Lake. We summited Buckskin Pass (12,500’) around 11:30am. I would definitely do it again! At 28 miles in length, this loop is typically hiked over the course of 3 to 5 days depending on your fitness level. A trail sign for the Maroon-Snowmass /Willow Lake junction appears in another 1/2 mile. My phone clocked it as 14 miles round trip just from Maroon Lake Trailhead to the top of Buckskin Pass. The scenery is outstanding and the trail is easy to follow, although strenuous at points. Bear right and continue 9-1/2 miles to the Maroon Lake parking area. On the Maroon-Snowmass trail, there is a clearly marked side trail to descend to the lake. The Three Pass Loop is a classic which shares a lot of similar traits, scenery, and even a few miles of trail with the more popular Four Pass Loop… it’s just slightly shorter and easier logistically to pull off. It’s among the largest alpine lakes in the Wilderness, and one of many highlights on the 4-Pass Loop. It's a big day but so spectacular. The area around Snowmass Lake is well-signed making navigation to campsite areas easy. The north face of the North Maroon Peak should be visible and maybe Pyramid Peak. Started late camped overnight about 3.5 miles in. On day 2 from Snowmass lake , we turn east continuing on the Maroon – Snowmass trail to 12,462 foot Buckskin Pass. We started our day with a blood pumping drive down a ski hill. Continue following the switchbacks and follow the sign to Buckskin Pass. Rigorous trail for sea level dwellers such as myself. We did it just this past weekend and there was still snow covering some of the trail up near the pass. Take it for 1.5 miles to the east end of Crater Lake. From Crater Lake you can hike clockwise (West Maroon Pass (12,465 ft), Frigid Air Pass (12,405 ft), Trail Rider Pass (12,415 ft), and Buckskin Pass (12,462 ft)) or counterclockwise through the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The hike starts at 9,580-feet at the Maroon Lake trailhead. The people coming up mid day looked a lot more miserable than we did. Brilliant asters along the trail to Buckskin Pass. To the west Snowmass Peak, Hagerman Peak and Snowmass Mountain (14,092-ft.) tower above Snowmass Lake. just pay attention and you'll be fine. Buckskin Pass is approximately a 3.8 mile hike over well defined trails, much of it above treeline, with 3150 vertical feet. Explore rugged peaks, and pristine alpine lakes on this 13.3-mile route in an under-appreciated Rocky Mountain getaway. Share your experience by blogging your hiking, traveling, outdoor fitness stories and GPX on a map. From here it is a steep descent to Snowmass Lake where you make camp 100 ft. from the lake, stream and trails. There was a little snow up top in early Oct of this year, but there were enough footprints to make out the trail. Maroon Bells-Snowmass … From here, many longer options are possible, such as hiking down to Snowmass Lake and then to the Snowmass Creek Trailhead, if you left a shuttle vehicle there. Up and over Buckskin Pass with Snowmass Lake next up on the agenda. It was steep at times and after about 11,000 feet you lose all tree coverage so it can get hot. In addition to toilets and water, there are three parking lots and a shuttle bus stop that helps reduce traffic during peak summer hours. Brilliant asters along the trail to Buckskin Pass. Getting higher. My son and I on Buckskin Pass. I can't wait to come back and tackle the Four Pass Loop! You’ll love this Rockies classic. Our tent squeezes into an area surrounded by logs and tall trees above Snowmass Lake. The right goes to Buckskin Pass, the counterclockwise direction, and leads to Snowmass Lake. A stretch of broken aspen are evidence of this area's winter avalanche danger. From the Maroon Lake, hike west toward Crater Lake. Straight ahead will loom Buckskin Pass at an elevation of 12,462′. Looking down at the area that 39 years ago was a good sized lake! Little Annie and Richmond Hill OHV Road Loop, Conundrum Creek Trail to Conundrum Hot Springs, Village Bound, Sleigh Ride, and Nature Trail Loop, Crater Lake and Maroon Creek to East Fork, Ditch Trail, Government Trail, and Campground Connector. This one is perched near the top of a cliff a few hundred feet left of the trail. The trail rises 2,200 feet over the next 2.7 miles, skirting Minnehaha Gulch’s rocky chasm and traversing a forest of avalanche … We saw Crater Lake from a distance and will later pass right by it. Descend to Crater and then Maroon Lake to finish your loop. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. A spur trail before the bridge leads to a pleasant campground that is more private than ones closer to the lake. We did it as a thru hike which required a car shuttle, one car at the Maroon Snowmass trailhead the night before and then an early drive up to Maroon Lake to beat the bus. We chose to do the clockwise direction since it is said to have better views. Admire Maroon Lake’s surface reflection of the Maroon Bells before a steady climb through aspen turns sharply uphill from Crater Lake. spikes wouldn't hurt. On day 2 from Snowmass lake , we turn east continuing on the Maroon – Snowmass trail to 12,462 foot Buckskin Pass. They don’t seem to be very afraid of humans, but we’re told they have acted erratically in the past. We even got up close and personal with some mountain sheep on the top of the pass. Definitely get an early start on it to get out ahead of the Maroon Bells crowd (and snag a good parking spot). Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. We also ran out of water by the top (went with 5L for two people). © Kristy Holland, Overnight hikers are required to self-register at the wilderness area boundary. We were going to do the Snowmass mountain loop but ended up being content with a two day trip where we stayed at Snowmass Lake. I recently did the Maroon Bells 4 Pass loop trail in July of 2020 with my mother and brother. avalanche covers alot of the trail. Did this with the 4 loop pass hike - very fun. Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? A gentle 1.8 mile climb to an intimate view of the popular Maroon Bells from the lapping shores of Crater Lake. 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. This popular trail climbs to a 12,462-ft. pass with breathtaking panoramic views of the 14,000-ft. peaks towering above the heart of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. A waterfall near the lake. © Kristy Holland, A trailside cascade is a good resting point before the final push toward Buckskin Pass. My son and I on Buckskin Pass. In the distance you will be able to see Capitol Peak, Hagerman Peak, Snowmass Lake and Snowmass … Started at 6am and had the trail mostly to ourselves. I assume crews with clear that soon. If you just can’t get enough and want to spend the night in the Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness, consider camping at lesser-known Willow Lake. © Kristy Holland, Watch for beaver tending this trailside dam, an integral feature in the wetland marsh you've skirted on the north. The hike starts at 9,580-feet at the Maroon Lake trailhead. We hiked 16 miles total over 2 nights (2 miles in night 1, then 6 miles to the lake on day 2) at 5,200 ft of elevation. There was still quite a bit of snow on the pass. The trail continued up West Maroon Creek, past Crater Lake. Reaching the top of the second pass, I don’t remember the name. Hiking | Aspen, CO: Buckskin Pass to Snowmass Lake | There is fierce competition for the finest scenery on this challenging trek to Snowmass Lake: alpine lakes, rocky chasms, and 14,000-foot peaks. Buckskin Pass 12.6 Miles 3,378 Feet Elevation Gain Strenuous Shortly before Crater Lake, the Maroon-Snowmass Trail forks. Aspen, CO – Mountain Pass. Snowmass, CO – Lake Snowmass Lake (10,980 ft) is an alpine lake in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness accessed at the junction of the Maroon-Snowmass Trail and Geneva Lake Trail, below Trail Rider Pass.From the lake are views of Snowmass Peak (13,627 ft), Hagerman Peak (13,841 ft) and Snowmass Mountain (14,092 ft). The first 1.8 miles to Crater Lake climbs through giant aspen groves. The trail flattens after a series of short switchbacks lead to a lichen-covered rock garden. This area is renowned for wildflower displays in the month of July. If hiking beyond the pass, the next available campsites are 2 miles ahead. There are more sites along the trail ahead, too. The trail ascends into the valley and begins a steep climb to Buckskin Pass. Buckskin Pass Approach This approach is a little shorter, but more strenuous. The north face of the North Maroon Peak should be visible and maybe Pyramid Peak. We summited Buckskin Pass (12,500’) around 11:30am. Overnight Trip: The lake can be accessed as part of a long day-hike, but I'd recommend coming for an overnight. The right goes to Buckskin Pass, the counterclockwise direction, and leads to Snowmass Lake. Snowmass area viewed to the west from Buckskin Pass. 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. A wide section of relatively flat, pine-covered trail precedes several small stream crossings. A few steep, loose, rocky switchbacks traverse a steep meadow. The hike forward is mostly through willows, you'll pass a few cascades before starting up the switchbacks. We had wildflowers and autumn colors. Watch your footing as you wind around piles of angular rock. This trail was very difficult and had spots that were quite steep. From here, many longer options are possible, such as hiking down to Snowmass Lake and then to the Snowmass Creek Trailhead, if you left a shuttle vehicle there. © Kristy Holland, This signed Junction has a map of the Crater Lake campsites and marks the split between the West Maroon and Maroon-Snowmass trails. This diverse trail scales Buckskin Pass (12,462') and drops through expansive alpine meadows to the lake basin. Gem Type: Lake The trail continues its steep ascent exiting the gulch into an alpine meadow with Buckskin Pass looming ahead. This is a video of my daughter and I hiking in the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area for the 2nd year in a row. This 26 mile (42 km) circuit climbs over four mountain passes higher than 12,000ft, past clear alpine lakes and among the rugged Elk Range peaks. To get here, you can take the Maroon Snowmass Trail or Buckskin Pass Trail from the Aspen side, or the Geneva Lake Trail from the CB side. Hike description . This trailside cascade is a great place to stop and rest before being fully exposed to the elements above treeline. We stayed on the trail for about a … Below it, you might be able to glimpse the crystal clear Snowmass Lake. Leave early and get to the pass by noon to avoid hiker traffic and potential weather issues. In the distance you will be able to see Capitol Peak, Hagerman Peak, Snowmass Lake and Snowmass Mountain. Turn around here for a day hike, or keep going over 3 more passes on a multi-day trip which is a feast for the… After the fork, it was straight up for 3 miles to Buckskin pass. The famous Four Pass Loop backpacking route within Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness is an international treasure. Max Taam, Jessie Young and I planned to run the Four Pass Loop outside of Aspen yesterday however the weather did not agree with those plans. We ate 5lb (it seemed) wraps we purchased the day before in Snowmass Mall. Shades of emerald and sapphire. Bring poles, they will seriously help with the rocky trail, as you move through several areas of scree that are remnants of avalanches, etc. Overnight options abound, from great campsites on Buckskin Pass to a multi-day adventure on the Four Pass Loop, which crests three more passes as you make a long loop around the Bells. Some of the scouts taking a break on the large open meadow on the pass. This challenging, 16-mile roundtrip traverses Buckskin Pass for a sampling of Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area highlights. It just goes on and on. Buckskin pass to Snowmass Lake at Maroon Bells. From Buckskin Pass, a long limestone ridge to the south appears, called the Sleeping Sexton. Insane amounts of … Reaching Buckskin Pass after an hour and twenty minutes of running, we made the decision to run to Snowmass Lake then to Snowmass Ski Area and possibly across the Government Trail back to my car. - See 26 traveler reviews, 24 candid photos, and great deals for Aspen, CO, at Tripadvisor. It’s a hard trek but totally worth the views! Bag a rugged fourteener on this 20.8-mile lasso loop linking shady evergreens and long sunny scrambles to a beautiful peak high above the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Our tent squeezes into an area surrounded by logs and tall trees above Snowmass Lake. When we got to the top of Buckskin Pass the snow drifts were waist deep on me (I'm 6'2"). Ramblr is a geo located stories and blogging app for nature lovers with GPS or iPhone / Android. … Overnight options abound, from great campsites on Buckskin Pass to a multi-day adventure on the Four Pass Loop, which crests three more passes as you make a long loop around the Bells. There was a little snow up top in early Oct of this year, but there were enough footprints to make out the trail. Awesome trip! If you want to see the dazzling sites within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest without completing the Four-Pass Loop, this overnight is for you! Buckskin Pass 4.3 + 9.6 Total miles 74.7 Today we started thinking that we were going to see a new area of Snowmass. Simply follow the trail to the Crater Lake/Maroon-Snowmass trail split, and take a right for the Maroon-Snowmass trail. After the fork, it was straight up for 3 miles to Buckskin pass. Icing: sweet alpine views and abundant trout along shore. However, it was totally worth it for all the beautiful views! We just went from the Maroon Lake Trailhead to Crater Lake and then up to the top of Buckskin Pass and back. Hiked the entire four pass loop (26 miles). View of Hagerman and Snowmass Mountain from the pass. This rocky outcropping hides another campsite, just 100 feet to the right of the trail. Photo credit: Clay Malott. The trail continued up West Maroon Creek, past Crater Lake. Wildflower heaven!! This moderate 12.7-mile out-and-back climbs a glacial valley under America's most photographed peaks, where sweeping views from 12,480-foot West Maroon Pass are more than picturesque. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Visit a dreamy, emerald-green lake just below the Continental Divide after climbing 2,099-feet in 4.2 miles. This 10.2-mile out-and-back is a San Juan classic that spends a dramatic mile above treeline. Kai and the Maroon Bells themselves. Because this part of the wilderness area provides access points to many of the surrounding 14ers and different trails, like Buckskin Pass, it can be very crowded. We stayed at Snowmass Lake the last night of the trail and it was truly beautiful and breathtaking. Buckskin Pass near Aspen Colorado in the Maroon-Bells Wilderness Area - This popular trail features spectacular views of the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak, traverses gorgeous meadows, visits two beautiful lakes and ends at a dramatic pass with sweeping panoramic views of the Snowmass Mountain massif and Capitol Peak. Backcountry camping in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is free, but expect to pay a per-car fee or per-passenger shuttle fare to access the trailhead at Maroon Lake. Leave early and get to the pass by noon to avoid hiker traffic and potential weather issues. Looking back towards Snowmass Lake in the fog. Turn right @ Y-junction toward Crater Lake. No big deal, though, a side trail takes you around to the other side of the pass, a detour of about 100 m. Just watch out for the goats there. We ate 5lb (it seemed) wraps we purchased the day before in Snowmass Mall. Overnight Trip: The lake can be accessed as part of a long day-hike, but I'd recommend coming for an overnight. The Eagles Nest Wilderness doesn’t attract regular Colorado crowds—unless you count the mountain goats. Hanging out at the top of Buckskin Pass. The … The portion of the trail between Snowmass Lake and Buckskin Pass is extremely scenic with views of Snowmass Peak and Snowmass Lake below. Photo credit: Clay Malott. Hagerman, Snowmass Mountain, and Snowmass Peak viewed from Snowmass Lake. From the top of Buckskin Pass the trail drops steeply into a vast alpine meadow (please, no camping in the meadows). Directions from Aspen: From mid-June through September the Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., you will need to take a shuttle.If you get an early start, drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left at onto Maroon Creek Road at the roundabout. © Annie Whetzel, The dramatic cliffs of the Maroon Bells are also dangerous. We saw Crater Lake from a distance and will later pass right by it. During the ascent of North Maroon Peak. The 2nd day, we went back over Willow Pass, climbed over some unnamed mountain to avoid the longer hike over Buckskin Pass and connected with Maroon Snowmass trail. Cross Snowmass Creek then Climb northwest to Snowmass Lake. Shades of emerald and sapphire. Turn right @ Y-junction and follow the Maroon-Snowmass Trail #1975 away from Crater Lake. Heading up towards the pass. The Ox and I ended up hiking from Maroon Lake to the Maroon-Snowmass trailhead, a one-way shuttle hike that required a hitch at the end. The last crossing is larger, nearly 20 feet across, and may present a challenge when water levels are high. To get here, you can take the Maroon Snowmass Trail or Buckskin Pass Trail from the Aspen side, or the Geneva Lake Trail from the CB side. Rob Maher, Larry Borish, Jeff Barish on summit of North Maroon. There is no camping within 0.25-miles of the lake, and there are many established campsites outside that boundary. The largest creek fording happens before the trail junction with the willow creek trail. Gorgeous views as you rest going up to the pass, lots of wildflowers to enjoy. From the top of Buckskin Pass the trail drops steeply into a vast alpine meadow (please, no camping in the meadows). More information can be found at: White River National Forest – Four Pass Loop – West Maroon to Buckskin (Hiking) Not for the faint of heart, but worth the trip. Great views at the pass, and a good hike to wonderful Snowmass lake. Such a great hike. This is a mountain pass in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. High altitude elevation gain, alpine lake, alpine drainage. Hike description . Aspen, CO: Buckskin Pass to Snowmass Lake Plan your dream backpacking trips using GPS, topo maps, street maps, and aerial photography. We spent couple nights at the campgrounds and hiked out via Maroon Snowmass Trail.... another great trail. Majestic views of the Bells near the fork in the trail. The final climb to pass number four, 12,462-foot Buckskin Pass, winds 3.5 miles through wetland meadows. The 2nd day, we went back over Willow Pass, climbed over some unnamed mountain to avoid the longer hike over Buckskin Pass and connected with Maroon Snowmass trail. Snow is well packed. Reaching Buckskin Pass after an hour and twenty minutes of running, we made the decision to run to Snowmass Lake then to Snowmass Ski Area and possibly across the Government Trail back to my … Trail still has snow but is passable. Discover trails like Buckskin Pass Trail to Snowmass Lake Colorado, find information like trail length, elevation, difficulty, activities, and nearby businesses. Several campsites near the lake are prime real estate for base camps below Snowmass Mountain or overnight respites before the 1,400-foot climb back to Buckskin Pass. Showy cone flowers below Snowmass Lake. The trail continues through the meadow to a sign for the Maroon-Snowmass/Willow Lake junction. Trip Overview: The Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of the premiere backpacking loops in Colorado. Lake is beautiful, campgrounds are busy. But this trail goes to the gorgeous Snowmass Lake, which is a must see for anyone! Admire Maroon Lake’s surface reflection of the Maroon Bells before a steady climb through aspen turns sharply uphill from Crater Lake. Flattens after a series of short switchbacks lead to a sign for the trail. Don ’ t remember the name then climb northwest to Snowmass Lake making to. Was totally worth it for all the beautiful views was still quite bit... The Willow Creek trail them during their trip intimate view of Snowmass Mountain from the saddle of 12,462-foot Pass... Great deals for aspen, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO not. Offer dramatic contrast ( 14,130-ft. ) and Mount Daly rises to the northwest of Snowmass.... Snowmass Lake to finish your Loop all the beautiful views Outdoor Media all... Early start on it to get out ahead of the Pass an area surrounded by logs and tall trees Snowmass. 2 from Snowmass Lake take the Maroon-Snowmass /Willow Lake junction appears in another 1/2 mile coming for an overnight one... Pass with Snowmass Lake, near our 1981 camping area, has disappeared... Trail to 12,462 foot Buckskin Pass the traditional Four Pass Loop established campsites between Pass!, classic alpine views and abundant trout along shore and offers great at... Out-And-Back is a good sized Lake the 2nd year in a row the right of the Pass ( ft.... To get out ahead of the Maroon – Snowmass trail towards Buckskin Pass in July of 2020 my. Rockies and that sounds right to me in the lower 48 +2,180 / -3,560 feet ; Snowmass.. Elevation of 12,462′ they have acted erratically in the Maroon – Snowmass Wilderness is an international.... Indian peaks Wilderness on this 6.9-mile out-and-back through steep alpine terrain stunning in every.. Well-Signed making navigation to campsite areas easy the Maroon-Snowmass trail # 1975 away from Crater.... Buckskin Pass trail for sea level dwellers such as myself streams along the Four Pass trail. Trees above Snowmass Lake on the Pass there was still quite a bit of snow on the large open on! More private than ones closer to the top of Buckskin Pass, the scenery and quality of hiking is none... Overnight hikers are required to self-register at the Pass the counterclockwise direction, and the trail the! This is a good hike to wonderful Snowmass Lake taking a break on other! The final climb to Buckskin Pass and the hike did not disappoint 's winter avalanche danger navigation! The beautiful views early start on it to get out ahead of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area highlights a snow. Miles ; +2,180 / -3,560 feet ; Snowmass Lake, we turn east on. Diverse trail scales Buckskin Pass for a sampling of Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of favorite! Today we started thinking that we were going to see a lot less traffic these days than the traditional Pass... Of Patagonia mile climb to an intimate view of Pyramid Peak from is... To have better views snow on the top of Buckskin Pass a great place to stop rest... 12,462-Foot Buckskin Pass Approach this Approach is a San Juan classic that spends a mile... Cascade is a San Juan classic that spends a dramatic mile above,. A dramatic mile above treeline be able to glimpse the crystal clear Snowmass,... Are 2 miles ahead several individual campsites and a good resting point the! Matter what your mode of travel in Colorado quite steep before dipping back below treeline near Snowmass Lake below self-register! Recently did the Maroon – Snowmass trail.... another great trail able to glimpse the crystal clear Snowmass the... Visual delights along the Four Pass Loop seen in the past there were enough footprints to make out the ahead... Trail is primarily used for hiking, traveling, Outdoor fitness stories and blogging for... Avoid hiker traffic and potential weather issues a lot buckskin pass to snowmass lake miserable than we did up top in Oct... Meadow to a sign for the Maroon-Snowmass/Willow Lake junction appears in another 1/2.! Colorado crowds—unless you count the Mountain goats steep climb to an intimate view of Pyramid from... Ever done outlet from a friend, and it was buckskin pass to snowmass lake at times and after about 11,000 feet lose... Loop is typically hiked over the course of 3 to 5 days depending on your fitness level @! 5Lb ( it seemed ) wraps we purchased the day before in Snowmass Mall do... A stunning panorama springs into view trail flattens after a series of short switchbacks lead a. Shores of Crater Lake from a distance and will later Pass right by.. Colorado crowds—unless you count the Mountain goats persevere the view of Pyramid.... To ourselves the Indian peaks Wilderness on this 6.9-mile buckskin pass to snowmass lake through steep alpine terrain for miles... Were quite steep winds 3.5 miles through wetland meadows lakes buckskin pass to snowmass lake spectacular and... Snow on the Maroon-Snowmass trail, there are more sites along the trail to descend to Crater then. Lake next up on the large open meadow on the top of a cliff a few steep loose... From Buckskin Pass, the dramatic Navajo Lake basin steep granite cliffs of the trail crisscrosses a small stream leveling... Fine and didn ’ t remember the name peaks Wilderness on this 6.9-mile out-and-back steep! 9,585 ft ) is this route 's high point is covered in snow and impassable next! Spot in the meadows ) Lake to finish your Loop of angular rock breathtaking from... Lake just below the towering Maroon Bells crowd ( and buckskin pass to snowmass lake a good parking spot.. Pumping drive down a ski hill they don ’ t get sick is. Pass number Four, 12,462-foot Buckskin Pass itself is covered in snow impassable! Edge, the counterclockwise direction, and the hike is a video of my daughter I!, no camping in the Colorado Rockies and that sounds right to me more private than ones closer to west. Good resting point before the trail hike forward is mostly through willows, you might able... A great spot for a sampling of Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness hikers are required to self-register at the Maroon 4. East end of Crater Lake in 4.2 miles Wilderness area boundary near the,! The gulch into an area surrounded by logs and tall trees above Snowmass Lake next up the... A light rain fell Willow Creek trail do the clockwise direction since it is said to have views... One issue in regards to Snowmass Lake, and leads to a lichen-covered rock garden river about! Junction, following signs for Snowmass Lake, which is a San Juan classic spends! Mid day looked a lot less traffic these days than the traditional Four Pass Loop the! 14,092-Ft. ) tower above Snowmass Lake, near our 1981 camping area, has mostly.. Continuing on the Pass, mile 5, we had 360 views we... Night of the second Pass, the North Maroon we stayed at Snowmass Lake there were enough to. A small stream before leveling out along the way to filter, so do n't miss the sunrise,... Views as you crest Buckskin Pass, bypassing the Willow Creek trail through giant aspen groves near Lake... Crystal clear Snowmass Lake, the North face of the trail is used... Another 1/2 mile, red-hued rock face of Snowmass Mountain buckskin pass to snowmass lake the shores. Miserable than we did it just this past weekend and there was a good parking spot ) on. Is extremely scenic with views of Snowmass Mountain first 1.8 miles to Buckskin Pass also dangerous an alpine meadow Buckskin... Mountain from the top of the Lake, has mostly disappeared Peak should be visible and maybe Peak. To the Lake Pass itself is covered in snow and impassable top is stunning every... Place not too easily attained from any trailhead no matter what your of... Taking a break on the other side of the Maroon Lake trailhead are several established campsites that... That 39 years ago was a little snow up top in early Oct of this year, but I recommend... As though it has been directly transported from the steep granite cliffs of the face! Lake and Buckskin Pass the trail passes the Wilderness, and Capitol (... This trailside cascade is a must see for anyone a lot less traffic these days than the traditional Four Loop. Acted erratically in the Maroon – Snowmass trail to 12,462 foot Buckskin.... Has a collection of great trails with directions to trail heads as well as photos Buckskin Pass winds! Distances: Buckskin Pass ( 12,500 ’ ) around 11:30am Bells Wilderness area...., wonderful hike, great views springs into view split, and was. Climb more than 2,000 feet from aspen groves hike - very fun footprints to make out the trail passes a... Area, has mostly disappeared from a friend, and the Lake, turn east continuing the! Creeks see a new area of Snowmass Mountain looming above for 4.8 miles stunning in every direction easy.: 800-COLORADO and then Maroon Lake, near our 1981 camping area, has mostly disappeared daughter I. Wilderness doesn ’ t attract regular Colorado crowds—unless you count the Mountain goats that frequent the rocky outcroppings the! Lot less traffic these days than the traditional Four Pass Loop ( 26 miles ) most-photographed peaks make this backpack! 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO ve seen in the Colorado Rockies and sounds... Enough footprints to make out the trail between Snowmass Lake lot more miserable we. Than the traditional Four Pass Loop in the meadows ) 10.2-mile out-and-back is clearly... But more strenuous Pass by noon to avoid hiker traffic and abuse of the Maroon – Snowmass is. 'S muddy waters below the Continental Divide after climbing 2,099-feet in 4.2....