Avalanche Pass

Distance: 7.4 miles (round trip)

Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, White River National Forest, near Aspen in Central Colorado

Snowmass Mtn and Hagerman Peak from Avalanche Pass

Snowmass Mtn and Hagerman Peak from Avalanche Pass

 

This lightly used trail ascends beautiful Buckskin Basin to a stunning pass with wonderful views of Capitol Peak, Snowmass Mountain and Mount Daly. (full description)

  • Distance: 7.4 miles (round trip)
  • Elevation: 9,080-ft. at Trailhead
    Maximum elevation - 12,100-ft.
  • Elevation Gain: 3,020-ft.
  • Difficulty: strenuous
  • Basecamp: Aspen
  • Region: Central Colorado

Why Hike Avalanche Pass

The west side of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is as scenic as the east side but more lightly used, providing a degree of solitude not possible on most of the east side trails. One of my favorite hikes from the west is the trail to Avalanche Pass. The route ascends North Fork Creek and beautiful Buckskin Basin (not to be confused with Buckskin Pass in the east) to a 12,100-ft. pass with terrific views of the south face of Capitol Peak, Snowmass Mountain and Mount Daly.

It is a long drive from the Aspen area to the trailhead but worth the time and effort. Hikers with passenger cars will want to hike the final 0.8 miles to the trailhead instead of driving the rough Lead King Basin Road.

Read the full trail description

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile Avalanche Pass Trail

Best Hiking in Central Colorado around Aspen, Marble, Leadville, Buena Vista and Crested Butte

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