ALERT -- The Department of Interior is now accepting comments to gauge public support for the National Monuments under review as a result of President Trump’s recent executive order. Bear Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante are two of the monuments that are threatened by this action. There are many more. The period for collecting these comments is just 15 days. I encourage everyone who cares about these amazing places to send a comment, in their own word, as a show of support. Please tell your friends. Thank you.

Buckskin Pass

Distance: 3.4 - 9.2 miles (round trip)

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

Hagerman Peak, Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak from Buckskin Pass

Hagerman Peak, Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak from Buckskin Pass

 

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. Visual delights along the trail include two stunning alpine lakes and pretty meadows sprinkled with wildflowers. (full description)

  • Distance: 3.4 miles (round trip) to Crater Lake
    9.2 miles (round trip) to Buckskin Pass
  • Elevation: 9,580-ft. at Trailhead
    10,076-ft. at Crater Lake
    12,462-ft. at Buckskin Pass
  • Elevation Gain: 496-ft. to Crater Lake
    2,882-ft. to Buckskin Pass
  • Difficulty: strenuous
  • Basecamp: Aspen
  • Region: Central Colorado

Why Hike Buckskin Pass

If I only had time for one hike in the Aspen area I’d choose Buckskin Pass. The hike features spectacular views of the Maroon Bell and Pyramid Peak, wanders by two beautiful lakes, traverses gorgeous alpine meadows and ends at a dramatic pass.

From the pass stunning views extend west to a sea of granite pinnacles. Hagerman Peak and Snowmass Mountain (14,092-ft.) tower above Snowmass Lake. Rugged Capitol Peak (14,130-ft.) and Mount Daly rise to the northwest of Snowmass Mountain. Pyramid Peak (14,018-ft.) and a jagged ridgeline of 13,000-ft. peaks dominate the skyline to the east while the Sleeping Sexton and Maroon Bells rise above the ridge to the south.

Be forewarned you will not be alone on this popular hike. My advice is to get an early start so you can enjoy a degree of solitude at the pass, have plenty of time to soak in the scenery and then descend before the onset of afternoon thunderstorm, a common occurrence in the Rockies.

Read the full trail description

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile Buckskin Pass

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

Buy the Book

This opinionated guide includes all the hikes in the Aspen, Buena Vista, Crested Butte, Marble and Leadville sections of the website plus info on local services and nearby attractions.

Paperback Edition

Kindle Edition

EPub Edition

 

Trail Resources