This long hike ascends a pretty valley through aspen groves and spruce-fir forest interspersed with meadows to Capitol Lake, an alpine jewel nestled beneath the massive west face of Capital Peak (14,130-ft.). (full description)
From the Capitol Creek trailhead views stretch south to majestic Capitol Peak (14,130-ft.), a massive sentinel towering over the Capitol Creek Valley. This hike traverses the valley’s aspen groves, spruce-fir forests and meadows to visit scenic Capital Lake, an azure jewel cradled beneath the Peak’s monumental west face. Beyond the lake the trail crosses Capitol Pass (12,060-ft.) and connects with the Avalanche Creek trail.
Capitol Lake makes a great, albeit long, day hike. The route is popular with day hikers as well as backpackers accessing the West Snowmass and Avalanche Creek trails and climbers seeking to summit Mt. Daly or Capital Peak, one of Colorado’s most difficult fourteeners to climb.
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