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Best Summer Hikes around Aspen Snowmass

Trying to figure out where to hike on your vacation in Snowmass? We understand. It’s a tough decision when there’s hundreds of trails a quick drive away (and some within walking distance).

Here’s a few of our favorites in Snowmass and the surrounding valley:

1: Rim Trail

The perfect way to acclimate to the altitude: a quick jog up Rim Trail. Just a couple minutes from Stonebridge Condominiums, this hike is a local favorite with breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys. The trail starts out with somewhat steep switchbacks but quickly mellows out to flatter terrain. Don’t be discouraged if you’re quickly out of breath, we’re at 8,000+ feet!

The entire trail is 7.8 miles but most people just go to the top lookout and head back down, a manageable 2.6 mile roundtrip.

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2. Ditch Trail

Probably the best hike around if you’re looking for a nice and easy stroll through the mountains. The first mile or so is almost completely flat and offers breathtaking views of a few famous peaks in the area. One of my favorite benches in town is about one mile in, from there it drops down a hill you will have to hike back up so this is a good turn-around point if you want an easy walk.


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3. Cathedral Lake

This is one of our favorite hikes in the valley. It’s no Everest but you’ll definitely gain some elevation and tackle a few steep switchbacks. To get there you head towards Aspen, take the Ashcroft exit in the roundabout and drive about 20 minutes, after which you’ll see a sign for the trailhead just past Pine Creek Cookhouse (which isn’t a bad place to grab a bite after the hike).

The hike is 5.5 miles roundtrip and varies in intensity but most folks who have hiked before shouldn’t have any trouble. Start early in the day as the Rocky Mountains are prone to lightning storms in the late afternoon. It’s best to be heading down by 2pm to avoid unwanted rain showers.

cathederal lake 2

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4. Crater Lake/Maroon Bells

The most popular/crowded hike in the valley but one of the most beautiful as well. The Maroon Bells is the most photographed peak in North America and with one glance you will know why. Arrive early to miss the worst of the crowds.

maroon bells

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5. Ute Trail

If you want to see the town of Aspen from above, Ute Trail is the answer. It’s 5.5 miles roundtrip and fairly steep but again, it’s doable for most. If you have bad knees like myself, hiking poles are wise.

Click here for more info.

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