West Maroon Pass
MAROON BELLS-SNOWMASS WILDERNESS, COLORADO
Get a different view of Colorado’s most photographed mountains on this 13-mile out-and-back.
Start at the Maroon Lake trailhead off U.S. 82 near Aspen. Follow the West Maroon Trail as it skirts the north shore of Maroon Lake, climbing through aspen and spruce. Continue straight past a junction at mile 1.7 and trace the western shore of Crater Lake. The path winds through patches of scrubby willow up to West Maroon Pass at mile 6.5, where you can scope sweet views of BelleviewMountain to the west, Len Shoemaker Ridge to the east, and 14,156-foot Maroon Peak towering to the northwest. Retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Want to wake up to this? Stop about 1.5 miles before the pass and snag this treeline campsite in an impacted area about 100 feet off the trail to the east, hidden in a cluster of stunted trees (free permit required).
DO IT TRAILHEAD 39.0991, -106.9380 SEASON June to September SHUTTLE Maroon Creek Road is closed from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; take the shuttle bus from Aspen Highlands ($8). PERMIT Required (free); self-issue at trailhead kiosks. CONTACT bit.ly/westmaroonpass