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This trail connects the Maroon-Snowmass and Capitol Creek Trails. It climbs steeply for 4-1/2 miles to the top of the ridge (passing through the low spot between Mount Daly and Haystack Mountain) separating Snowmass and Capitol Valleys, before plunging another 2-1/2 miles to Capitol Creek. The view from the top is magnificent, several 14,000'+ peaks are visible, and wildlife is abundant. You must be in good shape to hike this trail with a backpack. The trail leaves the Maroon-Snowmass Trail, crosses Snowmass Creek (cold & swift), and climbs through stands of aspen for 1-1/2 miles. At higher elevations the trail journeys through stands of Spruce-fir and flower-filled meadows, passing below Mt. Daly, and finally above the timberline where deer and elk are often seen. From the pass, the trail descends very quickly as it carries you through undisturbed meadows and forests where few people visit.

Directions: From Aspen, Drive 6 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Brush Creek Road. Continue on Brush Creek Road 5.3 miles and turn right onto Divide Road. Divide Road turns into a gravel road and passes Krabloonik Restaurant & Kennels, then descends steeply to the valley bottom where the road forks. Take the left fork, the trailhead will be just beyond the wooden bridge, on the left side of the road (The Maroon-Snowmass Trail is at the end of the gravel road).NOTE:You will pass the East Snowmass Trailhead on the left. Continue past it to the end of the road. Hike 1-1/4 mile along the Maroon-Snowmass Trail to the junction with the West Snowmass Trail (About a 1/4 mile past the gate across the trail.).

Elevation: 8,600 feet

Ending Elevation: 11,600 feet

Elevation Gain: 3,000 feet

Distance: 7 miles

Usage: Moderate

Difficulty: Strenuous

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White River National Forest, Colorado

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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