From the trailhead the trail descends steeply, losing 600 feet in elevation the first 1/2 mile. The trail then crosses Capitol Creek and bears to the right, paralleling the creek most of the way up the drainage. A sign marks the West Snowmass Trail on the left at about 4 miles. At the 6 mile point the trail switchbacks to a double log crossing. In another 1/2 mile, the trail crosses the stream again. In the fir stands on the right, 1/3 mile from this crossing, are the last campfire sites. Stove only sites can be found on the knolls to the right about 500 yards before the Mt. Daly Trail. Camping is not allowed in the meadows or within 200 feet of Capitol Lake. Continue on the trail to Capitol Lake. To reach the pass and Avalanche Creek Trail, follow the trail along the west side of the lake.
Directions: From Aspen, Drive 14 miles west on Highway 82 to Old Snowmass and turn left. Continue 2 miles to the "T" intersection. Take the right turn 5 miles until the pavement ends. Follow the dirt road about 3 miles to the trailhead. The last mile is on a 4WD road. If you don't have 4WD, park in the BLM meadow on the right approximately 2-1/4 miles below the trailhead. The road does continue past the Capitol Lake Trailhead and climbs very steeply to the Hell Roaring Trailhead. The road is slick when wet.
Elevation: 9,400 feet
Ending Elevation: 11,600 feet
Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet
Distance: 7.3 miles
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White River National Forest, Colorado
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