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Summer and winter, Hunter Valley is one of the most popular trips from Aspen because of its beauty, accessibility, and peaceful setting. Hunter Valley has everything you would expect from an idyllic mountain valley: the picturesque Hunter Creek, the meadow valley floor, the surrounding mountain peaks, the prominent Thimble Rock at the end of the valley, the wildlife, the abandoned hunters' cabins, and much more. You can spend anywhere from 2 hours to all day on your tour in Hunter Valley. The farther you explore in Hunter Valley, the more the valley beckons you on. From the trailhead parking lot walk down to the road and go left through two large stone pillars, walking 1/4 mile to where the trail crosses the road. After a sharp turn in the road the trail will be just ahead on the right traversing along the side of the hill, with a sign saying 'Hunter Creek Trail'. After a traverse of about 100 yards, the trail reaches the Benedict Bridge which crosses Hunter Creek. After crossing the bridge, the trail (more like a road at this point) goes up fairly steeply along the right side of Hunter Creek in the trees. A little distance up, the trail levels off and narrows as it continues on through the evergreens and aspen. After another 1 mile the trail bears off to the right into the aspen and is marked by blue diamonds. Coming out of the trees at the White River National Forest sign, you will see Hunter Valley opening up before you, with the creek to the left and mountains on all sides.

Directions: From Aspen, From north Mill Street turn left onto Red Mountain Road and follow to Hunter Creek Road (1.3 miles from Main Street). Go right for .3 miles, then left up a hill into the Hunter Creek Trail parking lot.

Elevation: 7,900 feet

Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet

Distance: 8.5 miles

Usage: Heavy

Difficulty: Moderate

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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.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.