Aspen Hiking Trails
The hiking in Aspen gives the famous skiing a run for its money. It is a time old saying in these mountains that anyone will come to Aspen for winter, but they will stay because of the summer. Try these local favorites instead of sifting through the many options. Or give us a call for more suggestions!
Imagine the famed Hollywood hills hike that slowly winds to look over smoggy LA. The Aspen equivalent is Smuggler. A slow and steady incline up gives you great views of the town and won’t put you into cardiac arrest. Great for a quick jaunt before dinner or an early morning pick me up to get a beautiful day going. Unarguably the most popular hike in town, you are sure to run into every mom on the school board and all the cutest dogs this side of Snowmass. It is a must do for locals and tourists alike. Take the trail to a bench at the top of the hill for a quick up and down or continue on for the Smuggler loop or any of the other trail systems that wind back into the hills.
1.5 miles EASY – MODERATE
Just a little more than a half mile each way, Weller Lake is a great destination for a group or family looking for an easy hike. This shady hike weaves through an evergreen forest up Independence Pass to a beautiful and pristine mountain lake. The hike is manageable for all abilities with a view that could never disappoint. Pro tip: Bring watercolors for the top and look for mushrooms along the way!
0.6 miles EASY
If you are looking for some heart pumping exercise or a way to prepare yourself for a larger Aspen area hike, the Ute Trail is a great option. It is a steady and steep uphill of switchbacks to a rock outcropping that looks down on Aspen town proper – a truly spectacular and iconic view. From the top, you may continue up Ajax Mountain to the Sundeck (make sure the gondola is running for a nice ride down) or venture back down the switchbacks.
1 mile DIFFICULT
This lesser known mountain lake is a great alternative to experience the Maroon Bells area without dealing with the crowds. This can be done as a day hike but also has excellent backcountry campsites. The trail climbs steadily and then reaches a series of switchbacks followed by a marked fork. Take the left fork to Cathedral Lake for a total hike of 3.2 miles. Our personal summer favorite!
3.5 miles one way MODERATE – DIFFICULT