Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


The Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail is an easy, short trail meandering along the creek.

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Maroon Lake Scenic Trail: Getting there

From the roundabout west of Aspen, take Maroon Creek Road.

Check the sign just past the roundabout for road closure status. During busy times & the summer, cars are only permitted past the guard gate to the Maroon Lake parking lot before 9am or after 5pm. On these days, park at Aspen Highlands and take the Maroon Bells bus (runs approx. every 20 minutes). If driving, a $10 fee applies for a 5-day pass.

Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail: The hike

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

From the parking lot, follow the trail to the lake.

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The trail continues to the right of the lake. At the “Scenic Loop Trail or Crater Lake” marker, keep left.

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Cross the bridge over Maroon Creek and continue on the trail.

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The trail forms a loop through the meadow and trees.

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The trail is approximately 1 mile roundtrip.

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Disclaimer: The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. We received no compensation for this article. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

 

Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado

Hiking Meadows Trail in Aspen

Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Meadows Trail is a short, pretty hike that begins in Aspen’s West End by Aspen Meadows Resort.

Aspen Meadows Resort, Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Aspen Meadows Resort, Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Meadows Trail: Getting there

Head west on Main Street, go through the “S” curve, then turn north (right) on 8th Street.  The trail begins at 8th and Meadows.

Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Meadows Trail: The hike

Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Meadows Trail is an easy, one mile roundtrip hike next to Castle Creek.

Beginning at 8th and Meadows, the trail runs next to 8th Street.

Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado (Buttermilk in distance)
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

At Aspen Meadows, turn left and head down the switchbacks behind the resort.

At the bottom of the switchbacks, Meadows Trail runs along Castle Creek, then intersects with Rio Grande Trail.

Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Meadows Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Additional Aspen, Colorado hikes

Aspen hiking overview
Rio Grande Trail
Richmond Ridge
Smuggler Mountain
Hunter Creek Trail
River Run Trail
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop
Maroon Bells Crater Lake

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Hunter Creek Trail starts from Aspen and heads uphill (about 5 miles roundtrip).

Hunter Creek Trail: Getting there

From Main Street & Mill (corner of the Hotel Jerome), take Mill & cross the bridge by the old Art Museum.

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Turn left on Red Mountain Road & then right at Lone Pine Road.  The parking lot is on the corner and the trailhead is just up the street behind the parking lot.

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Hunter Creek Trail: The hike

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Hunter Creek trail is a moderate climb up a rocky path next to the creek.

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Hunter Creek Trail starts from Aspen and heads uphill for about 2.5 miles (one way) with about a 1,000 vertical foot elevation gain.

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The hike is mostly shady and runs next to the creek, in the midst of aspens.

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Views from each of the bridges provide beautiful views of Aspen to the south.

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

At the last bridge before the road (about .75 mile), be sure to look north at the waterfalls.

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Additional Aspen, Colorado hikes

Aspen hiking overview
Meadows Trail
Rio Grande Trail
Richmond Ridge
Smuggler Mountain
River Run Trail
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop
Maroon Bells Crater Lake

Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Hunter Creek Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado

Hiking Smuggler Mountain in Aspen

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Smuggler Mountain is a popular hike with the trailhead located in east Aspen.

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Smuggler Mountain: Getting there

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

From Main Street & Mill (corner of the Hotel Jerome), take Mill to Gibson.  Turn right & at the Y intersection, keep left onto South Avenue.  Turn right onto Park Circle to Smuggler Mountain Road.  There is parking on the right & and a 2nd lot is just above.

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Smuggler Mountain: The hike

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Kim Hull, Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Smuggler Mountain trail is a fairly steep 1.5 mile climb that ends at the observation deck overlooking Aspen.

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Smuggler Mine sits at the base of the mountain. The trail is actually a multi-purpose dirt road shared by hikers, bikers, runners & dogs and is quite heavily used, especially on the weekends.

Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

At the top is an observation deck with stunning views of Aspen.

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Kim Hull & Kibo, Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Additional Aspen, Colorado hikes

Aspen hiking overview
Meadows Trail
Rio Grande Trail
Richmond Ridge
Hunter Creek Trail
River Run Trail
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop
Maroon Bells Crater Lake

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Smuggler Mountain Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado

Skiing Aspen’s Buttermilk

Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Buttermilk sits three miles outside of Aspen on Highway 82, providing visitors a view of the impressive 22-foot superpipe as they make their way into Aspen.

The smallest of the four Aspen mountains, Buttermilk is primarily known as the home of the ESPN Winter X-Games and, at the other end of the continuum, a beginner’s mountain.

X Games, Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
X Games, Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Skiing & snowboarding for beginners & families

Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Buttermilk’s smooth rolling terrain makes it the Aspen option for new skiers and snowboarders to learn.

Well-groomed and not crowded, West Buttermilk’s gentle greens are the perfect place to build confidence or just enjoy a casual day on the slopes.

To head to West Buttermilk, simply take the Summit Lift to the top and head to the right (west).

West Buttermilk is served by the West Buttermilk lift.

Buttermilk’s ski and snowboard school

Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Ski & Snowboard Schools of AspenSnowmass teach on all four mountains, but generally beginner and children’s classes are held at either Buttermilk or Snowmass.

Aspen’s Ski & Snowboard School is exceptional, with skilled, professional instructors that strive to make the most of the experience regardless of age or ability.

And, while they’re in ski school…

If you are dropping off someone at ski school, jump on the Summit Express and head up to the Tiehack (east) side of the mountain.

Tiehack boasts blue and black runs that are generally groomed and are served by the Tiehack high-speed quad, new in 2011.

Racer’s Edge in the morning sun can hand over some nice fast cruising to start your day.

Catch some air at Buttermilk’s terrain parks

From beginner to expert, Buttermilk’s two terrain parks have over 100 features including rollers, jibs, boxes and hidden features in trees.

Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Buttermilk: Eats

Buttermilk has two restaurants: Bumps at the base of the mountain and The CliffHouse at the top of the Summit Express lift.

Boasting views up the mountain of the half-pipe and terrain park, Bumps serves up burgers, pasta, soups and sandwiches in an energetic atmosphere.

The CilffHouse offers lunch with amazing views of surrounding mountains. Dining options include burgers, soups, sandwiches and the very popular Mongolian grill.

Buttermilk: The Facts

Buttermilk has a base elevation of 7,870 ft (2,399 m) and tops out at 9,900 ft (3,018 ft).

It’s 470 acres (190 hectares) contain 44 trails, served by 3 high-speed quads lifts (plus 4 ski school lifts & the Panda Peak lift).

35% of the trails are green, 39% are blue, 26% black & there are no double black.

The longest run is 3 miles.

For a Buttermilk trail map and more info, visit the AspenSnowmass website.

More Aspen

Aspen Mountain
Aspen Highlands
Snowmass
10 tips for the best Aspen ski vacation

 

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado

Hiking Maroon Bells Crater Lake Trail

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Maroon Bells Crater Lake Trail is a moderate trail up to Crater Lake and the West Maroon Trail.

Maroon Bells Crater Lake Trail: Getting there

From the roundabout west of Aspen, take Maroon Creek Road. Check the sign just past the roundabout for road closure status. During busy times & the summer, cars are only permitted past the guard gate to the Maroon Lake parking lot before 9am or after 5pm.

On these days, park at Aspen Highlands and take the Maroon Bells bus (runs approx. every 20 minutes). If driving, a $10 fee applies for a 5 day pass.

Maroon Bells Crater Lake Trail: The hike

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

From the parking lot, follow the trail to the lake. The trail continues to the right of the lake. At the “Scenic Loop Trail or Crater Lake” marker, keep right.

Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop Trail, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The first part of the hike is a steady climb up switchbacks through the trees.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

As the top of the switchbacks, you will pass through a rock field. Crater Lake is just beyond the rock field.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Crater Lake trail  is an approximate 3 mile roundtrip from Maroon Lake.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

If you are feeling up for some more hiking, go past the lake to the West Maroon Trail.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

West Maroon Trail is a 10.2 mile hike to Crested Butte over West Maroon Pass. Adding on an additional mile or so from Crater Lake before turning back is a beautiful additional hike in mostly solitude.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Additional Aspen, Colorado hikes

Aspen hiking overview
Meadows Trail
Rio Grande Trail
Richmond Ridge
Smuggler Mountain
Hunter Creek Trail
River Run Trail
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop

Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Rio Grande trail is a pretty stroll in the heart of Aspen.

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Rio Grande trail: Getting there

The Rio Grande trail starts behind the Aspen Post Office near Mill & Puppy Smith.

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Rio Grande trail: The hike

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The hike starts at the Jenny Adair Wetlands & Sawmill Park, a serene area dedicated to an early Aspen pioneer.

Heading along the Rio Grande trail, the hike winds along to the sound of the Roaring Fork River.

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The 1st two miles (one way) are paved & shared with cyclists, dogs, strollers and runners.

At Cemetery Lane, the trail is dirt and runs all the way to Basalt.

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Rio Grande trail: Cutoff to the Music Tent

Grindlay Bridge, Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Grindlay Bridge, Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

An alternative is to cutoff the Rio Grande Trail at about 1.5 miles at the Grindlay Bridge.

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The trail runs up behind the Benedict Music Tent in the West End.

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Additional Aspen, Colorado hikes

Aspen hiking overview
Meadows Trail
Richmond Ridge
Smuggler Mountain
Hunter Creek Trail
River Run Trail
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop
Maroon Bells Crater Lake

Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking the Rio Grande Trail in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado

Hiking Richmond Ridge near Aspen

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Richmond Ridge is a five mile (one way) trail off the back of Aspen Mountain.

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Richmond Ridge: Getting there

Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Take the gondola up Aspen mountain to the Sundeck (or hike up Aspen Mountain).

The Sundeck, Aspen Mountain, Aspen, Colorado
The Sundeck, Aspen Mountain, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Richmond Ridge: The hike

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

At the Sundeck, head behind the gondola, past the picnic tables to the start of the Richmond Ridge trail.

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The Richmond Ridge trail is actually a dirt road, sometimes shared with off-road vehicles.  The trail is mostly flat with some rolling hills and is fairly easy with a few moderate uphill climbs.

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

With the entire trail above 11,000 feet, the views are amazing.

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
An easy hike for visitors to Aspen, Richmond Ridge
An easy hike for visitors to Aspen, Richmond Ridge
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Additional Aspen, Colorado hikes

Aspen hiking overview
Meadows Trail
Rio Grande Trail
Smuggler Mountain
Hunter Creek Trail
River Run Trail
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop
Maroon Bells Crater Lake

Richmond Ridge, Aspen, Colorado
Hiking Richmond Ridge in Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado

Hiking the River Run Trail near Aspen

Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The River Run trail is a beautiful, easy hike within 15 minutes of downtown Aspen.

River Run Trail: Getting there

Ashcroft, Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Ashcroft, River Run Trail near Aspen
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

From the roundabout west of Aspen, take Castle Creek Rd 11 miles up to the Ashcroft ghost town.

Park at Ashcroft.  Donations are expected to pass through/visit Ashcroft & dogs are not allowed in Ashcroft.

River Run Trail: The hike

Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

After passing through Ashcroft, the River Run trail begins and runs next to Castle Creek.

Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

After about a mile following the water, the trail veers slightly to the right and meanders through a meadow with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.

Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Hiking River Run Trail near Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

At about 1 1/2 miles, you reach the Pine Creek Cookhouse (across the road on the right), serving gourmet mountain eats, or a turn around point for about a 3 mile roundtrip hike.

Pine Creek Cookhouse, Aspen, Colorado
Pine Creek Cookhouse, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Additional Aspen, Colorado hikes

Aspen hiking overview
Meadows Trail
Rio Grande Trail
Richmond Ridge
Smuggler Mountain
Hunter Creek Trail
Maroon Bells Maroon Lake Scenic Loop
Maroon Bells Crater Lake

River Run Trail: Photos

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4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado

Aspen’s Old Fashioned 4th of July

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Each year Aspen celebrates the 4th of July with a full day of activities and fun old-fashioned style!

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Boogie’s Diner Buddy Charity Race

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The 4th of July activities kick off at Boogie’s Diner with a 5K charity run and a 1 mile family & canine walk benefiting the Buddy Program.

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

People & dogs of all ages run, walk & stroll though the streets of Aspen, while their participation provided funding to support more than 650 local Aspen youth through mentoring and other vital youth services.

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Aspen’s Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

By late morning, thousands begin to gather on the streets of downtown Aspen for the 4th of July parade. The crowds cheered as fire trucks, floats, bikes, and more provided color and excitement to the annual parade.

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Picnics, Music, a Carnival & Dancing in the Streets

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The afternoon & evening were filled with picnics, a free concert by the Aspen Music Festival Band at the Benedict music tent, and a party in the streets of downtown Aspen to finish out the day.

4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
4th of July 2012, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
Aspen Food and Wine Classic

I’m a Riesling girl

Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits
Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

I confess, I used to think of Riesling in that one word: sweet.

Then, a miraculous thing happened.

We went to the Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits Festival and the heavens parted (it did rain, so only a slight exaggeration) and lo and behold, there were Rieslings that were another word: dry.

Life as a Riesling disciple

Friday afternoon when we were sitting at Ajax Tavern planning our Saturday agenda at Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, I stated to our son, “Oh, there’s a Riesling tasting. You know they’re not all sweet.

Sometimes I forget he’s a certified sommelier – so yes, I got the smirk, eye roll and the, “You think?

He then told me that Paul Grieco was leading it, so yes, it was a good choice.

Two roads sometimes lead to the same path.

A man with a grape mission

Aspen Food and Wine Classic
Aspen Food and Wine Classic
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

An evangelist of the Riesling grape, Paul Grieco will, within 45 minutes, convince you that there is no reason for a white wine list to contain anything but Riesling and the juice should have your uncompromising devotion.

Okay, while you may not be instantly converted as a Riesling disciple, Mr. Grieco delivers his message with such mischievous, authoritative conviction that it is hard not to quickly exalt the Riesling with great admiration.

Reasons to love Rieslings: The Wines

The Riesling seminar was a walk through Rieslings from around the world, from dry to that other word, sweet.

When asked the price point of one of the wines, Mr.Grieco simply stated, “They’re all priceless.”

The wines tasted included…

How do you define greatness?

Mr. Grieco lists six criteria that define greatness in a wine – complexity, balance, delicacy, longevity, a sense of place and yumminess.

The take-away: A great Riesling is a complex, delicate wine that balances acidity and sweetness, with no one element outshining the others, that makes you smile.

AcidHounds Unite

I’m now a Riesling girl and I have the tat to prove it.

Ok, so that tatoo will wear off in a few days (I think), but the love of Rieslings won’t.

Cheers!

Related

Aspen Food & Wine Classic

 

Outside in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado

Mountain biking with a pro at Outside in Aspen

Outside in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
Outside in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Outside in Aspen is a unique event that offers a chance to…

  • Outside in Aspen, Aspen, ColoradoAttend one of 10 adventure clinics with elite athletes in rafting, kayaking, climbing a 14er, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, road biking, rock climbing, trail running, and fly-fishing
  • Win a $6000 bike, a $2000 camera and many more prizes
  • Hang out at The Sky Hotel for the welcome party and après pool party with DJ and prizes
  • Check out the demos, exhibitors, family adventure program, and get a free chair massage at Adventure Base Camp
  • Enjoy a beverage at the Saturday Beer Garden with live music from Jes Grew
  • Hear a panel of elite adventure athletes and Outside editors discuss outdoor-related issues and topics
Outside in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
Outside in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Kicking it off

Outside in Aspen welcome party at The Sky Hotel, Aspen, Colorado
Outside in Aspen welcome party at The Sky Hotel, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Outside in Aspen kicked off at the Sky Hotel on Friday night where guests were welcomed with music, appetizers and, thanks to Kru, the vodka flowed like wine.

Outside in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
Outside in Aspen, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Mountain biking the Rim Trail in Snowmass

Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

We signed up for mountain biking at Outside in Aspen for a couple of reasons.

Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
  1. We had only mountain biked twice before. The first time was in Nevis. I got hit by a goat, it broke the bike and I had to walk all the way down. The second time was in Beaver Creek last year in August. We rode up Cinch, it was super hot and not exactly exciting.
  2. With Outside in Aspen, we had a chance to ride with Sari Anderson, and one thing I’ve learned over the years is to never pass up an opportunity to do anything with an expert.
Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Johnny and Trevor of Blazing Adventures at Snowmass were our guides and took excellent care of us.

Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Greg, Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

We did the Rim Trail at Snowmass – 17 switchbacks up to the ridge and then a single track trail with great views.

Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Greg, Outside in Aspen, Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

It was a great morning – not sure if I’m ready to give up my road bike, but learned a ton and had a lot of fun!

Outside in Aspen, , Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Outside in Aspen, , Snowmass Rim Trail, Snowmass, Colorado
Photo: © Chasing Light Media