Buckskin Pass

Location: Central Colorado
Trip Starts: Maroon Lake
Trip Ends: Snowmass Creek
Total Distance: 15.8 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Trails Used: Maroon-Snowmass Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate
Trip Type: Overnight Hike
More Information:

White River National Forest
Aspen Ranger District
806 W. Hallam
Aspen, Colorado 81611


The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness covers more than 174,000 acres in the White River and Gunnison National Forests and has elevations that exceed 14,000 feet. Over 100 miles of constructed trails are available for both foot and horse travel in this area, and hikers and backpackers are treated to scenery that is nothing short of spectacular: panoramic high passes, beautiful alpine lakes, quaking aspen groves, meadows sprinkled with wildflowers and jagged peaks. Unfortunately, the area is close to Snowmass and Aspen, and it gets a significant amount of trail traffic, particularly in the summer around Maroon Lake.

We initially planned a 28 mile loop hike through the area, but changed our mind due to the numerous 3000′ climbs. The Ox and I ended up hiking from Maroon Lake to the Maroon-Snowmass trailhead, a one-way shuttle hike that required a hitch at the end. Nonetheless, the views from Buckskin Pass and at Maroon and Snowmass Lakes were spectacular, and it was well worth the effort.

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