Aspen is a hiker’s paradise. With several hiking trails in Aspen itself and nearly a dozen east of the town, you’ll never have a dull moment when you want to escape into the mountains and enjoy the pristine wilderness native to the Rockies.
Great Hiking Trails East of Aspen
There are easy, moderate and difficult trails just east of Aspen.
Anderson Lake and Petroleum Lake
To get to Anderson Lake or Petroleum Lake, you can follow an old Jeep road off Lincoln Creek Road for a total of 1.8 miles (that’s all the way to Petroleum Lake). You’ll gain about 1,000 feet in elevation, and the trail is for those with moderate skill.
While it’s about 13.5 miles east of Aspen, Discovery Trail is well worth the trip. It’s designed to help visually impaired hikers a feel for the outdoors, and there are nylon cord guides along the entire trail. You’ll also find 22 messages along the trail in Braille and in print.
This 3.6-mile (one-way) hike has an elevation gain of 2,000 feet, so it requires moderate skill.
The Grottos area is a great place to picnic, and there’s plenty to see. With amazing rock formations, an ice cave and a beautiful waterfall, this local hotspot is easy to get to but hard to leave.
Lost Man Trail
The Lost Man Trail is a moderate climb with a few steep sections. Bring your fishing pole if you’re going during the summer—you’ll see Independence Lake, Lost Man Lake and Lost Man Reservoir along the way. The trailhead is located in Lost Man Campground; stick to the right at the fork a half-mile in.
Midway Trail is one of the area’s more confusing trails. It connects with the Hunter Creek Trail, but it’s a 20-mile hike all the way to Aspen if you use that route. The Midway Trail is 8.8 miles one-way, and you’ll gain 2,000 feet in elevation on this difficult trail. Don’t go without a map!
New York Creek Trail
This tough trail is 4.2 miles in each direction, but don’t attempt it without a topographical map. It’s easy to get lost on New York Creek Trail, where you’ll gain about 2,300 feet in elevation along a few extremely steep spots.
The Ruby Trail, located off Lincoln Creek Road at the Grizzly Reservoir, leads 5 miles to the old ghost town of Ruby. The hike is easy, but bring your camera—you’ll have plenty of photo-ops along the way.
A moderate hike, the 3.9-mile Tabor Lake trail leads you to within a half-mile of Tabor Lake. You’ll gain about 2,000 feet in elevation, and some parts of the trail may be washed out, depending on when you go.
Are You Moving to Aspen?
If you’re looking for a great place to live in Aspen, we’d love to help you find one. We live and work (and hike!) in this area, so when you’re ready to explore your options, call us at 970-429-8275 or contact us online to tell us what you want from your next home.
In the meantime, explore our:
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