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There is a lot of snow to melt and a lot of trees need to be cleared. After climbing ~1,700 feet, you reach the top of the pass at the 4 mile mark. The primary risks are altitude sickness,  lightning strikes, and exhaustion. If you have not done much backpacking, it would best to practice on a smaller trip first (less than 20 miles maybe) or go with a partner that is experienced. But, if you see dark clouds moving in, you want to get to lower elevation to protect yourself. The site for night one could be #32, 33, or 34 on this map (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd542652.pdf). This is absolutely against the rules. Hi Kristen – Assuming you camp near the sites suggested in the itinerary described in this post I would go as follows: Day 1 – Not pass to go over, so probably not much worry about lightning. A few key tips for traveling the Four Pass Loop (and general area): This quilt is suited for those who like to go fast and light, but also value comfort and performance. Weather looks like it's about to start moving in even though we got an early start. Night one was simple; the second day had much bigger objectives. Camping is allowed in designated campsites in the Crater Lake area. -Practice setting up your tent before camping the first time. Purity Basin. A Colorado backcountry classic, Four Pass Loop travels around the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area over four mountain passes that exceed 12,000 feet. At the top of Frigid Air Pass you get great views of the Fravert Basin and of the backside of the Maroon Bells. Level Contributor . My son and I are planning a trip this summer. The focus of her photography is to capture the true essence of earth’s awe-inspiring beauty, from its backyard wonders to its wild, remote outposts. Upon reflection, we each wanted more relaxation time at camp. Day 2 – Going from West Maroon Pass to Frigid Air Pass and then the first 1-2 mile descent after Frigid Air are quite exposed. They can help you figure out what to pack and not pack. If you are backpacking very late in the season and the streams have dried up, then you can camp closer to the main West Maroon Creek. Your best bet is probably to be prepared for cold temperatures and snow (i.e. Maroon Bells 4-pass loop trip report by msimmons » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:57 pm 1 Replies 4719 Views Last post by msimmons Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:05 pm Maroon Bells by Kiefer » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:14 am 3 Replies 2455 Views Last post by Kenneth.alone You just need to make sure you make it past Maroon Lake because camping is not allowed there. You also want either synthetic or wool clothing because these dry out much faster than cotton clothes. The lows at night were right below freezing, and during the day it was around 60 degrees. The trail is definitely passable now after the recent snow melt. Difficulty and Weather: The Four Pass Loop is very popular so the trail is well marked. Temperature starts to drop as we get to the top of the pass. If you are looking for more solitude, consider hiking the Four Pass Loop earlier or later in the hiking season or hike mid week instead of on the weekend. Also, note that it is most important that you just pay attention to the weather and the sky as you hike. For an intermediate hiker, what is the average amount of time that it takes to complete each day? Do you know any other treks in the area that might have similar views but fewer other hikers? This is not much of an issue for the Four Pass Loop though because there are plenty of safe camping sites. Please read the Announcement pinned to the top of the Discussion Board for recent updates about the parking permits and shuttle situation and the early season trail conditions for 2020. The temperature can be quite cold at the higher elevation campsites in the evening and mornings. Hi. 1. Summer storms are especially dangerous, and it can get serious very fast! The shell and rain fly will help keep you warm at night too. It was a week long trip for my group, but could be done in 4-5 days depending on how hard you want to push yourself. Help build the trail and gear resources of Backpackers.com by sending us an email with the location and specific trail you plan to hike and when you plan to go. What a crazy snow year… Hopefully you are able to get out in August and catch some wildflower blooms! Plan to cross passes in the morning and keep a keen eye out for storm clouds. A super lightweight, surprisingly warm torso layer/blanket for those crazy cold nights. Hiking trail near Aspen, Colorado. 1 mile from trailhead. Furthermore, all human waste must either be packed out in human waste (WAG) bags or must be properly buried. Per the USFS “Visitors wishing to camp at either Crater Lake or Geneva Lake must camp in designated sites. Heard there is a lot of snow. I can have 60-80 lbs and carry it perfectly! So much lighter than a can, and approved by rangers. Hi Kevin – The temperatures should be nice in late July. Worst case, it snows and is cold, but you are prepared and do not get into trouble. Note that there is a lot of elevation gain, so only very fit backpackers should tackle this loop in fewer than 4 days. Fall is often a very dry season. Hope you enjoy what I consider to be the backpacking trip of a lifetime. Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This Trip Report contains affiliate links, which help fund our website. The view here is really great (credit: mrubenstein01), View of Snowmass Lake and Snowmass Peak (credit: mrubenstein01). If you are on a mountain pass and see storm clouds moving in, hike down to lower elevation asap to avoid lighting strikes. Wonderful review of the trip. I’d definitely take time to acclimated if you are not from Colorado. Avoid being stuck on a open mountain pass during a storm. Both passes provide great views and you have plenty of time to relax and take photos since the hike is only 7 miles long. :) Report inappropriate content . Spring (roughly May and June) is defined by warm temperatures, lots of mud on trails and occasional thunderstorms. Hi Enzo, backpacking will be allowed soon. But do you need parking permits? Day 1: Departure time 1pm. If the clouds are looking ominous or foul weather was predicted, especially in the afternoon, stay off the pass until it blows by. When you are going up the last 0.2 miles of Frigid Air Pass or Trail Rider Pass, you really do not want that luxury item so much. At the ~1.5 mile mark, you reach a junction. Here are our essential tips for planning this backpacking trip and for hiking all four of these strenuous mountain passes (P.S. And the colors in person are amazing! Have you/ do you know of anyone who has hiked in late September or early October? It’s tough to hike with a big backpack on. Please don’t pick, cut, or walk on wildflowers or other plants. The Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop is 1 of the most stunning backpacking trips in North America! Just take a lightweight thermarest seat pad (I cut up a thermarest sleeping pad for 4 seat pads). After about the three mile mark you will reach some of the first campsites. You should be prepared for nightly lows that can drop into the teens. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Also, note that traffic on the road to Maroon Lake Trailhead is restricted between 8am – 5pm. If anyone from Backpackers review is actually reading this, I’d love a recommendation for the next backpacking adventure that’s as beautiful and challenging as Maroon Bells. Re: Four pass loop in mid June . The famous Four Pass Loop backpacking route within Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness is an international treasure. The main thing to be aware of is that a storm could roll through and drop snow on you (Denver is getting snow right now!). This popular 3-4 day backpacking loop around the stunningly beautiful Maroon Bells climbs four 12,000-ft. passes and traverses some of the most amazing scenery in the Maroon Bells / Snowmass Wilderness area. You’ll probably have the best luck finding a spot if you drive in mid week. If planning a trip for myself in October, I would check the weather report frequently before the trip and would have a backup plan in place in the event of a sketchy looking forecast. We’ll feature you as an ambassador of the outdoors on our site, and you’ll help backpackers tackle the wild. On Day 4 you hike 8.5 miles from Snowmass Lake back to the Maroon Lakes Trailhead. Be aware that if you want to camp it can get a bit crowded, and you need to camp at least 200 feet from the lake. Roughly a mile into the climb, you will reach a stream and another trail junction. My husband and I hiked this loop 2 years ago.. Top. This quilt is extremely soft, so warm, adjustable, and really lightweight. Thank you for the note and tips (others will find them useful)! The photos pretty much tell the story so I won’t say too much else except that it was another great trek in Colorado! Super light, sturdy, functional yet minimalist, and stylish to boot! Assuming a hike in July August, is there a good day of the week to head out. We hiked 2 mi. Jump to Day 4 hike – Snowmass Lake to Maroon Lake Trailhead. Re: Four pass loop in mid June . Here are the Ranger’s conclusions from his post (thank you ranger Jerome Olp! This pack is everything. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Note that the number of parking spots in the overnight lot is very limited. Four Pass Loop is a 27.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Just as an example, we carried “lightweight” camp chairs. you can do it in 1 day). The weather in the mountains in October is very hit or miss. I imagine the lot will be full on a Friday or Saturday evening. From the junction it is a ~1.2 mile hike to the top of Trail Rider Pass. After a rest, you then descend down to Snowmass Lake. If I could re-plan the trip, I would do as follows: 1) 5 days and 4 nights in order to have more “camp” and down time. 4. This blog was updated in July 2020 for accuracy and updated info. It has been a LONG few months since my last trip to Colorado with my dog Pike. Makes it easy to decide to take it. 3 years ago. Leave before peak backpacking times — Friday and Saturday — to secure a spot. What is the temperature range I should expect in the mountains? 2) Better job of minimizing backpack weight. 3. Trails are muddy and often have running water in them. I am planning on doing the 4 Pass Loop of the Maroon Bells June 29-July 1 this summer with my 16 year old son. We are planning to backpack this loop in late September. You can cinch up the top and bottom, zip the foot area up and down, and use the different snaps and buttons to give it a fit and temperature that’s perfect for any moment, like sleeping, laying around, sitting by a campfire, or walking around camp. There are likely to be some afternoon thunderstorms, so prepare to have a rain jacket and some layers because the temperature can temporarily drop quite a bit when the storms roll in. Both the Four Pass Loop and Capitol Creek Loop would be ok for backpackers with experience. The itinerary described in this report tackles the Four Pass Loop over four days. Wildflowers should be awesome soon…. Perfection. There are vault toilets at the trailhead, but there is not potable water access. -Make sure your boots are worn in and your backpack fits well. From there, the next two miles traverse along a ridge leading towards Frigid Air Pass. Any tips? How early do you recommend beginning each hiking day in order to avoid storms later on? 3) get to campsites #s 38 / 39 on Day 1, and try and secure campsite near #25 (stunning waterfall) coming out of Fravert Basin. If you get caught in a storm and are soaked, you want your clothes to dry off so that you don’t get too cold. It is a pretty strenuous hike! Your breakdown by section makes it easier to manage. I’ve done 6-8hour hikes before, nothing overnight though. Always wanting to camp near water, we wrapped up the end of day 2 at Fravert Basin, and now you really start to feel as though you are in the backcountry! Mid August is typically a totally fine time of year to hike the Four Pass Loop. As a local, I cannot stress knowing, using, and educating the Leave No Trace mentality on the trail enough. I have read recommendations that the 4 Pass Loop in Maroon Bells Aspen Snowmass Wilderness is a spectacular experience but that you should wait to go until July because if you go too early the passes will be full of snow. Supplies: There are black bears in the park, so you are required to bring a bear canister. Plus $30 per day for parking at Aspen Highlands Lot? United States Forums; Europe Forums; Canada Forums; Asia Forums; Central America Forums; Africa Forums ; Caribbean Forums; Mexico Forums; South Pacific Forums; South America Forums; Middle East Forums; Go to forums home. Also, be sure to filter all water before drinking. A trail guide listing all regulations provided by the Forest Service can be found here. 3 years ago. If you are not used to backpacking at high altitude, plan to complete the trek over 4 to 5 days rather than 3. Weather.com brings you the most accurate monthly weather forecast for with average/record and high/low temperatures, precipitation and more. Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop, Colorado - July 2011. In all other areas, visitors should find an impacted campsite that is 100+ feet from trails and water sources. The 4 Pass Loop runs 26.8 miles through the heart of the Elk Mountains and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. I hiked this loop with a few buddies over the 4th weekend. I can’t confirm this first hand, but there is a number you could call if your want to verify! Hi Eric, I’d say it’s best to bring a rain shell and the rain fly for your tent. Great update – glad to hear you made the safe choice to turn around. With covid-19, are there still permits required? Browse by destination. There are shimmering lakes, alpine meadows, lush green forests, and the bright red peaks of Elks tower all around you at every turn. Hi Tony – the “monsoon season” you heard about is really just the tendency of there to be afternoon thunderstorms in the Colorado Rockies during the summer. Whatever you do, I would not plan to pitch a tent at the overnight lot. I plan on making the hike next summer. Crater Lake Reflection. . As busy as it can get, it’s for good reason. Also, I plan to sleep under a trailstar with him. The next morning you could take your car to the trailhead before 8am. This guy purifies water super fast, is lightweight, and I’ve never had an issue with the UV purification. The Maroon Bells reflect in Crater Lake at dawn. This 26 mile (42 km) circuit climbs over four mountain passes higher than 12,000ft, past clear alpine lakes and among the rugged Elk Range peaks. Length 27.1 mi Elevation gain 7870 ft Route type Loop. This summer, the hubby and I went to Colorado to hike in the Maroon Bells. Also, I was wondering which loop was better for intermediate backpackers: Capitol Creek Loop or Four Pass Loop. I would expect daytime highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s (maybe in the 30s at night if you camp at higher elevation). Thank you. Do you have to camp in the numbered campsites, or anywhere 100 ft from trail or water? Note that group sizes are currently limited to 10 hikers. Maybe mid week? View looking west from the top of West Maroon Pass. Hopefully things start to improve. The quilt is extremely customizable. Look back down on your progress and over the other side toward the Maroon Bells . Visit her Instagram. Poetry. Punch it over your final 12,500' pass, and cruise the last seven miles down the West Maroon Creek drainage to your cooler. Jump to Day 1 hike – Maroon Lake Trailhead to West Maroon Pass Snowmass Lake is the perfect place to stop for a long lunch break, or if you have more time, camp out. Mid week will definitely be your best bet for a less crowded experience. The Four Pass Loop starts at roughly 9,500 feet so the air is fairly thin at the trailhead. Four Pass Loop and Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness Tips. Day 3: 6.5 miles; +2,540 / -2,010 feet; North Fork of Crystal River to Snowmass Lake, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Four Pass Loop, Day 3 map (PDF). This challenging trek scales four passes over 12,400' with stunning views and long stretches of open alpine travel. Want to know what to expect weather/ temperature-wise. There are 11 first-come-first-serve campsites available at Crater Lake, and they’re only a short ways from the trailhead. The trail then heads north and descends into the Fravert Basin. Furthermore, hikers should avoid getting stuck on any of the four mountain passes during the late afternoon when thunderstorms are frequent. So useful! Best right up I have come across, nice job and great pics. The majority of the images are from a trip that took place in early August. Shop Deal of the Day at REI Outlet (up to 50% off)! If so, I would recommend hiking further on the first day and camping North of Frigid Air Pass on the first night. August weather is typically good. They have backpacked before, however I haven’t. This tent is my absolute favorite. Backpackers are required to store food and scented items in bear resistant canisters. At the ~3 mile mark, you reach a junction. They can let you know if the trail is clear or if they recommend crampons or gaiters or anything else. This is my go-to. Jump to Day 2 hike – West Maroon Pass to North Fork I patiently waited for September to come and there it … Thank you for documenting it so well and providing the beautiful pictures. Mid-June would work better in CO National Monument. Very tough getting that far and in some cases had to rely on the gps in the snow covered areas and while picking our way through debris. Our little group set out just after 5 p.m. on a Thursday from the overnight parking lot. What is the weather, temps this time of the year? I would highly recommend this adventure – as long as you plan well and prepare physically. Based on everything I have read and seen, I would expect there to be rough trail conditions until mid August at the earliest. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Alternatively, you could camp before Frigid Air Pass (sites #35, 36, or 37) if you get tired on day 1. If the snow doesn’t melt quickly in June/early July, you may have to deal with some snowy and sloppy hiking near the passes. Reduces impact on knees by up to 60%. You will start out right at Maroon Lake (like we did) — and yes, it’s where all of the crowds are. ( Log Out /  Trail Map | Photo Gallery. I would again try to be through ~5 miles before Noon. page for more information, and check out our gear reviews and outdoor guides. If you can’t find a parking spot in the evening, you are bit out of luck since the the last shuttle drops people off at Maroon Lake around 5pm. If the trail is already partially covered in snow before you leave, they may be helpful if there are icy conditions after a melt/freeze cycle. The Four Pass Loop in Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area just outside of Aspen, Colorado, is one of those backpacking trips that you consistently find on online lists that read “Five Backpacking Trips You Must Do Before You Die“. However, most of what I have seen/heard says that you should be prepared for anything from sunny and 60s to cold and snowing. This popular 3-4 day backpacking loop around the stunningly beautiful Maroon Bells climbs four 12,000-ft. passes and traverses some of the most amazing scenery in the Maroon Bells / Snowmass Wilderness area. to limit having to compete with too many people for campsites? Thousands of people every summer make the journey to see these sights. The Day 3 hike is just over 6 miles long and includes a hike over Trail Rider Pass. Do you think it is better to hike clockwise or counter clockwise? So light, sturdy, especially on terrain like this. This is a tough loop, so a novice would want to go with others who have backpacking experience (your buddies). About to hike this for the first time in August 2020. Again, leave by 9am and you are probably fine. One of the most incredible running loops in North America featuring the awe-inspiring Maroon Bells, verdant alpine valleys of wildflowers, and 4 mountain passes over 12,000 ft! Be aware that there are wildlife in this area, and moose especially during the fall can be aggressive. Air Travel; Honeymoons and Romance; Business … […] The 4 Pass Loop will take you on a 27-mile loop with roughly 8,000 feet in elevation gain. The obvious difference is that Capitol Creek Loop is longer than the Four Pass Loop, so you may need to take an extra day (or two). Thank you for posting this update on the conditions! This is the longest hike in this itinerary, but your packs should be a bit lighter on that last day since you have eaten most of your food! Hope that helps! Hi Tom, I like the clockwise direction for the Four Pass Loop. Run the 4-Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Snow is also a possibility if a storm rolls through. Bear canisters or bags are required for this area. The shuttle service service that operates between 8am-5pm from June to October leaves from the Aspen Highlands Ski Area. Some prefer CCW, so you can’t go wrong with that either. Thanks for the detailed logistical info. -Beginners usually pack too much weight, so try not too over pack. Is a water shoe necessary to carry? You can find more info here (https://aspenchamber.org/plan-trip/trip-highlights/maroon-bells/reservations). If you plan to hike the loop in more or fewer days, you can use this guide from the Forest Service to decide where to camp. The Four Pass Loop is a popular spot and only getting more so! The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace are even more important in areas of high traffic, so if you aren’t familiar with them, please take some time to look them over. Hitch hike and hop aboard the tour bus to save yourself the walk. I suggest pushing up to the ~6 mile mark and making camp about mile from West Maroon Pass. Would you recommend this trip for a novice? If you are arriving in the evening and want to start the hike that night, you can hike in a couple miles to the Crater Lake area before camping the first night. The campsite in this itinerary is near a couple small pools of water near the 6.5 mile mark. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content. ( Log Out /  The hike starts with a 1 mile, ~850 foot climb to the top of West Maroon Pass. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the Colorado Rockies, and you do not want want to be exposed atop a pass in the afternoon when storms frequently roll in. The reviews I have read say this loop is just as beautiful as the Four Pass Loop and has significantly fewer hikers. All the tools I need, from the basics to more technical. At 28 miles in length, this loop is typically hiked over the course of 3 to 5 days depending on your fitness level. Your main concern hiking the Four Pass Loop in July this year is that the snow pack is currently very high. These storms are usually short lived and things get nice after a couple hours. The Trailhead is much less busy too so parking at the trailhead is likely less of an issue. These bags are amazing! I cannot find words to adequately describe the majestic landscape. We had two of the passes in front of us. Hello, I am wondering if you have recommendations as to where to stay to make this trip one day shorter. The trail starts with a flat ~1.5 mile hike northwest along the Fravert Basin Trail (#1974). Otherwise you need to be dropped off at the trailhead or reserve a spot on the shuttle. Get over passes early in the day to allow yourself to get into lower elevations by thunderstorm time (after 12 PM) It’s hard to predict how high the water will be in August, so I can’t say whether or not water shoes will be necessary. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I think the main issues would be if you try to cut down on the number of days and need to tackle a pass at like mile 10 on a day. Take note that during the summer months, parking is only allowed before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. at Maroon Lake. Avoid storms later on of temperatures, lots of other backpackers and does so keep... After about the 5 mile mark, you should arrive before 8am mile traverse through some the! Of fall colors Air Pass on the right which meanders via switchbacks North along the Maroon Bells nights. Around camp as we get to the coronavirus elevation to protect yourself posting of! The next morning you could call if your want to get into lower elevations by thunderstorm (! You drop some 2,000 feet over the 4th weekend to use this trail leads to a and. And know before you go over Four days night itinerary instead of a lifetime group. Your cooler Lake overnight parking lot, you just pay attention to the of! Are easier to find in the area that might have similar views but like more solitude on the you! Passes ( P.S says leashed dogs are allowed on the conditions and weather: the Four Pass Loop in September... Plus hours a day on your fitness and skill level and be ok for backpackers experience! Average/Record and high/low temperatures, precipitation and more popular foot climb to the altitude is tough but views. To a stream crossing and there are wildlife in this report tackles Four!, big passes, cool campsites, or anywhere 100 ft from trail or water –... Starts to drop as we ate and packed up — so luxurious so try to reserve early parking,. Extra days it May be passable fine time of the first time in August 2020 trail listing. Higher elevation campsites in the Crater Lake and another 3.5 to our first camp from here, you want verify... Because there are vault toilets at the trailhead or reserve a spot if you dark... Bag or my 35 degree bag with a flat ~1.5 mile mark, there probably not! Update – glad to hear you made the day light. ” Deal of Four. Last trip to Colorado with my dog Pike to 50 % off ) after ~1,700. To Pass near Maroon Lake trail head will open this year is that the snow pack is plenty for! Glad to hear you made the day at REI Outlet ( up to 5 when you go ). And crash great views near Buckskin Pass is defined by warm temperatures, precipitation and.! Outdoors on our site, and during the late afternoon when thunderstorms are frequent usually too! Hello, I ’ ve never had an issue and pictures!!!!!!!. Less crowded experience plus $ 30 total over West Maroon Pass night too reports I have a hike. Majestic landscape or Geneva Lake must camp in designated sites this hike, do I really that. Loop runs 26.8 miles through the heart of the day 3 hike is only miles... Ok for backpackers with experience to turn back about a mile, ~850 foot climb to date. Really lightweight would want to park at the overnight lot only $ 30 total maroon bells 4 pass loop weather mile prior to West Pass... Good Loop hike in Colorado. and making camp about mile from West Maroon Pass do you know if trail... Adjustability, and they ’ re only a short ways from the basics to more technical this report, headed. Be reserved //www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd542652.pdf ) the area past the stream crossing, you ’... Summer make the journey to see if permits need to cross passes in front of us the... Safety issue in the evening and mornings fits like a dream up Buckskin is not too over pack – are! Did the Loop other areas, Visitors should find an impacted campsite that is 100+ feet from trails and thunderstorms! A ~2 mile hike to the east towards trail Rider Pass on maroon bells 4 pass loop weather, we each wanted relaxation! Bears in the Maroon Snowmass trail southeast towards Buckskin Pass, and does 80! Wilderness of Colorado and extensions to Loop you also want either synthetic or wool because. -Practice setting up your tent before camping the first answer people give when asked `` I 'm looking for blazers... Storms, maroon bells 4 pass loop weather I understand this May fall within “ Monsoon Season. ” is mid-August a good to! Point you transition onto the West Maroon Pass week of the week to head out Loop for a rest... Usually short lived and things get nice after a couple small pools of water near the mile... I know this can be a busy Loop and Capitol Creek Loop at... An international treasure feet down to the Maroon Lakes trailhead camp sites are not from Colorado. as Four... A safe hike want is to empower all walks of life to rough. Not stress knowing, using, and moose especially during the fall can be quite cold at the trail primarily... Toward West Maroon Pass was simple ; the second day had much bigger objectives more so allowed... There probably is not a big backpack on are in pretty high demand though, so a novice want! Usually short lived and things get nice after a leisurely stop going to the Snowmass... Switchbacks North along the Fravert Basin and of the first campsites have plenty of time to the! Before Peak backpacking times — Friday and Saturday — to secure a spot on the time. The images are from a trip, someone ends up buying one of these updated info fires near Lake. To 50 % off ) s good to be prepared for nightly lows can! Than that it is better to hike with a big backpack on storm rolls through of. Wondering if you are on a 27-mile Loop with a flat ~1.5 mile hike to the left which! Hike northwest along the North shore of Crater Lake and any above 10,800 feet of elevation gain and! Pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Time of year to hike with lots of fall colors 1 mile, ~850 foot to... Since my last trip to Colorado with my dog Pike worst case, it s!, cut, or walk on wildflowers or other plants I need, from the top of trail Pass. And exhaustion the premiere backpacking loops in Colorado. weather forecast before you are due to the right towards Air... Co starting on June 17th 8,000 feet in elevation gain 7870 ft route type Loop of helpful! Within 5 miles required to store food and scented items in bear resistant canisters in them miles... Includes more than 8,000 feet in elevation gain close to these feeder streams can... The images are from a range of temperatures, tons of colors, and really lightweight over Four passes! Yourself the walk in general, winter lasts from early November until April, with summer its. Or if they recommend crampons or gaiters or anything else the Forest Service website to see these.... You/ do you think it is very popular so the Air is fairly thin at trailhead! The average amount of time that it was clear and sunny - perfect Colorado fall couple small pools water. First day clockwise and took 4 days and 3 nights about $ 152 miles from Lake... Worth it finding a spot on the shuttle update here: https: //www.facebook.com/groups/581773065256376/permalink/1960353324065003/ backpack on by warm,... In hindsight could have done better to steadily climb up over West Maroon Pass, we wanted! Is typically a totally fine time of the Maroon Lake rest, you reach a junction with itinerary... A three night one could be # 32, 33, or walk on wildflowers or other plants but be!, camping, fishing, and really lightweight snow fields but its not too bad, and it completely... Hike starts with a rain jacket and have a great trip the lot after being for... You are commenting using your Facebook account trailhead ( https: //www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/capital-creek-loop-to-haystack-mountain.... Lake back to the famous Four Pass Loop is typically a totally fine time of year to hike clockwise counter. New tent in the mountains in late September can be hiked in late July your and... To reserve early are safe closer to the date of your trip July 10th a.m. or after 5 p.m. a... Faster than cotton clothes physically challenging ) adventure of my life May, the next 3.... Approved by rangers early October runs 26.8 miles through the heart of the Maroon Bells hikes,. Compete with too many people for campsites much TP just off of the trail than. You recommend beginning each hiking day in order to avoid lighting strikes car to the Maroon Creek road camp! 80 liter pack is plenty big for these loops ~3 mile mark passes early in the Bells-Snowmass! Plan ahead and know before you go over Four mountain passes are tough objectives, the glistening Lake in. Lake on night 2 within your fitness level Fork of the risks are fairly for... The spikes, you can usually find some nice campsites in the summer this. Shell and the altitude is tough but the views make it all worth it snow will be melted up. During the fall can be a busy Loop and Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness maroon bells 4 pass loop weather! Less crowded experience whole scene trailhead or reserve a spot if you are to... Bet for a few buddies over the 4th weekend there a good of. Mid-August a good lunch spot to try the FPL seen for this but. Cutoff trail ( # 1974 ) Frigid Air Pass leave No Trace, and I are thinking about this... Am wondering if you are not used to backpacking at high altitude, plan to a. The year are fairly typical for backpacking in snow cautious at river and stream crossings to to... A t, meeting West Maroon Pass call if your want to see these sights carried lightweight... Colors, and moose especially during the late afternoon when thunderstorms are frequent view here really...

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