Crater Lake hike near Aspen, Colorado
Crater Lake hike near Aspen, Colorado

Crater Lake hike

Aspen
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Pyramid Peak from the Crater Lake Hike near Aspen, ColoradoNorth Maroon Peak from the Crater Lake Hike near Aspen, ColoradoNorth Maroon Peak and the lake from the Crater Lake Hike near Aspen, ColoradoLooking back across the Maroon Lake from the Crater Lake Hike near Aspen, Colorado

Crater Lake hike

Distance: 4.1mi
Elevation: 581ft
Time: 1.5-2.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.4 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

A classic hike through the Maroon Bells Wilderness, the trek out to Crater Lake leaves the intense crowds of Maroon Lake and yields a more intimate view of the North Maroon Peak.

Crater Lake hike Map

Getting there

Head west from Aspen along Colorado 82 for 0.5mi. At the first traffic circle take the 2nd exit onto Maroon Creek Rd. Continue along Maroon Creek Rd for 9.4mi

I’ve done this 49 people have done this
I want to do this 73 want to do this route

About

When to do

June through October

Backcountry Campsites

Yes, at Crater Lake

Toilets

Yes, at trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Crater Lake
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Crater Lake

From the parking area, or the shuttle drop off point, head down to Maroon Lake. The view across Maroon Lake with Maroon Peak in the background is stunning. It’s one of the most photographed shots in the Colorado Rockies, so enjoy this absolutely stunning vista before starting the work ahead of you.

Continue around the north side of the lake. The trail will begin to climb gently at the end of the lake. For another 1.0mi or so you will gain elevation through sparse trees before you arrive at a junction. Turn left here along the West Maroon Creek Trail. After a few hundred feet you will arrive at the east side of Crater Lake.

You will have a fantastic view of North Maroon Peak, with all its intense and craggy features. If you walk around the lake to the other side and look back, Pyramid Peak will be on your right and Sievers Mountain on your left. Sit and appreciate these vistas before making your way back on the trail you came in on.

Insider Hints

  • There are numerous campsites around Crater Lake. This makes for a fantastic and easy one-night backpack trip.

  • A fee is required to enter this section of the park, or a National Parks Pass. Note that for most of the summer, Maroon Creek Rd is closed from around 8a.m.-5p.m. If that is the case, you will have to take the Shuttle from Aspen Highlands Ski Area. Contact the National Forest Service for more information on the shuttle.

Comments

BoulderBound 2 years ago

Really gorgeous place to hike. The view from North Maroon peak is incredible.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Lola M. 2 years ago

Very gorgeous, worth every step. Just too crowded.

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Tiffany Swift 2 years ago

This is an incredible hike. The lake is very pretty and offered a nice place to sit and relax before the trek back down

9.0 Overall Rating
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Xyla O. 2 years ago

Superb hike! Trekking here was really fun. There were lots of shades to rest.

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lilibethl 2 years ago

Crater Lake is a good day hike, and we want to try a one-night backpack trip next summer.

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Lloyd Frank 2 years ago

Not very steep. Great hike that yields fantastic views of North Maroon Peak.

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Sofia L. 3 years ago

It's a wonderful place for picnics and family bondings. It was incredibly beautiful and fascinating.

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Banter F. 3 years ago

The hike is not too long. It offers a good view of the crater lake. I really enjoyed it.

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Ashton L. 3 years ago

The crater lake is awesome. There's a campsite nearby the lake. Taking pictures is a great idea.

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Jasper Herrera 3 years ago

Compelling hike. It was never short of great views!

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25 Comments Show all

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