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    Electric Pass

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    14.7 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,113 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Overall Rating
    This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
    Physical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Advanced (Diamond)
    Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
    Technical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Read Reviews
    Directions to Trailhead
    Panorama from the Electric Pass hike in Aspen, Colorado

    This is hike has the most elevation gain on this list. The trail up to the over 3,962 m. Electric Pass is definitely not for the faint hearted, or the week lunged. The stunning panoramic views from the top are - without a doubt - worth the burning legs and exhausted lungs. Sometimes the views look better when you work for them.

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    Route Description for Electric Pass

    Beginning along the Cathedral Lake Trail, you’ll initially head southwest and start gaining elevation. Soon you will find yourself above the roaring Pine Creek as you veer to the west and continue climbing.

    Luckily, you will soon be out of the foliage, and you’ll be granted incredible views across the valley, looking up the flanks of Malemute Peak. You will also be able to see the edge of Cathedral Lake as you look up the valley. As you ascend the views will improve.

    Veering right (more to the north), you will soon reach a junction where you will keep to the right towards Electric Pass. Soon, after a handful of switchbacks, you will enter an absolutely gorgeous hanging valley. To your left the aptly name Cathedral Peak and its incredible massif will fill your view, and to your right the grassy Leahy Peak.

    You will slowly climb up the gently ascending valley before veering to the east and proceeding to climb along a lengthy switchback. You will finally switchback again and start heading to the northwest.

    After a few much smaller switchbacks you will finally gain the scraggly Electric Pass. Those last few switchbacks can definitely be a challenge, simply due to the thin air at this elevation. Take extreme care here to not put yourself in any danger. If you feel nauseated or dizzy, begin descending immediately. Getting to a lower elevation is the only way to alleviate the dangers of altitude sickness.

    From the pass you will be awarded stunning views. Looking back you will have one of the best views of Cathedral Peak, and Cathedral Lake at its base. To your left Leahy Peak will seem quaint. Looking north you will be able to make out South Hayden and Hayden Peak. After you’ve had your fill of the thin air, return the way you came.

    Insider Hints for Electric Pass

    • As the name would suggest, lightning is very common on Electric Pass. Take care and complete this hike early in the day. Be sure to be off the pass by the early afternoon.
    • The elevation of this hike can make it more challenging for those who live at lower elevations. This can be extremely dangerous, so consider doing other hikes in the area first before attempting to hike at this altitude right away.

    Getting to the Electric Pass Trailhead

    Head west from Aspen along Colorado 82. When you reach the first traffic circle take the third exit to Castle Creek Rd. Follow this road for 19.3 km, until you see signs for the Cathedral Lake Trail. The sign is very small so, set your odometer at the traffic circle. Turn right and go until the parking lot.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      Late June through September

    • Backcountry Campsites

      Yes, at Crater Lake

    • Toilets


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Electric Pass Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Electric Pass Reviews

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