Midway Pass hike
This hike is a good way to avoid the crowds but still get a fantastic hiking experience. Heading up to Midway Pass does involve slightly more below-timberline-switchbacking than other hikes; however, the generally quiet views from the high alpine plateau are definitely a fair reward for the work.
From Aspen, head west on Colorado 82 for 13.4mi. Watch out for the trailhead on the left, directly across from the Lost man Campground.
|When to do|
Late June through September
Yes, in the National Forest Wilderness
Out and back
Route Description for Midway Pass
Begin by heading west from the parking lot. Then, cross Lost Man creek along the Lost Man Loop Trail. On the other side of the creek, the trail will veer northeast again and begin climbing. Shortly, you will reach a signed junction where you will turn left towards Midway Pass.
After the junction, you will begin approximately 1.5mi of switchback climbing. Though somewhat dull, the trail is extremely well graded.
Finally, the trail will veer to the northwest and the tree coverage will get thinner and thinner until you exit the forest.
After exiting the dense trees, you will find yourself on a high alpine plateau, on the flank of an unnamed 13000ft peak. Contouring around to the west you will soon find yourself at a small alpine lake, a great spot for a break.
From this plateau looking across the valley you will be able to see into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, including Grizzly Peak, Independence Mountain and Green Mountain.
From here the trail will veer to the northwest, and you will climb to the highest point of the trail. After that, the path will start descending, contouring around the side of the mountain. Looking across the valley, an impressive, nameless mountain will fill your horizon. You will finally arrive at Midway Pass, which is your turnaround point for the hike. After reveling in your sense of accomplishment, take the path back the way you came.
Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms, since so much of this hike is so far above the tree line!
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