New York Creek Trail

Aspen
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New York Creek Trail

Distance: 13.5km
Elevation: 649m
Time: 4.5-6h

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The less-traveled trail up New York Creek is certainly a fantastic way to hike away from the bustling crowds in Aspen’s city centre. Though the access is slightly more challenging, the hike up New York Creek to the high alpine ridge at the end is a real treat.

Getting there

Head east from Aspen along Colorado 82 for 15.4km. Just past the Grottos Trail, turn right onto Lincoln Creek Rd. Follow this dirt road for around 4.8km until you see a sign for New York Creek on the right. Park in this dirt parking area.

About

When to do

Late June through September

Backcountry Campsites

Yes, numerous opportunities in National Forest

Toilets

No

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Poor

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Out and back


Elevation


Detailed Description

Begin the trail by immediately crossing over Lincoln Creek. On the opposite side of the creek, you’ll find the path heading steadily uphill to the southwest. This is an old jeep road of some sorts, so it is quite wide and well graded.

After a little bit of climbing, you will switchback up a clearing, and then you’ll find yourself up on a real, still in use, dirt road. Don’t worry, you will only follow this road for 0.8km.

When you see a sign for the New York Creek Trail, turn left. The trail will bob up and down through an incredibly lush forest.

Soon you will exit the forest , crossing over New York Creek. Once you’re on the opposite side of the valley, you will climb through a meadow and a sparse forest until you switchback up the north side of a small lip. After cresting the lip you will be completely out of the forest, and your final objective will be directly in front of you; an unnamed and barren pass.

Continue climbing up this plateau, but note the trail will become quite faint. Just keep heading up as the pass is in view.

After climbing the last loose section of trail you will crest the pass and have a great view into the south end of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.

Looking back, New York Peak and its long ridge will occupy the view to the left, and to the south you will be able to see the immense Gunnison National Forest in the distance. Enjoy the view and then return the way you came.

Insider Hints

  • Be sure to be totally self-sufficient on this hike, there are not many other hikers on the trail.

  • This is another high pass, be sure to be off it before the typical afternoon thunderstorms come.

  • The road to get to the trailhead is passable by sedan with confident drivers; however, having a little bit of clearance makes the drive a lot easier.

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