Panorama of the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, Colorado
Panorama of the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, Colorado

The Grottos Loop hike

Aspen
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Rock formations on the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, ColoradoCreek on the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, ColoradoViews on the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, ColoradoBeautiful scenery of the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, ColoradoGreat views of the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, ColoradoRiver on the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, ColoradoWalking along the river on the Grottos Loop hike near Aspen, Colorado

The Grottos Loop hike

Distance: 0.6mi
Elevation: 82ft
Time: 0.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

Hiking into the Grottos is like visiting an alien country. It’s different from all the other more mountainous hikes on the list. The Roaring Fork River carves the rocks smooth, giving them statue-like properties.

The Grottos Loop Hike Map

Getting there

Head east out of Aspen along Colorado 82 for 8.9mi. Watch out for the Grottos Day Use Area on your right. Turn off here and go to the moderately sized parking area.

I’ve done this 34 people have done this
I want to do this 63 want to do this route

About

When to do

June through September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Yes, at the trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Poor

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Circuit


The Grottos Loop
Elevation Graph


Route Description for The Grottos Loop

Begin the hike by crossing the Roaring Fork River on a small footbridge. On the south side of the river, hang a right at the first junction and start along a very wide trail. As you hike there will be many junctions, most of which are signed. Follow the signs for the ‘Ice Caves’, the first stop on the hike.

As the name would imply, the Ice Caves are home to small pools of water that freeze in the winter. One you reach the turnoff for the Ice Caves, descend down to the left and spend some time exploring the silky-smooth rock landscape. After appreciating the rocks’ strange beauty, return to the trail and continue east.

As you continue hiking, the path will veer to the left (north) with signs pointing towards the Cascades. Soon you will arrive at the river. You will be treated to a stunning, cascading waterfall. Although not particularly high or steep, the waterfall’s beauty comes from the stunning features carved into the rocks. This part of the hike is truly beyond words, and can only be experienced in person.

After enjoying the cascades, follow the trail as it starts to head back to the bridge along the side of the river. Soon you will arrive back at the bridge, which you will cross over to return to the parking lot.

Insider Hints

  • On sunny summers day this can be a great spot for a family picnic.

Comments

Kristian Valtierie 2 years ago

I had high expectations and wasn't disappointed. The path was clearly marked and fun to follow.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Alex Lavinson 2 years ago

We walked Grotto Canyon, and it was fun. The pictographs are close to the waterfalls. So amazing. You shouldn't miss it!

10.0 Overall Rating
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Lola M. 2 years ago

Amazing short hike! It's not very technical but be careful of some slippery sections.

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Rocco Ellysia 2 years ago

I really enjoyed this walk. Working our way through the canyon was part of the fun, as was keeping an eye out for the glyphs/pictographs, watching the rock climbers, and just admiring the nature of it all.

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BoulderBound 2 years ago

The beauty of this trail is awesome. The ice caves were pretty cool and then the actual waterfalls were beautiful.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Joshua Zagreb 2 years ago

The trail was uncomplicated so had a carefree walk. Great hike to do in the morning. Just don't forget to apply some bug repellent.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Tiffany Swift 2 years ago

Easy trail with nice waterfalls. Love this place.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Xyla O. 2 years ago

The cascading waterfalls was mesmerizing. The surrounding landscapes were impressive as well. The trail was mostly flat and it is very accessible.

10.0 Overall Rating
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lilibethl 2 years ago

Beautiful hike. Great for a short, brisk walk in the morning. The river looks great!

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Lloyd Frank 2 years ago

Stunning river and surroundings. It's very unique and intruiging.

10.0 Overall Rating
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14 Comments Show all

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