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    Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail

    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.
    4.3 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.
    238 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail

    The Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail is a great little hike in Aspen, Colorado that will take you up the mountainside for views of the town and surrounding area. While out hiking the trail, you will make your way along Smuggler Mountain Road as it winds uphill towards the observation deck, where you will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Elk Mountains. While this route isn’t a true hike due to the nature of the trail being a dirt road, the views are breathtaking and absolutely worth an afternoon of exploring Aspen.

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    Route Description for Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail

    While the Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail does feature a small amount of elevation gain, the route is actually fairly easy, thanks largely to the fact that it utilizes a 4x4 vehicle road. That being said, you will still want to wear proper hiking footwear in order to stay comfortable on your hike. Additionally, parking at the trailhead is very limited, so you will want to arrive early to secure a space.

    Even though it isn’t the most challenging hike in the area, the Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail is a fantastic adventure that will produce some stunning views overlooking Aspen. Located at the top of the trail is an observation deck with sprawling views of the surrounding Elk and Sawatch mountains, so plan on spending a few extra minutes there to take in the full beauty of the area.

    Setting out from the trailhead, you will follow Smuggler Mountain Road to the east as it winds back and forth up the mountainside. As previously mentioned, the route follows along the road for its duration, meaning that navigation is just about as easy as it gets.

    As you continue up the mountainside, you will gain increasingly beautiful views across the valley and the city of Aspen nestled far below, while simultaneously passing by the mine shafts that stand as remnants of the silver mining boom that occurred here during the late 1800s.

    After 2.3 km of uphill walking, you will round a bend in the road and find a path on the right leading through the tree cover to the observation deck. Here, you will enjoy some stunning views over Aspen and the surrounding mountains, including the Aspen and Bell mountains to the southwest, and Red Mountain to the north. After taking in the views, simply head back down the road to return to the trailhead for the Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail.

    Trail Highlights


    Located in Pitkin County, Colorado, Aspen is a remote town in the Sawatch and Elk ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The area was settled in 1879 and was originally a mining camp during the Colorado silver boom, before that market collapsed in 1893. The town then went into a period of decline known as “the quiet years,” before the first ski resort opened up in the mid-20th Century and reversed the town's fortunes. Aspen is now a popular tourist destination for winter and summer outdoor sports enthusiasts.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How high is Aspen?

    Aspen is located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, at an elevation of 2,410 m above sea level.

    Can you drive up Smuggler Mountain?

    Smuggler Mountain Road is a well-maintained 4WD road on the eastern edge of Aspen, although vehicles are not permitted in the nearby wilderness area.

    Insider Hints for Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail

    • Wear comfortable hiking shoes for this adventure.
    • Be sure to spend some time at the observation deck at the top of the trail.
    • Be sure to arrive early in order to secure parking.

    Getting to the Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail Trailhead

    The starting point for the Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail can be found on Smuggler Mountain Road near the junction with Sesame Street.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail Elevation Graph

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    Smuggler Mountain Overlook Trail Reviews

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