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Snowmass Lake, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, CO

Skirt the crowds on the Four Pass Loop by taking this backdoor into the Maroon Bells.
  • Wander through fields of vibrant pink fireweed (blooming July) on the Snowmass Creek Trail en route to Snowmass Lake. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • Reach the rocky eastern shore of Snowmass Lake (below its namesake peak) at mile 8.2.  (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • As you ascend the eastern slopes of Snowmass, pass through lush, high country meadows. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • Snag your first top-of-the-world glimpse of Snowmass Lake from the boulderfield (mile 9.4). (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • Snow coverage persists as late as August on this Fourteener. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • Earn killer views of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness from your private perch atop 14,098-foot Snowmass Mountain. (photo: Ryan Horjus)
  • While a class 3 scramble lands you atop the false summit, you will need to ascend 30 feet via class 4 climbing to nab its true high point. (photo: Ryan Horjus)
  • Continue east on the Pack Trail toward Willow Lake and secure idyllic views of the backside of the Maroon Bells. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • See Snowmass from Buckskin Pass (12,462 feet) at mile 14.8. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • Ride Buckskin Pass east (rest those quads) before ascending 12,690-foot Willow Pass. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
  • After camping at Willow Lake, hike out of the Maroon Bells north on the Pack Trail. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
Wander through fields of vibrant pink fireweed (blooming July) on the Snowmass Creek Trail en route to Snowmass Lake. (photo: Maren Kasselik)
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Wander through fields of vibrant pink fireweed (blooming July) on the Snowmass Creek Trail en route to Snowmass Lake. (photo: Maren Kasselik)


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