2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – May 2000

Aspen's Avalanche Of Gold

No color in nature comes close to matching the heart-stirring golden aspen found in the Rockies in autumn.

by: Buck Tilton

PAGE 1 2

I've searched the world over and the verdict is this: No color in nature comes close to matching the heart-stirring golden aspen found on the flanks of the Rockies in autumn. And after hiking all over the Rockies, nowhere have I found the colors of fall to be more vibrant and alive than in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado.

For the best of the best, follow the West Snowmass Trail into the lofty core of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Don't be disappointed if there's a crowd at this popular trailhead. The leaf-peepers usually peter out after about a mile, and then you can head west up West Snowmass Creek in solitude. The trail passes through shimmering tunnels of gold as each breath of wind sets the leaves trembling, giving rise to this species' scientific name, Populus tremuloides, as well as its common name, quaking aspen. You'll be awed by the stunning display and the possibility that these massive forests of golden splendor may actually consist of a single organism.

After 5.5 miles along the West Snowmass Trail, you'll climb above treeline to a 12,000-foot saddle, with four of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks (Capitol Peak, Snowmass Mountain, and the two Maroon Bells) at your boot tips. Drop off into the drainages of Capitol Creek or Avalanche Creek, or stay high above the trees and set up a camp with a view. No matter where you look, you're sure to see slopes awash in an avalanche of gold.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


sandy scritchfield
Aug 23, 2008

when do you predict this year to be in full bloom and do you suggest the same terrain


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Darn, very tragic news:
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: double cabin
Trailhead Register
Your Yosemite Tips
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: double cabin
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions