Aspen is known as a skier's paradise, but its got something special for Colorado hiking and backpacking fans, too. Backpack the Richmond Ridge – Aspen's mountain range – aboard Four Pass Loop, a 26-mile route that Backpacker's editors once named their favorite trip ever. Day-trip the White River National Forest on West Maroon Pass, a 12.7-mile out-and-back that showcases some of America's most beautiful peaks. Knock off a Colorado 14er and hike Pyramid Peak – if you've got a good helmet and sturdy legs.
The payoffs at the top are huge, but tricky, technical scrambles and advanced route finding make these photogenic peaks in the Elk Range anything but easy.
Stay above treeline and cross a 12,796-foot pass on this nine-mile loop through the jagged Elk and Sawatch Ranges.