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Government Trail

Difficult
 4.5 (6)

This classic trail is a must for any serious hiker. Enjoy during fall colors for best experience.


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Map Key

10.5

Miles

16.8

KM

Point to Point

9,624' 2,933 m

High

8,062' 2,457 m

Low

2,193' 669 m

Up

1,146' 349 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Government Trail is closed for elk calving from May 15 - June 27. Additionally, the trail is outside the Wilderness, but borders private property.

Description

This trail provides an awesome singletrack experience from the Tiehack side of Buttermilk Ski area near Aspen to western flanks of Snowmass Ski area. This trail is a well-known classic that's often considered in two parts - Government Trail, and West Government Trail.

From its inception at Tiehack, the trail crosses Maroon Creek via a pedestrian bridge and turns left onto a residential street. It then leaves the road and begins a steep ascent with switchbacks until reaching Buttermilk Ski area. The trail alternates between aspen groves and ski runs (signs are present to guide you across the runs). Beyond the ski area, the trail climbs slowly through rolling terrain, passing through aspen, lodgepole pine, and flowered meadows where wildlife can often be seen. The trail ends at the Snowmass Ski area.

The far western end of the trail connects to Ditch Trail. Starting at this end provides a serious uphill with several incredibly tough switchbacks. If heading down on this portion, prepare for a knee pounder...

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes

#3

in Aspen

#6634

Overall
  4.5 from 6 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in Aspen

#504

in Colorado

#6,634

Overall
48 Views Last Month
2,906 Since Apr 8, 2015
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Photos

Hundreds of thriving columbine flowers at the bottom of the Buttermilk Bowls trail
Apr 3, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
The meadow just after the Anaerobic Nightmare trail connection
Apr 3, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO
Some nice root step-ups to deal with on Government.
Apr 3, 2015 near Aspen, CO
Where the Government and Vista Trails depart ways!
Jul 28, 2017 near Snowmas…, CO
A glimpse of the sweet, twisty singletrack in the aspens of Buttermilk
Apr 3, 2015 near Aspen, CO
Runners, crushing it along Government Trail.
Apr 3, 2015 near Snowmas…, CO

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Sep 12, 2020
Ari R.