This classic trail is a must for any serious hiker. Enjoy during fall colors for best experience.”
— Tom Robson
Government Trail is closed for elk calving from May 15 - June 20. Additionally, the trail is outside the Wilderness, but borders private property.
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
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...