“A scenic trail to the heart of Snowmass-Maroon Bells Wilderness.”
— Evan Tabor
Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
The trailhead is just past a wooden bridge to the left off Divide Rd. Going past the sign and NPS map, you soon start a fairly steep pitch for about a mile with a few switchbacks. A forest of conifers with patches of aspen, dominate undergrowth.
At the end of one of the switchbacks there is a waterfall that is spectacular during spring runoff. When you reach a White River National Forest sign, the trail levels out for another mile or so. After crossing a couple of glades and meadows there is an intersection where the Ditch Trail
ends and a sign for the trail indicates a hard right hand turn. The trail generally follows the drainage from Willow Divide, 4,320 ft above the TH. After going through more forested areas, there are the first views worth noting.
The trail goes through alpine grassy meadows and then goes once more into a conifer forest. Once through the forest there is more open area populated by wildflowers in late spring; if you love flowers, this is a must!
After more switchbacks with a grade that varies from fairly steep to moderate, and meandering across seasonal washes, the trail begins to arc to the left after a while. When leaving the treeline and getting to the steepest part, you can see Willow Pass. When reaching the pass you can see Willow Lake far below and where the trail continues to the right to meet with the Willow Lake Trail
with a spur going to Willow Lake to the left or continuing to the Maroon Snowmass Trail
and Snowmass Lake
Flora & Fauna
Lots of wild flowers with aspen and conifer groves - Bear canisters are required.