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Snowmass - Willow Lake Loop

 5.0 (8)
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Length


22.3 Miles 35.9 Kilometers


5,436' 1,657 m

Ascent

-5,456' -1,663 m

Descent

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

12,669' 3,862 m

High

8,396' 2,559 m

Low

Shared By Evan Tabor

Conditions


Unknown

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A beautiful 2-day loop past Snowmass and Willow Lakes.

Evan Tabor

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

This route combines the Maroon Snowmass Trail part of the Buckskin Pass Trail and East Snowmass to Willow Pass Trail to form a 22 mile loop that takes you past two alpine lakes and through lots of meadows and forest.

Description

Starting on the Maroon Snowmass Trail south up the valley along the creek until it meets with the Buckskin Pass Trail near Snowmass Lake and hang a left - it starts out gently sloping up until you reach the pass where the trail gets steep for the first time. Once past the first set of switchbacks, take another left toward Willow Lake; there is not much rest before the second ascent begins up to Willow Pass.

After Willow Pass, you can add an extra half mile down to Willow Lake or just stay left heading north up the the last steep ridge crossing.

Once over the ridge, stay on the East Snowmass Trail through beautiful meadows and forest until you reach the Snowmass Creek Road. The Maroon Snowmass Trailhead is just up the road so you'll be nearing your destination.

Flora & Fauna

Please be bear aware. Among other mountain mammals, bears frequent the area. If you're spending the night, be sure to bring bear cans, or another bear-proof food storage system.

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Jul 30, 2016
Dan Broman

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 8 votes

#298

Overall
  5.0 from 8 votes
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#67

in Colorado

#298

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211 Views Last Month
9,118 Since Jun 22, 2016
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A great hike. I did this loop Aug 10-11 2018. I made a side trip to Willow Lake basin and Minnehaha gulch. I recommend camping either on the west side of Buckskin pass, down into Minnehaha Gulch a bit, or at Willow Lake. There are very minimal campsites on the East Snowmass trail as you will be on the steep side of a valley almost the entire way back down to the trailhead. Willow lake had a few groups there when I was there, however I didn't see a single soul on the East Snowmass trail for the entire 8 miles. Really, it's just an amazing trail with awesome, breathtaking views. Aug 12, 2018

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