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black New York Mountain to Nolan Lake to Peter Estin Hut

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


14.7 mile 23.7 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 3,431' 1,046 m
Descent: -3,576' -1,090 m
High: 12,394' 3,778 m
Low: 9,165' 2,793 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)


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Trail shared by Frank Trotter

Extending the traditional hike to the Peter Estin Hut via New York Mountain and Nolan Lake.

Frank Trotter

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked

Driving to trailhead is not possible in winter.


This is Part 1 of a four-day, three-night trek from above Eagle and Edwards, Colorado, across to Lenado, Colorado, near Aspen. With a friend coming into town, I looked for a multi-day hut trip that would allow us to hit some moderate peaks and move from near Vail, Colorado, to Aspen.

New York Mountain from this trailhead is a very accessible 12,550-foot peak that includes views from Eagle, Hardscrabble Mountain, and Red Table Mountain to the west, Edwards to the north, and a variety of 12,000- and 13,000-foot peaks to the east and south.

Noland Lake lies to the southwest of New York Mountain and is an attractive mountain lake surrounded by high peaks.

The three selected huts—Peter Estin, Harry Gates, and Margy's —form a bucket brigade of stopovers with views, facilities, and overnight comfort.

There are additional potential start points and other stops that can be had along the way.

Our visit in the fall added pure yellow aspen and birch tree vistas in every direction.

Need to Know

This New York Mountain Trailhead can be reached up Forest Road 418 past the Polar Star Hut turnoff. From Eagle, follow signs towards Sylvan Lake. Turn left on Forest Road 415 and turn left on Forest Road 418 towards and well past Fulford. Continue past the signs for the Polar Star Inn and up to a parking area with New York Mountain and Nolan Lake trailhead signs.

Starting from the lower trailhead near Edwards adds 3 miles to the hike.


The trek was the first day on a multi-hut backpacking trip. A tough day to start, but doable. We began at the high trailhead to New York Mountain near the Polar Star Hut. We quickly summited New York and took a break with the views of Edwards, Eagle, and the east.

The trail between New York Mountain and Nolan Lake is faint at best and there were times where we bushwacked from visible point to point. Finally we encountered the well-tracked Nolan Lake Trail and headed there for lunch.

After descending the Nolan Lake Trail, we broke off and headed on a summer-horse, winter-ski trail towards the trailhead to Peter Estin. This was done in September and was stunning with the fall leaves.

The final slog up to Peter Estin with full packs was tough, but we were rewarded at the hut with a perfect evening and stunning views.

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