A Trip Through the Maroon Snowmass Wilderness

August 14, 2011 - August 22, 2011

  • Total trip backpacking distance - 68 miles
  • Four 14ers (Grays Peak, Torreys Peak, Snowmass Mountain, Maroon Peak)
  • Four Passes (Trail Rider Pass, Frigid Air Pass, West Maroon Pass, Willow Pass)

Day 1 - August 14th

On our drive out to the Maroon-Snowmass trailhead we stopped to hike up Grays and Torreys Peaks.

Day 2 - August 15th

After a night car camping near the trailhead we started our trip, but made a wrong turn following what was likely a cow trail. A scramble up to a ridgeline and some map and compass work let us get our barings. We had to backtrack a number of miles and after finding the correct trail, we made camp for the night.

Day 3 - August 16th

Broke camp and hiked to Snowmass Lake which had a number of excellent sites along the shore line.

Day 4 - August 17th

An early start to do a day trip from the lake up to climb Snowmass Mountain (14,099’). Some good boulder scrambling near the summit and a little snow climb as well. Back down to our camp on Snowmass Lake early enough to get a quick swim in and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Day 5 - August 18th

Departed Snowmass Lake and headed toward Trail Rider Pass (12,420’) and then on to Fravert Basin.

Day 6 - August 19th

After leaving Fravert Basin, we had to hike over both Frigid Air Pass (12,415’) and West Maroon Pass (12,500’) to make camp near West Maroon Peak.

Day 7 - August 20th

Climbed South Maroon Peak (14,163’). What a climb! Very difficult route finding up high and alot of loose talus. Thankfully we met up with other groups and some of them sort of knew the way so we tagged along.

Day 8 - August 21st

From Maroon Lake we had planned to head back to our car at Snowmass Trailhead by going over Buckskin Pass. However, a ranger found us and told us the trail was closed due to a bear incident. So we had to go up to Willow Lake and over Willow Pass (12,600’) to conclude our extended “Four Passes Loop”.

Day 9 - August 22nd

Met up with Tim Jacobs Fly Fishing who took us fishing on the Frying Pan outside of Basalt.