East Maroon Creek Trail Running

Made possible by

About

Summary

East Maroon Creek Trail is a nice option for a casual 10-mile out-and-back trail run or the gently sloping, eastern edges of the Maroon Creek valley. Offering views of the rugged 14,000-foot Pyramid Peak and 1,200 feet of elevation gain from trailhead (8,680') to turnaround (9,880'), the route climbs pleasantly for most experienced hikers. The trail continues to East Maroon Pass and then to Copper Basin and eventually Crested Butte, which many overnight hikers/campers do during the summer months.

Written by

Lee Hart

Distance

10.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

14.0 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

4 hours

4-5 hours

Seasonality

Summer

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

Yes

Parking fee if you drive up.

Review

Intro

East Maroon Creek Trail is a nice option for a casual 10-mile out-and-back trail run or the gently sloping, eastern edges of the Maroon Creek valley. Offering views of the rugged 14,000-foot Pyramid Peak and 1,200 feet of elevation gain from trailhead (8,680') to turnaround (9,880'), the route climbs pleasantly for most experienced hikers. The trail continues to East Maroon Pass and then to Copper Basin and eventually Crested Butte, which many overnight hikers/campers do during the summer months. 

What Makes It Great

Starting from Maroon Lake, the trail starts and ends with gorgeous scenery. After a little more than a mile, the trail forks, to stay on East Maroon Creek stay straight. You will know you went the right way when you pass a sign for the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness boundary. A couple miles in, you will run through a small canyon, created by East Maroon Creek. Keep your eyes peeled for beaver ponds in the creek. Soon after, the valley opens up to breathtaking wildflower-dotted meadows. At the four-mile mark, stay straight at the fork, as the right branch takes you down to the river. Next you'll pass the remains two historic cabins, and shortly after, the trail descends to a stream crossing, which is the best place to turnaround and run back from whence you came. The wildflowers are absolutely spectacular in this area throughout July and into early August.

Who is Going to Love It

Experienced mountain trail runners are best suited to the elevation gain and mileage, however it's possible to turn around whenever you desire making it ideal for an intermediate trail runner up for a challenge.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From mid-June through September, Maroon Creek Road past Aspen Highlands base area is closed to vehicle traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., so you will need to take a shuttle. You can hop on the bust to Aspen Highlands from the Rubey Park bus station in downtown Aspen or drive to the Aspen Highlands parking lot, park there and take the shuttle. If you're up and at 'em before 8:30 a.m. drive .5 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Maroon Creek Road at the roundabout. Drive 6.4 miles on Maroon Creek Road to East Maroon Portal, turning left into the parking area.

Location

East Maroon Creek Trail Running

Aspen, CO, 81611
39.098484, -106.9409

Get Directions