Hike from Aspen to Crested Butte
An unmatched mountain trek
West Maroon Pass is known world-wide as one of the most picturesque wildflower hikes on the planet. When the flowers are at their peak, you'll be hip-deep in a variety of natural flowers of all colors. The hike starts at Maroon Lake, which sits just in front of the monumental Maroon Bells outside of Aspen, Colorado and climbs 3,000 vertical feet (900 m) to the top of West Maroon Pass. As you descend towards Crested Butte, you'll pass through fields of lush wildflowers and finish the hike at Schofield Park near beautiful Emerald Lake. The trail is open during the summer and fall seasons, usually from July - October, snow dependent. Although the best flower viewing is typically mid-July through mid-August, anytime is a great time to hike!
more than a hike
Aspen and Crested Butte offer a vast assortment of activities and amenities
When you're not on the hiking trail, there is an abundance to see and do in each of the two very different towns. Aspen, with its rich gold mining history, has a large selection of fine accommodations to choose from. Vonturi's favorite place to stay is Hotel Jerome, an iconic landmark established in 1889 and still boasts the best service and amenities around. Float down the roaring fork river, take a jeep tour of the the rugged landscape or catch a live show at the Belly Up to fully embrace the Aspen experience. When you finish your hike in Crested Butte, you'll notice a slightly different vibe; the pace is a little slower, the the downtown a little less polished and the diehard locals will be keeping the authenticity alive by riding their cruiser bikes slowly through the streets or tossing a frisbee casually in the park. Don't let the laid-back facade fool you, the outdoor activities and dining experience is world-class. Mountain bike the iconic 401 trail, float fish the Gunnison River or grab a drink at the dogwood cocktail cabin to discover Crested Butte's unique hidden gems.
Best Time of Year
Suggested Length of Trip
Physical Fitness Level
July - September
Hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, music venues
Aspen and Crested Butte, Colorado
5-start hotels, private mountain homes
Fine Dining, Spa Treatments, Full Service
Moderate to Advanced
Fly into the Aspen airport and head straight to Hotel Jerome, Aspen's oldest and most distinguished full service hotel. Recently renovated and transformed into a modern 5-star hotel, "the Jerome" is certainly among the nicest hotels in Aspen with multiple penthouse units located right in the heart of downtown. Aspen sits at roughly 8,000 feet / 2,400 meters above the sea, so you might feel a little fatigued on arrival; that's why we suggest to spend the first day indulging in spa treatments and taking care of your body. A special walking tour will be arranged to get acquainted with town and learn about Aspen's unique place in the historical Gold Rush and why it grew so wealthy so fast. Finish the day with a private dinner from one of Aspen's top chefs and get ready for your next adventure.
Once you're acclimatized, let's play! There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Aspen and the breathtaking scenery is the icing on cake. Fly fishing the Roaring Fork River, mountain biking Smuggler Mountain or hiking up to Snowmass Lake will certainly be on the shortlist but let's not forget horseback excursions and white water rafting are also viable options in the Roaring Fork Valley. Besides outdoor adventures, Aspen is well-known for music and art, in which there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy. Dinners will be a mix of local chefs using organic and local ingredients as well visiting some of the popular restaurants in Aspen. Although there is a lot to do and enjoy in the mountains, there is always plenty of opportunity to relax and take in the tranquil mountain vibe.
Hike from Aspen to Crested Butte on West Maroon Pass
After a few exciting days in Aspen, you'll set out on West Maroon Pass and cross over to Crested Butte. While your luggage is transferred over by car, all you need to carry is a small back-pack with the day's essentials and begin the 11 mile hike with your knowledgeable and friendly guide. Starting at Maroon Lake, you'll wind up the singletrack trail to Crater Lake and eventually past the Maroon Bells to the top of the pass. Along the way you'll see the most lush wildflower fields in Colorado with flowers up past your waist of all varieties. It's truly a remarkable site to see. You'll finish the hike at Emerald Lake, certainly the most spectacular mountain lake along the journey. After the hike, settle in to your new accommodations in a luxury mountain home with scenic views of the rugged Crested Butte landscape. More spa treatments and delicious eats will be in order to help recover from the hike. Relax, recover and get ready for more adventure on the way!
Crested Butte is very different from Aspen. It's a rustic, quaint little town, yet special in its own way. After-all, it's where Anthony Perez, the owner of Vonturi, calls home; and he's lived there for nearly two decades for a reason! It's dubbed the Wildflower Capitol of Colorado and you'll see why as soon as you arrive. Crested Butte is known for scenic mountain vistas, wildflower hikes, mountain biking and fly fishing, and we'll embrace it all. The Gunnison river is recognized as one of the best rivers to fly fish in the country. A float fishing trip will be in order with an experienced guide who can help you find rainbow trout up to 20 pounds in weight. Next you'll voyage out on mountain bikes with your guide to the iconic 401 trail. This trail is well known throughout cyclists world-wide as one of the most picturesque trails in the world with wildflowers standing taller than your handlebars on the fast and flowy descent. You'll finish the ride with flower petals stuck in your bike, shoes and maybe even helmet! Another not-to-miss hike is the Oh-Be-Joyful trail up to Blue Lake passing wildflower fields and beautiful landscape along the way. Crested Butte also has depth in private chefs and fine dining restaurants that will surely impress. Don't miss a casual walk downtown, Sunday morning Farmers' Markets and weekly outdoor concerts.
Each Vonturi experience contributes 5% of the cost of the trip back to a local charity in need. These amazing mountain towns offer so much to gain for the traveler but all have the same limitations for locals - affordable housing. With the influx of remote workers and second home-owners moving in, the real estate and rental prices are skyrocketing leaving the local worker without options to live a sustainable life. On the flip-side, there's more demand now than ever to staff local restaurants, hotels and construction sites. Where do the true locals live? How do new workers move to town and get started? The Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority is committed to helping find a solution through deed-restricted housing and funding local apartment projects. With your contribution, we're one step closer to bringing in new workforce to help enrich your experience!
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Each Vonturi experience is customized to suit the tastes and the style of the client. Accommodations, activities and dining are carefully selected based on the preferences of the traveler. Connect with a Vonturi Travel Concierge today to begin crafting your dream trip to Colorado!