Buckskin Pass

Distance: 3.4 - 9.2 miles (round trip)

Maroon-Snowmass Wilderness, White River National Forest, near Aspen in Central Colorado

Hagerman Peak, Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak from Buckskin Pass

Hagerman Peak, Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak from Buckskin Pass


This popular trail climbs to a 12,462-ft. pass with breathtaking panoramic views of the 14,000-ft. peaks towering above the heart of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Visual delights along the trail include two stunning alpine lakes and pretty meadows sprinkled with wildflowers.
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 3.4 miles (round trip) to Crater Lake
    9.2 miles (round trip) to Buckskin Pass
  • Elevation: 9,580-ft. at Trailhead
    10,076-ft. at Crater Lake
    12,462-ft. at Buckskin Pass
  • Elevation Gain: 496-ft. to Crater Lake
    2,882-ft. to Buckskin Pass
  • Difficulty: strenuous
  • More Hikes in:
    Aspen / Central Colorado

Why Hike Buckskin Pass

If I only had time for one hike in the Aspen area I’d choose Buckskin Pass. The hike features spectacular views of the Maroon Bell and Pyramid Peak, wanders by two beautiful lakes, traverses gorgeous alpine meadows and ends at a dramatic pass.

From the pass stunning views extend west to a sea of granite pinnacles. Hagerman Peak and Snowmass Mountain (14,092-ft.) tower above Snowmass Lake. Rugged Capitol Peak (14,130-ft.) and Mount Daly rise to the northwest of Snowmass Mountain. Pyramid Peak (14,018-ft.) and a jagged ridgeline of 13,000-ft. peaks dominate the skyline to the east while the Sleeping Sexton and Maroon Bells rise above the ridge to the south.

Be forewarned you will not be alone on this popular hike. My advice is to get an early start so you can enjoy a degree of solitude at the pass, have plenty of time to soak in the scenery and then descend before the onset of afternoon thunderstorm, a common occurrence in the Rockies.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile Buckskin Pass

Best Hiking in Central Colorado around Aspen, Marble, Leadville, Buena Vista and Crested Butte

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Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:

Region Information:
Central Colorado

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