These photos are from our hike on the American Lake Trail in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The hike to American Lake makes for a pleasant dayhike. It is 3.2 miles to the lake with just under 2,000 vertical feet of elevation gain.
This trail has a reputation for being busy. We started on the trail late in the morning and we saw a steady flow of people both on the trail and at the lake, although we did get about a 15 minute stretch where we had the place all to ourselves. I would recommend an early morning start if you are looking for any solitude.
From the roundabout in Aspen on Hwy 82, follow Castle Creek Road south for 9.8 miles and turn right into the trailhead parking area.
Mount Hayden Option
If you are interested in bagging a summit, the American Lake Trail allows for access to Hayden Peak
. Prior to this trip I had planned on climbing Hayden, but we ended up using the hike to American Lake for a "recovery day" so I didn't hike up above the lake, but my friend Rob did. He didn't summit, but he did reach the cirque below Hayden and said the scenery was beautiful (unfortunately he didn't have a camera with him to document this claim). I'm sure the ridgeline views from Hayden are beautiful as well, since it shares the same ridgeline as "Electric Pass Peak", and the views from that summit
are incredible to say the least. From what I have researched this is a Class 1 climb, maybe Class 2. Reference this picture
for more information on climbing above American Lake.
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