An additional batch of available permits will be released 3 days prior to each permit … As such it is one of the most popular summer trails. Four Pass Loop is a 27.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Aspen, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The loop extends for a total of 27 miles and includes more than 8,000 feet of elevation gain. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. For many, the Four Pass Loop trail is the quintessential Colorado backpacking adventure. A Colorado backcountry classic, Four Pass Loop travels around the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area over four mountain passes that exceed 12,000 feet. DO IT BACKPACKER editors just named the Four Pass Loop one of our favorite trips ever—and Rockies readers agree, voting this their #1 hike. The Four Pass Loop, which includes Crater Lake, Maroon Lake, Snowmass Lake, North Fork, East Fork and Upper Snowmass zones, would likely be added to the permit system in 2019, according to Schroyer. Due to the popularity of the area, drive-in access to Maroon Lake (where your journey starts) is limited to buses that run to and from Aspen Highlands Ski Area. Now, the White River National Forest is planning an expansion for backpacker overnight use at Capitol Lake, Snowmass Lake and the Four Pass Loop. The permits for camping in the core of the wilderness area likely will be implemented in summer 2020, said Shelly Grail, recreation manager for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Individuals can purchase up to four permits (per day), as available. What is the permit situation like? The route is a grand tour through meadows, valleys, alpine lakes, streams, and wildflowers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Also how packed is the trail, we are okay with no solitude but has anyone had trouble finding a campsite? The weather changes quickly in the Elk Mountains, so be prepared for anything. You can get one at the ranger station, the overnight parking lot, or on the trailhead on the way to Crater Lake. Permit availability for Maroon Bells/4 Pass Loop Mid-August? The map includes the Four-Pass Loop. Four Pass Loop, near Aspen, Colorado. Here’s their advice for getting the 26-mile, four-day route’s sparkling creeks, peak-ringed lakes, and, yes, a quartet of 12,000-foot passes all to yourself. Me and 2 others want to fly out to Denver and then drive to Aspen to hike the Maroon Bells/ 4 pass loop in August. Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Self-register permits are required. The Four Pass Loop will take you on a 27-mile loop with roughly 8,000 feet in elevation gain. Each permit allows one individual one day of use on the Dog Mountain Trail System. The permit will require information on the dates the trip starts and ends; the point of entry, destination and exit; the party leader’s name/organization and ZIP code, with the option of including their address as well; and the number of people, stock and dogs. The Loop has some of the most rugged and varied beautiful terrains that any trail has to offer much less one only 26 miles in length. A backcountry permit is free and available at trailheads. For more information, call the U.S. Forestry Department at 970-925-3445 or visit A few key tips for traveling the Four Pass Loop (and general area): Bear canisters or bags are required for this area. This popular 3-4 day backpacking loop around the stunningly beautiful Maroon Bells climbs four 12,000-ft. passes and traverses some of the most amazing scenery in the Maroon Bells / Snowmass Wilderness area. The second phase will limit overnight users on the popular Four Pass Loop, with campers required to secure permits. The Four Pass Loop – Colorado’s quintessential backpacking adventure. Permits will be available online starting March 1.

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