Guidebook

Million-Dollar Views on the Capitol Creek Circuit

Escape the throngs of people on the nearby Four Pass Loop and score equally-superb scenery by backpacking the Capitol Creek Circuit instead!

Description

"The Capitol Creek Circuit is a fantastic alternative to the well-known Four Pass Loop,” writes Jason Weiss. "The circuit features fewer people and goes by some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado, such as Capitol Peak.”

The million-dollar views on the Capitol Creek Circuit just keep coming, too! From whispering aspen groves, to fields of colorful wildflowers, to the most beautiful alpine lakes in the state (if not the world), and towering 14,000-foot mountain peaks, this backpacking route is a feast for both the eyes and the lens of your camera!

"You can start this multi-day backpacking loop from a few different trailheads: the Capitol Creek trailhead or the Maroon Snowmass trailhead,” writes Weiss. “You could also begin from the Maroon Lake trailhead and combine the Capitol Creek Circuit and the Four Pass Loop for an even longer route.”

That said, the guidebook shown here focuses solely on the Capitol Creek Circuit. However, it does include optional ascents of both Capitol Peak and Snowmass Mountain. Note that Capitol Peak is one of the deadliest mountains in the state of Colorado, and isn’t to be taken lightly. Similarly, Snowmass Mountain is also quite technical, and usually features snowfields that must be crossed.

However you choose to combine these segments and peak climbs, you are guaranteed to have the backpacking trip of a lifetime on the Capitol Creek Circuit!

Capitol Creek Circuit: Capitol Creek to Capitol Lake
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Capitol Creek Circuit: Capitol Creek to Capitol Lake

Aspen Summer
9.7 km841 m178 m
Day one of an epic circuit through the Maroon Bells
Difficult
Private
Capitol Peak
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Capitol Peak

Aspen Summer
25.8 km1,818 m1,818 m
Capitol Peak is infamously one of Colorado's most difficult yet most rewarding 14ers.
Extreme
Private
Capitol Creek Circuit: Capitol Lake to Geneva Lake
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Capitol Creek Circuit: Capitol Lake to Geneva Lake

Aspen Summer
24.7 km1,395 m1,590 m
A lengthy, spectacular day of hiking through the Rockies.
Difficult
Private
Capitol Creek Circuit: Geneva Lake to Snowmass Lake
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Capitol Creek Circuit: Geneva Lake to Snowmass Lake

Aspen Summer
8.2 km509 m506 m
A shorter day on the circuit featuring a spectacular pass and two alpine lakes.
Difficult
Private
Snowmass Mountain
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Snowmass Mountain

Aspen Summer
32.8 km1,918 m1,918 m
A two- or three-day mission to summit one of the most remote 14ers in Colorado, requiring snow travel and Class 3 scrambling with exposure.
Extreme
Private
Capitol Creek Circuit: Snowmass Lake to Capitol Creek Trailhead
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Capitol Creek Circuit: Snowmass Lake to Capitol Creek Trailhead

Aspen Summer
27.9 km1,162 m1,621 m
A strenuous but exhilarating day to conclude the beautiful Capitol Creek Circuit.
Difficult
Private