On Saturday of July 4th weekend, Lissa, Ted and I hit the Four Pass Loop, one of our favorite long runs through the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. We started from Maroon Lake and ran the loop counter clockwise, tackling Buckskin Pass first. With the Hardrock 100 only days away, Ted planned to come along for just Buckskin Pass but couldn’t resist tagging along, down the other side to Snowmass Creek, before turning back.
For the most part, the trail was in good shape, with just a little snow on the passes. One thing worth reporting is the presence of a significant number of downed trees between Trail Rider Pass and Frigid Air Pass– on the section of trail between the waterfall and the Fravert Basin creek crossing. Although it’s a little tedious to get through, it’s totally passable- just count on needing a bit more time, especially if you have a large backpack. The wildflowers looked like they might be a few weeks out from peaking so we might have to run the loop again in the next couple weeks to catch the all the fantastic colors.
Cheers to Lissa on her first Four Pass Loop. She agreed with us, that as hard as the day can be, the beauty of the course makes it well worthwhile. We’re all grateful to have this awesome loop just 20 minutes from home. When it was all done the GPS read 25.3 miles with ~7,900 feet of gain. It took us just under 9 hours, with the downfall definitely slowing us down a bit. Here’s some technical info: