The Capitol-Snowmass “Super Loop”
Neal jokingly referred to it as the “Outward Bound Course in a Day” loop. I’m not exactly sure how long it is, but our estimates put it in the 40-mile range. It had 11,000+ vertical feet climbed over five passes and it took all day (about 12 hours with stops).
In the clockwise direction we followed, the route goes something like this (grab a map):
From the Snowmass Creek Trailhead, follow the trail up to the lake, and then up to Trail Rider Pass. Descend from the pass, along the section of trail shared with the 4-Pass Loop, and part-way down, take a right fork to Geneva Lake. From the lake, find the Meadow Mountain Traverse and follow it, eventually you’ll have to go cross-country over a ridge to Silver Creek (It’s tough route finding there, go with someone who’s familiar with Marble-area trails). Follow the Silver Creek trail to the pass, and then continue on the faint trail, down the other side, through the East Avalanche Creek Valley. The rolling trail eventually climbs to a ridge above Avalanche Lake, and then descends towards it. Hook up with the Avalanche Creek trail (below the lake) and descend to the fork with the Capitol Pass Trail. Climb the steep trail to Capitol Pass (in the opposite direction of our Capitol/Hell Roaring Loop a few weeks back), and descend to Capitol Lake. Take on the final climb of the day to Daly Pass, and then make your way down past Moon Lake, and back to the trailhead. Have a beer.