• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Mountain Biking, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Point-to-Point

  • RT Distance:

    8.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1290 Feet

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Scenic loop trail near the continental divide at Independence Pass. Excellent hiking, fishing, and camping. Trailheads are 4 miles apart along the Hwy 82, so a car shuttle is recommended. Trail passes through a beautiful forest, 3 large lakes, alpine meadows, and peaks out with views of the Rocky Mountains as far as the eye can see.

This 8.8 mile "loop" is not a true loop and the trail ends 4 miles apart along Independence Pass, so a car shuttle is recommended. I would recommend starting at the west trailhead (closer to Aspen) but will describe both trailheads so you can set up another car or shuttle at the other one.

1) West Trailhead: Drive 14 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to the parking lot directly across from Lost Man Campground. The trailhead begins on the left (north) side of the road.
2) East Trailhead: Drive 18.5 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82 to the parking lot at the last switchback before the top of Independence Pass. The trailhead is on the left (north) side of the road.

After half a mile from the west trailhead, you'll come across Lost Man Reservoir. Continue through the valley and at the 4 mile junction, stay right and continue uphill to Lost Man Lake. After this lake, hike to the top of the pass and you'll come across a view of Lost Man Lake, Independence Lake, and a whole lot of mountain peaks. Continue for 4 miles downhill until you reach the east trailhead at Hwy 82.

Pack List

  • Map
  • Hiking Boots
  • Food
  • Water
  • Tent
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Leave a Review

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Mike Fennell Explorer

Professional Travel and Nature Photographer

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

6 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves