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UPDATESWhat we've been doing

  • Now Steena, you promised you wouldn’t get lost again…  – October 20, 2014

    Mission: Collect Wilderness permits and check out potential hunter camps along Martin trail, hike out to West Grouse Mountain trailhead. This is the story about … Read More >>

  • Seasons of Wonder  – September 30, 2014

    Not everyone has a chance to experience the wilderness as I have this season. I have had the opportunity and absolute privilege to see the … Read More >>

  • A Return to the Primitive  – September 22, 2014

    In the Wilderness Act of 1964, which we can thank for areas like the Holy Cross Wilderness, part of the definition of wilderness contains the … Read More >>

  • From Sea Level to Summit  – September 19, 2014

    I drove from Atlanta to Colorado in early August knowing little about what the next two months doing trail maintenance may entail.  Soon enough I … Read More >>

Capitol Peak

  • Elevation:14,130 feet (29th Highest)
  • Maps:USGS Quad: Capitol Peak
    Trails Illustrated® – TOPO Map # 128
    Click here to purchase Trails Illustrated® maps for this route.
  • Contact:US Forest Service, Aspen Ranger District (970) 925-3445

Recommended Route

Capitol Lake Route—use of this route will help to reduce impacts to this Fourteener’s fragile alpine environment. For more detailed route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles, click here.

Route Information and Additional Resources

The trailhead is approximately ten miles south, then west of Snowmass, CO. From Snowmass (CO 82) take the paved road south up Snowmass Creek Road for 1.8 miles to a ‘T’ junction (left is Snowmass Creek, right is Capitol Creek). Go right (west) on Capitol Creek for 8.3 miles to the trailhead. The final two miles of the road to the trailhead are quite rough and require four wheel drive and high clearance.

The trailhead is clearly marked and parking is available. The route follows the Capitol Lake Trail then heads east to the Daly-Capitol saddle. The Forest Service clearly marked the route up the saddle with cairns. Stay on the trail ascending and descending the saddle. From the saddle the route runs around and then back to the K2 sub peak of Capitol. The final approach is over the ‘knife-edge’ and follows the East Ridge. The route includes significant exposure and dangerous loose rock.

The above information does not replace the need to consult additional maps and Colorado Fourteener Guidebooks for more detailed route descriptions. We suggest checking multiple resources before departing on any hike. Keep in mind that not all guidebooks list this Recommended Rout eand that each guidebook’s description or route name may vary slightly.

Peak Specific Environmental and Safety Concerns

Fires are not advised, especially above timberline. Use a camp stove to cook food. No fires are allowed within 1/2 mile of Capitol Lake.

This is one of the most difficult and demanding Fourteeners. Make sure you have plenty of knowledge and experience before attempting this climb.