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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- Pants, Parts, and Poles: A Cautionary Tale of Forgetfulness from an Intern’s First Foray into Fieldwork
– June 24, 2016
After a couple of weeks spent on fundraising research and crunching numbers on previous years’ Sustainable Trails data, last week I was beyond excited to … Read More
- Scrambling in Solitude
– June 20, 2016
I couldn’t figure out which part was worse; the fact it was 8 o’clock in the evening and darkness was already beginning to fall or … Read More
- Expanding the Sustainable Trails Program in 2016
– June 18, 2016
Phase II of the Sustainable Trails Program began in 2014 when CFI placed the first five TRAFx trail counters in the field. These compact, unobtrusive … Read More
- Bear Hangs’ “Bare Necessities”
– August 20, 2015
Yea, yea, yea. The Uncompahgre Wilderness isn’t exactly grizzly country, along with the rest of Colorado. But, despite their massive size, menacing strength and speed, … Read More
- 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
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.