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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- A Learning Experience
– July 27, 2015
aBecca and I with our beautiful truck on Mt. Princeton Howdy Folks! My name is Robin Zeller and I am one of two Outdoor Leadership … Read More
- A Day in the Life on Holy Cross
– July 22, 2015
Up on Holy Cross our field work varies week to week, Our tasks bounce around from rock work and other trail maintenance to patrolling campsites. Sometimes we hike to … Read More
- The Work that Will Last a Century
– July 20, 2015
For the past few years I have been doing trail work deep in the wildernesses of Idaho and Montana. The majority of my work has … Read More
- Unexpected Yet Wonderful Wildlife Encounters
– July 16, 2015
I had never been West of the Mississippi River till I was 20, and barely camped or cared to venture into the woods … 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.