2. Midway Pass
If you are looking to see a variety of Rocky Mountain ranges in one go, Midway Pass Trail is a perfect choice, but you’ll have to conquer some serious elevation gain to enjoy them. Situated 14 miles from downtown Aspen along Independence Pass, Midway Pass Trail is a lesser-traveled, 8.8-mile trip to the 12,120-foot Midway Pass, ending in the Hunter Creek Valley just outside of downtown Aspen. Start from the Lost Man Campground trailhead, also known as the lower Lost Man Loop access point. Route-finding skills and a topographic map are a must for this excursion.
The Midway trailhead is a half-mile from the parking lot. You’ll ascend up 18 switchbacks, each step offering drop-dead views of Collegiate Peaks, Independence Pass, and the rugged Elk Mountains, which feature the iconic Maroon Bells. Once you’ve reached the high-alpine fields and Midway Pond, it’s time to pull out the maps and get ready for an adventure into the Hunter/Frying Pan Wilderness. After reaching the Midway summit, the trail is bit vague; that’s where advanced map and orienteering skills come in. Once you’ve reached Hunter Creek, you can head into down for some well-deserved grub, or press on for another nine miles to Woody Creek along the Woody Creek Trail.