From the trailhead, the trail heads downvalley for a short
distance to a trail junction. The trail to the lake takes off at a
right angle at the junction. The trail rises steeply, switchbacking
for about 1-1/2 miles through an Aspen grove before reaching
spruce trees where the trail levels a bit. Continue to a large
meadow, stay along the lower side of the meadow, turning
southward, and reenter the forest. The trail will rise gently,
approximately 1/2 mile before the lake, the trail crosses a rock
slide area. The trail arrives near the lake's outlet.
Copyright: Amy Pyle-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
The hike to American Lake is one of the most accessible in the Aspen Ranger District
Directions from Aspen: Drive 1/2 mile west of Aspen on Highway 82. At the roundabout, turn onto Castle Creek Road. Drive 10 miles to the Elk Mountain Lodge. There is parking on the right where the trailhead begins.
Memorial Day Weekend through September
(NOTE: Access to this trail may be prevented due to snow early in the season.)