This is an enjoyable day hike through a variety of forest environments. It's a convenient hike for campers at Difficult Campground. The trail leads through oak and ponderosa pine to the Roaring Fork River where it crosses a bridge and begins a gradual ascent. After a broad sagebrush flat, the trail reaches Difficult Creek about 1/2 mile from the trailhead. The trail continues through a pine and fir forest crossing a side stream, then entering a rocky area and starting a steep ascent. At about 2-1/2 miles, 4 old cabins can be seen, the maintained trail ends here. The unmaintained trail is covered with boulders and fallen trees. Beyond this point the wilderness is classified as pristine. Users are expected to use orienteering and map reading skills.
Directions from Aspen: Drive 5 miles southeast of the Aspen Ranger District Office on Hwy. 82 and turn right into Difficult Campground. Travel 0.6 mile and park in the picnic area on the right. The trailhead is in the left corner of the lot.
Memorial Day Weekend through September
(NOTE: Trail may be impassible at high elevations due to snow Early in the season.)