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.)
Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:36:00.0
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Filed By: Brian Anderson
(Prescott Valley, AZ)
Time of Day: early morn' Length of Time: 2.5 days Difficulty: Hard Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl Recommend to a Friend: Highly Report: So like, I was trippin the whole time. Trees spoke, the earth shook, etc. Conditions: The sound the sun made when it shined through the trees was nasty. Water Availability: Beer. Recommended Clothing: I went naked. Suggested Accessories: Glowsticks.
Filed By: EL
Time of Day: 11:00am Length of Time: 4 hours (took time) Difficulty: Easy Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl Recommend to a Friend: Highly Report: Trail goes through woods for majority of length but does contain some nice views of the valley. An easy hike with some moderate inclines that could be a good prelude to a short 14er. Conditions: Drought year...so every part was dry. Even several runoff washouts were dry. Water Availability: Bring at least 2 quarts...trip can be longer than you think. If you have a filter there are several water sources along the way. Recommended Clothing: It was warm...but because of the tree cover it can get cool the farther you go due to elevation increase. Suggested Accessories: I usually hike with poles but this hike was easy enough where they really weren't needed.
Difficulty: Moderate Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl Recommend to a Friend: Highly Report: Great winter snowshoe hike. Lots of people snowshoe here so the trail stays well-packed and is easy to follow as a result. Must park at entrance as the campground is not plowed in the winter.
Difficulty: Moderate Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl Recommend to a Friend: Neutral Report: Flooding has now subsided and trail is accessible and dry. The Trailbook.
Difficulty: Easy Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended Report: Unable to access bridge across the Roaring Fork River because of localized flooding.
Hiking & Walking
Difficult Creek Trail
Difficult Campground - Difficult Campground is located five miles southeast of Aspen on Highway 82. It has 47 sites with limited spurs to accommodate trailers up to 40'.
Snowmass Village Resort Association, 38 Village Square, P.O. Box 5566
, Snowmass Village, CO, 81615, Phone: 800-SNOWMASS