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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Aspen Ranger District

Quick Facts

Government Trail

Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,400 Feet (436.4 Meters)
High Point: 9,600 Feet (2926.1 Meters)
Length: 9.8 Miles (15.8 Kilometers)
Pets: Yes - Dogs must be under voice control
Recommended Season: Summer to Winter
Trail Number: 1980
Usage: Moderate
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

View of Red Mountain and Hunter Creek Valley from Government Trail
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
View of Red Mountain and Hunter Creek Valley from Government Trail
Government Trail is closed for elk calving from May 15 - June 20. It's an enjoyable day hike or mountain bike ride through aspen groves. This is a hike where a car shuttle is handy. It is also known as Brush Creek Trail and is a popular cross country ski trail in the winter. From Aspen: The trail descends to Maroon Creek, crosses via a wooden bridge, turns left onto a jeep road for 30 yards, then leaves the road and begins a steep ascend with switchbacks until reaching Buttermilk Ski area. The trail alternates between aspen groves and ski runs (signs are present to guide across the runs). Beyond the ski area, the trail slowly ascends through rolling terrain, passing through aspen, lodgepole pine, and flowered meadows where wildlife can often be seen. The trail ends at the Snowmass Ski area. The trail is not a loop so a car shuttle is recommended.

Directions from Snowmass Village: Drive 6 miles west of Aspen on Highway 82 and turn left onto Brush Creek Road. Continue about 4-1/2 miles to Wood Run Road and turn left. Follow Wood Run Road to the cul-de-sac at the end. There is a grated dirt road off the far side that leads to parking at the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Late June through September (NOTE: Due to snow access to this trail may be prevented. This trail is closed from 5/15 through 6/20 for elk calving.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter Conditions. Beware of avalanche danger and hypothermia. Updated: 2002-12-23 14:36:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing
ICON Hiking & Walking Government Trail
ICON Mountain Biking Stay on trail
ICON Snowshoeing

Related Activities
Brush Creek Road - Brush Creek Road leads travelers from Highway 82, west of Aspen, to Snowmass Ski Area. Its a good starting point for many recreation opportunities.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam , Aspen, CO, 81611, Phone: 970-925-3445


Local Lodging

Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel
Stay at the Aspen Square Hotel

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