Description - This area is located immediately east of Aspen. The Hunter Creek Valley serves as Aspen's backyard for easily accessible recreation activities such as hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
- Due to its easy accessiblility from Aspen, the Hunter Creek Area offers several of the most popular trails in the area including Sunnyside Trail, Hunter Valley Trail and Smuggler Mountain Road. Numerous loops are available combining these trails on foot or mountain bike. Smuggler Mountain Road is open to four-wheel drive vehicle traffic to Warren Lakes. The area is also home to McNamara and Benedict Huts of the Tenth Mountain Hut System.
Recreation - This area is very popular for hiking, mountain biking and viewing scenery. Extended trails into the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness make backpacking an option as well. In winter, Smuggler Road and the Hunter Valley become popular cross-country ski and snowshoeing areas.
Climate - In the valley bottoms, summer high temperatures extend into the 70's and mid 80s, with cool evenings that can often dip into the 30s. Winter lows occasionally dip to minus 30 degrees, though daytime temperatures are often in the 20s to 30s. The relative humidity is quite low throughout the year. Much of the area and its recreation facilities lie at higher elevations where significantly lower temperatures and more precipitation can be expected. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Snow is possible at any time of year in the highest elevations. The high elevation roads and trails are often not clear of snow until mid-July.
This area is located immediately east of Aspen. It includes the Hunter Creek Valley, Smuggler Mountain, Red Mountain and extends into the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness.