From Downtown Aspen (Hwy 82) turn left (north) on Mill Street just after the Hotel Jerome. Cross over the bridge and turn right on Gibson Ave. Follow Gibson Ave and bear left onto South Ave which becomes Park Circle. Turn left onto Smuggler Mountain Road and look for the parking uphill to the right. Note: You can walk from Downtown Aspen to the TH, but county on some extra time and mileage.
The hike up to the Smuggler Mountain Overlook/Observation deck is a great little hike just north of downtown Aspen. The trail is easy enough for kids but strenuous enough to feel like more than just a quick stroll...in fact the hike rises more than 850ft in just over a mile.
The trail consists of a dirt road bed, plowed to the last house, then unmaintained to the top. Most likely you will not need snowshoes for this hike but micro spikes or other traction is helpful. The trail starts near the Smuggler Mine and switchbacks up the side of the mountain until it levels off at the Smuggler Mountain Open Space boundary. The views are amazing and immediate. The Elk Mountains provide a scenic backdrop to the town with the Aspen Mountain (Ajax) Ski Resort in full display. If you look closely, just over the Maroon Creek Valley, you'll see Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells peaking out. To the west, Capitol and Snowmass Peaks are visible, and Mt. Sopris standing alone is a constant landmark.
Just next to the observation deck is the trailhead for the Smuggler Mountain Open Space trail system providing miles and miles of hiking options to explore at your leisure. But if you are just looking for a quick hike with tremendous views, then give Smuggler Mountain a try.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Smuggler Mountain Overlook
Smuggler Mountain Open Space
Date Hiked: December 13, 2015
Distance: 2.9 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 887 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 7,961 to 8,845 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39º 11' 30" N; 106º 48' 29" W
Managing Agency: Pitkin County Open Space & Trails