Rim Trail, Snowmass Village - Rim Trailhead, Aspen - Snowmass, Colorado
Rim Trail - 7.9 miles
Snowmass Village - Rim Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||7.9 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||8,615' - 8,545' (9,212' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-70' net elevation loss (+1,610' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Rim Trail - 7.9 Miles Round-Trip
The Rim Trail - South runs 3.95 miles up and along the north valley wall of Snowmass Village from Divide Road to the Rim Trail - North Trailhead on Lake Wildcat Way. It climbs 600' in the first 1.3 miles to a high point over the valley, then moderates along a diversely vegetated ridge with panoramas across Snowmass Village and the Roaring Fork Valley.
Runners and mountain bikers will enjoy smooth single track the entire way, and option to extend travel on the Rim Trail - North. The Rim Trail - South is a great alternative to the Government Trail and its connectors when closed for elk calving mid-May to late-June:
The trail begins on a moderately steep climb through scrub oak and sage with rapidly expanding views over Snowmass Village.
It winds methodically up to the trail's highest point (1.3 miles : 9,212') with stunning views of Mount Daly (13,305') and Capitol Peak (14,130'). Ignore spurs branching right just before gaining the ridge, as they'll join the main trail but eschew this amazing backdrop.
The trail turns sharply east off the apex and dips into pockets of aspen and fir on the north side of the ridge. Note contrasting ecological compositions as you toggle between north and south slopes from this point on.
Travel moderates on a rolling descent through intervals of aspen, conifer and scrub oak through 2.5 miles (8,885') where views of Wildcat Reservoir open to the north.
The trail edges back to the spine (3.0 miles : 8,718') and splits at a sign for easy and difficult terrain (3.48 miles : 8,535'). The right (easy) fork narrows across the south slope and rejoins the left fork just before reaching the terminus on Lake Wildcat Way (3.95 miles : 8,545'). The Rim Trail - North picks up on the far side of the road.
Interactive GPS Topo MapKey GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84
- N39 12.538 W106 57.429 — 0.0 miles : Rim Trailhead - South
- N39 12.622 W106 57.550 — .5 miles : Steady, winding climb up south slope
- N39 12.716 W106 57.668 — 1.0 miles : Steady, winding climb up south slope
- N39 12.750 W106 57.732 — 1.3 miles : Max elevation on ridge top and tile platform
- N39 12.849 W106 57.466 — 1.6 miles : Rolling travel on north side of ridge
- N39 12.863 W106 57.140 — 2.0 miles : Intervals of aspen-fir and open scrub
- N39 13.036 W106 56.776 — 2.5 miles : Drop on switchbacks with view of reservoir
- N39 13.241 W106 56.564 — 3.0 miles : Travel moderates on high, thin ridge
- N39 13.427 W106 56.387 — 3.47 miles : Marked split for easy and harder terrain
- N39 13.776 W106 56.254 — 3.95 miles : Trail ends on Lake Wildcat Way
- The trail generally faces south and is free of tall canopies, thus quicker to melt and dry out than other local trails.
- This scrub oak habitat attracts (and is a good place to see) many small birds. Wildlife is fairly abundant and active on this trail.
- The Rim Trail - South is a great alternative to the Government Trail while closed for elk calving May 15 - late June.
- Be mindful of fast-moving bikes and honor yield protocols.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is not permitted along the Rim Trail (south and north sections).
- There is no fishing along the Rim Trail (south and north sections).
Rules and Regulations
- Be mindful of private property that borders the trail and honor these well-marked boundaries.
- Dogs are permitted on south and north sections of the Rim Trail. Dogs must be leashed on the Rim Trail - North.
- The Rim Trail - North is closed December 1 - May 15 for elk migration and calving. The area is closely monitored, and closures are strictly enforced. Significant fines may apply for violations.
Directions to Trailhead
The Rim Trailhead - South is located on Divide Road in Snowmass Village, .1 miles west of the Bush Creek - Divide Road split.
The trailhead is located on the right side of the road, which is sparingly marked and easy to miss. There's a small parking lot just past the trailhead on the left. Use public parking in the adjacent residential area if spaces are full.
Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness | Aspen Ranger District
806 West Hallam
Aspen, CO 81611
Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness | Sopris Ranger District
620 Main Street
Carbondale, CO 81623
White River National Forest
900 Grand Ave.
P.O. Box 948
Glenwood Springs CO 81602
970.945.2521 | 970.319.2670