More Crater Lake
Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop
For this year's backpacking trip, I chose arguably the most scenic loop in Colorado, the Maroon Bells Wilderness's Four Pass Loop. The loop is roughly 24 miles, climbs 4 passes, and gains over 7,500 feet. So naturally I invited the same sea level backpackers from last year- my brother, Trevor, and good friend, Niran. Upping the difficulty level for himself, Niran carried over 10 pounds of camera equipment.

Day 1

The Trailhead Maroon Lake First View of Crater Lake The Maroon Bells Over Crater Lake More Crater Lake Niran Gets the Perfect Shot... While Trevor Waits Patiently Back to Hiking Niran Beyond Crater Lake First Campsite Sunset Over Our Campsite
We started our hike at the crowded Maroon Lake trailhead on the Maroon Snowmass Trail. After about 1.7 miles, we turned left to follow the West Maroon Creek Trail towards West Maroon Pass, but we made camp before reaching the first pass.

Day 2

Starting Out, Day 2 Looking Back West Maroon Pass (On the Left) Resting up Before the Pass Self Photo, and Trevor? Other Side of the Pass. Down the Other Side Wildflowers Frigid Air Pass? More Wildflowers Looking Towards Crested Butte Heading Towards Frigid Air Pass Climbing Frigid Air Pass 1 of 3: Agony 2 of 3: Defeat 3 of 3: Rally Fravert Basin South Maroon Peak over Fravert Basin Resting atop Frigid Air Pass Descending Frigid Air Pass Second Campsite Filtering Water Below Our Campsite A Visitor
The second day we continued to follow the West Maroon Creek Trail over West Maroon Pass. On the other side of the pass, we followed the North Fork Trail over Frigid Air Pass and made camp near the North Fork river in the Fravert Basin.

Day 3

North Fork River, Day 3 Descending the Switchbacks North Fork Waterfall Onward Stream Crossing Trail Crossing Initial Ascent Looking Towards Geneva Lake Switchbacks No Sign of the Pass Still No Sign of the Pass Looking Back Alpine Meadow Trail Rider Pass Smelling the Roses? More To Go Just One More Switchback... Final Stretch From the Top Yellow Bellied Marmot Initial Descent to Snowmass Lake Snowmass Lake Snowmass Lake #1 Snowmass Peak Snowmass Lake #2 Beaver Dam Third Campsite
The third day we climbed out of the Fravert Basin and over Trail Rider Pass following Geneva Lake Trail to Maroon Snowmass Trail. In my opinion, when hiking the loop clockwise, Trail Rider Pass is the most difficult of the 4 passes. We made camp that night just past Snowmass Lake in a flat marshy area.

Day 4

Morning, Day 4 Snowmass Peak Into the Rock Pile The Friendly Pika Atop Buckskin Pass Self Photo Descent From Buckskin Pass Bears? Maroon Peak Return to Maroon Lake The Way Home
The fourth and final day, we hit the trail early so we could make it back to Denver for dinner. Ascending Buckskin Pass wasn't too difficult, but the descent to Maroon Lake and the parking lot seemed to go on forever.