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Capitol Creek Trail (#1961)

 2 votes

Length

8.5 Miles 13.7 Kilometers

72%

Runnable

Elevation

2,988' 911 m

Ascent

-1,851' -564 m

Descent

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

12,022' 3,664 m

High

9,043' 2,756 m

Low

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A classic trail along Capitol Creek, leading deep into the Wilderness.

Tyler Prince

Overview

During the winter months, the road is generally closed far below the trailhead.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: Leashed

Runner Notes

Although you may be fighting aggressive cows for space on the trail, this path is well maintained and makes for an excellent run.

Description

From Glenwood Springs, drive 26 miles SE on CO 82 and turn right onto Snowmass Creek Rd. From here it's 10 miles to the trailhead. Drive 1.7 miles and turn right onto Capitol Creek Rd. In 4.7 more miles, the road turns to dirt. 2WD and lesser 4WD cars should park here. Subarus and better can make it the remaining 3.5 miles or so to the trailhead on a poor quality dirt road.

From the trailhead, you have two options: this trail, which is shorter but loses elevation, or the Capitol Ditch Trail (#1963) which does not. This trail descends right from the trailhead. Runners lose about 600 ft in elevation in the first 0.5 miles. They will then cross Capitol Creek and bear to the right, continuing along the creek for several miles. This trail passes through cattle grazing areas, so don't be surprised if you encounter some territorial bovines.

A sign marks the West Snowmass Trail on the left at about 4 miles. At the 6 mile point the trail switchbacks to a double log crossing. The trail crosses the stream a few times from here. Campsites may be found just past these crossings. Camping is not allowed in the meadows or within 200 feet of Capitol Lake. Continue on the trail to Capitol Lake. To reach the pass and Avalanche Creek Trail, follow the trail along the west side of the lake. Capitol Peak is up and to the left of its massive namesake, just before the lake.

Flora & Fauna

The lower and middle portions of this trail cross cattle grounds, so expect to see cows. A lot of cows.

Contacts

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#4027

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Rankings

#351

in Colorado

#4,027

Overall
13 Views Last Month
843 Since May 11, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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