Easy-to-Moderate Hikes

The best way to experience the mountains around Aspen is to explore with an ACES Naturalist. Our guides not only know the area, but also have countless stories and information to share about the wildlife and history of the area. These Hire a Guide options are available for all ages and are perfect for individuals, families, or groups of any size. We can customize your tour to focus on birding, wildflowers, local wildlife, and many more interesting topics. Give us a call and we will help you figure out what hike is best for your group. ACES is a permitted outfitter guide through the US Forest Service White River National Forest.

  • Guide: all hikes include one experienced ACES Naturalist 
  • Basic fee: $60 per hour per Naturalist (9 person limit per Naturalist)
  • To make a reservation, please fill out our simple form. If you have questions, call Grayson Bauer at 970-925-5756.

Additional Options:

  • Food: ACES can arrange lunch for an additional $20 per person
  • Transportation: ACES can arrange transportation at an additional cost depending on the location

Hunter Creek
Right through Aspen’s back door, this hike can be a very easy ramble through the Hunter Creek Valley meadows or can be lengthened and steepened to make a great half-day loop. An ACES naturalist will relay the rich natural and human history of the area. Views, ecological diversity and stories are what make this hike an Aspen favorite.

  • 2.5 – 5 miles round trip (1 – 4 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 7,900ft or 8,600ft, high point 8,800ft
  • Easy to moderate hiking

Maroon Lake
This short out and back stroll takes you along the shore of Maroon Lake at the base of the towering 14,000 foot peaks of the Maroon Bells. ACES naturalists will share stories about geology, aspen trees, wildflowers, and wildlife. This hike is suitable for all ages.

  • 0.5 – 1 mile round trip (45 minutes – 2 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 9,580ft, high point 9,600ft
  • Easy hiking

Weller Lake on Independence Pass
Just a little more than a half mile each way, Weller Lake is a great destination for a group or family looking for an easy hike. The shady trail weaves through an evergreen forest up to a subalpine lake. Get a taste of Independence Pass on this family-friendly adventure!

  • 1.2 miles round trip (1-2 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 9,300ft, high point 9,600ft
  • Easy hiking

Snowmass Nature Trail
Right off the Snowmass Village Mall, this two-hour loop at the base of Snowmass Mountain has an incredible diversity of wildflowers. ACES naturalists share stories as we walk in and out of lush meadows and aspen forests. This hike is suitable for all ages.

  • 3.5 miles round trip (2 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 8,100ft, high point 8,500ft
  • Moderate hiking


Linkins Lake on Independence Pass
Just 0.6 miles from Highway 82 and Independence Pass, Linkins Lake is an idyllic jaunt above treeline. ACES naturalists will guide you up a short, but steep trail, to this amazing lake perched high near the continental divide. Cool temperatures, wildflowers and unbeatable views make Linkins Lake a perfect summer destination.

  • 1.2 miles (2-3 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 11,500ft, high point 12,000ft
  • Moderate hiking(due to elevation)

Ashcroft Ghost Town
Walk through the historic ghost town of Ashcroft and learn about the abandoned mining town. Explore old buildings and imagine life as a silver miner in the 1880’s while an ACES naturalist guide shares stories about the town’s history. Wildflowers, beautiful Castle Creek and incredible views make this walk a favorite way to spend a day in the mountains. This hike is suitable for all ages.

  • 0.5-1 miles (45 minutes to 2 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 9,500ft, high point 9,500ft
  • Easy hiking


Aspen Mountain
in partnership with Aspen Skiing Company
Ride the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain and walk along Richmond Ridge with an ACES naturalist. Incredible views make this hike unique and a must-do for any Aspen visitor. Wildflowers, wildlife and mining history are just a few of the topics that can be shared as the walk winds through the forest and up to the final 360 degree viewpoint.

  • 0.5-1 miles (45 minutes to 2 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 11,200ft, high point 11,300ft
  • Easy/moderate hiking due to elevation

Northstar Preserve
in partnership with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails
Stroll along a beautiful section of the Roaring Fork River with an ACES naturalist to discover the variety of life that calls these protected areas home. Spy on birds and insects, and search for the tracks of mammals just minutes from downtown Aspen. This hike is suitable for all ages.

  • 0.5-1 miles (45 minutes to 2 hours)
  • Trailhead elevation 7,950ft, high point 7,950ft
  • Easy hiking

Castle Creek Valley
in partnership with Pine Creek Cookhouse
Our Green World Day Hike has it all; after a jaunt through the silver mining ghost town of Ashcroft, the trail wanders up along Castle Creek to wildflower meadows and spectacular big sky views. Experience Maroon Bells-type scenery without the big crowds. This tour includes a gourmet lunch at the famed Pine Creek Cookhouse, which can either be a price fixe for $38 or you may order a la carte off of the menu.

  • 3.5 miles round trip (3-5 hours including lunch)
  • Trailhead elevation 9,500ft, Pine Creek Cookhouse 9,800ft
  • Easy hiking