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West Maroon Pass Shuttle Hike

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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West Maroon Pass Shuttle Hike

Postby valleygirl » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:41 pm

Does anyone know how far up the Gothic Road you can drive before 4-wheel drive is needed? I'd like to do the shuttle hike this summer from the Crested Butte side, using the West Maroon pass and down past the Maroon Bells and into Aspen, but that West Maroon trailhead looks like it's pretty far up toward the pass and I hear that the road gets very nasty. Is there camping up there, maybe near Emerald Lake?
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

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Re: West Maroon Pass Shuttle Hike

Postby peter303 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:49 pm

1) Between July 1 and Labor Day there is a bus from downtown Crested Butte 7(?) miles to Gothic. Gothic is remnant mining town with one tiny covenience store and several dorms/labs for a summer ecological research station. CB has upper ski condo area and downtown "old town" area with a hostel. There is a forest campground near Gothic. The Copper Lake trailhead to East maroon Pass is a mile or two past Gothic.

2) Maroon Bells lake has public transport all the way to downtown Aspen. There are a couple campgrounds on the way to the lake; A hostel and hotels in the Aspen area.

3) Although I have not done the whole thing myself, I crossed paths at both ends with people making the roundtrip hike from Maroon Bells to Gothic and staying the night on the other side. Its 20-some mile day hike each way. You could carry camping gear and camp at a turn-around point. Or go lighter and and stay at a hostel/hotel on the opposite side. I'd recomend some bivy capability jand extra food just in case the weather turns fickle during this long hike.

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Re: West Maroon Pass Shuttle Hike

Postby beerhiker » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:04 pm

You can get a car up just short of the top of Schofield Pass, depends on the snow year, sometimes its closed all year. West Maroon trail starts on the other side of the pass from CB, there are shuttle companies that will take you to trailhead from CB. You can also hike East Maroon Pass which is just outside Gothic over to Aspen. Once on the Aspen side there is buses into town. I have not heard of buses from downtown CB to Gothic, there is camping in designated spots along the Gothic Rd. Ive done the full loop starting in Aspen to CB over West Maroon and back over on East Maroon. Mileage from Aspen to Schofield to catch shuttle was like 10-11miles (pass was closed had to hike road over pass to meet shuttle), I think East Maroon was closer to 12 miles. Its a great hike!

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Re: West Maroon Pass Shuttle Hike

Postby gb » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:41 am

You can drive all the way to the W Maroon trailhead in just about any vehicle- the 4wd part is after Schofield park, about a mile past the trailhead. As mentioned, there is a shuttle bus to Gothic- that road is heavily traveled in the summer and all the dust is bad for the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, and I won't be surprised when travel on that road is restricted, like Maroon Creek. There are pay shuttle services as well. More info at the bottom of this post: http://14erskiers.com/blog/2012/08/tr-from-crested-butte-to-aspen-west-maroon-pass/

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Re: West Maroon Pass Shuttle Hike

Postby valleygirl » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:55 am

Thanks Beerhiker & GB! Exactly what I needed to know. 14ers.com is a great source of information.
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

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