Backpack to Conundrum Hot Springs

Colorado Conundrum Creek Trailhead

Added by Kyle Frost

  • The reward for this 18 mile (round-trip) hike in Maroon Bells-Snowmass
  • Two beautiful hot spring pools with incredible views
  • Beginning elevation: 8700'
  • Ending elevation: 11,200'

Start your morning with a coffee in Aspen, then drive out 15 min to the trailhead at the end of Conundrum Creek road. The trail is a straight shot 9 miles up the valley, through expansive meadows and an always incredible view of the mountains and aspens that cover the slopes.

There are 16 campsites in the area of the hot springs, varying in protection from the elements and distance from the springs. Choose wisely based on weather conditions and how far you'd like to walk after getting out from a long soak.

The springs themselves are spectacular. The upper pool can hold a LOT of people, if you're all really friendly, as we found out. There is also a slightly smaller, cooler pool just downstream. If bringing kids, be aware that the upper pools is often clothing optional.

If you're looking to hang out for a few days, you can tackle the nearby Triangle pass or Conundrum Peak.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Swimwear (or not)
  • Warm weather gear, the springs are just above treeline and weather can change quickly
  • Camp stove
  • towels
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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

18 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2500 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
Groups
Hot Springs
River
Scenic

Are we missing something?

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How to Get There

5 months ago

Hiked From Crested Butte Side

We had two groups- one hiked in from Aspen, the other came from Crested Butte. We met at the hot springs, camped for the night, traded car keys, and completed our respective through hikes. The springs are great, more people than I would generally camp around, but everyone was friendly. Great views, several Aspen groves, lots of flowers, I really enjoyed it!

5 months ago

6 months ago

Extra Rewarding Hike

Every hike is rewarding, but this has an extra treat at the end. Unlike other intermediate backpacking trips, you have the hot springs to look forward to at the end of a long day of hiking. Once you make it to the top and set up camp, getting in the hot springs is one of the best feelings there is. Be warned that it is not uncommon for people to go nude into the hot springs. This is a great spot to train for a longer backpacking trip as it has a solid length (18 miles) and moderately challenging elevation gain. A must do if you find yourself in western Colorado!

6 months ago

12 months ago

Solid beta. Should be noted that if you want to avoid the frat-party scene at the hot springs, try to head up during the week (if you can).

12 months ago

over 1 year ago

I generally prefer solitude on my backpacking trips, but I knew this was going to be busy so I just embraced it and made some new friends. The entire hike is absolutely gorgeous and nothing beats starting your morning with the view from those hot springs. There is a ranger presence but as long as you adhere to the rules and leave no trace (which you should be doing anyway) you won't have a problem. Enjoy! :)

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

It is gorgeous up at the springs, but super busy and somewhat polluted with waste. Also make sure not to bring dogs. I got kicked out and fined. The ranger presence is heavy up by the springs, and they will fine you for not following rules! Make sure to also bring a bear canister or you can get fined. Going on a week day would be best, otherwise I would suggest starting super early to make sure you can get a camp spot near the springs. The hike is pretty easy just long, and the wild flowers are prime. We also saw a moose family, and a bear on the trail and near it. As long as you aren't searching for solitude, you should enjoy this trip.

over 1 year ago

Added by Kyle Frost

Designer and Adventure Photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. Fan of mountains, coffee, beer, and witty banter. Available for commissions and collaborations. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.

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