Camp on the Backside of Buttermilk Mountain

Rate this Adventure Colorado Buttermilk Parking Lot

Added by

Hike up Buttermilk mountain and camp at one of the best hidden gems in the Aspen area. Enjoy epic views of the iconic Pyramid Peak, Maroon Creek Valley, and the rest of the Elk Mountain Range while perched high upon a cliff at a perfectly situated campsite.

Park at the Buttermilk Ski Area parking lot and begin your hike up the mountain at the bottom of the Summit Express chair lift. Follow the 4x4 dirt road the entire way up Buttermilk. There are other small hiking trails that you can follow too, and with the entire mountain being a ski area, it's simple enough to follow any of the ski runs uphill in the summer. However, if you want to keep it simple, stay on the 4x4 dirt road that the maintenance vehicles use and it will take you all the way to the top of the Summit Express chair lift. This part should take you 60-90 minutes depending on your fitness level.

Once at the the top of Summit Express chair lift, find another 4x4 dirt road heading uphill to the West that will take you to the top of West Buttermilk Express chairlift. This part is about a 20 minute hike.

From the top of West Buttermilk Express chair lift, you'll find a hiking trail to the South behind the warming hut. Continue along this trail as it traverses uphill through aspen groves until it comes to an end at the camping site about 10-15 minutes later. It's tough to miss with there being a bench, fire-pit, and a cool looking dead tree perched at the edge of the cliff overlooking Maroon Creek Valley. Wake up for sunrise and watch the mystical Pyramid peak radiate in alpenglow!

Campsite coordinates: 39.1758857, -106.8833701

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Food
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Flashlight
  • Water
  • Matches
Read More

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Mike Fennell

Professional Landscape Photographer. Currently living in my Sprinter Van and exploring North America

Activities:

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2000 Feet

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Mountain Bike the Notch Trail

Colorado / Notch Trailhead

The trail is shared by mountain bikers and ATV users. The Notch Trail is located in the San Juan National Forest.  Photos: William Snow, Davey Nin, and Kent Kanouse

Hike the Hidden Valley Loop

Colorado / Hidden Valley Loop Trails

The trail is shared by mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners. The Hidden Valley Loop offers amazing views of the Animas Valley, especially when the foliage changes in the fall.

Hike the Jones and Dutch Creek Loop

Colorado / Jones Creek and Dutch Creek Trail

The trail is well maintained and is dog friendly. Bring extra water if using this trail in July or August.  Photos: Chris M Morris and Daniel Weber